Over the years I’ve worked with a lot of independent online contractors (or freelancers) on many different projects.
And I can tell you that if you don’t know how to hire people online and then how to work with them remotely, you will have a lot of problems.
You will end up spending a lot more money than needed, you will have delayed projects and you will be very mad.
Follow the basic rules in this article and you will reduce all that trouble significantly.
The 11 Golden Rules For Outsourcing On The Internet
1 . Hire only people from reputable sites or via trustworthy referrals
There are more than enough good freelancing sites and services out there. You don’t need to risk with unknown forum users or email spammers. Alternatively ask people you trust to refer you people.
2. Contractor’s profiles tell a lot but not all. Investigate more
Look at their ratings, reviews, previous work, etc. And have in mind that it is not enough. Most regular freelancers have decent ratings and nice reviews. Try to test their skills before you hire them if it’s possible.
3. Don’t be a fool
A freelancer may promise you the whole universe, just to get the gig.
This is especially true for people from Asia. Sure, super geniuses who can do what they promise you work for $3 per hour.
4. Don’t waste time with people who do not fit the requirements
This is an obvious one, but too many people break it. You don’t have to give a chance to every job candidate. Move on fast.
5. Never pay upfront
Never pay upfront to new freelancers, the risk is not worthy. You may pay some amount upfront to people you’ve already worked with, but never the whole amount.
Have in mind that some of the better freelancer never work without upfront payment, so that’s the downside of the rule.
Some site use escrow type of payments, they are a good alternative for both sides.
6. Never hire people who are difficult to communicate with
Unless they posses some very rare skills (99% of the time they don’t), it is not worthy to deal with them.
They don’t understand you, you don’t understand them. They do one thing, you expect different thing. I mean, just don’t work with them.
7. Negotiate as many terms as you can
Deadlines, time frames, payments, bonuses, communication methods, etc. The more the better. It’s like any other contract
Make your expectations and instructions clear!
8. Require at least weekly reports
Require reports, this way they will do more of their work in time and you will be able to judge them.
Sometimes even daily reports are a good thing.
9. Do not over manage
Some people hire others just to manage their work. You don’t save any time that way. Don’t leave them without control, but focusing on them all the time is pointless.
10. If things do not work well, fire them
Do not be afraid to fire people who do not perform as expected. They’ve agreed on your conditions, they have to follow them.
If you think that they’ll get better over the time, they won’t.
11. Bet on the proven freelancers for new projects
Don’t look for new contractors, if you already work with some really good ones. You will reduce your risk and you will save time interviewing people.
It’s funny how so often employers break those really simple rules for online outsourcing.
You will have a lot more productive work if you just stick to those basic principles.