If you’ve ever wondered how to outsource offshore you’ve come to the right place, this is something we do in order to pass efficiencies onto our client where a task fits certain criteria.
We’ve learnt a lot along the way in how to minimise risk when we go offshore for skills and the purpose of this post is to share the tips we’ve picked up.
Before you outsource offshore you need to:
- Have a detailed procedure outlining what the objectives are of your task and clear instructions on how to do it. This saves a lot of time going back and forward with edits. We use a project brief template which clearly outlines everything they need to know to complete the task successfully.
- Use LastPass or a similar password tool so you can share access as needed in a secure fashion (one of LastPass’s features is the ability to share logins without the recipient seeing what they are).
How to outsource to an offshore contractor:
- In your job posting, insert a specific instruction towards the end of the post. For example: please respond with the heading “I’ve read your posting carefully”. Another example would be to ask for two examples of related work. In either case if your instruction hasn’t been followed to the letter, disregard the proposal. If they can’t read your job posting thoroughly, they’re not going to read your instructions! Following this point will unqualify 95% of the proposals you receive.
- With your shortlist of possible contractors, carefully read through their reviews. Check that reviews are unique (not multiple reviews posted by the same person) and relevant to the task you’re outsourcing.
- We’ll always go back to the top 3 contractors with a specific message asking for more detail. More than the detail provided we use this communication to test how they communicate with us.
- Read the fine-print and terms very carefully. I was caught out on one task where the contractor had stipulated milestones which they then pushed out due to edits. I had to pay a penalty for the missed milestones.
- Don’t make a decision based on price alone. When you go with the cheapest you often get what you pay for (or face hidden costs) and by the same token the most expensive is not always the best option.
- For bigger projects or tasks, set milestones asking for examples of what they’ve done to date throughout the length of the project. It’s better to check often and redirect when needed than to receive a finished task that’s not what you wanted! By the same token if you’re targeting someone for ongoing work give them a one-off task so you can test them before committing.
We use a scorecard to help us choose the right offshore contractor for the task which you’re welcome to use: Offshore Contractor Scorecard
Using the scorecard helps us to minimise risk on our client’s behalf and in keeping these scorecards in our CRM, we have a resource of tested skills our internal team have access to.
Where to find your offshore contractor?
We use a number of resources, depending on the task itself. They include:
- Expertise found in niche Facebook or LinkedIn groups
- Online forums
Points to remember when outsourcing offshore:
We project manage offshore contractors in order to get the best outcomes for our clients. Managed well, offshore contracting is an opportunity to find skillsets you don’t otherwise have and a way to make cost efficiencies in your business.
Pay careful attention to quality control, every step of the way.
Spend extra time preparing your project brief. Time spent on making your instructions clear and easy to follow is time well spent.
That’s it! Good luck with your outsourcing, done well it’s a way to make great gains in your business following the principal of having expertise on hand for the task on hand. The right contractor will perform the task quicker, better and cheaper than you can do it yourself because let’s be honest, there’s better uses of your time in your own area of genius!
For more tips on how to get the most out of outsourcing, download our free client guide “Outsourcing Made Easy”