Outsourcing to oDesk

About three months ago I was directed to a service called oDesk by my friend but I have to admit that I paid little attention to it for the simple reason that it looked pretty much like all the other outsourcing systems (Elance, Rent a Coder, etc).

Well last week I finally gave it a shot and tested it out and I have to admit I am impressed.

Now the results are still in the early stages, but this is what I did.

Step1: I created a list of jobs that I feel the average person could complete in 8 hours. I put the list into a detailed step by step process for the person to be able to follow along with.

Step 2: I created a detailed job description that mentioned what I was looking for but at the same time I did not go into specifics. I have found through past experiences that if you get too detailed then it intimidates some people from applying.

Step 3:
I waited 24 hours and then started to filter through the applicants. As I came across potential candidates I requested interviews. The interviews can be done via chat, phone or email and the interview was simply to ensure that they could dedicate the time to the job that I required and to also get more samples of work that they may have done (if there was any).

If I was happy with the interview I then sent them an offer of a trial job. What this means is they would be hired and given the initial job but this would be a test that would be used in deciding on the best candidates. I made it very clear that they were competing against others.

The cool thing about oDesk is that you do not have to agree on a price for the entire project… you can choose to pay per hour and then you only pay for the time they are logged into the system. It takes screenshots and shows you exactly what they are doing, so you can see if they are being honest or not.

Step 4: I have now given the tasks to four people and have received three of the four back. The fourth person has until tomorrow morning and I will then cross check the cost per hour, quality and time to come up with my best candidate.

$/hour + Quality + Time to Complete Task

By using this formula I am able to ensure I get the best ROI. The winner may not be the cheapest or fastest but instead they will be the person that has the best balance of all three.

The other cool thing is I am able to keep the project open to new applicants while I am interviewing. This way I can continue testing new people and if I am not satisfied with any of the current four, then I have more to choose from.

Next week I will update you with who I selected, how we arranged to move forward with scheduling hours and what the results are so far.

So far I am loving oDesk… but it is too early to be certain. Click Here to check it out for yourself!