55 Percent of Companies Intend to Increase Use of Freelancers, UpWork Reports

According to the Upwork Future Workforce Report, 55 Percent of Companies Intend to Increase Use of Freelancers

A majority of companies using freelancers are planning to hire more in 2017.

That’s according to a new report released by Upwork, a popular freelancing website.

The study, entitled Future Workforce: How Companies Embrace Flexible Teams to Get Work Done, found one-third of companies utilized freelancers in 2016. Of these, 55 percent expect to have more freelancers in 2017.

“Businesses are scrambling to adapt and keep up with the rapid pace of change in our world. In just a few years, a third of the skills needed in the workforce will be brand new,” said Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel.

A Look Inside the Upwork Future Workforce Report

According to the report, 40 percent of businesses prefer hiring freelancers because they can be scaled to meet business needs.

Freelancers are in demand also because 39 percent of businesses find freelancing makes it easier to find skills that match their specific needs.

Moreover, 71 percent of hiring managers said utilizing freelancers helped them get more work done.

“Corporate adoption of freelancers is poised to increase,” said Barry Asin, President of Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), a global research firm focused on staffing and workforce solutions. “Driven by the growing acceptance of freelancing as well as technological advances, companies are integrating freelancers and other contingent workers into their strategic planning as they see the value of new working alternatives in addressing critical business challenges.”

Hiring Challenges Facing Businesses

Although demand for skilled freelancers is increasing at a steady pace, hiring these professionals is getting difficult.

More than 41 percent of surveyed hiring managers felt hiring had gotten harder in the past year. According to them, technology positions continued to be the most difficult to fill, while hiring for marketing, operations and legal also became increasingly difficult.

For the report, research firm Inavero surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. hiring managers on behalf of Upwork.

Freelancer Photo via Shutterstock


Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

3 Reactions
  1. When you’ve got multi-billion dollar companies like Uber that are using virtually all freelancer/contractors for their operations it is only a matter of time until that trickles down. Not to mention that it’s a great option to obtain expert-level skills for a task without having to pay for a full-time expert.

  2. Hiring freelancers is cheap and it gets the job done. Business owners also don’t need to think about renewing contracts with it and the freelancer is able to do the work in his or her own home.