Frustrated with Hiring People...

66 replies
I am really frustrated with hiring freelancers and VA’s right now (to the point where I’m about ready to write it off completely).

Since May 1st, I have hired 12 people to do various tasks and jobs for me. Out of the 12 people, only ONE of them actually did their job.

Were they all from the Philipines or some other country? No. 5 of them were warriors, the rest were from sites like oDesk (which yes, does have people from the Philipines, but the people I ended up hiring were mostly from India).

I’m finding it increasingly frustrating to hire people to help me when I keep getting disappointed.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles on this topic, and have been glued to the TMN sessions focused on outsourcing. And while I have gotten a lot of great information, all the tips I’ve gotten have been mostly focused on how to find the right people and they don’t seem to offer much insight into how to ensure they do their damn job.

Now I don’t normally pay anybody in advance for anything (though admittedly one of the warriors I hired in May I paid in advance…and now we’re in the middle of a Paypal Claim because he didn’t do his job).

I absolutely HATE micro-managing people. I strongly believe in the concept of giving somebody a task and trusting them to do it. But it seems like everybody I have hired except for the 1 person that did his job were perfectly content to get hired but not get paid since they seem to just become unresponsive after they get the job.

And I didn't just hire people based on their application. I would actually exchange several messages with each of them asking them questions, and several I even talked to on the phone. All of them seemed really excited and eager and I thought they were the right people for the job I was hiring them for.

So does anybody have any tips on how to ensure people are actually doing their job?

Before you start shooting out replies, please make sure you understand my problem – I am hiring people and give them tasks. They respond back saying “I’m on it”, or “I’ll have it done in a few hours” (or very similar).

I leave them alone for a few days, and send them a message asking for an update. A lot of the times I don’t get responses, some will respond with excuses as to why they didn’t do the job, and I even had one guy tell me the other day that one of his other clients had a higher priority task that he was focused on (I fired him when I got that message).

Was the work too difficult for them?

No. 90% of the work I am outsourcing could be done by anybody. I would do it, but I don’t have the time to.

I would hire somebody locally to work out of our office, but that is way more expensive and I would rather pay on a per-project basis which you can't do if you hire somebody FT to work in your company. The staff I do have in our office do their jobs, but they aren't very efficient which is why I've been looking at outsourcing a lot of things.

Of the work I have outsourced, most of it is very simple and takes only a few hours to finish (i.e. creating content, posting it somewhere, link building, debugging PHP code, etc).

So can somebody give me some insights here? I am so flustered with this process that I’m at the point where I’m going to close my accounts at oDesk and other sites just so I don’t even try it anymore.

The ONE worker I have found that did his job right, didn’t need any hand-holding. He estimated it would take 3 hours to finish a task I gave him. He was done it in 2 and only billed me for 2 despite my offer to pay him for 3 hours. He also kept a fairly detailed timesheet for what he did. Overall, I’m extremely happy with this guy and have already sent him enough work to keep him busy for the next 3 weeks at least since he is actually reliable.

But 1 out 12 seems like a horrible rate for successful workers.

Does anybody have any tips on how to get their VA's and freelancers to actually do the damn work they were hired for? Threatening to not pay people doesn't seem to work on them.
#frustrated #hiring #people…
  • Profile picture of the author techservice
    I think your just describing the reality of outsourcing. Some are very good, some are ok and some are a waste of time.

    Just do the normal sense checks before you hire.
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  • Profile picture of the author DPWeb
    I think we can all use a few deep breaths. In and out.


    I have not hired from oDesk or eLance, but I do apply for web development jobs there and really plan on doing the job perfectly. It irritates me to know that people on there are so lazy that they are taking employers off the service. Its extremely annoying that a lazy person is getting the job and not doing it and losing it for someone who would have done. I whole heartedly feel your frustration.

    In my experience as a business owner, I try to look for people that are good at one thing. Then I make sure I can trust them, and I hire the same person to do that one task over and over again. They become more efficient as well and start to know what you want.

    If they are pretty easy tasks, you might want to just talk to a friend about a job you would pay them to do on the side. I have found the more you are willing to pay, the higher quality workers you will find, even if its a few extra dollars per hour or $10 extra for the whole project.

    When I first started the business, I was afraid of wasting money to this kind of thing so I managed as much as possible on my own. I guess that is the difference between a business owner and an employee.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    A little secret - it ain't much different with in-person employees, either. 1 out of 12 IS horrible, but I doubt that it's out of the norm. When I owned a painting company, I had 18 employees, and only 2 of them were worth half a s##t.

    SO - a heartfelt "good luck" to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    Hi Christian,

    I've hired a ton of people in my time. All the way from $1 an hour outsourcers on oDesk to several hundred pound a day software contractors in London and I'm painfully aware of the problems you talk about.

    I'm not sure what your hiring process looks like (you do have a process right?) so I'll walk you through what I do and then you can pull out specifics after.

    As a general rule -

    Cast wide net and filter aggressively. Far too many people go looking for "The guy" from the start. That's what you want to end up with but if you treat everyone you exchange emails with as "The guy" it just takes too much time to filter them.

    Step 1 is lead gen. Getting your job ad in front of as many people as possible. Generally speaking I'm looking to generate 100 leads per spot for unskilled work and 20 leads per spot for skilled work. Ideally a LOT more.

    Your lead gen activities absolutely MUST rule out time wasting auto applications that are just trying to win the lottery.

    Include something like "The subject line of your application email should be 'My favourite colour is red'" and if they don't do that instantly reject them. Don't feel harsh. If they can't even follow this simple instruction they clearly can't follow instructions or just plain don't read in the first place.

    You can count any applicant that does this as a lead. If not pretend they never even contacted you.

    Step 2 is filtering candidates based on their ability to reply in a timely manner with some competence. So have a standard set of questions ready to reply with and get them to answer them.

    As an example I recently hired frontline support people here on the Warrior Forum. Every applicant that met the email subject line requirements received 3 questions I picked out of the support desk from the previous week (they all got the same).

    This gave me an excellent base line to compare them and allowed me to quickly filter out a ton of candidates that didn't actually want to do any work.

    Step 3 is a trial assignment. The cheaper the job the more people you should take on. Eg frontline support staff I take one at a time and give them a couple of weeks test but if they go AWOL within a couple of days I ditch them and move straight on to the next candidate. But for link builders I'll take on 10 times the number I need. At a dollar an hour its far too cheap to try out more than necessary.

