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Source:  Feb 1, 2011 BloombergBusiness Week  Special Report
Meet the MicroWorkforce

The remote resourcing of  workers goes by many names:  outsourcing, off-shoring, crowdsourcing, the human cloud, microwork.    Outsourcing your workforce tasks and activities saves money and time.  But the real news story is that the micro workforce business is big and growing  over 8%  per year.  
The Bloomberg micro  workforce article reviews the process of "using the Internet to find workers around the world for short-term projects that can pay a few bucks to hundreds of dollars per hour.  The tasks might require a few minutes or a few days to complete.  Benefits to companies include finding large numbers of workers to complete projects quickly, finding niche expertise, saving money, and making better use of in-house resources. It also lets Western workers, in places with a high cost of living, compete directly with those in developing markets. For many freelancers, microwork gives them unprecedented flexibility to work almost anywhere at any time."

The Special Report includes  an interesting case study of how Pfizer structured an out-sourcing function for busy professionals, called  PfizerWorks  -  an on-demand support program to farm out  non-core tasks, such as data checking and  market research to out-sourcing companies.     

"Pfizer now lets [employees]  punt those tedious and time-consuming tasks to India with the click of a button.   PfizerWorks, launched early last year, permits some 4,000 employees to pass off parts of their job to outsiders. You might call it personal outsourcing.  With workers in India handling everything from basic market research projects to presentations,  professionals  can focus on higher-value work. "

Now that's awesome.  As a project management professional, I know that the key to high-level productivity is to delegate and schedule well defined tasks so that the PM can complete  targeted milestones quickly and efficiently.   What a great business model.  Many of these sites specialize in sourcing highly technical subject mater experts, testers, consultants, and thought leaders to assist and support your company's need to ramp up and down in a project as required by the life cycle of a project or product.

Source:   BloombergBusinessweek Special Report
Off-shoring your workforce is the resourcing paradigm for tough times . The Feb 2011 Special Bloomberg Businessweek Report on the Micro Workforce   describes the impact off-shoring has had on  U.S. jobs:

 "While the first wave of IT offshore outsourcing happened in the late 1990s during preparations for Y2K, it really took hold after the dot-com meltdown a few years later. There aren't any statistics yet as to how much micro-outsourcing might impact the U.S. job market but there's growing evidence that the movement of work to India and other developing countries is contributing to the jobless recovery in the U.S."
"About 1.1 million jobs in IT, finance, and other areas have disappeared since 2008 because of offshoring, improvements in productivity, and a lack of economic growth, according to a December 2010 report by the Hackett Group (HCKT), which provides business-consulting and technology-implementation services.  An additional 1.3 million jobs are expected to disappear by 2014, with offshoring becoming a bigger factor, the report says."

That's  an incredible shift in the direction of the U.S.  labor - decline not expansion in domestic job opportunities.   Undeniably outsourcing your workforce saves money and even time.    Read the complete  BloombergBusinessweek Special Report of 
CEO Guide to the Micro WorkForce.