Favorite ODESK providers? Opinions on Providers?

14 replies
Hello everyone!

I am not going to go on about the benefits of outsourcing, but if you are going to go large, you really should.

Anyway, I posted a new job on odesk.com and got a bunch of applicants. I have a few questions about the whole process that confuses me.

1) Some providers will post, say $6/hour for your job while their history says that they already took an ongoing assignment at $3/hour which is very similar to yours. Do they think you are stupid to pay twice what they're getting now? What's up with that?

2) There are tons of providers in the $1, $2, and $3 range for a whole assortment of jobs/skills. How does one sift through all these people without hiring everybody one at a time to see? (Granted, given $1/hr. @ 10 hours would mean I could test 20 people out for $200, but still...)

3) Point of the OP - Anybody have favorite providers (if you don't want to share on the open forum, shoot me a PM).

Right now, I am working with a group of people here in the USA. I do all the work that requires passwords, access to web hosting accounts, etc. because frankly, who knows what's happening on other people's computers. I really want to offload some of the mundane, time-intensive tasks that eat up my day.

TomG.
#favorite #odesk #opinions #providers
  • Profile picture of the author David Hooper
    People on oDesk try to get as much as possible for the work they do, just like you or I do. If the bid is too much, don't hire them.

    Recommendations and feedback are helpful, but the only way to really see if somebody is a match is to hire them. Most of the time, I start people on quick/simple projects, such as data entry or article writing, then move up from there.

    I am not as familiar with oDesk as I am some of the other services, such as Elance or Scriptlance. Most of these sites have a "top providers" list though. Perhaps that would help.
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    • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
      Originally Posted by David Hooper View Post

      People on oDesk try to get as much as possible for the work they do, just like you or I do. If the bid is too much, don't hire them.

      Recommendations and feedback are helpful, but the only way to really see if somebody is a match is to hire them. Most of the time, I start people on quick/simple projects, such as data entry or article writing, then move up from there.

      I am not as familiar with oDesk as I am some of the other services, such as Elance or Scriptlance. Most of these sites have a "top providers" list though. Perhaps that would help.
      I was afraid of that. Yes, I'll bite the bullet and give out 20 similar assignments to see what happens.

      TomG.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaka
    There are three things that I think have helped me obtain good results from outsourced contractors.

    1) Check out rates being offered by solicitors beforehand to become familiar with prices charged in different parts of the world. Of course this can vary greatly as a contract I let last month ranged from $50.00 to $900.00 on a fixed cost basis. However, after reviewing work samples, the low cost bids were quickly eliminated as substandard. I was able to get a high quality job for under $400.00.

    2) Thoroughly evaluate the bids and work samples submitted by bidders and, when needed, contact them for question. Don't even bother to respond to generic, cookie cutter bids. Only respond to bids written specifically for you that have addressed your exact bidding requirements.

    3) Be crystal clear in time frames, bidding requirements, and costs. I am amazed at the vague and unclear projects that I see posted on Elance, Getafreelancer et al. I have had bidders comment and thank me for the clarity of my project postings and the bidding parameters. I think the best contractors are looking to work with people who operate with high business standards and transparent practices.

    I hope this will help you. Incidentally, If you run across high quality work from a bidder out of your price range, tell them that you can't really afford them now but that you like their work and are looking to develop a long-term relationship. I have never had a bidder refuse to reduce their price (at least a little) under these circumstances. Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author gianne2705
      The standard rate they provide is the range but you can still work on to this depending in your agreement.I am an odesk provider myself and i bid based on the project.
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    Thanks Shaka, solid tips. I am now in the process of hiring several people for evaluation purposes.

    TomG.
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    Well as an update, I sent out a dozen interview requests and got 1 answer so far. Nice lady, but no writing skills at all. She says she does article posting and blog posts if you give her the text. Well, first shot. Anyone else please input on solid providers is appreciated

    TomG.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gabe77
    Review some of their previous work. After shortlisting your candidates, run a test period to see if they're the right fit.

    When you say "no writing skills at all", do you mean she can't put together a coherent article or she's not at par with your writing style?
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil S
    There are a couple thing I will do to screen the applicants and have had a lot of success so far.

    When I put out a job req, I will put in specific directions that they follow when applying. If the applicant does not follow the instructions then that is a huge red flag for me.

    During the interview process I will ask them to complete a task similar to the job description. If I am looking for a content writer then I will ask they write 300 words on a specific topic.

