Many business owners are stuck working 80 hour weeks. This cuts down on time spent with ones significant other, with one’s family, and eventually work consumes every waking hour. Yet in this day and age, technology has allowed business owners to take control of their over worked lives while doing so for pennies on the dollar.
Outsourcing work to other countries may seem like a risky proposition, but it actually is much easier (and safer) than one would imagine. Here are 3 vital rules to follow when outsourcing work.
Which country to outsource the work to?
When thinking of cheap labor, many people immediately think of India. The problem with India, is while the hourly pay is low, the quality of work varies quite a bit. You may luck out and snag a great employee off the bat, but most of our experiences when outsourcing work to India have been negative ones.
Where we personally have had the most success in outsourcing work is to the Philippines. The main reason for this is because the Filipino people are extremely loyal to their employers, and work incredibly hard. Their grasp of English is significantly better than freelancers from India, which makes the communication barrier almost non-existent.
Lastly, these workers are looking for jobs to work 40 to 60 hours a week. I personally have seen great employees working for $1.10 an hour, costing an employer $50 for a 40 hours of work. You could pay 7 of these employees what it would cost to pay a single American worker at minimum wage. Yet instead of getting only 40 hours of work from that single American employee, you can get 280 hours of work from 7 employees.
The most important attribute
Without a doubt, the number one thing you should be looking for in your new employee is their grasp of the English language. This is why I have always had better experiences with Filipino workers to the Indian workers I have hired. English is actually taught in all of the school in the Philippines, with their Universities teaching majority of the subjects in English as well.
If you outsource work to an employee who does not understand English well, I promise you there will be multiple times a week when work is done incorrectly, due to the language barrier. With an employee, ensuring they understand the task they are asked to complete is vital.
Do not take writing samples as a way to screen English skills. When someone is turning in a sample, they may have had someone else write it for them. My solution for this, is to get them on a video conferencing call. There are many new video conferencing software solutions on the market today, and something as simple as Skype will also do the trick. Get them online, look at them face to face, and conduct a normal interview as if you were hiring an American employee.
Never, and I mean NEVER, pay before the work is completed. A standard agreement should be that payment is done through Paypal (or another online processor) on a set day every week. If you are doing hourly pay, this is the best option. When dealing with projects that are a fixed rate, never pay the full amount upfront unless you have worked with this freelancer multiple times.
Payments made 20% at a time seem to keep both the employer and freelancer happy for one time projects. Always use a secure method for payment; I personally never use anything other than Paypal. Always protect yourself from getting ripped off, yet at the same time, make sure you are a responsible employer and pay your employees on time.
A good way to track your employees work habits is to make all employees download a time tracking software. This allows you to ensure you are getting the maximum productivity out of your employees. While there are quite a few different time tracking software’s to choose from, TimeDoctor has always been a favorite of mine.
Time Doctor takes screenshots of your employees screen randomly throughout the hour, and tracks the open tabs that is on the screen. This way if your employee is checking out Facebook for 30 minutes an hour, you are notified of it immediately.
Following these three steps will help you outsource your work; freeing up time and saving your business money. Take back the hours of your day!
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