Learn about a great, new source for finding affordable marketing experts for your business.

medium sized business people resized 600Where can a small to medium sized business go to find highly skilled marketing (and other areas of) help?…

… While avoiding the hassles that often come with finding the right person…

… or firing the wrong person

To read my earlier article about the hiring hassles you would love to avoid, follow the link.

New Places To Find Skilled Workers

There are several hiring sites that feature tens of thousands of candidates who offer their services as outsourced independent contractors (domestic and international).

These sites include oDesk, Elance, Scriptlance, and others.  Note: I have no affiliation or compensation with any of these organizations or other organizations like them.

I am most favorable toward oDesk.  I base my opinion on using them (after using several of the other places) for the last year and a half and hiring dozens of U.S. and even international workers from there.

Advantages Of These Outsource Portals

1.  Reviews from past employers

One of the huge advantages of using a place like oDesk is that each candidate who has been hired previously through oDesk has reviews from their former employers.  If someone has done a poor job, it generally shows up in the reviews.

Reviews from past employers odesk resized 600

I don’t know about you but this information is priceless.

The site seems to be slanted in favor of employers… meaning if a contractor complains about a review, oDesk will publish it anyways.

I should know.  I have left a bad review on occasion (like the time someone decided not to continue working… but didn’t inform me.  They just quit).  The next employer needs to know that when evaluating that candidate.

I know I would.

If you hire an independent contractor, there may be places to find out how they have worked for others (which is worth its weight in gold).

2.  Control your costs

Another big advantage is you can hire someone for a very specific task.  That limits your expense.

No more hiring a part-time or full-time worker and then trying to find them stuff to do to justify hiring them.  Instead, you hire someone who is good at a certain thing, to do a certain thing… and that is it (unless you really do have other things for them to do).

I have hired very skilled writers, people who were experts with Microsoft Office, web design, and many other areas—for a specific project with a limited duration.

BEWARE!  Hidden Pitfalls Ahead

Hidden Pitfalls Ahead warning resized 600There are some things you need to know upfront.  You would rather know these sooner than later.

Instead of learning from your mistakes, you can learn from mine.

One of the problems of hiring an independent contractor is that they are likely juggling multiple projects for multiple employers.

That means that one day they are very responsive… but the next two days they won’t return your calls and emails.  Very aggravating.

The right candidate can reduce this issue.  But, I have found it to be pretty common, even for good contractors.

What About Hiring Someone Who Is Oversees?

Hiring Someone smoke ear resized 600One of the biggest questions I hear over and over again is “should I hire a cheaper worker from oversees instead of someone from my country?”

The answer is… it depends.  Read here for outsourcing problems from overseas workers to learn when it is ok, and when it isn’t.

Don’t make the same mistakes I have made!

How To Make This Work For You

If you think this option makes sense, at least to explore, go to the oDesk overview and learn more about how it works.

Then, you might try an experiment.

You might hire someone for a specific job, for a fixed price (don’t initially hire someone on an hourly rate).

Estimate how long it will take to do something, then come up with a budget on how much you are willing to spend.  Offer the job at that fixed price.  For example, $50 to set up a spreadsheet with certain data that you figure will take you about 10 hours to do.

You can also post a job with no amount and request bids.  Just make sure you are very specific on what you want done.

What To Do Next…

1.    If you found this article helpful, please pass it along via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email to others (especially business owners who might be looking to hire). I enjoy helping others learn better ways to navigate the business world.

2.    Please also leave a comment below if you found it helpful… or if you have more to add.