35 replies
Okay, so as I've scaled up my business, I've learned that I need to outsource the $10 per hour work so I can do the $300 per hour work.

I am outsourcing a lot of my stuff, but some stuff I can't let go of because of quality control issues, and a few other reasons.

Anyhow the stuff that I have been outsourcing has worked off and on, but the biggest issue I face is that these workers just drop the ball.

They will be great workers and fully committed one day then then I don't hear from them for a week. It's just crazy. Even though I tell them I have lots of work for them and I take care of them well.

Been going through odesk, only hiring highly qualified and experienced people with great feedback, but then just about every one of them has issues.

I have had enough bad experiences with Bangladesh, and Pakistan that I don't even try anymore. India has been okay. Phillipines have been the best, but still total lack of accountability and taking ownership of a project. If I ask somebody to be creative and come up with ideas, it's like they are completely incapable of it. If I give word for word instructions then they can usually do it, but that's not what I'm looking for. Even at a higher rate I've experienced this.

Anyhow, I'm looking at possibly going through an outsourcing firm that keeps really close tabs on the workers and supposedly has a big focus on the experience and makes sure all workers are qualified.

I've heard of Zylun, and I know there are a lot of others.

What is everybody else doing for outsourcing? What is working and what isn't?
#outsourcing #phillipines
  • Profile picture of the author qu4rk
    Originally Posted by sodomojo View Post

    Okay, so as I've scaled up my business, I've learned that I need to outsource the $10 per hour work so I can do the $300 per hour work.

    I am outsourcing a lot of my stuff, but some stuff I can't let go of because of quality control issues, and a few other reasons.

    Anyhow the stuff that I have been outsourcing has worked off and on, but the biggest issue I face is that these workers just drop the ball.

    They will be great workers and fully committed one day then then I don't hear from them for a week. It's just crazy. Even though I tell them I have lots of work for them and I take care of them well.

    Been going through odesk, only hiring highly qualified and experienced people with great feedback, but then just about every one of them has issues.

    I have had enough bad experiences with Bangladesh, and Pakistan that I don't even try anymore. India has been okay. Phillipines have been the best, but still total lack of accountability and taking ownership of a project. If I ask somebody to be creative and come up with ideas, it's like they are completely incapable of it. If I give word for word instructions then they can usually do it, but that's not what I'm looking for. Even at a higher rate I've experienced this.

    Anyhow, I'm looking at possibly going through an outsourcing firm that keeps really close tabs on the workers and supposedly has a big focus on the experience and makes sure all workers are qualified.

    I've heard of Zylun, and I know there are a lot of others.

    What is everybody else doing for outsourcing? What is working and what isn't?
    Well I don't know what you are asking them to do, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I've experienced the same problem. However, it's my problem & not theirs. Here is my perspective on your challenge now. I'm the entrepreneur. I'm the one who is supposed to supply the creativity from the top of the business. I then get workers to do the work.

    Contractors can quantify submitting x number of links takes them x hours. They can't quantify come up with a solution to this problem. And they don't care, because if they did, they would go create their own business to solve problems instead of just doing menial work.

    So, I now know that if there is a problem & I go to a contractor with it, then I know I'm going to be SOL. So I now evaluate everything that I'm asking them to do so that I'm not leaving anything up to discretion.

    So, I've created a system & just plug contractors into the system. If a problem comes up, then I know I must solve it. If I need creativity, I need to do it or find someone who solely does creative stuff.

    I hope this helps.
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    • I agree

      Originally Posted by qu4rk View Post

      Well I don't know what you are asking them to do, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I've experienced the same problem. However, it's my problem & not theirs. Here is my perspective on your challenge now. I'm the entrepreneur. I'm the one who is supposed to supply the creativity from the top of the business. I then get workers to do the work.

      Contractors can quantify submitting x number of links takes them x hours. They can't quantify come up with a solution to this problem. And they don't care, because if they did, they would go create their own business to solve problems instead of just doing menial work.

