Along the way to becoming a successful internet marketer, there comes a point where you can’t do everything yourself. You just have to many sites to run and too much content to produce that it becomes too overwhelming for you to handle things alone. That’s when you can leverage the power of outsourcing and this is where a service like oDesk comes in.
In this oDesk review, I will show you how you can use the site to hire good contractors and how it will help you start scaling up your business.
To get started with oDesk, you first need to signup for a free account. Both posting jobs as an employer and getting hired as a freelancer is free on oDesk. The way they make money is to take an extra 10% from every payment.
So if you have a job in mind already, you can write up a short job description and post your job on the site. Or you can search for specific providers and contact freelancers that way. Either way, it’s quite simple to find candidates for your job.
Since oDesk is such a popular site, you won’t have any problems finding a number of candidates. Especially now that they have merged with Elance. Combined, they have more than 8 million freelancers from 180 countries which is an enormous talent pool to pick through.
Just recently, I posted a programming job for a WordPress plugin I was developing and I got over 20 proposals in the first hour. And for some writing jobs, I can get even more candidates than that.
You can look over the proposals and “interview” candidates that look like a potential match. This is super important, and it makes a huge difference in finding a great candidate or a bad candidate. The interview allows the candidates to make sure they understand your job requirements and you can get a feel of what it’s like to deal with the candidate.
I usually like to conduct interviews over Skype since pretty much everyone uses it. Here are some questions I like to ask in my interviews:
- How many other assignments are you currently working on?
- What hours do you usually work?
- Are you able to work full time on my project until you complete it?
- Do you have any problems understanding my job description?
Also, make sure you validate the skills they have listed in their profile and ask for samples of their work so you can get a feel of what kind of work they produce.
For more involved jobs like programming jobs, I often like to ask the candidate if they’re willing to do a small milestone first for a smaller payment. This lets you get your feet wet with your chosen developer without committing a lot of time and money to him if he doesn’t happen to work out.
You can choose to hire workers on oDesk at an hourly or fixed-price. One of the unique benefits of oDesk is that you don’t have to “trust” your freelancers to bill you the correct number of hours. The way they handle this, is that providers have to use a special program which will take screenshots of them working (6 per hour).
If they claim to be working during a certain period of time, but they’re not, then you don’t have to pay them. This is a really nice feature that’s good for both parties involved. Your freelance workers are guaranteed their payment if they do the work they say they are doing. And you’re protected as well if they aren’t.
Once the job is completely, both you and your worker leave each other feedback ratings. Like other sites of this type, it’s important to maintain a high feedback rating so freelancers will be willing to apply for your jobs.
I’ve been using oDesk for a few years now and it’s been my go to freelance site for finding work to be done. I’ve found contractors to help me with all sorts of tasks but I mainly hire Odesk workers for programming jobs.
I’ve had some really good luck hiring some decent develoeprs for reasonable rates on Odesk. And some of them, I’ve established relationships with and re-hired for several jobs.
Although, it takes some time to find capable workers, once you do, the time saved is well worth it.
Outsourcing really is the only way to go if you want to scale up your business beyond a one man operation, so I suggest you give oDesk a shot.