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Huge demand for online staffing from enterprises: Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie

February 26, 2018

More large, enterprise companies are showing interest in online staffing. Matt Barrie, CEO of online staffing provider Freelancer.com, cited this trend during a stop at SIA’s office last week. In the last 18 months, Barrie said he has seen the increase in interest, and it’s coming from firms across the board, including a global real estate firm, pharmaceutical company, a telecom firm and others.

“Our strategy is to follow demand,” Barrie said. “There is just huge demand that is coming in now.”

Firms are saying “we know this is the future,” Barrie said. In the past, large firms were interested in background checks and drug screens on workers and were concerned about work being done in certain countries. However, legal departments at large firms are becoming more flexible. And people at large companies are already using Freelancer.com – you can tell by looking at the email domain names of the users — sometimes using their own credit cards to get specific projects done, such as PowerPoint presentations.

There’s also the lower cost and quick service of online staffing.

Take the example from billboard firms. Barrie said Freelancer.com took out billboard advertising recently, and the billboard operator sent photos to show the ad was in place. Barrie didn’t like the photos, so he paid $40 to a freelancer with a drone to take a video of the sign. Barrie later made his case regarding online staffing to the billboard firm: Why have the expense of an in-house team spending time taking photos when they could just hire freelancers online when a new billboard goes up?

As large firms are falling in line with this trend, Freelancer.com also released an API, or application programming interface. It enables website and software providers to access Freelancer.com workers directly without leaving their website or software.

So what’s the biggest challenge he sees regarding adoption? While the supply of workers remain plentiful, reaching smaller clients is problematic.

“The big challenge is reaching every small business in the world,” Barrie said. Google and Facebook are making it more difficult to find smaller firms through organic search (search results that are not sponsored).

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