      So, I now know that if there is a problem & I go to a contractor with it, then I know I'm going to be SOL. So I now evaluate everything that I'm asking them to do so that I'm not leaving anything up to discretion.

      So, I've created a system & just plug contractors into the system. If a problem comes up, then I know I must solve it. If I need creativity, I need to do it or find someone who solely does creative stuff.

      I hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sebulba
      This has been my experience too.

      Seb

      Originally Posted by qu4rk View Post

      Well I don't know what you are asking them to do, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I've experienced the same problem. However, it's my problem & not theirs. Here is my perspective on your challenge now. I'm the entrepreneur. I'm the one who is supposed to supply the creativity from the top of the business. I then get workers to do the work.

      Contractors can quantify submitting x number of links takes them x hours. They can't quantify come up with a solution to this problem. And they don't care, because if they did, they would go create their own business to solve problems instead of just doing menial work.

      So, I now know that if there is a problem & I go to a contractor with it, then I know I'm going to be SOL. So I now evaluate everything that I'm asking them to do so that I'm not leaving anything up to discretion.

      So, I've created a system & just plug contractors into the system. If a problem comes up, then I know I must solve it. If I need creativity, I need to do it or find someone who solely does creative stuff.

      I hope this helps.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jammy123
        Banned
        Actually I am confused about what the guys need ?
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  • Profile picture of the author market your way
    i agree too
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  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
    Originally Posted by sodomojo View Post

    I am outsourcing a lot of my stuff, but some stuff I can't let go of because of quality control issues, and a few other reasons.
    You can outsource the "quality control" too, of course. Hire a project manager to oversee your entire project (they do all the hiring, firing, all the back-and-forth communication with the workers, and basically whatever it takes until your entire project is completed to spec).

    That will cost you more $ than managing the project yourself, obviously, but it's also a LOT less of a headache (assuming you have a competent project manager, of course).
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean DeSilva
    If you can figure out how to logically chunk every key task and assignment you have, you can restructure your payments so that the contractor gets 20% less per hour, and a 20% bonus upon completion of a chunk. I tell them right up front this is how I like to pay so that there is clarity on why I'm offering less than what they want per hour. Out of 10 candidates, five will accept these terms.

    The creativity problem is a more complex issue. Extensive testing helps. Before they take the test, it helps to give video instructions for clarity and comprehension, and text references for them to easily read and reread in preparation.

    One effective tactic I've used for bringing out more creativity and innovation is forcing a step-by-step explanation of their decisions. See, when you and I make creative decisions, we do so on the fly by doing several steps in our heads. Less creative people can't do this well, but you can coerce it out of them by forcing them to justify each decision point. As an example:

    [ outsourcer has been assigned to find blogs that are unusual in their niche]

    Record:
    Blog website:
    what is unusual about this blog?
    Explain why the answer above is unusual.
    Grade [do not write here: for supervisor only]

    ----------------

    Most outsourcers will try and give one-word answers in the justification questions. When I see this I clamp down hard, and force them to give good, solid answers. It works pretty well for those who are able to make the change.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    What's funny is when you ask for work samples and they give you other peoples stuff... or trying to say a WP site is a drupal site, or an HTML site is a WP site. That happens all the time on odesk.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by sodomojo View Post

    Okay, so as I've scaled up my business, I've learned that I need to outsource the $10 per hour work so I can do the $300 per hour work.

    I am outsourcing a lot of my stuff, but some stuff I can't let go of because of quality control issues, and a few other reasons.

    Anyhow the stuff that I have been outsourcing has worked off and on, but the biggest issue I face is that these workers just drop the ball.

    They will be great workers and fully committed one day then then I don't hear from them for a week. It's just crazy. Even though I tell them I have lots of work for them and I take care of them well.

    Been going through odesk, only hiring highly qualified and experienced people with great feedback, but then just about every one of them has issues.

