Around 50,000 freelance or contract work assignments are created each year in Australia by small IT companies that are moving online to address the critical skills shortage.
A survey by online professional service marketplace Elance.com shows small-to-medium enterprises are using contract services to meet demand.
One of the key findings of the survey was the rise in the number of Australian companies using the Web to find contractors, which is now on par with the more traditional newspaper medium.
This is largely due to speed and efficiency say survey respondents who want to conserve time in the recruiting process.
Businesses consider the time spent sourcing a contractor as unproductive while contractors view time spent looking for work as time they could be spending on paid projects.
The 83 companies surveyed included Internet start-ups, IT companies, Web design shops, graphic design, printing and publishing companies.
By using Elance.com, buyers can post a project description and receive bids from service providers or buy directly from thousands of service listings.