Saving Time Outsourcing at ODesk - NOT!

34 replies
Well I decided to save myself some time and outsource at Odesk. I have outsourced before but not through a site. This is for a large assignment that I have broken down into smaller ones. I want to select carefully so the individual can be hired to complete other parts of the assignment.
I put a decent price on the task and list my job.

Immediately I get a ton of applicants. As I look through each one I realize there are lots of smart women from India etc who are willing to work inexpensively. Obviously they have a much better grasp of the English language then I will ever have of theirs. But it is easy to tell from the introductions and samples that there will likely be some issues with the flow of articles. So I have to very carefully read each applicants samples, background and intro. and decide which one I will have to edit the least.

Skimming the samples and reading the intros takes time, but I get it down to two applicants. I have carefully checked the samples to make sure they are original and I hire them both.

I receive the assignment from the first writer, check sections of it and discover that much of it is directly plagerized from a site online. I spend a good amount of time with Odesk online support making sure I handle this correctly. In addition they request I send a copy of what she copied to them etc. And I have to write to her a few times as she keeps writing asking for her final payment.

Next I get the work from writer no. 2. No. 2 sends the documents in formats my computer cannot read. We go back and forth on this till finally I get a document I can open. She did not follow the directions for the assignment and has obviously done 0 research but just quickly written down what is at the top of her head at the moment. Lot's of typos etc.

At this point I could easily have written everything myself and I guess I will be now.

Just wonder what everyone else's experience has been?
#odesk #outsourcing #saving #time
  • Profile picture of the author Dexter007
    First of all it has been your bad luck in selection of the outsourcers. And secondly, please dont blame the words "inexpensive smart women from India!"

    Content creators are of two types: Good creators and you got it..Bad creators!

    Tough luck anyways, but outsourcing CAN save a lot of time... Just like mining, keep mining all the day or select some miners till you find the gold miner !
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  • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
    Bad luck, to be sure. Going forward I'd request native English speakers for any assignments involving the written word. Have you tried Elance? What about the Warriors for Hire section here on the forum?

    I know how frustrating this can be. With growth you get growing pains, it's an unfortunate reality. I've always been a bit of a control freak when it comes to my projects, but at the end of the day you're still going to have to outsource if you want to grow your business beyond a certain level.

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author Scottie Boy
    I had major problems on O desk. First, was the Philippine Women that I hired. At first when I posted the job they never left me alone, trying to get the job. The girls were always on line. As soon as I hired them...they were gone...never could contact them and they never show up for appointments or meetings on line. Their work was mediocre at best and they thought that their performance was the outstanding. I had another girl who I had given a 3 hour project to. It came to the last day and she gave the excuse that her mother visited her on Valentines day. Then gave me bad ratings because I canceled the job...The girl from India had no clue what was going on.....Maybe I just got unlucky...but all my experience so far has been negative on Odesk.

    Scott
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    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by Scottie Boy View Post

      .....Maybe I just got unlucky...but all my experience so far has been negative on Odesk.
      Scott
      No it seems to run in the family, i am in the middle of fixing up some mess for some people i know made by the famous O desk and what a mess, a crap half baked website that is hopeless and data and information worse.

      the contact apparently is hopeless, the communication no better and any understanding of what needs to be done is non existent.

      Still people will try and save money and in the process waste it,as it now will cost more time and money to fix, you get what you pay for in many ways.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    When you use oDesk you have to setup a fail fast filtering process to get through the applicants as quickly as possible and save your sanity.

    Here's some tips from my experience doing this. I hired link builders but everything applies equally well to article writers etc.

    - Specify a project price or hourly price and instantly reject anyone that bids over. No questions, instant reject.
    - Specify a code word in your job ad as follows. "The first word of your application must be ABCDEFGH or your application will be rejected". Then if the first word isn't ABCDEFGH instant reject, no questions.
    - Issue a short trial assignment that is easy to evaluate. Should take applicants no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. (Don't use this to get free work) I asked for a couple of links to be placed and my standard report to be filled in. Article writers could ask for a paragraph on a topic etc. Make the assignment mind numbingly simple to understand and, you guessed it, instant reject anyone who doesn't.
    - Hire more than you need to do the work for a paid trial, eg 1 week of 20 hours link building. Provide standard briefs and report formats and fire anyone that needs their hand held for more than a couple of questions. Remember, smart people seek clarification (that's good), dumb people just suck up your time (that's bad).
    - Any that make it this far should be hired for the rest of the first month with regular work and if they are still showing themselves to be great workers bump their pay significantly to stop them spending time looking for greener grass.

