Online freelance platform Elance puts up PH office

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[/caption] At its formal launch event in Makati recently, Elance introduced Ronald M. Cirujano as their country chief based out of Manila. Cirujano was accompanied by a team of ?freelancer mobilizers? in Cagayan de Oro and Cebu, whose responsibility is to introduce Filipino talents to online freelancing. The company said it plans to hire additional five mobilizers across the country to increase awareness and knowledge of online freelancing. Kjetil Olsen, Elance?s vice president for Europe, said the Philippines is one of the biggest markets for freelancers in the Elance platform, and ranked fourth in number of users and ninth in terms of earnings. Filipino freelancers earn an average hourly rate of $8.3 (or an average of P342.00 at current values). Filipinos freelancers saw an 89-percent increase in new registrations, representing 1,456 freelancers hired in the first quarter of 2013. Over 95,000 Filipino freelancers are registered on the site, specializing in administrative support, IT and programming, and writing and translation, among others. IT and programming professionals are paid an hourly rate of $14.4, the highest among Filipino freelancers on Elance. ?The progress in the Philippines is above the overall growth Elance is experiencing,? said Olsen. ?In fact, with the potential for even greater growth as companies continue to embrace online freelance work, the future is indeed bright for Filipino talents and local economy alike.? Elance earns by charging an 8.75-percent service fee for every job completed. A report conducted by Elance, titled ?The State of Filipino Freelance Market,? indicated that the country is a prime destination for freelancers because of factors as a skilled and hardworking workforce, technologically savvy population, and accelerating entrepreneurial communities, to name a few. The report included marketplace data from Elance and the results of a survey that was conducted in September 2012 among 120 selected Filipino freelancers registered on Elance. Majority of respondents were female (59.2 percent), aged 32 and below (55.4 percent), and with a bachelor?s degree (67.7 percent). According to those surveyed, their primary skill sets are research (50.4 percent), writing and content (43.4 percent) and online marketing (31.8 percent). Filipino freelancers love the idea of having control over their own schedule (76.9 percent), working wherever they please (74.8 percent), and having the opportunity to pursue their passions (71.2 percent). As a result, most users feel happier (67.7 percent) and more productive with their time (88.5 percent). Most Filipino freelancers started having a full-time job with freelance work on the side (40.8 percent), while others pursued freelance after being laid off (20.8 percent). Freelance work is a viable alternative or addition to an office job. Over 56 percent freelance full-time or as much as they can, and almost a quarter say they spend between 11 and 20 hours every week working on freelance jobs; 20 percent say they spend more than 40 hours a week on freelance work. Most also prefer working on an hourly basis (46.9 percent) compared with project basis (37.7 percent). However, the biggest challenge these freelancers face is competition with other freelancers (79.2 percent) ?In Q1 2013 we saw more than 4,600 jobs and projects being awarded to Filipino freelancers on Elance from businesses all over the world and this number will continue to grow fast as more businesses and talents come to work online,? said Olsen. From a global perspective, Olsen pointed out that ?No longer are talents bound by the constraints of the local labor market; if you possess a skill in demand on the global labor market there are thousands of opportunities available online. Online freelancing has truly redefined how we view, perform, and value work.? Olsen further explained that an important metric is the number of freelancers hired for their first time, which ensures that more can participate in this labor market transformation. In 2012, a total of 2,182 freelancers were hired for the first time, a 175-percent increase from 2011. The survey revealed that 20.8 percent of Filipino freelancers were hired for the first time on Elance less than a week after registering on the platform. ?We see more professionals joining the online freelance work revolution, and experiencing the joys of working as they please, from selecting their work to becoming their own boss,? Olsen said. ]]>

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