Negatives of Outsourcing: Interviews, Firing, and No Sleep


For the past couple days, maybe even weeks I have been growing a virtual team offshore. I officially came across some of the negatives of outsourcing and I want to list these for you. I have learned a lot about hiring, firing, and managing – the most painful of it all. I have went through a lot of applications and done a lot of interviews and my eyes hurt.

In the past I have done job per job outsourcing, meaning I find someone to do a task or a project and pay them a fix price. I now pay a virtual staff hourly and finding a really good one is a pain. Earlier last year I interviewed Tyrone Shum about how he outsource his business and we had a great discussion. We really didn’t discuss too much about the negatives of outsourcing, but more about why it is needed.

I am going to break down I think the 3 parts that I thought was painful and what I went through.

  1. Interviewing is a PAIN
    I talked about this before on another post about interviewing a virtual assistant. This is the most painful part because it isn’t about the interview process it is about the short days they worked for you and they stink! So you go ahead and interview another person and another and another. This becomes repetitive and is a pain, def a negative in my outsourcing book. Just imagine your first job, you made sure you said the right answers and you even comb your hair back to make sure you are presentable. With an interviewee overseas, they promise you their hard work and dedication. If they are not adapting to your business model then you have to let them go.
  2. Managing is a full Negative
    In the past, at a day job (yes I did have one) I have been responsible for a full staff of employees. I had to chase, cater, talk, and tell them what to do. I handled it well, I wasn’t bossy but more streamlined. With a virtual staff, you have to manage freelancers. This is one of the bigger negatives of outsourcing, I think anyways because it takes up a lot of my time. I thought I can tell them a task, give them a goal, and it will be completed. Then I realize they are workers and want a job and do not have that entrepreneurial mind set. So this causes me to manage some users more than others and it results in tired eyes.
  3. Time Difference, Sorry Eyes
    All of my workers are in the Philippines and I utilize oDesk to help manage them. The problem is some of them start at 9am their time, meaning 9pm in NJ. So I am sometimes up until 1am to 2am talking and discussing strategies with them. The reason I stay up late is because I am not able to talk to them at 9pm or even 11pm because I am working on my other campaigns or projects. So I end up staying up a bit later to just talk to them for maybe an hour or so. Since I am constantly interviewing better and new users, I am checking their work – that takes time because of corrections.

I think, so far these are the negatives of outsourcing. I know that this has annoyed me but I have to make sure I have an ultimate team to get stuff done. As I am growing as an entrepreneur, I want to assure myself that items will get done. I like to work fast and I like to make sure things get done. Even though these are just some of the negatives of outsourcing, I think that takes a big toll on me, I want to let you know there is a lot of positive to having a well driven team to get your goals accomplished.

Not only will my team get things done, they are dedicated and are willing to learn and they learn fast! I am excited to having a team of people who sees the same vision as me.

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  • Ad Hustler

    and as soon as you find the “ultimate team” they’ll either want more money or flake out on you

  • Yeah, you find a great worker and they end up getting 1 or 2 more full time jobs and everything goes to crap. That’s happened 3 times for me.

  • Dustin

    Maybe I’m being random here but why not combat the interview process by using a screening process. For example, create a form that all potential candidates must complete before the interview to get an idea of what to ask them, and maybe they can even provide some other portfolio work outside of what’s listed on oDesk.

    In regards to the managing them, maybe have a Skype conference meeting once a week to keep everyone in the loop rather than having to delegate individually. Again, just an idea. Likely easier said than done.

    None the less, good tips and solid ways for people to consider before going at it with outsourcing.

  • Outsourcing has its pros and cons. Maybe Odesk is not the best freelancing site for you. You can give Elance a try  though, I have heard a lot of good feedback about it and it is somewhat similar to Odesk but better in more aspects.

  • A lot of people go easier on offshore workers because of the cultural difference. You have to ask the tough questions you’d ask any other potential hire, and if you get half-assed answers, don’t hire them. I’ve had contractors give evasive answers or ignore questions. You wouldn’t hire that person locally yet many people figure they’ll hire anyone, or just the cheapest person offshore.

    That said, how many bad local employees do – or could – you have? Try hiring Americans for cheap pay and see how well you do. The sense of entitlement is amazing. I’ve seen business in action in a couple dozen countries and by and large, foreign workers of the type that are on oDesk have a better attitude. You have to set aside the ultra-cheap pricing that comes with some SE Asian contractors. Hiring employees anywhere is a pain. That’s why the new generation of business is largely online.