    And as a final thought. Absolutely do not try to hire people off oDesk for odds and ends assignments. If you just need a couple of hours link building done or five articles written you are going to spend way more time recruiting and managing than just doing the work yourself or paying a bit more and going to a specialist agency.

    Hope that helps someone,

    Andy
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    • Profile picture of the author lstoops
      Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

      When you use oDesk you have to setup a fail fast filtering process to get through the applicants as quickly as possible and save your sanity.

      Here's some tips from my experience doing this. I hired link builders but everything applies equally well to article writers etc.

      - Specify a project price or hourly price and instantly reject anyone that bids over. No questions, instant reject.
      - Specify a code word in your job ad as follows. "The first word of your application must be ABCDEFGH or your application will be rejected". Then if the first word isn't ABCDEFGH instant reject, no questions.
      - Issue a short trial assignment that is easy to evaluate. Should take applicants no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. (Don't use this to get free work) I asked for a couple of links to be placed and my standard report to be filled in. Article writers could ask for a paragraph on a topic etc. Make the assignment mind numbingly simple to understand and, you guessed it, instant reject anyone who doesn't.
      - Hire more than you need to do the work for a paid trial, eg 1 week of 20 hours link building. Provide standard briefs and report formats and fire anyone that needs their hand held for more than a couple of questions. Remember, smart people seek clarification (that's good), dumb people just suck up your time (that's bad).
      - Any that make it this far should be hired for the rest of the first month with regular work and if they are still showing themselves to be great workers bump their pay significantly to stop them spending time looking for greener grass.

      And as a final thought. Absolutely do not try to hire people off oDesk for odds and ends assignments. If you just need a couple of hours link building done or five articles written you are going to spend way more time recruiting and managing than just doing the work yourself or paying a bit more and going to a specialist agency.

      Hope that helps someone,

      Andy
      This is great! I have had good and bad experiences with odesk when hiring writers. It comes down to being extra clear on what you want and not being afraid to get rid of those that do not comply with what you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Yes I have outsourced before with good experiences. I just thought I would try ODesk as another source.

    I am new there and initially I had posted the job as an hourly thing. I hired writer A. for the hourly job. Then when I saw the workroom and how easy it could be to inflate hours I canceled the job and changed it to a flat rate assignment. I asked writer A to reapply.

    Writer A reapplied asking for 75% up front...well that is a lot to ask for upfront but it really wasn't much money. Since I had already offered her the job when it was an hourly position, I did want to give her the chance. So I rehired her under those terms.

    Then of course I get the work and the material is copied from other sites. This could have created tremendous problems for me, but fortunately I always check to see if things have been plagerized.

    I will give ODesk kudo. They said they would refund my money as she had not had a chance to take it out yet. So hopefully they will. BUT the whole experience was very time consuming.

    I am an honest person and I really like to give people the benefit of the doubt but I think that writers should know that copying is not allowed.

    Anyway I will probably get bad ratings from her at Odesk but since I have no desire to use that site again it really is a moot point.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    You know Im tired of seeing threads like these. The writers arent at fault, YOU are for the way you hire. Learn to apply proper hiring strategies and you wont have this problem, ever.

    Sorry to come across gruff, but seriously.
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    • Profile picture of the author dave147
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by dave147 View Post

        No I hadnt seen that thread, but it doesnt change my view on this.

        I see this time and time again with people complaining about how they were let down or dissapointed when hiring. Why is it that the majority of these people just look at a few samples of their work, and do no proper screening or tests to actually see if the person is capable of the work BEFORE hiring???????

        The methods for hiring an employee or outsourcer, should be no different ONLINE as it would be OFFLINE.

        Would you just take someones word for being able to do a job, and put them on the payroll???
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        • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          No I hadnt seen that thread, but it doesnt change my view on this.

          I see this time and time again with people complaining about how they were let down or dissapointed when hiring. Why is it that the majority of these people just look at a few samples of their work, and do no proper screening or tests to actually see if the person is capable of the work BEFORE hiring???????

          The methods for hiring an employee or outsourcer, should be no different ONLINE as it would be OFFLINE.

