Using Freelancer Sites to Outsource Work

As a lot of the blogs you read here are brain dumps of my day to day business, I thought I would write once again about using freelancer websites to outsource work. Despite being experienced in outsourcing work, there are still some contractors that will be surprisingly bad and those that are worth more than their monies worth.

Here are some more tips and what to expect when you Outsource:

1.Contractors Asking for More Money for Basic Jobs

Probably one of the worst things about outsourcing is constant request after 2 or 3 months of hiring someone to give them a pay-rise. This can be frustrating and tiresome. I have recently asked someone to post blogs in websites for me.

The blogs are pre-written, and images or videos are provided. This is literally a job to open a website, put in the user name and password, and post the blog. Now I hire several people to this kind of job and have had some working for me for over 3 years.

However, this one particular worker decided not to post any blogs at all. Then when I asked what the problem was, it was of course money. Rather than tell you he wanted more money, he left me high and dry – or shall I say late, and my customer not happy.

As you can imagine, he was sacked, bad feedback left for his way of doing business, and all my passwords had to be changed. I quickly hired someone to replace him for the same money.

2.Contractors logging more hours than the job really takes

Another bad experience I had, which in hindsight was my own fault, was someone that logged 3 hours for creating a Web 2.0 website.

My mistake here was not making it clear what I was willing to pay. Now after the first 3 were done and he charged me $70 for 3 Web 2.0s, I then had an issue with his work.

Now, he already had the images and content. I even provided usernames and passwords as well as email addresses with account names for my customers who wanted to use these Web 2.0s to project their brand image.

I once did this job myself. It took me no more than 20 minutes to create an account, post content, and then post an image or video in the content. This guy was charging me 3 hours.

What was my mistake?

In my brief I made an assumption that the guy I hired would take 20 minutes maybe 30 minutes to create the Web 2.0. Note that work ‘assumption’. Never assume when hiring contractors.

What should I have done?

It was so simple really. I should have asked him ‘How long will it take you per web 2.0?’. I would have waited to see what questions he would ask, then let him know I already provide emails, content, and images.

For the new person I have hired to create Web 2.0s it costs me $8 per hours, and he gets 3 completed per hour. He also posts content on those Web 2.0s so my clients have a social presence. Per post her takes 8 minutes to 10 minutes. The success of hiring this contractor came from the questions I asked.

3.The Phantom or AWOL Contractors

Read people’s feedback carefully if you are hiring someone from a freelancer website. Most of the time there will be little clues that tell you how reliable that person is. Literally, my new rule is, I only hire people if they have 5-star feedback. I made the mistake of hiring an AWOL freelancer that already had such feedback. This happend while I was working on a site called op-boost, which is a boosting website for League of Legends.

Here some more rules:

  • Check to see if any mentioned the contractor is always on time with work
  • Check to see if there is any mention of lateness

Here are some I have learnt to avoid:

  • “name of contractor: quality work although not always on time
  • “We got there in the end”
  • “It was worth the wait”

Do not hire these contractors if work is time sensitive. Usually, in own experience, these people deliver high quality work, but they tend to also disappear.

The only reason I would hire this type of person is when I have a pretty long deadline and I have a team of contractors on the job. If the contractor goes AWOL, I will send a message saying, ‘I have removed XXX from your work load’.

I then assign the work to another contractor. This usually gets the contractor moving quicker with any remaining work.

Contractors that go completely AWOL and never contact you again, but deliver high quality work are usually worth keeping on your list. However, use them sparingly and only when you really need them. Also, make sure you always have a backup.
3.Problems with Outsourcing Dealt With!

There you have it. 3 issues I have had with contractors over the last couple of months that I have had to adapt to. The second problem I had was something that could have been avoided.

I was too complacent and by not asking the right questions, ones I knew I should have asked, I made a newbie mistake and let a rouge contractor take advantage of my lack of questioning. For someone so experienced with hiring, I should never have let this happen.

Needless to say, the contractor also left me bad feedback for not communicating to him the time the job should take. Quite cheeky, but he was obviously frustrated as he thought he had hit the jackpot. I think he was actually quite shocked about how much I knew about Web 2.0s. This is of course after he tried trying to dupe me saying he needed to code some of posts!!!
That leads me on to another post possibly soon to come. When you are outsourcing, know the job you are outsourcing, or you could end up paying well over the odds.

 Using Freelancer Sites to Outsource Work