Thanks to modern technology, anyone can now outsource some of their work and ease the workload. Despite your best efforts, you simply can’t do everything, so hiring some help to assist you with jobs like accounting, corresponding with your partners and clients, IT problems, and even marketing, can help you focus on growing your business, which is what truly matters. That sort of stuff doesn’t require you to hire someone as a full-time employee, which saves you money, plus you get access to the best talent there is, because location is no longer an obstacle.
Still, there are some downsides to outsourcing. For instance, it may take some time to find the right person for the job. There is also the issue of reliability and motivation, and getting a freelancer to think of your company and project as their own.
During my two years with EduGeeksClub, one of the leading online writing services which gathers more than 1000 writers, editors, proofreaders and research in various fields, I have become well-acquainted with the way outsourcing works, warts and all, which is why I’ve decided to share my experience in the shape of seven tips you can apply to make outsourcing work for you. Keep on reading.
1. Make Sure the Freelancer is Qualified for the Job
Fortunately, you can learn a lot about your potential employee by looking them up online. In addition to checking their references, portfolio, and social media accounts, you should also get in touch with them and schedule an interview. This will enable to gauge their language proficiency, which is extremely important if you are hiring a writer, as well as their grasp on the subject matter that is pertinent to your project.
Also, it will help you establish if they are quick to pick up new skills along the way, since it is possible you will have to train them at some point.
2. Make Sure They Understand the Job and the Expectations
This one is really crucial, because it is important that you and your remote worker align your interests before you can start working on your project. This is done by sharing every single piece of information that will help them understand the project better and that includes getting them acquainted with your company. These steps will also let you know if they are capable of managing with the workload and the pressure that comes with the project, even if their skill set seems like the perfect match for the job.
3. Be Aware of Your Differences
When hiring remotely, another aspect you need to take into account are the cultural, linguistic, and time differences between you and your remote worker. Time difference is easily calculated, but if the job is very time-sensitive, sometimes you will require your freelancer to be available in your time zone, instead of theirs, and you need to make sure they are willing to do that. Also, their mastery of a foreign language needs to be sufficient to warrant clear and smooth communication between two parties. If those differences aren’t getting in the way of completing your project on time, you’ve got yourself the right person for the job.
4. Be Supportive of Your Freelancer
We are talking about multiple levels of support. It is your duty as an employee to provide your freelance workers with all the information they need to complete the job successfully, and that includes supplying materials and tools which they may find helpful. Also, if they need to get in touch with you because of a certain project-related problem, or if they need your input or feedback, you need to make yourself available at all times. After all, it is in your best interest and that of your company that everything runs smoothly.
5. Have the Right Communication Tools
In order to facilitate the process described in previous paragraphs, you need to come up with a set of communication tools you will be using to get in touch with your remote workers:
- Google Docs – You can use Google Docs to provide your worker with a list of tasks and milestones they need to complete. In turn, they can notify you when they are done.
- Skype – While you can communicate through various text messengers or email, it is a lot more efficient to communicate in real-time via voice or video chat. We recommend Skype, because everybody uses it.
- Teamviewer – This application enables you to share your screen and explain in great detail what it is that you expect your freelance workers to accomplish. You can also assume control of their computer and show them in real-time.
- Screencastomatic – Enables you to create clear and concise project tutorials which contain screen recordings describing each step.
6. Include Your Staff in the Outsourcing Process
Although it may not seem like an obvious choice, including your core staff into the process of outsourcing your company’s work can actually help a lot. For starters, they can provide valuable input on each of the candidate and assist you in choosing the right person for the job. Also, they may be able to find someone through their own network of personal and professional contacts, thus saving you valuable time. Some of your staff members may even be interested in the job themselves in addition to their usual workload, so be sure to make them a part of the recruitment process.
7. Provide Valuable Feedback
Communicate with your freelancer and provide them with advice, criticism, and even praise which can help them stay on track. In order to keep them happy and motivated, you can even include a financial bonus for a job well done. Treat them like human beings, as opposed to a resource or cheap labor, and they will respond accordingly. Make them feel like their contribution is being valued. Also, if you provide them with clearly laid out guidelines, it means less confusion and less revisions, and more work getting done within a set deadline.
Ultimately, outsourcing your work is about people. Not just in terms of their skills and the asset they may represent to your company, but about making sure that everybody is on the same page, treated with respect and valued for the work they provide. It is the only way to maintain a long and fruitful outsourcing partnership.
About the Author:
Antonio is a blogger and a consultant who provides writing assistance to job seekers. He loves writing about marketing, education and productivity. He’s also crazy about riding his bike and bumping into new people (when he’s on foot). He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.