This is Charmaine from Charm Marketing and I’ve been doing some interviewing on oDesk today and also I have hired a candidate. So I have hired a Get Response Wiz email marketer which is fantastic, a new addition to the team. Now the number one question I get asked the most is how do I communicate with my contractors and how do I manage an outsourced team that’s overseas and generally in countries where English is not their first language? So, let’s go over a little bit about that communication.
Establish this within the interview process. Narrow down your applicants to three or four on oDesk, or Elance, and whatever platform you’re using and then ask them to get on Skype for a voice call. A lot of them will only like to type on Skype but you need to establish if they speak English proficiently or fluently. If they’ve written that on their application, they really need to be able to speak English because guess what? If they can’t speak English, they can’t understand your brief properly. Whether it’s verbal or written and when a contractor does not understand a brief or an employer does not write the brief properly, bang! Your problems are going to start straight away. You need to establish in the interview process that can they speak English. Ask them to get on Skype to have a voice call. The ones that don’t either don’t speak English or do not feel confident enough to.
Secondly, when I’ve narrowed down and I’ve got my two top candidates I then ask them, how do they like to communicate with their clients? Some will often say Skype or they prefer email or they prefer oDesk. I really don’t like contractors that say email because emails can take days to be responded to and they can get lost in the inbox and the last thing I want to do is brief something into a contractor, then he emails three days later. Trust me, the last thing any good contractor wants to do is email work to an employer to sign off on and it takes the employer three days, or five days, or seven days to get back to the contractor and then the employer is wondering, “How come my job hasn’t even finished?” Skype is much easier. Everybody has Skype on their phone, their mobile devices, their tablet devices or their computers. If I’m out with a client and I need to Skype something through, I’ll send it through to my contractors or I will say, “I’ll be on Skype in two hours. Let’s discuss this particular task.”
Now it’s just as important that I am also available. You do not brief a job in to a contractor, in Australia, overseas, down the road at your printer, or anywhere and expect that bang, they’re going to know your business and just magically deliver the whole job. There needs to be communication. There needs to be questions that are going to be answered, revisions to be made so you need to be available as an employer for your contractors just as much as you get frustrated when people don’t get back to you, it’s the same for them.
Also if my contractors Skype me, I endeavor within 30 minutes to respond either to answer their query or to make a time to answer it. So that gives them confidence to know, Charmaine is getting back to me at this particular time. I’m being professional and I’m following the practices that I’m asking them to follow. This is your best method of communication when you are outsourcing and you also have to remember that it’s your job as the employer to manage the job, manage the contractors and be there to communicate with them as well. That’s my big tip on communication and I will be sending you lots more tips on how to manage your outsourced team in the next videos.