    I have had enough bad experiences with Bangladesh, and Pakistan that I don't even try anymore. India has been okay. Phillipines have been the best, but still total lack of accountability and taking ownership of a project. If I ask somebody to be creative and come up with ideas, it's like they are completely incapable of it. If I give word for word instructions then they can usually do it, but that's not what I'm looking for. Even at a higher rate I've experienced this.

    Anyhow, I'm looking at possibly going through an outsourcing firm that keeps really close tabs on the workers and supposedly has a big focus on the experience and makes sure all workers are qualified.

    I've heard of Zylun, and I know there are a lot of others.

    What is everybody else doing for outsourcing? What is working and what isn't?
    Outsourcing does not necessarily mean you have to get the work done in some foreign country. You could for example try a local college. Depending on what your 'Creative' needs are. When I need 'stuff' done I keep my dang dollars at home. There are young creative types all over the place that are 'starving artist' Start looking local, and a lot of your issues disappear. no your not going to get stuff done for $5 but you might be amazed what can get done for $20
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Outsourcing does not necessarily mean you have to get the work done in some foreign country. You could for example try a local college. Depending on what your 'Creative' needs are. When I need 'stuff' done I keep my dang dollars at home. There are young creative types all over the place that are 'starving artist' Start looking local, and a lot of your issues disappear. no your not going to get stuff done for $5 but you might be amazed what can get done for $20
      That is why we use interns.

      There is always a bunch of locals who don't necessarily need / want a job
      but are always willing to make some extra cash and perfect their skill.

      Nice to see a few like minds in here.
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      • Profile picture of the author qu4rk
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        That is why we use interns.

        There is always a bunch of locals who don't necessarily need / want a job
        but are always willing to make some extra cash and perfect their skill.

        Nice to see a few like minds in here.
        Ken, do you use paid interns or unpaid ones? And if you have interns, are they considered employees?

        Thanks!
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by qu4rk View Post

          Ken, do you use paid interns or unpaid ones? And if you have interns, are they considered employees?

          Thanks!
          I from time to time, mostly in the summers go thru state run placement programs and can get people that the state pays their wages except for $1.00 an hour. In this case they are employees. Yes I am required to have work mans comp, but I have that already. but I am getting decent answer the phones and the like help for $1.00 an hour. And everyone thinks out sourcing is cheap HA.

          High school kids I pay under the table, and boy you would be surprised what kind of resource that is. College kids I generally pay under the table. I have never done the intern thing, but now that it has been mentioned I am for sure going to look in to it.

          I have 1 kid that has worked with me for 6 years. One heck of a photographer. He has actually gotten some of his stuff in the USA Today recently. he is now in college for photojournalism, and still is doing 'side' work for me.

          Sometimes there is more to consider when outsourcing a project other than the dollar amount. Its the time on the front and back end of that project to make sure you are getting what you want. What is that worth? It just makes sense to me to pay a bit more, and help out those around you, that want to learn, that need the experience, and are right there to guide to get the results you want. It just makes more sense to me.
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        • Profile picture of the author sodomojo
          All good input. Thank you.

          Where specifically are you finding your contractors?

          I've used odesk with the most success however on higher end projects sometimes I'll go to elance or guru. Seems like there is more Americans on elance and guru which isn't what I always need but may, based on the project.

          Good call on the interns.

          I second the question, contractors or employees?
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          • Profile picture of the author 9999
            I have had luck on Odesk.
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    • Profile picture of the author jjmags1219
      Hi sodomojo,

      I believe this is tapping on with the right person with the right skills and a team who can show concern and loyalty on your business.

      Let me know if you need some assistance on coming up with that team.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidsotto1810
    I have had very good experience at SEOClerks. Contrary to other more famous sites mentioned here, this site has majority of serious experts who give you consistently good results.
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    • Profile picture of the author The IM Factory
      The IM Factory an USA based company. we are interested to do hour basis work too.we have a talented team for seo and citations projects that will always ready to give their best efforts in the work.We will provide you upto the mark services that gives you a comfort level.

