How To Outsource: Beginner's Guide
Tips for Finding Good Contractors
Shortlisting Over A Few Days
People will start applying immediately. If I create a job at night, when I wake up in the morning I'll have more than 10 applicants. Remember that this is just the first wave! Applicants usually peter out after 2-3 days. Just make a list of the people you think will do a good job, and send them a message with some follow up questions.
Don't respond to pressure to hire them quickly. This is super annoying, but lots of guys do it. They say things like, "I'm ready to start now so please award me the job"Â. It's a bit unprofessional, but I guess I can't blame them for being enthusiastic.
Take your time - it's your money, and don't feel pressured to click the hire button before your'e ready.
I usually just follow up with a few questions related to the job so I can see what their English is like and whether they really understand the instructions. I find a lot of people will say that they understand the job, but what they really want is just to get hired, and then figure out what's going on.
When that happens, it really sucks. You put a lot faith in this person to work on your website, and from the beginning it's clear that they didn't even read the instructions clearly! Avoid getting into this situation.
You could also request a Skype interview if it's a really big or important project. This can show you who really wants the job, and who's going to commit to being available when you need them. However, I find it's unnecessary to go this far with smaller jobs.
Start With Small Projects
As mentioned above, I always start with small projects for myself and for contractors.
For me, it means I can first see if outsourcing this work is actually valuable to me. You could find out that it doesn't really save you that much time to have someone else do it, or that you just aren't getting the results you thought.
For them, it means you can see if they can actually do what you want them to do, in the timeframe it needs to get done. It's a real bummer to start a month long project but realize in the first week that the person isn't doing a good job and you have to correct them every step of the way.
If a contractor does great work in the test period, then I just create a new job and send them a private invite.
Check In Points
Even with a contractor you know and trust, it's important to have checkpoints for longer projects. They might have misunderstood some instructions, or you might have forgot to tell them something important. Rather than catch it after the project is completed, which means you have to now pay them to fix the mistake, you can catch the error early.
I always show an example of what I want done in the beginning. Then I have them do one part, and I check it. Then I let them work for one day, then check again. Then one week, and check again. This exact formula might not work for all types of outsourcing, but principle is the same.
For example, you could have them write a 200 word article, then a 500 word article, then a 1000 word article, then a 1000 word article every week based on keywords you send them.