By Maria Valdez Haubrich

What are your hiring plans this year? Are you looking for alternative ways to get the job done? Elance, one of the leading online employment websites, released its Q4 2010 Online Employment Report on Monday and revealed a positive outcome for hiring in 2011. While the last quarter of any years is usually a slow quarter, the report showed record-setting hiring among small businesses with IT professionals responsible for more than half (59%) of Q4 earnings. Small business owners seem to be realizing that hiring online help can spur growth and innovation in their businesses, and the report showed that the hybrid organization—a staffing model of both onsite and online employees—is a growing trend. According to Ellen Pack, vice president of marketing at Elance, “Small businesses are embracing online employment as a high value strategy that allows them to respond quickly to market conditions.”

Here are some of the other key findings in the report:

  • Businesses posted more than 105,000 jobs in Q4 2010, an increase of 38 percent over the same quarter last year
  • Demand for experts in mobile technology continues to grow, including iPad, iPhone and Android programmers
  • Although other content platforms continue to grow in popularity, WordPress expertise is still the number one skill set demanded by businesses
  • Online marketing has increased its presence; therefore the demand for contractors and consultants in the online marketing field continues to rise
  • The demand for Facebook programmers grew 23 percent in Q4 as more businesses want Facebook App development, Fan Page creation and Facebook Connect integrations.

For the full report, see the Elance Online Employment Report.