[alert]The aim of this guide is to show you how to learn from other experienced employers who use oDesk. They are regularly finding and employing good workers. You can follow their tracks.[/alert]
In this module, I will be discussing about how to look for experienced contractors through experienced outsourcers like me. Think of it as a hidden filter on oDesk.
On oDesk, outsourcers who have spent the most amount of money are the most experienced; over $50,000. This is the maximum amount that oDesk shows. The fact that these employers have invested a large amount of money means that they are able to successfully outsource employees and are able to find the best ones.
If you look into an experienced outsourcer’s job postings, you will see their hiring history and the contractors they have worked with. These contractors are usually skilled and professional freelancers, ones that you need.
Step 1: Search For Jobs, Not Contractors
This might seem counter-intuitive but when trying to find contractors, I search for jobs (not contractors) that are similar to what I need done.
For example, if I need someone to convert Photoshop files to a website, I will search the words “PSD to HTML”. By following this process, I am able to look through the hiring history of clients that are looking for these jobs and find the best contractors. This actually takes less time than searching through hundreds contractors and their profiles.
Use the filter to find the following:
- Outsourcers with the most dollars spent
- Outsourcers who have hired more than 10 people
By doing this, you can filter out those employers who have less experience and be left with the once that have spent the most amount of money and the most amount of hires. Once you have done this, look for a job posting that is most similar to the job that you need done. Remember to read the job details.
Check the outsourcer’s profile on the left sidebar and you will see how much he has spent, which should be more than $50,000. This means that this outsourcer has plenty of experienced because he has invested a huge amount of money and is successful at finding the best contractors.
On the job posting, you will also see the outsourcer’s work history and feedback and the contractors that they have hired.
Step 2: Check Work History And Feedback Of Experienced Outsourcers
In this section is where you will find contractors that you want to hire.
Remember that good contractors keep their jobs. They get hired consistently and have more experience. When you look through an outsourcer’s work history and feedback, you will see which contractors have worked with them the longest, have earned the most amount of money from them, and have been re-hired multiple times.
Also take note of the feedback that is given to these contractors. Feedback like “Great job as always” or “Thanks again” implies that they have already been hired and re-hired.
Many clients and contractors follow certain etiquette on oDesk and simply give 5-stars and short feedback like “good job”. Don’t read too much into this. The only thing you should be paying attention to is whether a contractor has been hired multiple times.
You will also want to look out for names that appear again and again. These contractors are usually worth looking into because again, they have been hired multiple times.
The most important things to look at in a contractor’s profile are their work history and their job applications.
Their work history will show if they are being hired and re-hired by their employers. Take note of the job descriptions and the way they are written. Usually they will look exactly identical or will be written in the same manner (e.g. all lowercase letters).
The job applications section is also very important. It will tell you if the contractor is currently looking for work because job applications will be initiated by the freelancer. Also take note of the kind of jobs they are applying for and if they are similar to what you need done.
Contractors who are currently applying for jobs will likely respond to your interview invitations.
The point of this process is to copy what experienced outsourcers do; hire top quality contractors. Because they have invested a large amount of money on outsourcing, you know that they are successful at finding employees that are skilled, professional, and able to deliver the jobs you require. Remember these following guidelines:
- Search for jobs, not contractors.
- Filter by the most dollars paid so you find the $50k+ employers; the ones with experience.
- Filter by 10+ hires.
- Check that the job description matches what you need.
- Look at the employer’s history to see who they have employed and who they continue to keep employing.
- Check the Job Applications section to see if that contractor is looking for work.