After several years experience with outsource workers from a wide variety of places, including the US, India, and the Philippines; I have come to recognize some of the traits that would indicate outsourcing might not be the best option for you.
Here are my top ten:
- You expect to be able to outsource to a manager to handle all the details of your business. This is the dream espoused in dozens of blogs and bestselling books, but the reality is that only you care enough about your business to take proper care of your business.
- You cannot control your own time. If you are habitually late for work, miss deadlines, or cannot control your YouTube addiction; you will not be a good candidate to manage the time of your remote workers.
- You would find it hard to write, “The article you submitted was plagiarized, and we will not be using your services in the future.” The last thing you need is a DMCA takedown notice against your website. If you are willing to pay for badly copied work, you will find plenty of workers around the world to take your money.
- You tend to accept the first applicant that walks through your virtual door. The fact is, you should have a set procedure for advertising for candidates, keeping track of applicants, reviewing resumes and job samples, and filtering down to your most qualified candidates. Then you should interview (with a script of questions in hand) to find the single best applicant.
- You enjoy teaching. The fact is, once the job is described to the worker (who should have already been vetted by you), all you want to hear from them is a progress report. If you find yourself spending a lot of time explaining how to use FileZilla or correcting grammar in your ghostwritten articles, you don’t have a qualified worker; you have a student that you are paying.
- In line with number three, if you would have a hard time writing, “This is your notice of termination. I haven’t heard from you in two weeks. You will be paid up until the last day worked.” If you cannot terminate an unreliable worker, you will find your virtual office filled with that type of worker.
- You would hire a desperate worker over a more qualified worker. It’s easy to think that a desperate worker would work harder and be more loyal to their employer. But that is almost never the case. That worker is desperate for a reason; they got fired or couldn’t perform at a previous job.
- You can’t calculate your ROI (Return on Investment) for your outsourced workforce. At the end of the quarter, did the worker help you bring in more than they cost? If the answer is no, what is your plan for changing that?
- You think it is sufficient to have only one method of paying your workers and they can handle any delays. As we learned when XOOM recently changed their transfer policies, it is foolish to rely on only one way to pay your workers.
- You expect the worker to tell you how much to pay them, without doing any research yourself on the prevailing wage in the country where your worker resides. While a superstar performer is generally worth a higher salary, a great number of dwarf stars are also asking for the same high salary. On the other hand, a worker who asks for a salary that too low to be true is probably not worth even that amount.