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Elance, the leading online work platform, today unveiled the Private Talent Cloud™, a new, secure enterprise management solution that allows companies to hire, manage and pay their freelance workforce on demand. Developed in partnership with leading Fortune 100 clients, the Elance Private Talent Cloud™ helps companies take advantage of the monumental shift toward fractional work.

“Now, through the Private Talent Cloud™, managing your extended workforce is as easy as managing your social network,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “Hiring managers can engage with the best external talent in real time, gaining access to the resources they need to win the war for talent while retaining enterprise-level visibility and control.”

Enterprises are Demanding a New Approach

Elance has developed the Private Talent Cloud to address the biggest challenges faced by companies when hiring and managing non-employee workforces.

A new research report about The Future of Work released today by Tower Lane Consulting revealed that 60 percent of enterprises plan to increase freelance hiring in 2014. The report explains why midsize and large businesses are hiring freelancers in record numbers and the challenges they face in today’s hiring market:

  • Businesses need freelancers with specific skills to help them remain competitive through fluctuations in demand. Seventy-five percent of companies surveyed use freelancers because they need a wide range of specialized skill sets at different times.
  • Quality freelance talent is hard to find and takes time to vet. Companies surveyed noted that identifying appropriate talent was the number one freelancer-related challenge they faced.
  • Managing an extended workforce is challenging. Enterprises surveyed found “strong” or “very strong” difficulties with payment processes and communication methods.
  • Businesses want to cut down time-to-hire so they can get their work completed more quickly. Sixty-eight percent of companies surveyed expressed a “strong” or “very strong” interest in a tool that would enable easier and quicker hiring and onboarding.

Across the board, companies felt that their freelancers were special,” said Joslyn Faust, principal at Tower Lane.  “Over and over, I heard hiring managers say that they don’t just hire anybody, but that they look for a specific combination of skills, experience, work ethic and temperament that fits with their company. The consensus is that making a bad hire can be very costly to the company in multiple ways, so hiring managers are open to new ways to more efficiently find qualified candidates.”

The New Hiring Solution

The Private Talent Cloud is a simple service that helps enterprises win the talent war by building and managing their entire network of freelancers, contractors and consultants online. Key benefits include:

  • Direct access to talent: Hiring managers now have a private, real-time access to profiles of every approved freelancer in the company and are able to manage, collaborate with and securely pay freelancers in any country on the same easy-to-use platform.
  • Visibility and control: HR and procurement teams have complete visibility into freelance and contractor hiring and performance data across their organization, ensuring rate optimization and compliance. Once a project is complete, all freelancers are rated, allowing the most talented to rise to the top.
  • A happier extended workforce: Streamlined on-boarding, contractor engagement, customer support and payment make freelancers happier and reduce the hassles of traditional staffing solutions.
  • Hands-on assistance to recruit top talent: Private Talent Cloud™ customers can bring their own contractors or hire Elance sourcing teams to find additional talent.

“We supplement our core team with a network of talented freelancers from around the world, which can be a lot to manage,” said Elance customer Julie Clarenbach, editorial manager at The Motley Fool. “Our Private Talent Cloud™ has dramatically improved how we manage and pay our freelance network—plus, we’re keeping our best talent more productive which makes us more competitive.”