      Email us at info@theimfactory.com and we can answer any questions you have and help you with what you are looking for also take a look at our PDF that breaks down what we do http://www.theimfactory.com/The-IM-Factory-Package.pdf
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      • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
        Well, as someone who a lot of people outsource to, maybe I can offer some insight from the other end of things.

        When it comes to people "dropping the ball", as you said, I think a lot of that comes from them having the wrong idea about working freelance. If you're really depending on an outsourced worker then you're probably giving them a lot of work. Handling this work means scheduling yourself, prioritizing things, and paying attention to deadlines.

        These are skills a lot of people don't have. They may look like they have experience handling outsourced work but you should take a close look at that experience. Have they handled extended gigs? Sometimes people get a freelance gig that only lasts a week or two. Have they done anything big? Some people only ever handle small tasks and never go outside of their skill set (writing articles AND formatting and posting them, for example).

        I think one of the best signs of a good freelancer is return business. If you can find someone who has clients that return to them on a regular basis, you've probably found someone who is reputable.

        A really good freelancer might not even be available right away, they might not even be advertising right now because they're so busy. That means the people you do see advertising might not be of the highest quality.

        When it comes to the problem of creativity, well, that's a major problem all over the world. Creativity is a skill which needs to be cultivated. Our modern world doesn't always value creativity in the individual. We have so many passive and consumptive hobbies (videos games, watching sports, etc) that people never cultivate their own creativity.

        If you're just looking for some brainstorming suggestions, I suppose you can hope to find an outsourced freelancer who can help. If you're looking for serious creativity, on the other hand, you're looking for someone with a valuable skill.

        I don't think it would be a good idea to hire someone to automate mundane tasks and expect them to be creative at the same time. You have to give the right sort of work to each person. This might mean you need to hire a creative and they might be more expensive than the drones you hire for other tasks.

        I think the money is well spent, however, because true creativity is rare these days but it can be a truly valuable asset.

        One thing I would suggest is requiring an update at least once a week. Businesses generally have at least one big meeting a week. This does two things. The first is that it keeps the boss and other senior employees up to date on what the rest of the company is doing. The second is that it creates a situation where serious problems can't go unnoticed for longer than a week.

        Don't be afraid to request the updates. I've personally found that sending regular updates to my clients has been really beneficial. Communication can sometimes be tricky. I might think I'm doing something right but it isn't exactly what they wanted.

        Sending regular updates means I can be sure I'm doing precisely what they want and I know they're happy with what I'm doing.

        Bottom line: Outsource to people with a track record of extended gigs and repeat customers. Don't expect people who handle mundane tasks to be very creative. Request regular updates and don't hire anyone who refuses that request.
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  • Profile picture of the author ivana
    hey, I always have people looking for work who are responsible and stay with me for a while... It depends on what you need... do let me know...
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    • Profile picture of the author Raman Aggarwal
      You right i agree with you. A leading Offshore Outsourcing virtual employee and recruitment solution company that provide dedicated resource services. Virtual employee/staff/assistant model is alternate to traditional offshore outsourcing model. Hire offshore virtual employee instead hiring in house or outsourcing. we also provide virtual employee in India. For more information visit our site and contact with us.
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  • Profile picture of the author idealhelper
    Sorry to dig out this old thread but I read it and it resonated with me. So I'll just go ahead and share my thoughts about this.

    To the original poster, if you earned $300 per hour, then I believe you can afford to hire a real professional virtual assistant. What I mean by that is a specialized professional that comes from the US and might charge up to $70 an hour or something like that.

    With a virtual assistant like this, you can be pretty sure that they will take ownership of your project and they will behave in a very professional manner. Then disappearing on you like it can happen with virtual assistants from outsourcing platforms will not be the smartest move. Such professional virtual assistants really have to look out for their reputation. It is all a question of return of interest.

    If you're time is as valuable as you write in your post, then trying out several assistants at a much lower income range and having bad experiences with that will be much more expensive than finding a hugely professional but very expensive virtual assistant and then having a good experience with them.

