Outsource, Outsource, Outsource .. that’s all I’m hearing these days. Ok .. I agree with the concept, I have more work needed than I have time for. But it comes down to – where can I find good, preferably cheap, workers that can do the job I need in a timely manner.
I’ve been through John Reese’s Outsource Force and I’m currently a member in John Jonas’s Replace Myself Program .. so I know the Philippines the really the only place to find these type of users.
Now maybe this is a personal fault of mine, but I don’t like to follow exact directions. John recommends to stay away from oDesk and only use his site to find great workers. John on the other hand feels that oDesk is the one contractor site that’s ok to work with.
So I decided that before I go the full time route, that I would go to oDesk and try and find a good candidate with a combination of temp tasks and test tasks. My results have not been encouraging and in fact I’m no longer going to use oDesk to find workers.
My first task was for a Data Entry worker that I needed for an ecommerce site of mine. The first person I hired was too good to be true, they offered to do it for a $1 because the needed the feedback. I figured, well even if they suck, I’m only out the time and a $1. Well I didn’t even get that worth out of it. The person I “hired” took the job and then I never heard from them again. After a week I gave up and fired them. Strike 1…
I hired the next person in line for the job (I actually qualified the candidates with a short test entry). While the person was gung ho from the beginning, it quickly faded. First their Internet connection was “out” for a couple days (although for some reason it was ok to reply to my emails – hrmm…) and then they simply could get the work done on schedule and asked for delay after delay. oDesk has a “work diary” feature that allows you as an employer to see what your workers are doing. It seemed to me that my “worker” was more interested in chatting on Skype than working on my data. After a month of waiting I fired this worker after getting 17% of the entries done (and paying them 25% of the project money). Strike 2 …
At the same time, I had another project for long term link builder for some ecomm properties of mine. After going through a large number of candidates and running through test tasks .. I never felt comfortable with any of them. They just came off cocky to me, and very inflexible. I actually offered 1 guy a full time well paying gig outside of oDesk (as oDesk takes a cut of their money) and he flat out said no thanks .. ok whatever.
My concluding thoughts are this is the problem with dealing with “free agent contractors” vs “employees”.. So the next time I’ll hire somebody it will be the John Jonas way and hire a real employee and not a contractor.
I am interested to see what Dan & Leslie will be suggesting in their Link Liberation program when it comes up. I’m pretty sure they will be recommending mTurk, which I actually used to use a lot awhile ago and had pretty good success with it. My issue with it was that it is really only for small tasks.
Has anyone had any success with oDesk?