    Give them real assignments in the format you would normally but make sure it's not mission critical. You should assume they will allow flake out on you.

    Do NOT over communicate at this point. The mistake everyone makes is to try to handhold them and give them everything they need. If you do this you're just training your people to bug you about everything. You want to hire the ones that JFDI and ask the important questions, not the ones that bug you every 2 minutes on Skype.

    A couple of iterations through this and you'll soon have people that actually deliver, are honest and completely trustworthy. For medium or high skilled work you'll probably be paying competitive rates to start with. For link builders etc double or triple their pay rate (Yeah, $2 an hour not $1 ... scary ). This makes sure they aren't spending all their time looking for the next gig but working on yours.

    At every point in the process. If in doubt, let them go.

    Only once you have a happy productive worker should you invest time making sure they are as happy and productive as possible. Until then consider them unproven and more likely to disappear than turn out alright. It sucks but that's just the way it is. You can either get angry about it or set your recruitment process up to deal with it.

    Hope that helps,

    Andy
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
      Do NOT over communicate at this point. The mistake everyone makes is to try to handhold them and give them everything they need. If you do this you're just training your people to bug you about everything. You want to hire the ones that JFDI and ask the important questions, not the ones that bug you every 2 minutes on Skype.
      AMEN to that!
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    When you are paying someone to do a task for you and are expecting them to do it. then you should not have any problems.

    Next time, just tell them that you need a task done by so and so date and if that is OK with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author myeanne
    That's one of the disadvantages of hiring a freelancer. Like what I always said, freelancers do not have employers so they do as they please and sometimes cannot be contacted for various reasons. For the most part, freelance work entails irregular working hours. Although a little pressure motivates the freelancer to keep up, the quality of work expected is compromised. Since freelancers are self-employed, they are naturally in the pursuit of more projects to sustain them. As this is a good motivation, it also limits the freelancer to devote all his mind and time to a project.

    Staff leasing or outsourcing company is better than freelance work because leased staff are permanent workers of a company and are easy to reach in case you need them. The staff that you lease are backed by a good management and technical team. Also, your files and data are secured and confidential. The staff that you lease are 100% working for you and dedicated.
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  • Profile picture of the author kctang
    Ooof. Tough call.

    I once heard a tip requiring all virtual workers to give a daily email update listing their work breakdown.

    I know you're probably too busy to micromanage. But maybe if you specify that you must get this report daily, then by day 2 you'll know who to fire and can get to hiring a new batch of workers.

    And take the time wasted in the hiring process, and convert it into time testing them before you hire them. Anyone talking to you over the phone is gonna give you a bunch of bs about how good they are. This time, call hirees up and say

    "Hey, you know how to do this? I know I said our phone interview would last an hour, but this is what I'd like to do. I want to see some proof outside of your (sparklingly prepared) portfolio. This is the specific task I want you to do. I'll call you back in 60 minutes. You show me the results."

    I'm pretty sure you'll cut through the BS much faster this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    OK, apparently I have more.

    Most people try to hire on a project basis "I want XYZ done and I'll pay $abc for it".

    That feels like the better option because you pay if they deliver and not if they don't. You feel safe because they can't bill you for hours they didn't work.

    But most individuals aren't advanced enough to know how to price a project. They only know how to bill $1 an hour to build links. It's made especially bad when they live in a country with a dodgy internet connection. You can look at it as "If I pay them per hour and the net connection goes down, I'm paying them to not work" or you can think of it as, "If I pay them per hour and their net connection goes down for 2 hours it cost me $2 to keep an otherwise productive member of my team on staff".

    The point here is that you can prove any point you want by making up the numbers

    But seriously, bigger companies know how to charge for projects. Individuals don't. Cut them some slack and take on some of the risk. You'll have far more, better candidates than you will for project work, especially at the low skilled end of the spectrum.

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author joel1031
    If you haven't yet, you NEED to check out John Jonas's blog:

    John Jonas on Living The 4-Hour Workweek

    He knows and shares a ton about outsource hiring. Does he plug his own website? Of course he does. But lots of people (some warriors included if you search around the forums) have had success doing exactly what he does. IMO if you do exactly what John says and STILL have no success, then you can give up on outsourcing. =)
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  • Profile picture of the author stepman77
    Hi Christian,

    I personally LOVE outsourcing, but I had a lot of trouble with it before I got to where I'm at now. I've also actually spent some time on the other side of the equation as the worker, so I think that gives me some experience, too.

    Obviously, I'm no super star or anything like that, and you might not like any of these because they either take extra time or extra work. All that being said, here are a few things I've done in the past that seem to have helped me ensure I get quality work:

    1st - Be VERY clear about who you want to ideally hire and what you want them to do in your job description. You may or may not be guilty of this, and certainly nothing against you, but very few employers communicate with their workers effectively. Again, I only say this having been on the other side of the coin...Even as an accomplished writer with a strong creative side, when I don't know specifically what an employer is looking for the job ALWAYS takes longer. 2 - 3 times longer, even.

    Many times we as the employers we think that because we know exactly what we want in our heads that it will automatically make perfect sense to our workers, or that they will instantly connect all the dots. Not at all the case.

    2nd - Include an adjective in your job description. For example, when I'm hiring a writer on oDesk I almost always say something like "Seeking Passionate Writer w/ Experience...", or "Seeking Dedicated Link-Builder w/ Experience..."

    The more you can pre-qualify your workers, the more likely you are to find that 'gem' that measurably helps your business improve.

    3rd - Before you hire anyone MAKE THEM REPEAT what they're going to do, and how long it's going to take them to do it.

    This one I had heard a while ago, but didn't really really follow through on until recently. It seems to make a difference, especially for 'projects' as opposed to hourly workers. People are much more likely to do something if they themselves say they'll do it (Thanks, Robert Cialdini!)

    4th - Videos are the best way I've found to teach my workers what I want. The downside is the heavy time investment involved for you. Obviously, you're not going to make videos for a 1-time project, but for something like link building or content creation, I think you'd be surprised at how much more you can get out of your workers if you take the time to train them. Really any form of training is great, even written.

    5th
    - Ask lots of questions during the interview process and try be in contact at least once per day that they work, at least for the first 2 weeks to a month. You need to frequently make a point to actually ask your workers whether or not they have any questions for you, or whether or not there's anything YOU could do to make their job easier.