          Would you just take someones word for being able to do a job, and put them on the payroll???
          This position was for writing tips. I had each of these writers send me samples of the types of tips I wanted in the niche. My hope was to find a writer that could write these tips and write other articles for me in the future...but I was starting small.

          The payment for this assignment was $15. Which would be a decent amount to pay for one hours worth of work writing tips. However, it is not enough to expect someone to take a bunch of tests. Nor is it worth my time spent testing someone.

          I would assume that someone who sent me samples of quality tips in the niche I wanted with good feedback could do the job.

          My error would be not realizing that ODesk is more of a go to place if you have a LOT of work and are willing to spend a lot of time to pre-qualify.
          As Andy said it is not a place for small assignments.
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    • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      You know Im tired of seeing threads like these. The writers arent at fault, YOU are for the way you hire. Learn to apply proper hiring strategies and you wont have this problem, ever.

      Sorry to come across gruff, but seriously.
      Though this was my first time hiring at ODesk and I did not have the knowledge that Andy shares, I think I took steps for a good hire.

      I previewed applicant material, checking it for clarity and copyright. I read the intros carefully, looked at feedback and also posed a few questions to the applicant.

      Having had this experience and seeing the type of applicants at ODesk I would go about it slightly differently. However, given my knowledge of the site at the time I think the way I initially approached it was correct.

      I use writers all the time that I have hired through different methods and have never had an issue.

      I would be interested to learn your "proper hiring strategies" that I did not apply with this site.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
        Originally Posted by LilBlackDress View Post

        Though this was my first time hiring at ODesk and I did not have the knowledge that Andy shares, I think I took steps for a good hire.

        I previewed applicant material, checking it for clarity and copyright. I read the intros carefully, looked at feedback and also posed a few questions to the applicant.
        Never trust what people apply with. Only trust the stuff they produce specifically for you. It's far too easy to buy sample articles to apply with and just generally fake the initial application but it's far harder to fake the stuff they have to produce in response to what you set them.

        Having had this experience and seeing the type of applicants at ODesk I would go about it slightly differently. However, given my knowledge of the site at the time I think the way I initially approached it was correct.

        I use writers all the time that I have hired through different methods and have never had an issue.

        I would be interested to learn your "proper hiring strategies" that I did not apply with this site.
        Essentially what it comes down to is finding ways to weed out applicants as quickly as possible.

        The golden rule of hiring. It's better to reject a good candidate than hire a bad one.

        That doesn't mean you have to reject everyone for the slightest thing but it does mean you need to setup a filtering funnel as I described above.

        That's a process that's just not worth doing if you only want a couple of articles written or a few links posted but if you want 50 articles a week you've got the volume to make it worthwhile going through the pain. If not just got to one of dozens of article writing agencies and pay their markup. It'll save you a ton of time and stress.

        Cheers,

        Andy
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    • Profile picture of the author mrmanpower
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      You know Im tired of seeing threads like these. The writers arent at fault, YOU are for the way you hire. Learn to apply proper hiring strategies and you wont have this problem, ever.

      Sorry to come across gruff, but seriously.

      I agree, i actually hire like 80% full time. 20% part time -- for test projects. Once i have the system set i usually convert people to full time.


      i'm lucky i'm in a good location and key proper hiring strat for me is to get someone who needs the job, someone who is trainable. in my experience these are the people that stay in the long run. the philippines is big on loyalty just so you guys know.
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    I have done a few jobs as a freelancer on Odesk and the people I did them for were good and paid me my asking rate (I'm not in India so it is higher but then so is the quality of my work). So based on that I've had a good experience there. I've stopped using it recently as I find the way they monitor (web cam watching you and so forth) to be highly intrusive. Worse than having an actual job.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raygun
    I do all my outsourcing from the Philippians and have had great success. I actually use John Jonas's replace myself. I have some awesome people working for me. The best advice I can give someone who is getting into it, is that you have to be laser specific with what you want. Make sure that you are as detailed as possible with your directions.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Alright Im sorry If I offended but I still think that its the HIRING process that makes ALL of the difference when it comes to sourcing contractors.

    Heres a process that I use EVERY TIME I outsource. Some may disagree with this method, while others may suggest its just plain wrong. But honestly, I have applied this process each and every time Ive hired and Ive NEVER been dissapointed!

    In simple terms....

    *Before you do anything - setup a dedicated email address just for the hiring process. It makes management of the overall process much easier - you dont have to *dig* through your inbox trying desperately to find emails from applicants. I actually setup 2 email accounts, one being for the hiring process, the other for actual employees.

