One of the major benefits of running a digital business is that you don’t have offices. Not only does that save you a significant amount of expense, but it also allows you to employ people from anywhere in the world.
Going back a number of years, the people that you’d employ would have been called freelancers. Now they’re more often referred to as outsourcers.
Either way, if you want to grow your business then you’re going to need to employ people to get the work done for you.
But it’s the process of choosing who to employ, and how much to spend that is key.
At the time of writing I’ve spent nearly $100,000 on Elance providers. I’ve been through hundreds of C.V.s and written nearly 100 job proposals.
So all that means is… I’ve walked the walk.
And today I want to share all that experience with you in five tips that you need to find the right outsourcer.
1. Consider What Level Of Independent Thinking The Job Requires
This may seem like a strange tip to have first. In fact, you’ve probably never seen it before. But it’s crucial to getting the right outsourcer.
So what does this actually mean?
It means that you need to determine whether the job is repetitive. If it is then you don’t need an independent thinker.
If it isn’t, then you need to determine how much support you are prepared (or have time to) give to your new team member. If you’re happy to give them a lot of support until they get exactly what needs to be done, then you don’t need a particularly independent thinker.
However, if you’re looking for someone to take the job and run with it. Finding solutions to problems and bringing back suggestions to you then you’re definitely going to be looking for an independent thinker. A problem solver.
Generally speaking, these types of people are much harder to find and so will cost you more money. But, they also save you a lot of time!
Different countries have different cultures. Of course, there are superb thinkers in every country, but generally speaking the US, UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa are the best countries to find workers who are problem solvers.
That doesn’t mean that everyone from those countries are going to be able to solve problems. They aren’t, by a long way. But it’s going to be easier to find them from those countries than countries such as India and the Philippines.
2. Request Your Proposers To Perform A Task When Submitting An Application
If you’re using any of the platforms such as Freelance or oDesk, you’ll find that whenever you submit a job you get a load of applications from people who have just copied and pasted a generic message they once wrote.
You do not want to work with these people.
They’re looking for easy and quick jobs. You won’t get a high quality of service and it’s going to cause you a lot more trouble than it’s worth however cheap they are.
In order to remove these people instantly, in your job description ask anybody who submits a proposal or application to do something.
It can be as simple as asking them to repeat the second sentence in the job description at the top if their proposal.
The complexity of it isn’t an issue. In fact, it should be as simple as possible. The purpose at this stage is not to find out what kind of work they can do. The purpose is to make them perform an action at the top of their proposal.
As proposals come in you can look at the top of it without going any further down. Anybody who hasn’t done what you requested you can immediately reject.
If they either can’t be bothered to read your description and/or be bothered to perform the simple ten second task you’ve requested, then they don’t really want the job. Employing them, however good their credentials may same, will not end well.
3. Check If They’ve Asked Any Questions In Their Proposal
It doesn’t matter how good your job description, there will almost always be things that you haven’t thought of. To be sure, I suggest that you leave something small off the brief or request them to provide you with information. This shouldn’t be something that will make a massive difference to understanding the project, but could make a big difference to the person working on it.
For example, if you’re looking for someone to write articles and you’ve asked for ten articles of 500 words each in the health niche then I would ask for them to give a summary of the topics they would be writing about in their proposal.
If you’re getting a web app developed, then I wouldn’t say anything about the user-interface design and look to see if they respond asking that question.
If the person in your proposal hasn’t asked you a question or responded in detail to something you requested in your proposal. Then scrub them off your list.
4. Contact Them
Never just accept a proposal because it looks good, has everything in it and the price is right. You MUST always contact the proposer first.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just to say:
“Hi, thanks for the proposal, it’s really strong. We’d be interested in working with you. I just wanted to ask how long we would expect to wait for a response from you if we have a question once the project has started, and to confirm you can complete within the timeframe?”
The reason that you’re doing this is to make sure that you get a fast and high quality response. After all, you’re going to be working with this person and although all the freelance platforms like Elance offer protection on your money, they can’t offer compensation for time delays due to poor work or workers.
5. Check Out Their Reviews
You should always check out the previous reviews of a proposer before you award them your project.
Most people just use the stars, but this is not a good way of doing it. You will find many five star rated people cannot perform the task that you want them to do.
Anybody who you’re seriously considering working with you should go into their reviews and check the bad ones.
Of course, there will always be some people who fall out. That’s something you’ll have to judge for yourselves. But, if you see a repeating theme in the bad reviews, then you’ll know that this is likely to be an issue with that worker.
It’s then up to you whether you are happy to work with them knowing that, or if you’d rather find someone else.
If you’re planning on hiring an outsourcer then put these tips into practice and I guarantee it will make the journey easier!