President and Chief Executive Officer
Marketplace data by leading online freelance platform Elance show that Filipinos are blazing the trail in online freelance work, with 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 Elance, specializing in administrative support, information technology (IT) and programming, and writing and translation, among others.
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 US$8.3 (or an average of PhP 342.00 at current values). IT and programming professionals are paid an hourly rate of US$14.4, the highest among Filipino freelancers on Elance.
“The progress in the Philippines is above the overall growth Elance is experiencing,” says Kjetil Olsen, Elance’s vice president for Europe. “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.” More than 500,000 businesses and 2.3 million freelancers use Elance in over 170 countries.
A report issued by Elance, entitled “The State of Filipino Freelance Market, indicates 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 includes 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%), aged 32 and below (55.4%), and with a bachelor’s degree (67.7%). According to those surveyed, their primary skill sets are research (50.4%), writing and content (43.4%) and online marketing (31.8%).
Freedom and opportunity
Filipino freelancers love the idea of having control over their own schedule (76.9%), working wherever they please (74.8%), and having the opportunity to pursue their passions (71.2%). As a result, most users feel happier (67.7%) and more productive with their time (88.5%).
Kjetil J. Olsen
Vice President, Europe
Most Filipino freelancers started having a full-time job with freelance work on the side (40.8%), while others pursued freelance after being laid off (20.8%). 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%) compared with project basis (37.7%). However, the biggest challenge these freelancers face is competition with other freelancers (79.2%)
Elance today announced that they have hired Ronald M. Cirujano as their country manager in Philippines, based out of Manila. Mr. Cirujano is accompanied by a team of freelancer mobilizers in Cagayan de Oro and Cebu, whose responsibility is to introduce Filipino talents to online freelancing and train them in achieving success through workshops and learning sessions. The company plans to hire additional five mobilizers across the country to increase awareness and knowledge of online freelancing.
Cirujano, Elance country manager in Philippines, confirmed that Elance is committed to bring more opportunities of online work to Filipino talents. “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.”
From a global perspective Olsen points 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.