    From my point of view, the countries aren't really an issue with finding the virtual assistant that is self-reliable. I have had also hired virtual assistants from Bangladesh, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, China and other countries.

    The only issue I can point out are different levels of language barriers. Especially in the Philippines, I believe there are some special cultural traits you have to be aware of as well. But then in the end, this is also true for China and India.

    In the end, you will find great virtual assistants all over the world. But to really find a true gem that does the work in the right way, with the right attitude and the right consistency boils down, in my opinion, to simple trial and error.
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    I am an entrepreneur from Germany Who believes in outsourcing and provides assistance to others about hiring Virtual Assistants from all over the world.

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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Oh geeze...."sorry to dig up this old thread"...so that you can promote your virtual assistance service?

    Honest to God I would never...and I mean never...have anything to do with anyone who would shamelessly promote themselves that way

    what is wrong around here?
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

      what is wrong around here?
      That's an easy one. People trying to sell their ware using signature links. When I see someone posting every single day, multiple times per day, making it look like they are doing it strictly to help people, I assume that they are failing at whatever it is they are promoting. If they were that successful, they wouldn't have the time to constantly make posts that gently, if not blatantly, point to the offering in their signature.

      If you have to sell 24 hours a day, you're just a salesman and by no means an expert at anything - including selling. :-)

      Just my 2¢, but I see it take place, every single day.

      Cheers. - Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
        Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

        That's an easy one. People trying to sell their ware using signature links. When I see someone posting every single day, multiple times per day, making it look like they are doing it strictly to help people, I assume that they are failing at whatever it is they are promoting. If they were that successful, they wouldn't have the time to constantly make posts that gently, if not blatantly, point to the offering in their signature.

        If you have to sell 24 hours a day, you're just a salesman and by no means an expert at anything - including selling. :-)

        Just my 2¢, but I see it take place, every single day.

        Cheers. - Frank
        Thanks Frank

        What really cracks me up is the ones who dig up a thread "related" to whatever they are pushing and then post their ad in there

        I am sorry but I have been on the internet for so many years to see this sort of amateur hour nonsense highly offends me

        I find it hard to trust anyone's advice here when so much of it is connected to whatever they are pushing in their sig line

        What I expected here was more a place where others who actually work "offline" *or online...could share ideas, info, experiences, maybe learn a bit. A few threads are like that...Iamnameless and others had some good tips for me about managing clients (my major snafu LOL)...but it is disheartening to see the junk here

        And the main marketing board or "affiliates' is even worse. I have been an affiliate for years....back when Commission Junction was a choo choo train. I would never..never sell the clickbank junk...I would not buy it ,why sell it? I actually still make money every month with a us based affiliate program that most of the clown here would not even be allowed to join LOL

        I am so disgusted by the total nonsense...I think of some of these people like crack dealers...selling to addicts....I see junk like "forex" and "binary" and now an idiotic 'crowdfunding" Ponzi scheme and I say "WHATTTTTT"

        Oh not to mention the number of people whose translation programs don't work well who want to sell junk to us "rich 'mericans"....(or poor 'mericns LOL)
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Young
    I agree. I have 500 web pages that need to be written and posted ASAP (for my clients) and yet I can't seem to trust anyone to help me. Even paying someone $25 or more for a couple of paragraphs hasn't worked.

    I do have a few people working with me but they all live in my local area. I am turning down a lot of work because apparently, I haven't mastered outsourcing yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
      Originally Posted by Joshua Young View Post

      I agree. I have 500 web pages that need to be written and posted ASAP (for my clients) and yet I can't seem to trust anyone to help me. Even paying someone $25 or more for a couple of paragraphs hasn't worked.

      I do have a few people working with me but they all live in my local area. I am turning down a lot of work because apparently, I haven't mastered outsourcing yet.
      I don't blame you...at the risk of sounding like the Ugly American I will say it : much of the outsourced "content" is silly, stilted, not common everyday American English

      Some of these "wso" are funny with their mistakes.

      Look at a website written by foreigners or a facebook page managed by a "team" in India for example....they are a joke.