    1. Advertise as you have done already outlining the job requirements on various freelancing boards. Whilst Ive never advertised on Odesk, I would be confident in thinking that the same principles apply. Be sure to be very clear on what you need and expect. As Andy said above, and its a great idea, add simple instructions to the job posting, such as "please reply with APPLICANT WRITER in the subject of your email. If they cant get this right, then there's a good chance, they're likely to not follow further instructions later. Government agencies, when hiring, use this method here where I live, and they do it intentionally. Its the first step in the filtering process.

    2. Once you have a reasonable amount of applicants submit their resumes and samples, shortlist the applicants, based upon how you feel they suit the position. I usually set folders in my email account, "potential worker", "disapproved", "definite shortlist" etc etc.

    3. Now theres a great site called EXPERT RATING, which in essence, provides online tests that you can forward to your applicants automatically. Believe me, its an awesome service. Any applicants that you shortlist, have them do an english test (if theyre a writer) or whichever test suits. To veiw the writing tests - go here English Test, Online Language Grammar Test it costs about $9.95 WORTH IT! Even if you end up having to submit a dozen tests, it will be money spent now and SAVED later.

    That site again is www.expertrating.com Be sure to setup an employer account - that way you can send numerous tests simultaneously.

    4. Shortlist again in alignment with results. Be sure to set a minimum pass threshold. I dont accept anything less than a 75% pass rate. Shortlist again based on the results!

    5. From here, you should have a pretty good idea of who you want to work with. These applicants should now be filed into a set folder within your email account. Once you have this in place, have those applicants on the shortlist do up 3 HIGH quality articles on any subject of your choice. Tell them this is NOT paid work, but part of your hiring process. If they dont like it and they complain, let them go - Ive never lost anyone at this stage of the process due to this request. Be sure to mix up the articles that you request, both in word count and subject.

    6. Shortlist again! Once you have received all three articles back from each writer - SHORTLIST AGAIN!

    7. Now this is the kicker, and what really helps me make my decision. The remaining applicants, should then sit a SKYPE interview, or at the very least, TALK TO THEM ON THE PHONE. This will give you a very good idea of what their spoken english is like and the expected level of communication you have with them.

    8. Make your decision and hire!

    As said, this system works very well, and has done for me personally. I hope this helps you, or at the very least gives you something to think about.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      5. From here, you should have a pretty good idea of who you want to work with. These applicants should now be filed into a set folder within your email account. Once you have this in place, have those applicants on the shortlist do up 3 HIGH quality articles on any subject of your choice. Tell them this is NOT paid work, but part of your hiring process. If they dont like it and they complain, let them go - Ive never lost anyone at this stage of the process due to this request. Be sure to mix up the articles that you request, both in word count and subject.
      I agree with everything you've said apart from requiring this be completed unpaid. That's an excellent practice when you're hiring for higher skilled work that pays better but an article writer that you're going to pay a couple of bucks an hour may well drop out at this point. If you want to do a 3 article hire, pay 'em the 5 dollars or whatever they want and avoid losing the best candidates who may well find this unreasonable.

      The goal of my filtering funnel is always to set it up so that the best candidates will never have a reason to drop out but the bad ones will show themselves up quickly. I can't help but feel that requiring something like this unpaid also skims off the top candidates as well and that's absolutely not what I want to happen.

      That said, I've not tried this (unlike the stuff I posted above) so your mileage may vary

      Cheers,

      Andy
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

        I agree with everything you've said apart from requiring this be completed unpaid. That's an excellent practice when you're hiring for higher skilled work that pays better but an article writer that you're going to pay a couple of bucks an hour may well drop out at this point. If you want to do a 3 article hire, pay 'em the 5 dollars or whatever they want and avoid losing the best candidates who may well find this unreasonable.

        The goal of my filtering funnel is always to set it up so that the best candidates will never have a reason to drop out but the bad ones will show themselves up quickly. I can't help but feel that requiring something like this unpaid also skims off the top candidates as well and that's absolutely not what I want to happen.

        That said, I've not tried this (unlike the stuff I posted above) so your mileage may vary

        Cheers,

        Andy
        I understand your points Andy, completely. I *should* point out though, that I make it clear to the applicants that I offer ongoing work, (a lot of it) and that I also include performance bonuses. This, in a way is an incentive for them to complete the hiring process. When I hire writers especially, they typically get a lot of work from me, which is always ongoing. This method is probably overkill for someone just wanting half a dozen articles written, but it does work.

