If the Freelancer Fast 50 report for the end of 2012 tells us anything, it’s that employable skills in the cloud-based world of business are at the center of what hiring managers want.
“The Freelancer Fast 50 report is a fairly unique leading indicator of the online economy,” said Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com, which recently released its report after surveying some 261,000 job posted online — companies in search of new blood.
Let’s look at the main points from the survey’s results.
Top Trends from Q4
Things are changing in the cloud. Internet traffic is up, but social networks are in flux. The online marketplace was anything but consistent, at year’s end.
But the good news about that is that independent workers are scooping up business opportunities, and the numbers and the percentage-shifts are, for the most part, not small.
Here’s what Freelancer’s report tells us about what’s happened.
— Website Hosting: Jobs skyrocketed over 3,300% to 4,059 jobs as businesses moved into the cloud. Many of these jobs involving the transfer of established websites to cloud servers, or they were related to companies throwing the switch and making cloud-hosted sites live for the first time.
— Software and Website Jobs: Quality assurance positions soared as eCommerce sites rushed to fortify themselves for holiday season traffic. Q4 saw a spike in software- and website-testing jobs, and software-testing jumped 2,500% to 5,200 jobs. Meanwhile, website-testing saw a 2,055% increase to 3,923 jobs.
— eBay Jobs: After 17 years in the online auction business, eBay rolled out a number of changes to its website and mobile application, including new branding. These changes, in combination with a pivot to a mobile-centric and small-business friendly focus, correlated with eBay jobs gaining 22% (to 1,790 jobs) for the quarter as it diversified its auction house into an e-commerce marketplace.
— Social Media and Internet Marketing: Jobs in this space may be experiencing a moment of contraction, in the wake of platform and search-index changes. According to the New York Times, only 14% of digital advertising budgets are currently allocated to social networking, and social-networking projects declined 5.1% (to 5,820 jobs). Both Facebook — down 8.4% to 7,186 jobs — and Twitter, down 6.4% to 2,240 jobs, seemed to feel a pinch. Internet marketing in general was flat — down 1.4% to 15,244 jobs — while SEO may still be reeling from the after-effects of Google’s Panda changes (down 3.3% to 10,159 jobs). Some marketers fell back to e-mail marketing, which ticked up 186% to 1,003 jobs.
Those are the numbers, and, of course, what might seem clear from Q4 is always subject to changes in the market place.
What’s currently certain is that most freelance workers with a tech-savvy portfolio are deep in this mix. Whatever the result for individual companies — those seeking to impose or reinforce their presence in the marketplace — 2013 should still be a time when those seeking work will find it.