The Way We Work
July 27, 2012 by Jenna Weiner

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on labor markets, innovation, and online work.

Week of 7/23/2012:

TechCrunch: Think Hiring Is Tough In The Valley? Now Europe Joins The Talent Wars
The war for talent in Silicon Valley rages on, as attracting and retaining top talent remains extremely difficult and expensive (as shown in this infographic). But now, TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher reports, the war for talent is starting to affect European startups as well—a reality that is exacerbated by a startup culture in which share options are not as highly valued or understood.

Forbes: The Rise of The 1099 Economy
Between 2001 and 2012, the number of U.S. freelancers has seen an impressive 14% increase, exhibiting what some economists believe is a fundamental change in economic realities. Forbes columnist Joel Kotin writes that in many U.S. cities, the transition to the “1099 Economy”—also called self-employment—has been helping to lead economic revitalization.

WSJ: Small Firms Seek Workers but Can’t Find Any
A recent survey by The Wall Street Journal found that 31% of small-business owners were unable to fill job openings due to a lack of suitably skilled applicants. Sarah Needleman delves into the hiring woes that are constricting small businesses and concludes that access to talent is a key factor restricting business expansion.

HBR: Why Aren’t You Delegating?
No matter how valuable your time may be, chances are high that you are staying buried in work because you are holding on to unnecessary projects. Amy Gallo explains why many managers are hesitant to delegate and how great managers use delegation to boost productivity and foster employee development.

The Build Network: Projects Are The New Job Interviews
Can an interview ever truly capture the value-add of a potential new hire? According to Michael Schrage, a research fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management, projects are the future of hiring. Schrage argues that unlike the potentially misleading interview process, hiring candidates on a trial basis allows employers and potential hires to fairly evaluate one another and find the best fit.

Did we miss anything? Are there any insights you find particularly interesting? Let us know in the comments section below!

Jenna Weiner

Content Marketer

Jenna Weiner is the former content marketing manager at oDesk and was the editor-in-chief of the oDesk blog. With a background in business and technology writing, she specializes in content marketing and strategy, public relations, and branding. Before joining oDesk, Jenna was a writer and editor for Monitor Group’s marketing department (now Monitor Deloitte) and was the Business & Technology Section Editor for Brafton Inc.… read more