New leaders joined the Upwork team
We kicked off the year by welcoming three new members of our leadership team.
In April, we welcomed Sunita Solao as chief people officer and Erica Gessert as chief financial officer.
In May, Zoë Diamadi joined the team as general manager of our Enterprise business.
These three leaders bring years of experience at companies including PayPal, Airbnb, eBay, and LinkedIn—and we’re excited to leverage their expertise to continue bringing new innovation, value and operational excellence to bear for Upwork’s customers as we build the world’s work marketplace.
OpenAI and Upwork partnered to advance AI initiatives
Generative AI is at the forefront of many of our customers’ minds and business strategies this year, and Upwork continues to be at the forefront of developing tools and resources to help them leverage this new technology.
That’s why we formed a partnership with OpenAI—the company behind ChatGPT and Dall-E—this year.
Together, we established the OpenAI Experts on Upwork program, connecting skilled AI and machine learning professionals with OpenAI customers who need their expertise.
Clients can visit the Upwork AI Services hub for quick access to these OpenAI experts and other AI-focused talent as well as additional AI resources.
Independent professionals interested in being a part of the OpenAI Experts on Upwork program can complete an interest form for consideration.
Upwork premiered an exclusive AI resources and learning hub for talent
According to our 2023 Freelance Forward report, about 20% of freelancers use generative AI tools multiple times per week—that’s nearly 12.8 million Americans working independently with the help of AI.
From researching to brainstorming to writing code, independent professionals are finding AI to be a useful tool in their work.
We want independent talent on Upwork to harness the power of generative AI to supercharge their productivity and improve the quality of their work—which is why we introduced a new set of AI apps and offers, alongside new educational content tailored to talent on Upwork.
Now, all talent with an Upwork account can access:
- Curated lists of AI job posts in Talent Marketplace™
- Exclusive offers for AI apps, including Jasper, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Amazon CodeWhisperer
- Talent-focused AI education resources including Upwork Academy AI learning paths, AI skills-based courses from trusted providers like Coursera and Udemy, and mini courses created by Top-Rated freelancers on Upwork
- An AI & Machine Learning Upwork Community group
Upwork launched new AI-powered features for clients and talent
The first half of the year also brought the initial launch of our AI-powered job post generator, which we’ve continued to develop and refine throughout 2023.
Clients seeking talent on Upwork can use the AI-powered job post generator to quickly spin up a draft—giving users a strong starting point versus a blank text box.
Users reported that the job post generator cut job post creation time in half, allowing them to find and hire talent faster than ever before.
And with more than 835,000 clients hiring on Upwork, there’s a lot of time to be saved!
We also launched Upwork Chat Pro, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4. The app draws upon Upwork’s unique insights about independent professionals to help talent complete their work more quickly and with higher quality—all while improving user experience on the platform.
Initially released as a beta, development of the Upwork Chat Pro app will continue into 2024.
Advancements to Enterprise Suite centralized workforce management
New partnerships, integrations, services, and product enhancements to Enterprise Suite helped enterprise customers continue to build a better way to work.
To bring business-critical platforms together for workforce administration, we launched the first of many partnerships with vendor management systems (VMS) and managed service providers (MSP) like SAP Fieldglass and Flextrack.
We also created a set of integrations and accessible APIs that will enable Enterprise Suite to work seamlessly across an entire workforce ecosystem, including human resource information system (HRIS), applicant tracking system (ATS), procurement, and recruiting platforms.
And a new Enterprise Dashboard brought it all together, allowing Enterprise Suite customers to view and connect with Expert-Vetted talent, the top 1% of talent on Upwork; receive enhanced support via 24/7 dedicated agents and self-service resources; and access on-demand reporting to easily view overall Upwork usage and spend.
Upwork announced a new Full-Time solution
Early this year, we launched a hiring solution designed to make full-time work arrangements better for both clients and professionals on Upwork.
Our clients can now find, vet, hire, and pay full-time talent using one end-to-end solution—no more bouncing between disconnected tools and platforms to make hiring happen.
Contract-to-hire opportunities allow clients and talent to work together before deciding if a full-time engagement is right for both parties. And, because talent and clients can indicate interest in contract-to-hire upfront—on their profiles and job posts—it’s easier to plan ahead for a future full-time hire.
The Upwork Research Institute launched with new insights
In November, we announced the launch of the Upwork Research Institute.
Formed to help guide organizations through workforce transformation—and redefine tomorrow’s work —the institute will study fundamental shifts in the way we work today. We’ll do this, in part, by leveraging proprietary data from the Upwork platform to help business leaders get the tools and insights they need when preparing their organizations for the future.
The Upwork Research Institute’s first publication, Unveiling The Work Innovator’s Blueprint For Success, is available to download now.
Building more new ways to work in 2024
The world of independent work isn’t slowing down in 2024. With over 85% of freelancers saying the best days are ahead for freelancing—and 80% of freelancers optimistic about freelancing as a career—we see opportunities and demand continuing to rise.
We’re already working on innovations and partnerships for the new year, and look forward to further supporting both clients and talent on Upwork as they explore new ways to work.
Be first to know about these new developments, product launches, and exclusive experiences for Upwork customers by following us on LinkedIn, joining Upwork Community groups, or continuing to visit our blog for the latest.