I have been in the Philippines for a year now and been outsourcing work for almost 10 years. For the last year I have run a small outsourcing company here and helped hundreds of clients better outsource parts of their business so I would like to think I know a little about how to outsource more efficiently and effectively.
So I thought I would put together this quick list to hopefully help others avoid the trappings often associated with outsourcing.
1. Research, Compare & Determine Your Budget
Check out what others are offering for similar positions. See what the going rate is in the particular city you are looking to hire. Remember salary ranges can vary based on city not just country. Cost at least 50% or more, to hire someone in Manila as compared to Davao City for example.
2. Make Sure You Understand The Process Yourself
No good outsourcing an element of your business if you yourself not only understand it, but have done. This is crucial … ignore this step at your own risk. How can you tell if someone is doing a great if you yourself have not determined what a great job looks like?
3. Search For The Best People
This is quite a general tip, and quite an obvious one, but too often people ignore the basics here. for example if I am looking for a wordpress developer, I want someone who is an absolute nerd when it comes to wordpress, a wordpress specialist if you will. Well I could find someone on elance or odesk or guru, or I could go to wordpress forums and post the job there or simply search for someone who is active and leaves great comments. These are the guys that are actively learning and you can easily tell if they know their shit.
4. Get Creative in Your Negotiating
Money is not always the biggest factor! Get thinking strategically — other ways in which you can entice outsourcers to work with you without emptying your pockets completely.
5. Be Realistic In Your Hire
Far too many times a potential client has come to me and said something like this… “I would like to hire someone to do my web development, design my graphics, create copy for the website and other marketing as well as do all my accounting” … come on! Really?
Let’s be real! Most people cannot do all that and those that can often have their own business If you are looking for a “jack of all trades” you are more than likely going to be disappointed.
6. Document Your Processes & Training
Crucial & obvious, yet seems to me the majority of people do not do this. It is vital that you document your processes, not only to save you time with training, but so that those you are training to better get to grips with exactly what you want and how you want it done.
This is a major pain in the arse to setup and requires a fair bit of time investment, but once it’s done it will save you a lot of time and pain in the future.
Be sure to continually refine your process so that there are no gaps in it, such as confusion or questions. Somebody should be able to walk off the street, study your process and do it exactly how you want it Don’t assume anything!
7. Well Defined & Measurable Objectives
What is your purpose for hiring them? What exactly would you like to see at the end? Again dont leave any questions unanswered.
8. Incentives & Penalties
Reward them for reaching milestones and penalize them for not reaching them Simply as that! Give them a reason to want to reach the companies goals. Now this does not always have to be money. It could be something simple … iTunes card, or restaurant voucher for two, etc.
9. Consistent Revision / Meetings
A regular catch up is crucial to keeping them on track and accountable. We have implemented a weekly Skype call with our staff to ensure they are getting the job done. They know that every week at the same time they will have to get on Skype and tell us exactly what they have done this week.
10. Understanding Cultural Differences
Very important when dealing with people from other countries. You must learn how they think and why they think the way they do, trust me this will make your life a lot easier. Does not matter whether they come from Philippines, India, China or anywhere else, there will be differences and the sooner you come to grips with them the easier your life as a manager will be.
Perhaps sitting down and simply asking questions, or simply organising social events. The more time you spend with them and the more questions you ask, the better chance you have of understanding their general make up.
11. Don’t Go Off Price Alone
Price is never the only factor you need to consider. We once hired a local filipino here for 30,000 php because we thought simply offering a higher amount would attract the right person and bring us the results we require. How wrong we were. She was perhaps to this day our worst hire … the very best staff I have noticed are motivated by many things outside of monetary rewards.
12. Start Small
If you wish to outsource 50 articles to a writer, give them a small amount to complete first, So that you are able to check the quality and efficiency of the work, before commiting a large investment in them. You could even do this with multiple people so you can access who does the job the best.
Outsourcing is becoming a crucial part of doing business, especially online. If you want to out play your competitors it is vital you get this right. Why? Because if you have a proven process and can master managing your outsourcing efforts, you can as my buddy Justin would say “You can then scale the shit out of it”
Do you have anything you think we could add to this? Do you agree with my tips? Was this helpful? Let me know
PS Im fast becoming a Virtual Assistant Recruitment Ninja, so if you would like me to take care of the recruitment stage of your outsourcing check out Remote Staff Recruitand I’ll do the hardwork for you.
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PPPS Shoutout of the week. Quick shout out to the guys at The Elevator Life … I like their approach, great blog, great videos, smart, young dudes, doing some cool shit in China. Check em out