      Yes maybe they can "code" or create backlinks but the funny wording is really a turn off and a tip off that the work was outsourced cheaply. If you want to keep your clients I think you should hire local people, maybe students, work at home people, not someone who will make your clients look silly.
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  • Profile picture of the author psyko
    That's awesome, you may go on!
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    It's a process of elimination. Good freelancers will eventually get a job if they have any ambition at all.

    We've gone through several on guru this year that have been painful experiences but we've managed to find some great people in Russia. The language barrier has been high and difficult but the quality of the work has been excellent in some cases.

    It's a never ending problem. Keep trying!

    All the best,

    Sasha.
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  • Profile picture of the author huned1988
    If you are looking for an outsourcing company that is also packed with creative stuff, I recommend June Spring Contact Solution or June Spring Multimedia. you may visit their website to know more.
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  • Profile picture of the author triggerbig
    You're better off to hire someone from a forum if you want creativity and accountability. They will be more like-minded. Also, use Elance not oDesk. I spent my $10k on oDesk and I've reached the conclusion it's not as good.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevordd
    As for me, I prefer the help of such services like Nix Solutions for outsourcing job. They do their job very nice for me. Have a look there too
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    • Profile picture of the author repstein
      I've used Odesk extensively and had mixed experiences.

      When you finish an Odesk job, you are asked to give a public rating of the freelancer and a private rating too.

      It's those private ratings that hold the key here.

      If you ask Odesk, they'll assign you a staff person to help you choose a freelancer, and I bet they have access to the private ratings.

      Recently, the people I hired on Odesk for work on an ecommerce site have been pretty good. One of them charges $5/hour, the other $15. The one charging $15 is especially good, and that's why he's probably in the 99th percentile in Pakistan.

      On the other hand, I hired people to send Linkedin messages for me, and they only sent 5/hr. A joke! And these were people with good reviews and many logged hours.

      So... it's a mix up.

      Somebody wrote something in the War Room or elsewhere on the forum called the "Alternative Outsourcing Strategy." Basically, he advocates hiring a bunch of Odesk workers to each do the same tasks, and then choosing the best. It's worth an extra $100 or whatever up front to find the best of 10 people. I haven't tried it yet.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        It sounds like you spend more time and money trying to get the work done, than it would take to actually do the work.

        Originally Posted by repstein View Post

        I've used Odesk extensively and had mixed experiences.

        When you finish an Odesk job, you are asked to give a public rating of the freelancer and a private rating too.

        It's those private ratings that hold the key here.

        If you ask Odesk, they'll assign you a staff person to help you choose a freelancer, and I bet they have access to the private ratings.

        Recently, the people I hired on Odesk for work on an ecommerce site have been pretty good. One of them charges $5/hour, the other $15. The one charging $15 is especially good, and that's why he's probably in the 99th percentile in Pakistan.

        On the other hand, I hired people to send Linkedin messages for me, and they only sent 5/hr. A joke! And these were people with good reviews and many logged hours.

        So... it's a mix up.

        Somebody wrote something in the War Room or elsewhere on the forum called the "Alternative Outsourcing Strategy." Basically, he advocates hiring a bunch of Odesk workers to each do the same tasks, and then choosing the best. It's worth an extra $100 or whatever up front to find the best of 10 people. I haven't tried it yet.
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        • Profile picture of the author repstein
          Haha that has been true with regards to the people who failed at their tasks. Others did html work I couldn't have done myself.

          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          It sounds like you spend more time and money trying to get the work done, than it would take to actually do the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author pozas77
    Hi,

    In my experience sourcing from Phillipines is the best.
    They tend to be more loyal and hard working and if you mention you have jobs for other members of their family that gets them onside too.

    In terms not being able to be creating and proactive, pick a couple of people and just hire them for small jobs to test their ability and whether they can be proactive and think on their feet.
    Only then trust them with larger jobs.
    That's what I do.

    Obviously review feedback first and start small with them before giving them larger jobs.
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