    If I am looking for a blog poster I will ask them to post some blog comments and then take a look.

    This has really helped me find some excellent candidates and pick the best out of the tons of applicants I get.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bryan Zimmerman
      Neil does something similar to what I do, If I'm looking for a writer I'll have them write an article for me as a test. If it comes back clean (not stolen) I'll hire them to do like 5 more. If all those come back decent then I'll hire them, but I will tell them I will give bonuses for great work if they lower their hourly bid.

      You'd be suprised how many people you can get to work for a couple dollars an hour if your willing to throw them some extra under the table (paypal). They do good work because they want the bonus and you get cheaper labor than what they apply for. Takes a little time to test a bunch of people but when you find the good ones, take care of them and they will take care of you. I've almost got everything I do completely outsourced through people I've spend the last few months "testing".

      Not only that, but if you take good care of them, you can get them to do other tasks that just pop up that you need done or just stuff you don't feel like doing that day.
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      • Profile picture of the author my_addict_mind
        when i try to hire somebody from odesk, i come here:
        Top Ranked Providers - oDesk oConomy

        i skip the top of this group because they usually are the best of the best providers, and could be on the high side, payment wise. i start my search in the middle to the lower portion of the list. when i find several good providers with good feedback and reasonable rates fitting my requirements, i create my project and invite them to bid.

        more often than not, i get good bids and proven, reliable providers.
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        • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
          Originally Posted by Neil S View Post

          There are a couple thing I will do to screen the applicants and have had a lot of success so far.

          When I put out a job req, I will put in specific directions that they follow when applying. If the applicant does not follow the instructions then that is a huge red flag for me.

          During the interview process I will ask them to complete a task similar to the job description. If I am looking for a content writer then I will ask they write 300 words on a specific topic.

          If I am looking for a blog poster I will ask them to post some blog comments and then take a look.

          This has really helped me find some excellent candidates and pick the best out of the tons of applicants I get.
          Neil, thanks for that one buddy, did not even cross my mind! I'll get right on that.

          Originally Posted by Bryan Zimmerman View Post

          Neil does something similar to what I do, If I'm looking for a writer I'll have them write an article for me as a test. If it comes back clean (not stolen) I'll hire them to do like 5 more. If all those come back decent then I'll hire them, but I will tell them I will give bonuses for great work if they lower their hourly bid.

          You'd be suprised how many people you can get to work for a couple dollars an hour if your willing to throw them some extra under the table (paypal). They do good work because they want the bonus and you get cheaper labor than what they apply for. Takes a little time to test a bunch of people but when you find the good ones, take care of them and they will take care of you. I've almost got everything I do completely outsourced through people I've spend the last few months "testing".

          Not only that, but if you take good care of them, you can get them to do other tasks that just pop up that you need done or just stuff you don't feel like doing that day.
          Bryan, the bonus tip is solid, I use that with my current writers, thanks!

          Originally Posted by my_addict_mind View Post

          when i try to hire somebody from odesk, i come here:
          Top Ranked Providers - oDesk oConomy

          i skip the top of this group because they usually are the best of the best providers, and could be on the high side, payment wise. i start my search in the middle to the lower portion of the list. when i find several good providers with good feedback and reasonable rates fitting my requirements, i create my project and invite them to bid.

          more often than not, i get good bids and proven, reliable providers.
          Another good tip. I just looked over at the list. Pretty cool.

          TomG.

          PS - If you have any individuals you like (and are willing to share), feel free!
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          • Profile picture of the author michellegreen
            I charge per 100 words, so when bidding on Odesk I just enter what makes it add up to the total project total, so the hourly rate is probably irrelevant. The amount I charge is entered as part of my bid.

            Needless to say, most buyers on Odesk (from my experience) are looking to have their articles written for a lot less than what I am prepared to work for, so my work mostly comes from here and Elance.
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            • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
              Originally Posted by michellegreen View Post

              I charge per 100 words, so when bidding on Odesk I just enter what makes it add up to the total project total, so the hourly rate is probably irrelevant. The amount I charge is entered as part of my bid.

              Needless to say, most buyers on Odesk (from my experience) are looking to have their articles written for a lot less than what I am prepared to work for, so my work mostly comes from here and Elance.
              Hi Michelle,

              I have American content writers and they are paid more. There are tasks that are simple but very time consuming. Tasks like blog posting, backlinking, etc. These tasks are best suited for odesk providers.

              TomG.
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