    The value of this isn't only in communicating with your workers, it's also seeing what types of questions they ask!

    Especially with your typical worker from the Philippines/India this is important, because culturally they would rather turn in work that they believe is good (when really it's not) than ask you a question and turn in work that's really good. Not that other countries don't have this problem, but it seems most common in those 2.

    Edit - I just went through Andy's post, so I wanted to come back and make the clear distinction here between 'Hand holding' and 'effective communication'. For example, I do NOT contact any of my workers through skype unless I'm hiring for a special job or some other special circumstance. This is a small deterrent and helps encourage 'real questions' and not 'hand holding questions'. I suppose you could probably have a nice little debate on how much communication is optimal for outsourcing, but this is what I do and it seems to work.

    6th - Money is NOT what it's about. In other words, 'just pay more money' isn't the answer to better work. People will always work harder/faster/better for an employer that they really like and communicate well with, as opposed to one that makes them feel 'intimidated' or 'owned' by.

    As a point of example, I've recently found a writer that I'm paying only $5/hour, but she is by far the best writer I've ever hired! She didn't start out that way; one of the reasons she's so great now is because she knows that she can make suggestions to me, and that I will genuinely value her opinion. I also took the time to train her how to do research/content development/SEO properly, and it's really paying off.

    As I already said, I'm no super star here. I'm sure you've heard most of this stuff before, but hopefully one or two of these tips will give you some insight on how you could improve things.

    Good luck!
    - Stephen
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  • Profile picture of the author David Hooper
    Like anything, you'll get better as long as you're continuing to try and making small adjustments on how you do things along the way. Don't give up on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Saito
    You could try hiring 2-3 people at once to do the same small task, and see how it turns out and whose is best, on time, easiest to work with, etc.

    You have to pay for that one task 2-3 times, but it is good insurance money and will help you screen out the lesser folks without setting you back a week for each person. Hell, it might be worth it to do that with a $10 project, with 10 people at once to get the screening done with and have THE go-to person from then on.
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    • Profile picture of the author JustSomeWarrior
      This is very good advice below. In my former life in IT, I had the bad experience of working with many freelancers without a good screening process.

      I'm now helping someone find good quality writers for private blog networks and our process is something similar to what is quoted below.

      We are in the process of finding two to three reliable workers for ONE TASK... because the reality is that freelancers can not be relied on. You will eventually find "the one" but until then, you have to make sure you have redundancy.

      We make it clear that we are looking for multiple people to fill the position, we skip any idiots who don't follow our instructions clearly, and we are quick to cut the contract short if they seem to be slow, lazy, whining, or anything like that.

      So far we have gone through five freelancers trying to find a small team of three to put together 300 BMR posts a month. It has been slow starting... but once we find the right three we won't have to worry about slowing down in anyway.

      Originally Posted by Saito View Post

      You could try hiring 2-3 people at once to do the same small task, and see how it turns out and whose is best, on time, easiest to work with, etc.

      You have to pay for that one task 2-3 times, but it is good insurance money and will help you screen out the lesser folks without setting you back a week for each person. Hell, it might be worth it to do that with a $10 project, with 10 people at once to get the screening done with and have THE go-to person from then on.
      Everything stated above will be a lot harder to implement if you are hiring for a one off job, in which case you are just playing the odds!

      At elance it pays to check out their rating system. Anyone with less than a 4.8 rating is not worth considering for anything except the most mundane task. Also, look closely at their overall feedback score as well as how many "open" projects they currently have. This step is skipped by a lot of people, I'm sure.

      Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I don't have any tips since I have pretty much the same problem. I hire writers and get all kinds of promises but very little delivery and some of the delivery is really subpar. They tell me ... I've got a BA in English. They've actually got a line of BS a mile long.

    I just found one writer who is great at writing and affordable. He does tend to underestimate the time it will take to get my articles back, but he is very communicative and gets it done. He is swamped with orders because he is good.

    But like you, that's one out of 15 that I find will get the job done the way I need it done. I can't pay the big prices for writers for these projects. It is simple PLR re-writes. All the research is done. Just need a rewrite.
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  • Profile picture of the author subho67
    Hello Sir,
    Its really hard to here that.Tell me what are the works you need to be done.I can work for you.You can reach me via pm.Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian Little
    I appreciate the feedback I've gotten from everybody. I'm going to try and reply to a bunch of you now...

    Originally Posted by Tom Bartlett View Post

    Just do the normal sense checks before you hire.
    What would you consider to be a "normal sense check"?

    Originally Posted by DPWeb View Post

    I think we can all use a few deep breaths. In and out.
    lol I had a few deep breaths with my friend Jack Daniels several times over the past month while dealing with this problem.

    Originally Posted by DPWeb View Post

    It irritates me to know that people on there are so lazy that they are taking employers off the service. Its extremely annoying that a lazy person is getting the job and not doing it and losing it for someone who would have done.
    The thing that really bugs me is why bother going through the process of applying to a job if you have no way of actually doing it (either because you are lazy, or you don't have the skills, etc). You know you won't get paid for not doing the job, so why bother?

    Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

    A little secret - it ain't much different with in-person employees, either. 1 out of 12 IS horrible, but I doubt that it's out of the norm. When I owned a painting company, I had 18 employees, and only 2 of them were worth half a s##t.
    Well my in-office FT staff are better than that ratio lol. I only have 1 staff member right now that I would consider non-essential.

    Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

    I'm not sure what your hiring process looks like (you do have a process right?) so I'll walk you through what I do and then you can pull out specifics after.
    I have a rough hiring process, which basically goes along these lines:

    1) I post a job description listing the specific skills and traits I'm looking for. The posting will always include 2-3 questions that are specific to the job/skills. If any applicant doesn't answer the questions when they apply, they are automatically ignored as I hate template applications.

    2) I will send them back an email asking them another 2-3 questions related to the job, as well as ask for examples of past work (if they didn't include it in their original application). If they don't reply, they get taken off the list. If they reply but don't answer the specific questions, they get taken off the list.

    3) The candidates that do reply, I usually exchange another 2-3 emails with asking them questions specific to the job (I never ask them about their personal lives or anything at this point). Not only does this give me an idea of their skills and knowledge, but it also gets me some idea about their english skills and responsiveness and ability to communicate.

