Outsourcing has become the norm for small to medium and large enterprises these days, and how could it not be? It is a smart move for companies looking to save or cut costs and still get what they need done, when they need it.
Among the most highly outsourced jobs today is web design and development. It has become too costly for companies to have their own in-house web developers, especially if they just need them for seasonal projects. This is why outsourcing to a web design company or individual contractor has become the more logical and practical option.
But while hiring outsourced talents appear to be the better option, especially for small and upcoming companies, there are downsides to it that can also be detrimental for business. This includes not getting the expected outcome, abandoned work, and so on. So how can you hire an outsourced web designer and be well satisfied with it all the way through? Here are some helpful tips that you can do.
- Come up with a specialized screening process - Whether you're outsourcing to a company or directly to a remote contractor, it would help to come up with a special screening process to easily filter out those that are unqualified for the job. Example of which is by providing specific instructions to follow upon their submission of their application and if not met, would automatically be not considered for the job.
- Ask for samples of previous work and references - In hiring remote "creatives" (e.g. writers, designers, etc), it's necessary to request for a couple of the sample work they've done, whether it's from their portfolio or work that they did for previous clients. It would also help to get references, whom you can contact regarding the work done by the remote contractor. Not only will you get an idea of their work ethic, but you'll also be able to verify if they're a suitable candidate for the job you need to get done.
- Prepare list of questions - Don't just rely on spontaneous conversation when doing the formal interview. Live video chat is preferable (e.g via Skype or Google Hangouts) and you'll need to have a fixed set of questions to ask and go through with the candidate. You can then compare answers among candidates to see who's the best person for the job.
- Observe communication throughout hiring process - Are they very responsive or does it take some time before you hear back from them? How respectful are they when discussing the details of the job? The hiring process would normally take at least more than a week and that's enough time for you to assess how well they communicate. Communication is key in managing a remote employee and if there are certain red flags just from the hiring phase, then it may be a sign to simply move on to the next candidate.
- Read between the lines before committing - You and your outsourced employee should agree on a contract that specifies your terms and conditions for the employment. As with any other agreement, due diligence is important before signing and committing to a binding contract.
Hiring an outsourced employee always has its risks but do it the right and careful way, and you'll certainly reap the benefits of having the work you need at a more cost-efficient level and be completely happy with the results. Of course, it's also one thing to hire and it's also another thing to nurture the working relationship you have with your outsourced employee. At that point, it's also dependent on you, as a business owner and superior, to be able to effectively manage and guide your outsourced employee as you would with your in-house employees.