        BTW - your points of rejection (no exceptions) is spot on, as it plays a vital part of this also.
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        • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
          Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

          I understand your points Andy, completely. I *should* point out though, that I make it clear to the applicants that I offer ongoing work, (a lot of it) and that I also include performance bonuses. This, in a way is an incentive for them to complete the hiring process. When I hire writers especially, they typically get a lot of work from me, which is always ongoing. This method is probably overkill for someone just wanting half a dozen articles written, but it does work.
          It's completely overkill for someone only wanting half a dozen articles but if that's all you want you shouldn't be hiring, you should find an agency that has already done the hiring and pay their markup for having done the work for you.

          It's been my experience that the best candidates are wary of people who say things like, "I offer performance bonuses for good workers" and "People who work for me always get tons more work if they are good". While I'm sure it's true in your case there are tons of people out there who put this in every job ad and then never do it, which makes people applying wary since they won't know if you are legit until it's too late for them.

          My personal preference is to increase rates and pay bonuses to people with no mention of it upfront. Not just for the reason state above but also because I don't want to hire people that are pushing themselves because of that bonus rate (because it quickly becomes expected and it's absence demotivates). I want to hire people who are naturally motivated and then reward them accordingly.

          All a bit idealistic I know, but it's worked very well for me.

          Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Oh and by the way - you might want to grab the free work order that I posted in this thread below

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ack-forum.html

    I use this when working with employees and it saves a LOT of headaches!
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  • Profile picture of the author uniquecontent
    Hi LilBlackDress,
    Well it might be your bad luck. There might be many reasons.
    But I would like to suggest you to hire anyone from this great forum's "warrior from hire" section and I can assure you that you'll get an excellent writer with more cheaper prices than odesk or any other site.

    There are the chances to have some discount also because you are also a warrior of this great forum.:-) So just chill...........
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  • Profile picture of the author uniquecontent
    I hope it must help you out to get your business in more profit speedily.
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    • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
      "Never trust what people apply with. Only trust the stuff they produce specifically for you. It's far too easy to buy sample articles to apply with and just generally fake the initial application but it's far harder to fake the stuff they have to produce in response to what you set them."

      Yes Andy I did this. The assignment was to write tips and I had these writers submit sample tips in the niche I wanted. What I got was very high quality tips that checked out to be original. I was really pleased.

      Who knew the one writer would then go on to plagerize the rest of her tips and the other would stop thinking about what she was writing and just write tips off the top of her head.

      Anyway it was an experience
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Good ideas Ramone.......

    One thing though ODesk has a variety of tests for applicants so you can see their competency rating and scores in a variety of areas such as grammar etc.
    You can also see a rating from their prior hires. In addition they have a section where the mail from applicants goes so it is all organized and in one place.

    It was an interesting experience, one that cost me some time but always good as I learned something.
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  • Profile picture of the author derrickp
    For writing why not use textbroker.com the writers submit the work to you prior to getting paid and you do not accept it until it is to your liking. Overall I have had great results with them.

    You can also request a specific writer that has done work well for you in the past(I believe), I have not used the feature personally since just posting the article(s) I want usually gets good quality submissions.
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  • Profile picture of the author anthon
    The fault is not of the workers.
    it's you fault in not being able to choose the best person.
    You need to be sure that the person with whom you will be working is the best for work.
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  • Profile picture of the author JennSpencerIM
    Wow I'm shocked....odesk has been my best friend lately! here's what I do...post a job then find people and ask them to do it. i have never hired someone that has applied for the job. everyone has been someone i found through my criteria and invited to interview. just choose people carefully...you made a lot of generalities in your post and that's not to say that every experience will be like that. i found a few people to do continual work for me and its been going great...cause I took the extra time up front to find someone great. hope that helps and hope you'll have a better experience next time!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    Hey Lilblackdress...

    Here's what I used to do... and it worked like a charm. I created a page on one of the free sites like tumblr or blogger, etc... I think it was a blogger page first and then i had a tumblr one - but anyway, the page had directions and 8 questions on it... It would only take about 15-20 mins... but took some research and some thought. Here are some of the questions as I remember them...

    what is the name of the video at youtube that has the most views?

    You find out that a fellow employee is stealing... How do you handle it?