    4) If I like what I've heard so far, I will usally ask to talk to them on the phone (not always, but probably 75% of the candidates I interview by phone). At this point I will ask them more personal questions and get an idea about them as a person.

    5) If I still like what I've seen and heard from them, then I offer them a small project (usually 2-4 hours of work). I give them everything they need to do the job and will pay them if they do it at whatever rate we agree on for their hourly rate (which right now ranges from $5 - $40 per hour).

    6) If they complete the job on time and it is done the way it was supposed to be done, I hire them as a contractor and pay them on a per-project basis.


    Since May 1st, I've had 12 people reach it to Step 5, and only one of them made it to Step 6. That's a huge dropoff rate considering they have gotten to the point where I am willing to give them money at that point.

    I'll repond to everybody else shortly, I've got about a dozen things going on right now lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author rkcc4
      That is why I really try to avoid hiring people, the cost of managing them is tedious and not really part of the lifestyle I am seeking. That is why i have automated as much as I can so it leaves me free to concentrate on what I have to do myself or for looking for new opportunities.

      Managing people abroad requires very detailed instructions, go read the four hour work week to get some tips on managing people, or read this this thread which is starting to get some good content
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  • Profile picture of the author theone85
    Wow, some excellent advice on this thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
      Originally Posted by theone85 View Post

      Wow, some excellent advice on this thread.
      I second that! Especially Andy Fletcher's from which I especially enjoyed the subject line qualification or disqualification process.
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  • Profile picture of the author rixlo
    Originally Posted by Christian Little View Post

    I am really frustrated with hiring freelancers and VA's right now (to the point where I'm about ready to write it off completely).
    I feel your pain. Like many others here, I have gone through many employee in the different business that I've owned. There are online
    personality, performance and aptitude tests they can take which are
    pretty acurate. You need to know what you're looking for in the person and what your expectations are. These tests do work. It can cut your time down dramatically. And lastly, a slogan we used to use in network marketing was: 'some will, some won't, so what......Next'. It is a process for getting and keeping qualified people to help you build your business. I know, one business I owned had over 100 employees. Good luck.
    ric dalberri
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    In running an outsourcing company, I can tell you your numbers aren't far off! We go through MANY "qualified" applicants and check, double check, triple check them before even hiring them. Even then, we still end up hiring some people that just don't live up to expectations. (An interviewee today was 20+ minutes late because his Jeepney was slow...ugh!) It's one of the reasons clients hire our company rather than trying to run through it themselves...you'll pay quite a bit more with us, but it takes away the hassle/frustration and it's completely worth it to mid-sized or larger organizations.

    Your approach plays a large role as well. We don't even bother with clients who don't have clearly defined expectations, training, etc. anymore because it always ends in disappointment on both ends.

    You've received some good advice here so far and I know there are other outsourcers here with some pretty good information here as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author omk
    Leaving them alone for a few days is okay. However, you must have them at least email you a short summary and maybe samples or links of what they've done for you at the end of each day. The temptation to slack off is too great sometimes to leave these type of workers unattended for days at a time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian Little
    Finally got a chance to reply to everybody else that was good enough to offer their insights here:

    Originally Posted by stepman77 View Post

    Be VERY clear about who you want to ideally hire and what you want them to do in your job description...
    Before I've hired any VA, I have had a very detailed document prepared that outlines in fine detail exactly what they need to do. My problem seems to be more focused around kicking them in the ass so they actually do the job once I've hired them. I've never had a VA tell me that I didn't provide enough information (most of them have told I provide more than enough or too much information lol).

    Does adding "passionate" or some other adjective really make any different in the applications you get stepman?

    The suggestion about making them repeat what I want them to do...that's certainly something I'm willing to try. I'm not sure if it will make any difference though.

    Originally Posted by alan.brymer View Post

    You could try hiring 2-3 people at once to do the same small task, and see how it turns out and whose is best, on time, easiest to work with, etc.

    You have to pay for that one task 2-3 times, but it is good insurance money and will help you screen out the lesser folks without setting you back a week for each person. Hell, it might be worth it to do that with a $10 project, with 10 people at once to get the screening done with and have THE go-to person from then on.
    That's a realy interesting idea...expensive, but definately interesting and I might try that.

    Originally Posted by rkcc4 View Post

    That is why I really try to avoid hiring people, the cost of managing them is tedious and not really part of the lifestyle I am seeking. That is why i have automated as much as I can so it leaves me free to concentrate on what I have to do myself or for looking for new opportunities.
    The tasks I hire people for cannot be automated very easily, otherwise I would have (I'm really good with scripting lol)

    Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post

    In running an outsourcing company, I can tell you your numbers aren't far off! We go through MANY "qualified" applicants and check, double check, triple check them before even hiring them. Even then, we still end up hiring some people that just don't live up to expectations. (An interviewee today was 20+ minutes late because his Jeepney was slow...ugh!) It's one of the reasons clients hire our company rather than trying to run through it themselves...you'll pay quite a bit more with us, but it takes away the hassle/frustration and it's completely worth it to mid-sized or larger organizations.
    I can definately agree with paying more. I've spoked to 2 companies like yours about outsourcing with them and the rates they are quoting me are pretty crazy. I'm sure it's justified, but it gets a little too steep for me and there is no guarantee I won't end up in the same situation that I've been dealing with for the past several weeks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cee
    Christian I'd like to send you a pm but don't have enough posts yet. How can I contact you? One of the things I am concentrating on doing now is finding consistent work as a VA.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian Little
    Cee - I'm hiring technically-skilled VAs, specifically people that know things about linux, bash, OpenVZ, networking, etc. If you know that kind of stuff, you can drop me an email - chris@boltwebhosting.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Cee
      Originally Posted by Christian Little View Post

      Cee - I'm hiring technically-skilled VAs, specifically people that know things about linux, bash, OpenVZ, networking, etc. If you know that kind of stuff, you can drop me an email - chris@boltwebhosting.com

      Thanks for replying. I don't have any experience with the really technical stuff. But if you ever need help with any non technical or semi technical outsourcing please keep me in mind
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  • Profile picture of the author CheapTrafficDude
    Well, I guess I'm gifted in the outsourcing department, never had a bad experience, most of those who I hired were competent or required very little training and were fun to work with. I've never hired from the WF other than one guy to do a video and he did a fantastic job.

