I rarely outsource however when I need something done that is very simple such as link building or data entry I’ll  hire someone overseas off of sites like Elance.com, Freelancer.com or Upwork.com. While outsourcing sounds like a great way to save time and money if often times proves to be the opposite. Unless you have an established roster of freelancers who you regularly depend on, hiring new freelancers is a task on its own.

The majority of freelancers that are on outsourcing websites are  from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and few from countries such as the Philippines, Ukraine and Russia. Based on my experience Indian freelancers have been notorious for a tactic called the “Bait & Switch” where freelancers will typically accept a job and then try and change the terms and cost after it has been accepted.

Only yesterday I had a freelancer agree to my terms then accept a job I had posted for $10. Only minutes later they asked to switch the project to hourly (never do this!) or pay $980 for the entire task. Truthfully if I was ever to pay that amount of money for a task I would hire someone locally such as a student but would NEVER pay that amount of money for an overseas freelancer.

If you are subject to the “bait & switch” it’s important to report that freelancer and contract ID to support so they can ban the user and resolve the issue. However this tactic is very common and can be quite annoying since you can potentially be wasting time speaking with a freelancer, go into great detail about the project and then have them change the cost of the project on you the last minute. After you’ve invested all that time speaking with them you almost feel obliged to hire them based on their increase rather than go through the process of interviewing and hiring someone else.

I recommend before hiring a freelancer make sure to create a full job description that outlines the task in great detail rather than explaining it to them over Skype. Once I get a list of applicants I just send them the detailed instructions to limit any questions. I let them know that the cost is non-negotiable. This alone should help limit the number of scammers.

Building a roster of go-to freelancers has always been something I’ve tried to achieve over the years but this is realistically likely to never happen. Although the bait and switch is a common scam, there are plenty more reasons why I don’t hire offshore talent often but here are three big ones:

Communication – The majority of freelancers have a basic understanding of the English language. It can sometimes be a challenge to explain the most menial tasks such as data entry or link building. Having to explain something complex as web or app development sounds like a nightmare and most likely going to fail.

Time Difference – Being on the opposite side of the world means that they are on completely different schedules. You have to be up at the wee hours of the morning to communicate with them.

Lack of Quality – Having outsourced for a number of different tasks in web development, graphic design, SEO and social media marketing I’ve found that there is a huge drop off from hiring local talent. When it comes to web development you have to understand that whatever issues you may have after the contract has ended will mostly likely not get fixed unless you pay them more money and that’s IF you can get a hold of them. They take no responsibility for their mistakes.

If you’res someone who doesn’t have a technical background in what you’re hiring for then I highly suggest you stay away from outsourcing and hire local freelancers. You will most likely run the risk of being overcharged or receive poor quality work without knowing it. Almost all freelancers I’ve found on Odesk still practice black hat SEO. You might think you’re paying them to help your online presence but in reality they are doing more damage and since they are overseas they will take no responsibility afterwards.

Outsourcing is something I rarely ever do  unless it’s a really menial task that I have lots of time to do such as data entry. In the event the freelancer doesn’t meet the requirements or goes passed the due date then I’ll just do it myself. If you’re looking to hire a quality web development company that operates at the highest standards or avoid the hassles and scams associated with outsourcing Contact NexToronto Web Development & Internet Marketing today!

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