In my article last week, Hire The Smile, I shared some advice I received from my mentor… how important a smile is when you are hiring people. This is perfect if you’re hiring long-term employees, but it’s a little more difficult when it comes to finding outsourced workers. It CAN, however, be done!
Today I’m going to talk about a few of the various places you can go to hire outsourced workers and also cover some of the pros and cons of each as I’ve worked with them over the years.
oDesk is one of the largest online workplaces where you can go to hire freelance workers for everything from data entry, research, graphic design, web dev, etc.
Pros of oDesk:
- A huge pool of very talented people to chose from that will work within your “reasonable” budget.
- They have qualification testing that workers can go through to prove their skill level.
- Can invite highly qualified people to work on your projects.
- Can get work turned around very quickly.
- Can hire the same worker over and over again.
- They have the ability to track the work that’s being done.
Cons of oDesk:
- If your project is an open listing, you’ll get a lot of low quality leads/bids.
- Sometimes agencies will apply for your job so it’s more difficult to build a relationship with the worker.
- Miscommunications with your worker (this really isn’t an oDesk issue, but rather an issue that many business owners have when they are trying to outsource work).
Overall: I love using oDesk and have used it for many different projects, especially with web dev projects, design projects, and responsive theme projects. It really helps if you already have an idea about what you need for your project. It also helps if you already have some people to invite to your project.
Fiverr is a really popular task-style website where all the jobs are $5 only. You can get a ton of different tasks filled.
Pros of Fiverr:
- It’s super cheap to get work done… always only $5!
- There can be some very talented people out there (the proverbial ‘diamond in the rough’).
- You can find things that you never thought of before (like a video intro from a puppet, or a calligraphy “Thank you” letter to your favorite client.)
- There are a lot of people to choose from.
Cons of Fiverr:
- Sometimes your work doesn’t get completed (but hey you’re only out $5 and your time spent… try again with someone else.)
- There are a lot of junk jobs on there (like SEO, link building, FB Fan building, etc). Stay away from these types of jobs as they will only hurt your site.)
- It can be a time suck because you have to fish through a lot of garbage to find the gold.
- It’s usually difficult to scale these types of jobs, because the worker wants more than the initial $5.
Overall: I like using Fiverr, but I don’t really trust using it for client projects as much. I use it for fun things… like one-off stuff for my own personal use.
Pros of PeoplePerHour:
- It’s like a combo of Fiverr (job descriptions) and oDesk (available projects).
- There’s a really good talent pool to choose from.
- They have a good ratings system.
- The turn around is really fast.
- They have an iPhone app so you can check your jobs, create a listing, etc, on the go.
Cons of PeoplePerHour:
- I’m still new to using PPH so I don’t have any issues to point out at this time.
Overall: This is my new “go to” website for outsourcing tasks and projects. I’ve had great results and received some amazing work. I’ve also built up some relationships with workers, so I can go straight to them (through PPH) to see if they want to work on my project.
Pros of 99Designs:
- There are AMAZING designers on this site.
- Relatively inexpensive costs in the long run.
- People compete to win your project.
- You get to see the designs all up front (while your contest is running) and then chose the best one.
- You can give feedback and have them make tweaks to their design until you’re happy (while your contest is running).
Cons of 99Designs:
- There are a lot of add-on costs to get your full project up and running.
- If you get a high response to your contest, you’ll have to spend a lot of time going through all the designs and leaving feedback. This can eat up a lot of time. (A few projects I ran took full days just going back and forth with feedback for all the various designers.)
Overall: 99Designs was great to use for design projects in the past, but for me it takes too much work going back and forth with all the different designers. I’d rather just hire one or two and see who does a better job on a simple task, then hire the best one for my full project.
Pros of Digital Point Forums:
- Can run contests for really reasonable rates.
- Can get really fast turnaround.
- Some really talented people in the mix.
Cons of Digital Point Forums:
- You basically have to pay to be able to post in the contest section. (You have to join the site.)
- You have to take the good with the bad in terms of work.
- It takes a lot of time to filter through all the various forum sections to find good workers.
- You have to be careful that you’re not getting copyright protected content.
Overall: An excellent resource. I use it for quick small contests like logos, simple designs, etc. I can usually get them done fast and really reasonable in price.
Pros of Amazon’s Mturk:
- Can have small tasks done by a lot of different people all over the world.
- Can run batch projects and get a lot done in a short amount of time.
- Really great prices.
- A huge pool of people to pull from.
- Great for repetitive projects that you need done over and over again.
Cons of Amazon’s Mturk:
- You’ll get people that don’t follow directions, because they are just trying to make the small amount of money you offer and then move on.
- You have to filter out the low-quality worker and block them from your future tasks.
- You need to be careful that you’re getting original work. Some people will try to be tricky and use copy/paste work.
Overall: MTurk is an amazing platform that has the ability to get a lot of work done in small amounts of time. It’s great to use for repetitive work, but you have to make sure to boot people that are not producing good results.
Pros of CraigsList:
- Can hire part-time or full-time employees.
- A great resource to find very talented workers.
- You can use CraigsList in your local area as well as overseas. (Hint: CL has a Philippines section.)
- Can get really competitive rates especially if you try posting your ad in different locations.
Cons of CraigsList:
- You’ll get a lot of people who didn’t actually read your job listing before applying for your job.
- There are definitely some crazies on there. (Have any good stories? Share them in the Comments!)
- It takes time to filter through all the applications, unless of course you have a filtering system. (NOTE: We just happen to have one for you here: https://marketersbraintrust.com/findwriters/.)
Overall: I use CraigsList to hire employees all the time! Using it in conjunction with the filtering process allows me to have an almost hands-off hiring process. I’ve found some amazing writers, designers and developers on CraigsList over the years.
Honorable Mentions that you’re more than welcome to go explore on your own (and let us know how you like them in the Comments below, okay?):
- microsourcing.com (This is more if you want to set up an offshore office.)
These are just a few of my thoughts and some of the sites that I use on a regular basis. If you have any good sites to suggest, please do so in the Comments section below. Feel free to ask any questions you have as well as comment on any successes or failures you’ve had with outsourcing work.