    It depends on what you are outsourcing for. Generally, Indians are better for coding whereas Filipinos are great VA's. You just have to be picky about who you hire, they have to be on the same level as you. Here's a few tips when it comes out outsourcing.

    #1- Don't use odesk, guru, freelancer etc, those mainstream freelancing websites. many of those experts use software to place bids and you will often get generic bids. Then you find out that they can't perform the task. So if you use those type of sites, in your job description put "Only those who show a portfolio and answer the following questions precisely will be contacted". This way you'll know if it's a computer generated bid or a real bid.

    #2- PAY PIECEWORK!! Don't pay by the hour, you'll get more work done because the more projects they complete, the more they make. PS: Request a warranty if buying a product like a website or software.

    #3- Always refuse the first offer... That's business as a whole

    #4- Hire a project manager if you can afford one, this will save you from monitoring their activities.

    #5- Don't be afraid to fire them! If they don't keep their side of the agreement, you have every right to fire them, they're not an actual employee on a payroll, they're a contractor.

    #6- More money doesn't equal better work, I mean, anyone can build links so it wouldn't make sense to pay someone the wage of a programmer for a link builder who claims to be an expert, they are working for YOUR COMPANY NOW and will start at the bottom of the barrel like everyone else.

    #7- Monitor their work. They they are not online, don't pay them, after all, the work probably requires to be online. Bother them every once in a while, if they don't respond within an hour, they're probably not working, deduct each non-responsive hour from their paycheck.

    #8- Ask for daily reports. Your employees should be able to show proof of their work. If you're not satisfied, don't pay them for that day. IE: If they get you 10 backlinks per day, I wouldn't pay for that then we'd have a lil' sit down and the employee will have to explain themselves. Honestly, I never had that problem.

    #9- Offer profit sharing! Even if it's 1% of the site's profit, to a Filipino or an Indian, that's generally worth a lot of money even on a $1,000 per month if they don't have to work for it, I had great results with profit sharing.

    #10- Have them work commission only. Lets say 10% of each unit sold so essentially, they make money when you do

    Again, I guess I'm a unique case, kinda been lucky with hired people because I'm picky and cheap I not hired an Indian for a long time because of a nasty accident, can't afford them anymore and yes, Indian prices are much higher then they were a couple years ago. Filipinos are the way to go. You can check out easyoutsource.com, that's a site I been loking into recently and it doesn't cost nothing for employers.

    Hope this helps
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    • Profile picture of the author Cee
      Originally Posted by CheapTrafficDude View Post


      #9- Offer profit sharing! Even if it's 1% of the site's profit, to a Filipino or an Indian, that's generally worth a lot of money even on a $1,000 per month if they don't have to work for it, I had great results with profit sharing.

      #

      That's a sure way to get someone motivated.
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    • Either check my BestOfFiverr blog, which is rife with articles written by Fiverr freelancers, or PM me. I'm building a stable of savvy and reliable writers. For ongoing project work, definitely PM me, I have a resource for you.

      fLufF
      --
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    • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
      Originally Posted by CheapTrafficDude View Post

      Well, I guess I'm gifted in the outsourcing department, never had a bad experience, most of those who I hired were competent or required very little training and were fun to work with. I've never hired from the WF other than one guy to do a video and he did a fantastic job.

      It depends on what you are outsourcing for. Generally, Indians are better for coding whereas Filipinos are great VA's. You just have to be picky about who you hire, they have to be on the same level as you. Here's a few tips when it comes out outsourcing.

      #1- Don't use odesk, guru, freelancer etc, those mainstream freelancing websites. many of those experts use software to place bids and you will often get generic bids. Then you find out that they can't perform the task. So if you use those type of sites, in your job description put "Only those who show a portfolio and answer the following questions precisely will be contacted". This way you'll know if it's a computer generated bid or a real bid.

      #2- PAY PIECEWORK!! Don't pay by the hour, you'll get more work done because the more projects they complete, the more they make. PS: Request a warranty if buying a product like a website or software.

      #3- Always refuse the first offer... That's business as a whole

      #4- Hire a project manager if you can afford one, this will save you from monitoring their activities.

      #5- Don't be afraid to fire them! If they don't keep their side of the agreement, you have every right to fire them, they're not an actual employee on a payroll, they're a contractor.

      #6- More money doesn't equal better work, I mean, anyone can build links so it wouldn't make sense to pay someone the wage of a programmer for a link builder who claims to be an expert, they are working for YOUR COMPANY NOW and will start at the bottom of the barrel like everyone else.

      #7- Monitor their work. They they are not online, don't pay them, after all, the work probably requires to be online. Bother them every once in a while, if they don't respond within an hour, they're probably not working, deduct each non-responsive hour from their paycheck.

      #8- Ask for daily reports. Your employees should be able to show proof of their work. If you're not satisfied, don't pay them for that day. IE: If they get you 10 backlinks per day, I wouldn't pay for that then we'd have a lil' sit down and the employee will have to explain themselves. Honestly, I never had that problem.

      #9- Offer profit sharing! Even if it's 1% of the site's profit, to a Filipino or an Indian, that's generally worth a lot of money even on a $1,000 per month if they don't have to work for it, I had great results with profit sharing.

      #10- Have them work commission only. Lets say 10% of each unit sold so essentially, they make money when you do

      Again, I guess I'm a unique case, kinda been lucky with hired people because I'm picky and cheap I not hired an Indian for a long time because of a nasty accident, can't afford them anymore and yes, Indian prices are much higher then they were a couple years ago. Filipinos are the way to go. You can check out easyoutsource.com, that's a site I been loking into recently and it doesn't cost nothing for employers.

      Hope this helps
      Thanks for this line, "Filipinos are the way to go."

      Regarding your write-ups, you are SO right! You hit the nail on the head, my friend! I couldn't agree with you more!

      In the event that anyone of you here is planning to hire a VA, always make sure to check their English skills. Lots of contractors will claim and say that they have superb English and writing skills, but make obvious grammar and word usage mistakes.

      Happy outsourcing.

