The incredible thing the internet has done for us is something that is continually overlooked by businesses. It has provided us with the ability to leverage and outsource to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Previously if you wanted a particular job completed you had to: a) pay local wages; b) have an office space for them to work in; c) have long term staff; and d) rely on your local talent.
Not anymore. These days you can outsource to anyone, anywhere in the world.
In the US, the cost of living is higher than most places in the world. As a result wages are higher and recruiting services are more expensive.
However, thanks to technology you can now outsource to lower-priced economies for a fraction of the cost. This doesn’t mean paying peanuts or taking advantage of people, quite the opposite in fact. In other countries the cost of living is lower, so wages are lower and often there are not enough jobs.
Whereas hiring an average assistant in the US might cost you $20 per hour, you can outsource to a degree-educated, highly experienced executive assistant, fluent in English for $4 per hour and they will be one of the best compensated people in their area!
Whether it is the school systems or the culture, different countries seem to produce different skill sets in real extremes.
There are of course exceptions to every rule and this is just a generalization but these are some findings based on hiring over 100 virtual team members and interviewing thousands.
Regardless of whether your findings concur with this, the fact remains you no longer have to rely on the skill sets you can find in your city or even for your budget in your country.
There are of course some not so great freelancers, but there are also some not so great staff, and it’s a lot easier to terminate a freelancer than a team member.
These are some steps you can take to exponentially increase your chances of success:
Rather than “Looking for a salesperson to close deals,” consider “Looking for energetic and charismatic salesperson to take us to the next level.” A headline and ad that sounds engaging and exciting will get the attention and applications from the best available so you will have the pick of the bunch.
Just because you can get someone for $2 doesn’t mean you should. You will still get what you pay for, it’s just cheaper. See what other people are listing jobs for and the feedback they are getting and giving. It will give you an insight into the price points you want to hit. If everyone has hired for $2 has given negative feedback that’s probably too low to get a great quality team member.
Some people will not read your posting properly and just apply ad hoc to anything that is remotely relevant. You don’t want those people, you want team members that are engaged and excited. So a great way to see if someone has read the whole advert is to tell them to include “ref xxxxx” in the response. If they don’t, they either didn’t read the whole ad or they have poor attention to detail. Either way, you can exclude them from the shortlist.
Skype is an online tool that allows you to call another Skype account holders for free via phone or video. Use this to interview people around the world. Just a quick tip to bear in mind, some people maybe share their home with a lot of other family members and some may be embarrassed by their home. If they show some reluctance to use video conferencing this is not necessarily a reflection on them.
You may well get a lot of responses, if you’ve followed point one you definitely will, but don’t be tempted to interview a ton. It gets confusing, overwhelming and frankly boring.
Narrow down your applicants by feedback, cost, and appropriateness of the response, and then interview a maximum of seven or eight. If they don’t fit the bill interview another bunch.
The temptation with business owners hiring freelancers is to assume they are mind readers and know exactly what you are thinking and what you want. They don’t.
There are great tools you can use to record your computer screen while doing tasks so they can see exactly what you do and why. You can even talk through the tasks and explain the important points they must do. If it is a project such as building a website, explain what you want and why, tell them your end goal and what you are trying to achieve. Give them as much as you possibly can to help them have an insight into what you are trying to achieve. The reality is most people want to please, they want to do a good job, so help them succeed.
Using freelancers takes a little time, a little practice and initially, a little trial and error but done properly will pay you dividends and help your business grow exponentially.