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How to Outsource the Right People for the Job

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What’s This?

The decision to outsource an employee or an assistant is a personal one. You don’t want to end up hiring someone who has lied about his or her skills and experience, but on the other hand, you definitely do want to benefit from lower pay rates around the world.

Right now, I have a fantastic team of virtual employees who take care of all kinds of tasks, from event planning to copywriting and website design. I have to admit, though, the path to outsourcing these great people was not always smooth.

My Introduction to Outsourcing

Let me tell you about someone I hired a few years ago via UpWork (formerly oDesk). The platform lets you search through thousands of virtual workers and find someone with the exact skills you are looking for. So, I found a guy who fits the bill and put him on a contract.

The UpWork platform lets me check in on employees using screenshots of their work on their computer every few minutes, and it lets me know if they have stopped typing or moving the mouse for a considerable amount of time. When I checked up on the new guy, he seemed to be doing well. He was productive according to the platform statistics and so I paid him.

Well, I found out later that this clever guy had set his computer up with a program to wiggle his mouse regularly and change the screen so that he would get paid for the time he wasn’t even there. You have to be careful.

But seriously, you can find great people online who you can trust to help you maintain and grow your business, so don’t be put off by one or two negative stories. Anyway, you live, you learn.

4 Simple Rules for Outsourcing Staff

If you’ve decided to go ahead and outsource some of your work, choose your assistants carefully! These are the rules I follow when selecting candidates to work for me.

1. Don’t Take Resumes at Face Value

If you see a resume that you love, look deeper. It’s so easy to double-check references and past employers online that you probably only need to send one or two emails to satisfy your curiosity about a potential employee. Get some real background on a person before offering to interview with him or her, so that you aren’t disappointed later to find out it was all fabricated. It also helps to advertise on social media networks, where you can get a good look at candidate profiles. In fact, employers that hired through social media channels reported a 49 percent improvement in candidate quality.

2. Do a Trial Run

If you’ve found a candidate for the job, don’t offer him or her a contract right away. Instead, put together a small project that can be completed in a day or so to test out the skills of the potential employee. If all goes well, chances are much better that you’ve found the right person for the job.

3. Pay Attention to Online Reputation

When you hire virtual employees through a platform like UpWork, you’ll be able to see the candidate’s reputation with recent clients. Read through the positive and negative reviews to get an idea of what it’s like to work with this person and rely on them to complete specific tasks. You should also check out LinkedIn, since 79 percent of recruiters have reported successfully hiring through the LinkedIn network.

4. Choose Someone with Experience as a Remote Worker

According to Forbes, “Virtual employees need to possess both professional experience and personal maturity to work independently.” That equates not only to experience in the industry, but experience working on their own at home or in a shared office.

Remember, you’ll trust this person to perform with minimal contact and direction, so he or she needs to have the knowledge and confidence to make decisions and solve problems.

Outsourcing Can Help Your Business Grow

The point of having an extra online staff to deal with things like typing, planning events, putting together lead pages, and doing research is to free up more of your own time for money-making activities. It’s all about building traffic and getting people into your sales funnel, so if you can focus more of your energy on placing ad banners and promoting your social media pages, you’re headed for a healthier bottom line.

Follow my tips and find yourself a great virtual team!

Matt Lloyd

Article first appeared on My Online Business Education