      Thanks,
      Louie Tugas
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  • Profile picture of the author gnewstech
    Outsourcing to places like India is a great option if you can deal with the company directly rather than individual freelancers. We specialize in Google news websites and content writing. If there is anything we can help you with feel free to contact me
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  • Profile picture of the author Dwight Anthony
    I would definitely hold on to the ones that actually work out, they're worth their weight in gold.
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  • Profile picture of the author ahnalia
    Great advice here I just wanted to chime in and say that is it just me or is a trend everywhere (outsourcing or not) that people just don't want to work for anything anymore? Though I have been extremely fortunate in finding some great employees, I had to go through dozens of "duds" to find the good ones! And I notice more and more in the outside world waiters, cashiers, my husband's company. (he had a guy literally begging him for work, then the first time they called the guy, he couldn't work that day because he was watching a basketball game!)
    I know my post isn't helpful advice, but I wanted to let you know, I feel your pain!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac Wheeler
    Pay peanuts...
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    Freelance Writer & Web Author
    FREELANCE WRITING OPPORTUNITIES - GET THEM NOW!
    Like my Facebook page, or add me to your Google+ circles, for free writing tips and techniques.
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  • Profile picture of the author bobrichards
    I document the task so that a first grader can understand it -- total overkill. I assume no intelligence from the free lancer. This solves some of the problem. At the sign of the first issue (I make these people report weekly), I tell them the problem and that if it happens again, the project will be terminated and I will leave a lousy review (odesk, elance, etc) and I explain what I want and give an example (assuming people are stupid never hurts). I still need to terminate 2/3 of these people but I get some good results form the other 1/3.
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    • Profile picture of the author rts2271
      The only advice I can offer you is when you find someone who floats your boat, Pay them well and treat them well. If you think you might be not paying them enough, you aren't and add some digits to that check.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I hired someone from here just recently and was dissapointed myself. She sent me an email informing me of "unforseen delays" and yet was interacting merrily on the forum. Needless to say I was quite frustrated.

    Rule no 1. Once you find someone reliable. KEEP THEM. Pay them more if you have to!
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  • Profile picture of the author mysterrio
    I suggest you get samples from them and see if you can get them to take payment after they do the work etc. There are many ways to make sure they do what you want...but mostly you are taking a chance.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfredo Carrion
    In order to attract good people, you need to pay them well (even freelancers). I have had previous experience hiring freelancers from the Philippines and even Canada, but they weren't very good. My best are actually from Malaysia and the USA. Haven't tried the UK, NZ, or Aus yet though in terms of 1st world English speaking countries.
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    • Profile picture of the author lacraiger
      Originally Posted by Alfredocoach View Post

      In order to attract good people, you need to pay them well (even freelancers). I have had previous experience hiring freelancers from the Philippines and even Canada, but they weren't very good. My best are actually from Malaysia and the USA. Haven't tried the UK, NZ, or Aus yet though in terms of 1st world English speaking countries.
      most Malaysians don't even speak english...
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  • Profile picture of the author flippianstar11
    Banned
    Hire on recommendations
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Christian Little View Post

    But 1 out 12 seems like a horrible rate for successful workers.
    This actually sounds about right to me.

    In general, most of the people I've hired to do anything over the past twelve years(!) take too long to do it and don't do a very good job, UNLESS you can put them physically in the same room with someone else doing a similar job.

    Even then, most people - shockingly enough - deliver mediocre results... because "mediocre" is another word for "average," which most people are... but with someone else looking over your shoulder, you'll usually deliver on time.

    Failing that, my success rate over the last ten years has been about 10% with single-task hiring for tasks I specify. I get much better results by hiring people who literally advertise "I do this exact thing you need done for $X," because that's what they do. But if I say "I want this and that and will pay $X," in general, one out of ten people doesn't suck. Most of the time, I end up doing it myself because I run out of patience after about three people.
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  • Profile picture of the author lacraiger
    NEVER hire Indians... LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    I've tried Odesk, Elance, Rent A Coder, Here on WF and others. I have yet to find a Freelancer that i would fight to keep.
    Yes i'm trying to get the best price possible but so what, there is an agreement, i agree to pay an amount an they agree to complete the job.

    Even after filtering and testing skills i still get poor results. I even take the time to make videos explaining step by step and still i get shoddy work returned, and i'm not taking about jobs that require a PHD in Physics.
    Simple data capture, blog posting etc. is even beyond most of the people advertising their "skills" on these sites.

    Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author awesummer
    I think it is just plain luck and a little bit of technique when it comes to hiring great employees.

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

      I think it is just plain luck and a little bit of technique when it comes to hiring great employees.


      So you dug up a 4 month old thread, just to post that? :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author simonbuzz
    Banned
    whenever you will hire people ask them to provide daily reports of their work and don't pay them before they complete their work.
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  • Profile picture of the author nm5419
    ALWAYS HIRE VIRTUAL ASSISTANCE THROUGH A SERVICE THAT PROVIDES ESCROW!!!!!!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author hometutor
      I have the same experience with a friend I hired as well as recruiting team members for another business. THERE'S NO CONSEQUENCES! My friend knows I won't fire her regardless how long she takes. People who don't show up for meetings still keep their j.o.b.s. and continue without changing their lives for the better.

      When I was in sales I always and still always try to talk to someone who is paid commission. They seem to have an understanding on how time and service affect them directly.

      Thinking aloud I wonder if it would be of benefit to advertise for someone with commission sales experience even if the job doesn't require sales?

      Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author Manny Derek
    So far i don't have problems with my two VA's. They are consistent and works on time. Sometimes they worked overtime.
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  • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
    Originally Posted by Christian Little View Post

    I am really frustrated with hiring freelancers and VA's right now (to the point where I'm about ready to write it off completely).

    Since May 1st, I have hired 12 people to do various tasks and jobs for me. Out of the 12 people, only ONE of them actually did their job.

    Were they all from the Philipines or some other country? No. 5 of them were warriors, the rest were from sites like oDesk (which yes, does have people from the Philipines, but the people I ended up hiring were mostly from India).

    I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to hire people to help me when I keep getting disappointed.

    I've been reading a lot of articles on this topic, and have been glued to the TMN sessions focused on outsourcing. And while I have gotten a lot of great information, all the tips I've gotten have been mostly focused on how to find the right people and they don't seem to offer much insight into how to ensure they do their damn job.

    Now I don't normally pay anybody in advance for anything (though admittedly one of the warriors I hired in May I paid in advance...and now we're in the middle of a Paypal Claim because he didn't do his job).

