Looking to Outsource? Here’s How to Find Great Freelancers

Everybody’s an expert in something, but no one’s an expert in everything. This is why outsourcing has growing into a billion dollar industry; it lets you focus on your expertise while enabling you to tap into others expertise. Small businesses rarely do large scale outsourcing, most of the time they are looking to outsource the odd job to the freelancer. But finding good freelancers can be a hectic process, and below are some ways to ease the process.

How Color of the Red Rose Can Save You Time

A great way to find freelancers is by posting your job at freelancing sites. Freelancing sites usually have a mechanism to allow you to filter out people based on various factors. But if you limit your job to highly rated freelancers you might find yourself with a hefty freelancing bill.

The problem with removing the rating filter is you get offers from idiots who bid on every possible job available on their dashboard. These guys don’t read the job description or checkout the requirements. They bid more in hope than anything else. But dealing with them wastes your precious time.

When outsourcing any job we include something like “reply with the color of red rose as the first word”, usually at the end of the job description. This usually enables us to find the freelancers really interested in our job offer and filter out the reckless bidders.

The First Mail Reveals a Lot

The first mail from your freelancer reveals a lot about the person. If you’re frequently outsourcing you quickly learn to notice these little details in the mail. For example if you’re outsourcing article writing, proper spelling and grammar in the first mail is a good start. As a Visio alternative we ask our outsourcers to use our software to draw technical and business diagrams. If the first mail has something like “I used your software to draw some diagrams and I have some questions…” then naturally we give more prominence to him.

A Quick Skype Call to Clear Doubts

We usually use this option for time consuming jobs like changes in the website, specific software component development etc. Although the first mail reveals a lot, you can learn even more on a video call. Video calls offer many advantages. Because the freelancer has to answer any question immediately we can quickly get an idea about his knowledge or lack of it. We can see whether he is enthusiastic and willing to go the extra mile for you. This might take some time but it will help you find the right candidate for your job. A video call is highly recommended if you’re outsourcing a large project. Nothing beats a face to face meeting, but a video call is the next best thing.

Feel Safe with Outsourcing Companies

In most freelancing sites there are freelancing companies who are willing to handle your work. Because there are many people ready to handle your job you’re almost guaranteed a timely delivery. With individual freelancers there could be delays because they have to handle everything. Also there are many part time freelancers who could pack up and leave anytime. This is why it is always a good idea to outsource time consuming tasks to freelancing companies.

Agree Milestones and Deliverables

For time consuming tasks like web design and software projects it is important to create milestones and deliverables. This way you can easily monitor the progress of your project and gives you a way out midway through the job if you’re not satisfied with it. A good freelancer is comfortable with this method and agrees on reasonable deliverables and time-frames.

Mentioned above are some the things we did to make our outsourcing tasks easier and productive. Hopefully you will find them useful as well.

Nishadha Silva is an online strategies working for Creately, a web based diagram software to draw mind maps, flowcharts, business process diagrams and much more.

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