How to Staff Up and Grow Your Business Quickly and Affordably

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businessIf everything goes along as planned, there will come a time when you realize that you need more hands on deck to help your business grow. While it’s tempting to take the old school route and look for employees by placing ads in local newspapers, a better option is to take advantage of the connected age by hiring staff online. There is a virtual unlimited pool of talented people out there just waiting for the opportunity to work for you. Whether you need accounting help, someone to take orders or customer service personnel, there are scores of eligible people available on the many online work platforms in existence. You can choose to hire folks at one of the many different webmaster forums online or on the largest freelance job boards like Freelancer, Odesk and Elance. Regardless of which route you decide to take, it only  requires a few minutes of your time to register as a user and start looking for the type of talent you need. Here are some tips designed to help the process of hiring remote workers run smoothly.

Be Concise About What Skills You Need

When posting a job ad, it’s very important that you clearly state what skill set you are looking for. If you aren’t clear about what skills and qualifications you need, you’ll be wasting a whole lot of your time as you will receive responses from just about everyone on the platform you’re advertising on. For example, if you’re looking for someone to write your blog content, state specifically how many blog posts you need per week/month, the length, general topics and what you expect from the person you hire. If you are looking for someone with a background in a specific area, spell it out. You will also need to decide whether you will be paying the person an hourly rate or fixed rate. It should be noted that paying remote help a fixed rate is preferable as it’s very difficult to pay per hour as you have little or no control over how a remote worker uses his or her time.

Evaluate the Proposals Based on Merits

Once you start getting proposals in, you’ll need to evaluate them based on several factors. The first thing you’ll need to do is eliminate those proposals that look as though they were copied and pasted as those types of people tend to respond to any and all ads posted. Put your focus on the proposals which were written specifically for your project. The most serious applicants will clearly show you that they took the time to personalize their responses based on your project details. Expect some applicants to send you samples of their previous work. Of course, it makes sense to favor those applicants whose samples are the most closely related to the work you need done. You also should show preference to those people who seem enthusiastic about your project as these will be the ones most excited about the opportunity to work with you.

Choose Your Favorite Applicants

Now it’s time to create a short list of your favorite applicants. Once you do this, look at each person’s profile and feedback to get an idea of how they will carry out your work. Most of the   formal job boards have work histories, examples of past work and accredited skills sets for each freelancer so do check these things as they will provide you with good insight about each candidate. Now it’s time to contact the people you favor the most. Some job boards require that you stay within their systems and communicate via private message while other platforms (like most webmaster forums) allow you to communicate as you wish be it via Skype, email or telephone. When communicating with a candidate, record the communication (with their permission) so you have all the info about that person for future reference. If you cannot decide between one or two candidates, create a small test project you can use for evaluation purposes. This will give you a good idea of each person’s skills and work style. Do offer to pay for the samples as no one likes to work for free.

Pick the Top Candidate and Start Working

Now it’s time to choose the person you like the best. If your work is sensitive in nature, it’s a good idea to have the freelancer you choose sign a non-disclosure agreement before the work begins. This is the stage wherein you need to confirm all the work terms and costs before going ahead and officially rewarding the project. This is where you need to ask the person you chose if they have any questions about the work, payment method and terms of the agreement. Once this is done, go ahead and reward the project to your candidate of choice. It’s very important to keep an open channel of communication with the person who will be working for you remotely. How you do this is up to you be it email, video chats or via telephone.

Provide On-Going Feedback

When someone is working for you remotely, it’s important that you provide them with feedback regarding their work quality, timeliness and professionalism. A good working relationship is all about communication so don’t neglect to communicate with your remote staff as they are an important part of your team. Use honesty and let the person know what your opinion is about how they’re doing.