Pleasant experience with overseas hire

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FRx
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:29 pm
Location: Portland Or

Pleasant experience with overseas hire

Post by FRx » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:05 am

I don't remember how I came across this but I followed the usual breadcrumbs to get to onlinejobs.ph. It's a website where Filipino workers are hired for virtual work. That's the best I can describe it. Seems that the shtick is that they charge less per hour and can therefore offer comparable work for far less money.
I've contracted work out on Fiverr before and the old odesk or upwork - whichever is which. The experiences weren't that good but that could have been my lack of experience.
I've now had work done by 2 different people in the same month on OJ and I am very impressed. The first was to fix a database issue on my website which cost me $20 - or 4 hours of work. It ended up being some optimization and some caching issues.
The next was a tutorial video I created which I just needed cleaned up and sexified. Hired another person who used a time tracker and it came out to 15 hours or $70. Done within 5 days and spectacular work (by my standards).

I should mention that the site has a monthly subscription which is $99 and the vetting process with their background check is pretty confusing. I reached out to their customer support and I suppose they were a little helpful.

You can also hire people full-time or part-time. Like this woman I'm considering hiring would cost me $350/month at 20 hours a week. She would do some social media work and some graphic design etc.

Thoughts on outsourcing work to another country?

Fish
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: Pleasant experience with overseas hire

Post by Fish » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:15 pm

I outsourced 500-600 hours of content development for a couple website projects on odesk/upwork. There are tutorials on how to do this, I followed them to the letter and quickly got the hang of things. It was very affordable so I hired every applicant as a learning experience. Over about 15 freelancers(*), I confirmed my intuition for identifying the good performers (with the caveat that I was already filtering for lower cost). From this small sample I had 1 star performer, 3 very good ones, and most everyone else performed per my expectations. Not one tried to shortcut or cheat me.

(*)Off the top of my head, I had freelancers from Eastern Europe, Middle East, China, Philippines, Malaysia, and one US citizen who was living abroad. No language difficulties, though I tried to stick to plain and simple language (minimizing use of idioms) to prevent miscommunication.

I had zero bad experiences, though there were a couple times where someone accepted a contract without carefully reading my requirements, in these cases we mutually agreed to close contract without hard feelings on either side. Some missed their deadlines slightly, I didn’t hold it against them. I thought I did a good job at project management by setting very clear expectations, checking in regularly with my freelancers, promptly responding to emails, and most importantly(?) sending payment ASAP after the deliverable was received and validated. Some of these skills helped me professionally although I prefer to work in more of a technical capacity.

Anyway, overall a good experience and I would recommend it. Every time I have a daunting personal task I still consider outsourcing it.

Add: It could be coincidence, but I only had one freelancer from the Philippines and it was the star performer. Also, I estimate a 10:1 ratio overall in freelancer working time vs. my time spent on overhead and project management (learning how to use the platform, writing work descriptions and contracts, screening applicants, reviewing work and providing feedback/payment). I can’t know for sure because I paid by the project and not the hour.

To save money (make effective use of lower-cost freelancers) I put quite a bit of thought into decomposing tasks and being very specific about what was needed. This was a crucial factor in having a positive experience with overseas freelancers.

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