Outsourcing – especially crowdsourcing – is hot today, and there’s no better chance to learn about the industry right from the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace. Adam Byrnes, International Director of Freelancer.com, shares his insight on crowdsourcing from project owners’ and freelancers’ standpoints in an exclusive Q&A with Noobpreneur.com. Enjoy!
Hi Adam – many thanks for the rare opportunity to have a little Q&A session with you. Here’s the questions I am sure Noobpreneur.com readers are eager to know…
Question (Q): What do you think of today’s transformation in the way we work and do business? Will “brick-and-mortar workplace” be irrelevant in the near future?
Answer (A): Technology, at the rate it’s progressing, is shifting business methods to a whole new level; we can expect it to take us as far as phasing out “brick-and-mortar workplaces” sometime in the future. As telecommunication continues to improve instant accessibility and real-time interactions in all locations, workmates can communicate and transfer data even if they are countries apart. These developments are popularizing outsourcing, telecommuting and other new and innovative business methods.
Q: Will project crowdsourcing really “kill” conventional way of hiring?
Crowdsourcing is constantly growing that’s why it gives an employer more options instead of always going for the conventional way of hiring, which can be risky and costly especially for SME’s. More and more employers are choosing crowdsourcing because global marketplaces like Freelancer.com make skilled freelancers easily accessible and they can produce quality work at a price that meets your budget.
The market will continue to expand – so far, 1 in 1000 people worldwide has a Freelancer.com account. We think that’s impressive, but our mission is to give a billion people all over the world a job and we are working our way there!
Q: When a project is posted on Freelancer.com, there will be plenty of offers (which is great!) pretty much offering the same thing. Any tips on how to choose the right freelancer?
1) Have a good plan and project brief.
You need to have a clear idea of what your project is and what needs to be done. This will lay the foundation to get the best out of your freelancer.
2) Get to know the freelancers.
Each freelancer has his or her own expertise and work habits. Choose your freelancer based on advertised skills, work experience, customer feedback, and not just based on their hourly rate or bidding price. Freelancer.com allows employers to review each freelancer’s qualifications and portfolios to make sure they choose the right person for the job.
3) Make a timeline.
Make sure that both you and the freelancer are aware of important milestones and deadlines. Make sure that your freelancer is capable of meeting them before agreeing to start working on the project.
4) Be upfront with payment details.
Never pay the freelancer directly – use Freelancer.com’s milestone system. This protects you and the freelancer. Freelancer.com lets businesses set up milestone payments (similar to how an escrow service works). That means money will only be released once the work has been successfully completed.
5) Collaboration and communication is key.
Even if you and your freelancer are time zones apart, working one on one with a freelancer lets you discuss ideas, utilise the Freelancer’s expertise and ensure that your business needs are met. We have a user-friendly instant chat system – use it!
Just because you are working with a freelancer over the internet all the normal ways you have done business in the past still apply!
Q: Any tips to share for first-time freelancer who want to make a living via Freelancer.com and/or project owner who want to get things done in cost and time efficient manner?
A: Always go above and beyond for the customer – they will reward you by hiring you again or telling their friends about you. Reputation and reviews are paramount in the freelance world – a single bad project can severely damage your freelance career. Finally, stay motivated. Freelancing isn’t an easy ride – it requires hard work and lots of it. When working for yourself and setting up a freelance operation there will almost certainly be setbacks but the rewards will come if you consistently meet deadlines, produce high quality work and really engage with your employers to build up a strong rapport.
For project owners, the 3 keys to a successful project are:
1) Don’t pick based entirely on price. Choose the right freelancer for the job by evaluating their reputation, feedback and portfolio.
2) Communication. Make sure you communicate regularly with your freelancer, and always use the Freelancer.com instant chat system.
3) Milestones. Using the Milestone System is essential, because its the only way we can assure you of protection if things go wrong.
For both freelancers and project owners the importance of open, strong communication cannot be stressed enough. Clearly explaining deadlines, budgets, skills and abilities means that both parties are on the same page when they begin working together and ensures the best outcomes are reached.
Q: Any Freelancer.com’s future plans and opportunities you would like to share with Noobpreneur.com readers?
A: At Freelancer.com we are constantly working with our users to innovate and provide new ways for both employers and freelancers to harness the power of global crowdsourcing.
With over seven billion people in the world and only just over two billion of those people online there is huge growth for global crowdsourcing on the horizon and Freelancer.com sees this as full of exciting opportunities. As these remaining freelancers start to gain access to the internet our plan is to find new ways to involve, educate and assist new freelancers to develop their individual skill sets and offerings. For employers we have just opened up our contest platform to include all of the project categories on Freelancer.com and not just focus on design. This revolutionary change continues to give employers flexibility and choice in the way they interact and employ freelancers online.
Many thanks for your time!