Taking the decision to outsource may have been the easy part. Finding a suitable outsourcing partner to work with you may not be quite so easy. One of the main reasons is the plethora of outsourcing companies that have sprouted up, making it difficult to sift the chaff from the grain.
Then again, outsourcing itself can be divided into three broad categories – freelancing, fixed-cost project outsourcing and, finally, hiring a virtual employee. Which would work best for you? Is the work that you wish to outsource a short-term one or a long-term assignment? All these, and many other issues as well, need to be taken into consideration before actually hiring an outsourcing partner. Say, your project isn't a short-term one and you need someone to work with you on a long-term basis. So, a virtual employee would be the ideal choice. But, where would you find one?
We have tried to make this search easy for you by presenting a list of the top outsourcing sites that provide companies with exactly the kind of remote worker they are looking for.
- oDesk.com – oDesk started off by being one of the largest global marketplaces that provided freelancers but has now added remote staffing to its repertoire of services. A client sitting in the US or the UK can build their own team of professionals – all remotely – and still enjoy tracking the work progress and paying only for hours worked. oDesk is great for those who wish to hire contractors for work that is usually full-time and a long-term one. However, the flip side is that 'remote employee' still works from their home, under no supervision and even if the client does manage to create a virtual 'team' that team is still a scattered one because all members work from different locations. So, sometimes, collaboration might not always be easy.
- Elance.com – As the name itself suggests, Elance helps you find skilled freelancers to work for you. It is fairly easy to create job postings and reach out to a global talent pool of qualified freelancers in fields like software development, writing, finance, designing, administration and much more. It has also designed special time-tracking and status reporting tools that help you enjoy the visibility of your work in progress. Elance also makes it convenient to collaborate online and communicate in real-time with your freelancers.
- Peopleperhour.com – This is a great freelancing site that is based in the UK. It is perfect for those who are looking to hire freelancers who would work on their short-term projects for just a few hours a week. It does not offer long-running projects that call for dedicated time investment. However, the flip side is that there is virtually no employee control and long-running projects cannot be assigned here.
- VirtualEmployee.com – One of the leading outsourcing companies in India, VirtualEmployee.com, as the name suggests, provides full-time remote employees who work exclusively only for one client at a time. This employee is selected by the clients themselves, is fully accountable, under constant supervision and works out of the controlled office of the outsourcing service provider. The virtual employee is just like any other locally hired employee except for the fact that he or she is sitting halfway across the globe.
- Guru.com – Again, this is very useful site for those looking to outsource work to freelancers. Guru.com has hundreds of freelancers listed in its database and a company can start receiving bids within minutes of its job posting. The flexible and competitive nature of this 'workforce' enables a client to outsource work to the most cost-effective candidate. Tracking tools further aid in project progress visibility.
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