Tips on Hiring an Outsourcer

Businesspeople can maximise their output by hiring cost-effective external service providers to help them turn over more work. These opportunities exist on online marketplaces such as Elance, where businesses and entrepreneurs can outsource a huge variety of contracts. There are a few tips to follow if you are hiring such help for the first time.

Where to advertise

Decide on the best place to advertise for external service providers by researching various methods and getting a feel for what is available.

Clear brief

When advertising a contract, be clear about exactly what the project involves and the deadline. This way, you will avoid time wasters and receive applications from service providers who understand the information needed and the duration they have to complete it, thus allowing them to quote realistic costs to you. Discard anybody who does not apply according to your brief.


Read each application and shortlist as you would with any job vacancy. Don’t be afraid to follow-up applications by asking questions or requesting an example of their previous work. Look for as specific an experience fit as possible – you want the best person for your job. Ensure that the applicant has followed the brief provided and can provide references and/or samples of their work. It can be tempting to choose somebody based purely on price, but experience and a good proposal is key.


There are a number of work legal templates available on the Internet and it can be wise to get a simple one drawn up to be signed/agreed. Ensure that you negotiate ownership of the work in advance and if necessary, include this in the agreement proposal. Be clear how the work will be used and who owns the copyright. When hiring through a website, there are often exchanges made via email and it is wise to save copies of all of these in case any problems occur at a later date. Always ask the person you hire to respect confidentiality and discretion.


Hire a client on a test basis at first, rather than committing to a long-term project. The best plan is to start small and evaluate success or problems along the way, before hiring for a longer period of time.


Paypal is the safest and easiest way to work payment. Make sure that you agree payment in advance and have a copy of such agreements and tie payment to clearly defined project milestones. If you are advertising a large or ongoing project, you may work with weekly invoices or if it is a shorter contract, a payment in a lump sum could be made at the end.

The key to hiring the best outsourcer is to be clear and honest about your expectations and define good work ethics from the start. Ensure that your communication is clear and polite and allow time with your deadline for any problems or questions which might arise. Outsourcing work can have major advantages over hiring full-time staff and is simple enough to do.