Here’s my short list of outsourcing hiring advice:

  • Stay away from the young ones...hire 26 and above. I know, I know, it doesn’t seem fair…but, you must treat this hiring process as a business and not a personal endeavor. Remember what you were like at 20?
    Don’t expect anymore from a young outsourced worker.
    And besides…they are still restless at that age…just not as settled into home life yet…the kind that gives stability and security.
  • Test everyone. I don’t care if it’s your outsourced workers mother….they must be tested to see if they fit your needs.
    Don’t take anyone’s previous work for granted.
    The only way to tell if they are a good fit for your business NOW is for you to give them a task related to your business…one that they will be hired for…and test their ability to see if they are a fit for your business needs.
    It’s all well and good to check someone’s past work…and that can clue you in a bit to their skill levels…but it really does not prove anything in regards to the tasks you are hiring them for.
  • Never give advances in pay. At least not the first year you’ve worked with someone. We’re all human…and there is a tendency to want to treat your outsourcer like a distant relative.
    Remember this is a business and must be treated like a business and handing out money before it is due…is simply not smart business.  After you have been with your outsourced/freelancer for a year or more you could make a judgment call of your own on these issues.
  • Don’t ignore the alarms. Should there be something…anything at all that “bothers” you or sets off an alarm in your head about your outsourced worker,  don’t ignore it.
    You must pay attention to these “signs” they could possibly save you from a terrible error in the future.
    Take my own example where I lost over $100 by not paying attention to “signs.” Being the good guy doesn’t count here. Rather, be a smart business person instead 😉
  • First month must be a trial. It would not be smart to agree to a long term contract with an outsourcer or freelancer if this is the first time you have worked with them. By giving them a “trial” month you can observe their work, attitude and other indicators of whether they are a good fit for you.
    Most likely their weaknesses…if there are any…will show up in this timeframe and you can decide whether you feel you can train them out of their weaknesses or you need to move on to a better fit for your business.
  • Be patient! Rarely will you find the perfect person the first time around…or even the second time.
    You must be patient and clear off the dross before the sparkle appears 😉
    Outsourcing is a skill…and, one you will get better and better at with time.
    My impatience cost me $100…a hard learned lesson…one you don’t want to copy 😉
  • Hire slow…fire fast. Don’t lolly dot around if you are aware that your freelancer is not working out.
    This will only cost you money and precious time.
    The minute you have figured out that your outsourcer is no longer a good fit…it’s time to cut the cord and let them go. I believe I garnered that advice from Jeff Mills of outsourcing fame. 😉
    It’s good advice.

Obviously there are other things that will require your attention in the hiring process as each situation is slightly different.

But, by abiding by the “short list” above you can make your outsourcing a more pleasant experience…and most of all…successful 😉

If you have anything to add to this short list…I’d love for you to put it in the comments so that everyone can benefit from your knowledge and experience 😉

Remember this quote:

“Treat your business like a business and it will produce like a business…treat it like a hobby and it will produce like a hobby”

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