    I had lunch with a potential business associate who was pitching a business deal... I am not interested in working with him, but dont want to burn any bridges. Write an email for me to him.

    What are 3 websites that you consider to be great design? Why?

    Make a tumblr page of your own design with all your answers to these questions -and submit it to me as your application. List on the page how long it took you to complete all tasks.

    I think that was it... Maybe 1 or 2 more questions... but it did a lot to weed people out... First off, a lot of them didnt even attempt it - so they were out. Then, lots of them missed the answer to the youtube question - because they googled it instead of going to youtube to check... SO they were out. Then the other questions dealt with morals, judgement, etc... And that made the good ones stand out. I have 2 of them that have been working for me for over 3 years from that stupid little test.

    So, something similar would be easy for you to set up and use yourself. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author hireava
    Originally Posted by LilBlackDress View Post

    Well I decided to save myself some time and outsource at Odesk. I have outsourced before but not through a site. This is for a large assignment that I have broken down into smaller ones. I want to select carefully so the individual can be hired to complete other parts of the assignment.
    I put a decent price on the task and list my job.

    Immediately I get a ton of applicants. As I look through each one I realize there are lots of smart women from India etc who are willing to work inexpensively. Obviously they have a much better grasp of the English language then I will ever have of theirs. But it is easy to tell from the introductions and samples that there will likely be some issues with the flow of articles. So I have to very carefully read each applicants samples, background and intro. and decide which one I will have to edit the least.

    Skimming the samples and reading the intros takes time, but I get it down to two applicants. I have carefully checked the samples to make sure they are original and I hire them both.

    I receive the assignment from the first writer, check sections of it and discover that much of it is directly plagerized from a site online. I spend a good amount of time with Odesk online support making sure I handle this correctly. In addition they request I send a copy of what she copied to them etc. And I have to write to her a few times as she keeps writing asking for her final payment.

    Next I get the work from writer no. 2. No. 2 sends the documents in formats my computer cannot read. We go back and forth on this till finally I get a document I can open. She did not follow the directions for the assignment and has obviously done 0 research but just quickly written down what is at the top of her head at the moment. Lot's of typos etc.

    At this point I could easily have written everything myself and I guess I will be now.

    Just wonder what everyone else's experience has been?
    Hello!

    Not all freelancer in odesk are like that! You just give a time evaluating each freelancer if there really qualified. Give them a trial or a test if there are really able to do YOUR works!.
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  • Profile picture of the author good2go4
    From a writer's perspective I have always offered samples of work to clients and will do a trial aspect (TOC, sample article or blog post etc) if the job is substantial enough - but this is on the understanding that if the trial work is accepted then it is paid for - otherwise I retain copyright. I don't work on ODesk because of the web cam thing and I rarely Skype my clients - they can get me through gmail chat but because of time zone differences skype is not usually an option for me - nobody pays me enough to answer a call at 3am, lol.

    I guess from an employers point of view if you do find a good freelancer, make sure you hang onto him or her. And (because I am a writer and can't help myself) make sure that you are paying a reasonable rate for the work you want done.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      I must say it's got a bit heated at times but hell, it's been one great thread for learning how to outsource correctly. I at least know a proven procedure for getting the right workers....so, all you warriors, I salute you.
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      Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

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  • Profile picture of the author lukemeister
    Pretty good points in here about how to hire on oDesk

    In my experience, I simply just tried out several providers using small projects full well knowing that most would probably not work up to my standards. I didn't worry myself too bad about the first lousy projects with a few of the bad ones cause I was putting in some time to try to find the "good" one. Once I found a good hire, I just kept using them over and over again for the next several projects, and still using them to this day.

    This made sense for me, since I was going to have a lot of work being outsourced over time, so I could put up with time spent up front trying out various contractors, but yeah for a few small jobs, as somebody mentioned, the process I went through wouldn't have been worth it time-wise
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Lenney
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    I've mostly outsourced article writing and have had similar experience, I spent time interviewing applicants before finally selecting what seemed like the best, someone who I believed to have a good grasp of English, good reviews, lots of experience....only to get some absolutely nonsense work in the end. Hired someone else for some basic SEO tasks, again lots of reviews and feedback, seemed clued up only for them to produce garbage work that I couldn't use.

    On the other hand I've found some real gems too, found a very cheap article writer who would write from scratch (a lot just search online and re-write) and well too. He was Kenyan I think. If I need articles done in the future I'd search him out, definitely.
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