A growing number of Fortune 500 companies are turning to the web to hire temporary workers, according to a new study.
Companies such as Google, Accenture, Oracle, Microsoft, AOL, NBC and others are hiring more contract employees who work virtually, according to a new report by management consulting firm Zinnov.
The study finds that the online talent pool is growing and the majority of the virtual freelancers are women.
Zinnov estimates that there are between 4.5 to 5 million virtual workers across the globe and about 55 percent of the freelancers are women.
"Moreover, 2011 witnessed more than 100 percent growth in the women freelancer population indicating that increasingly women are adopting online/Virtual jobs for a better work-life balance," the report says.
Major employers find the work force attractive because it helps them control costs, develop a better relationship with customers because the virtual freelancers are usually focused on one project at a time and it helps employers find highly specialized talent.
About 40 to 45 percent of the online talent pool is located in the United States, while another 12 to 15 percent is living in India, according to the study.