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A survey by Elance of its users found that 73 percent plan to hire more online contractors this year than in 2011. Respondents also reported that 54 percent of their workforces will be online in the next five years.
Elance, based in Mountain View, Calif., and Oslo, Norway, provides a cloud-based method of hiring independent contractors.
According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents said online hiring gives them an advantage over competitors, 70 percent cited faster times-to-hire and 55 percent reported online hiring gave them access to talent that was otherwise not available.
The survey included more than 1,500 Elance customers.