    I absolutely HATE micro-managing people. I strongly believe in the concept of giving somebody a task and trusting them to do it. But it seems like everybody I have hired except for the 1 person that did his job were perfectly content to get hired but not get paid since they seem to just become unresponsive after they get the job.

    And I didn't just hire people based on their application. I would actually exchange several messages with each of them asking them questions, and several I even talked to on the phone. All of them seemed really excited and eager and I thought they were the right people for the job I was hiring them for.

    So does anybody have any tips on how to ensure people are actually doing their job?

    Before you start shooting out replies, please make sure you understand my problem - I am hiring people and give them tasks. They respond back saying "I'm on it", or "I'll have it done in a few hours" (or very similar).

    I leave them alone for a few days, and send them a message asking for an update. A lot of the times I don't get responses, some will respond with excuses as to why they didn't do the job, and I even had one guy tell me the other day that one of his other clients had a higher priority task that he was focused on (I fired him when I got that message).

    Was the work too difficult for them?

    No. 90% of the work I am outsourcing could be done by anybody. I would do it, but I don't have the time to.

    I would hire somebody locally to work out of our office, but that is way more expensive and I would rather pay on a per-project basis which you can't do if you hire somebody FT to work in your company. The staff I do have in our office do their jobs, but they aren't very efficient which is why I've been looking at outsourcing a lot of things.

    Of the work I have outsourced, most of it is very simple and takes only a few hours to finish (i.e. creating content, posting it somewhere, link building, debugging PHP code, etc).

    So can somebody give me some insights here? I am so flustered with this process that I'm at the point where I'm going to close my accounts at oDesk and other sites just so I don't even try it anymore.

    The ONE worker I have found that did his job right, didn't need any hand-holding. He estimated it would take 3 hours to finish a task I gave him. He was done it in 2 and only billed me for 2 despite my offer to pay him for 3 hours. He also kept a fairly detailed timesheet for what he did. Overall, I'm extremely happy with this guy and have already sent him enough work to keep him busy for the next 3 weeks at least since he is actually reliable.

    But 1 out 12 seems like a horrible rate for successful workers.

    Does anybody have any tips on how to get their VA's and freelancers to actually do the damn work they were hired for? Threatening to not pay people doesn't seem to work on them.
    Hello mate,

    I feel your pain.

    Please PM me all the types of work you want and I will help you in finding a good VA. (or even VA's)

    Things don't have to be complicated, let's keep it simple.

    I look forward to hearing from you, pal!

    More power!

    Thanks,
    Magiclouie
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  • Profile picture of the author spoiledkid01
    Here is what works best in Hiring a freelancers or Hiring VA's
    Instead of hiring from different countries and different places. Hire a VA manager and ask him to hire people for you. He will be responsible for providing work to you.
    And it will cost you low too and will remove most of your headache. Specially the payment headache. You will just pay him and he will pay further to his employees. He will be responsible to provide you work and do things accordingly.
    As him to rent an office and hire people.
    i just was reading a blog post about hiring VA's and the person says that he personally interviewed all the VA's the VA manager employed for him. And he is happy now that he has a back office working for him full time.
    But the only CON to this method is.
    It will only work for you if you need constant work. If you do not need constant work find already working VA manager and ask him if he could do some hiring for you.
    Now how do i know all this. Because i work as a VA in a company.
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  • Profile picture of the author apoorv.parijat
    Hi Christian,

    First and foremost, I'd recommend you not hire on a per-project basis and rather hire on a monthly basis. It will be less expensive and you'll have more control over it.

    You should advertise your job vacancy in as many places as possible so that you can source as many applicants as possible. You never know... you may get someone you're looking for from a source that you least expected to send that sort of a lead. So, advertise anywhere and everywhere, with the same job specs, etc.

    Do not have them e-mail you. Instead, create a simple form which asks them some questions (6-7). This step will ensure that you weed out all those people who don't really know anything about the job that they are applying for. Many people, who are lazy and don't really want the job, won't even fill the form up. This is great for you as you're not wasting your time with them.

    Now, the quality of the applicants will be a little higher. From these people, you can sort out a few that seem good. You cannot judge how good someone's work ethics are by reading an e-mail. Neither can you do so by a Skype interview.

    So, when you're sending them a job letter/offer letter, mention clearly that the first two weeks are trial and their job contract may be terminated within the first two weeks if their work isn't up to the mark.

    Many people will come to this last step but not everyone will be with you after the 14 day mark. So, that serves as the biggest filter in the entire process. In these 14 days, you should give them 'real' work, with deadlines and all.

    I've hired some 7 writers using this process and 6 of them are with me and have worked for at least 3 months. One has been working for 10 months now!

    However, all these things just increase your chances of finding the right applicant. You may still end up hiring the wrong person no matter how good your hiring processes are. It's always a bit of trial and error.

    From your side, you should clearly explain them what you're looking for, in general. Task specific instructions may vary but if, say, the nature of your work asks you to complete the work on short deadlines, etc, make this known before they even start working for you.

    Once they are hired, I send them a few documents that details how the work structure is setup, how they should be reporting, what their work code is and how they are supposed to append the codes to whichever files they deliver. In the future, this helps with tracking and they also understand the work structure from the start.

    From my team, the team lead assigns daily/weekly work. The assignment sheet's format remains the same. It tells the work to be done, the assignment code, the project code and the deadline. They are supposed to upload the work they do to our processing system, and upload a backup copy to Dropbox under the appropriate project ID.

    Once you have allotted the work, don't ask them about it until the deadline has passed (and of course, the deadline should be reasonable). Though I do give some instructions, I give my people the freedom to do their work the way they want, as long as it's completed on time.

    Everyone in the team has my Skype ID and we have team meetings every other week. However, I can't remember the last time someone asked me to clarify a task or any details. The system is such that it takes care of itself, and corrects if there are any issues.

    The problem with finding people online is that many aren't too serious about their work and tend to take it very easy. Some people aren't really good at estimating the workload and thus end up getting a job they don't really want. Some people think an online job is "easy". :rolleyes:

    As you go, you should try to build a team as much as possible (instead of individual workers working for you) and your team should have a sense of ownership. You'll see much better retention rates.

    If your screening process is good and the work structure is good, you'll find more employees meet your expectations.

    - Apoorv
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  • Profile picture of the author 2012Cashflow
    Stepman77 has it down, but i personally don't hire "per hour" i will pay out after the work is done, i fine this motivates the worker and saves me from having to fire so many after they try to cheat the system (odesk i am referring). That is what works best for me in my experience. Follow stepman77's advice, as i do about the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author kannoos75
    I never hired anyone. all of my articles and graphics are done by myself..
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  • Profile picture of the author eminc
    As per my experiece, there are some common things a reliable and experienced professional will do, and you must ask for it. Once you go through these things, you will figure out the difference.

    1) Ask them for estimated time they need for the project + breakup of their estimated time and how they are going to achieve them.
    2) From the breakup, they can create their own timesheet. Ask them to do that.
    3) If you are going for a hourly project, ask them how do YOU verify that they have worked for this time. (Many programmers I know use Toggl. good for reports, but can be faked. But then, who hasn't worked on any project or has no experience won't be aware about the existence of Toggl or such products )
    4) Ask them for a prototype(in case of software) or a sample. Ask them to do post it on the website only if you are going in for vWorker,etc. It will always help you to assess.
    5) If the project is big enough, get them to sign a NDA or any sort of aggrement. (It actually scares off people who are not sure about the job )

    Many newbies have this idea of making easy money, which makes it very difficult to find a reliable person. I would recommend that if you have found 1 out of those 12 people, stick to him. You can even hire him on a monthly payout if you have lot of tasks that needs to be done. Its certainly better to keep a person there always rather than trying to hire anybody, where chances of faliure is 90+ % in your case.

    Mohit
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Rosenbaum
    I only hire by word of mouth from people I'm already working with. I stay away from the job desks
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  • Profile picture of the author ydraw2011
    I have actually attended two seminars on this very topic and it seems you are having the same problem as most. Eventually you will find the right person. What helps is training. When outsourcing you have to spend a lot of time training and you need to do it well
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    • Profile picture of the author colub
      Try the freelancer website and only hire the people who have done at least 6 jobs and have 100% good reviews.

      You can try fiverr and alternatives sites investing just $5-$10 to try the person. If they are bad then its not a great loss. If they are good ask if they are willing to take on the big jobs.
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  • Profile picture of the author connorology
    A small tip, in one article I've recently read, there's this thing they call a "grape shot approach to hiring." First, you grab as many people as possible and test them; second, interview those who passed the test; third, give them a longer test and figure out who did the best (also consider the most attentive and who took initiative); fourth, figure out who you would hire and who you wouldn't and fifth, hire the ones you would hire and keep the others on file if you need to scale later.
    I hope it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author tnhomestead
    A lot of good advice here but dont forget good people can flake out for good reasons -- I just flaked on several Odesk jobs, all simple but my Ma had a stroke and had to go handhold her and my sister -- and no internet(they dont use it)! So I was out of touch for close to 2 weeks(yes I had email at a coffee shop, just not enough time to be working), so I think always look for more than 1 person -- no matter how good they are, they can drop dead or drop out at any time.
    And a lot of them do lie -- I just tried to hire some writers, told in advance I would check copyscape was sent articles 99% ripped! Oh well, keep looking till I find someone who can write!
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    There is software you can download and ensure your outsourcers download that makes you monitor their progress minute by minute
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  • Profile picture of the author Increase Media
    A lot of time hiring freelancers from the USA will provide you with good results.

    However, you will have to be willing to pay a good amount for the service. Sorry to hear about the 12 people you hired but failed to do the work.

    Sometimes good help is hard to find these days. Good luck with your future hires.
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    • Profile picture of the author Toplink
      Ouch!


      Sorry to hear about all your drama. As background to my comments, I have a fair bit of experience in outsourcing, some good, some bad. I have hired here (not so good) and on eLance (generally very good) About 60 jobs/projects so far I think.

      I also have a full time office and staff in Thailand and in the Philippines. So I appreciate the cultural and distance issues.


      I could probably write a book on it, but in the interests of keeping this post short and pithy, here goes with some summary thoughts. This is just my experience, not suggesting you did anything wrong OK!

      You get out what you put in. I get the best results when I carefully plan the project or task, assemble all the materials I think will help get the job done and then provide a clear brief and what my expectations are.

      Seek Feedback. Don't make the communication all one way. Give the staff member / contractor a chance to provide feedback. They may know the subject better than you.

      Actively Encourage Communications and Questions. When I set up my Philippines office I had not met the staff. I shot a series of videos as training / introduction to my business. At the end of each video I finished with ........"And if you have any questions, just ask"! It became a bit of a joke in the first few months. Yea Yea we know.........just ask! And they did.....often. So they learnt the job a lot faster and became more confident.

      Hire Long Term. The contractors I use on eLance I always hire for the long term. By that I mean I take the effort up front to make sure we are a good fit. Then for any similar tasks that come along, I just hire them again. It builds a good long term relationship. I now have a great team on eLance of about 8 people, for various tasks. It's rare I need to use a 'new' contractor.

      You get what you pay for. I know this is a bit dated and not always true. But it tends to be true more times than not. If people look too cheap, I tend not to hire them. They are either desperate and will screw up the work, or they don't appreciate the amount of work involved in the task. For example, my best copy writer on her first project quoted too low. It may me worry the quality would be poor. I told her to double her fee and take more time doing it. I just had a gut feel from our communications and her proposal that she would be good. She was good. She now does 90% of my copy writing and we have a great working relationship. She was just new to eLance and did not appreciate the market pricing and was a bit too eager to win her first project.

      Reward and Praise when it is due. When contractors go that extra yard, I reward them. We'll agree that a project is costed at $x. But may also agree that if it takes more effort and gets enhanced as we go along, that I'll pay a bonus. (that is with longer term contractors where we work well together). They often come up with improvements for the task.

      Hire Slow - Fire Fast. I think this old quote related to employees, but hiring contracters is not much different! Take the time up front, don't rush it.

      Appreciate Cultural Differences. I'm lucky, as I work overseas a lot and have an Asian wife. I'm from UK originally. I have to cope with cultural differences on a day to day basis! Before I married my wife I studied her culture. So there were no surprises. Before I started hiring staff in the Philippines, I studied the culture. Even just take a few hours for some research. It'll pay off, particularly understanding the business culture.

      Just a few observations and things I have learnt over the years............

      It ain't easy. It takes effort. But it can work really well. Very well!
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