As an entrepreneur, you are always looking for the most efficient and effective way to do things. One of the aspects of your business that you need to pay close attention to is your workforce. If you are a lean operation, you probably want to focus more on your core work and less on having to manage the details of having the right workforce at your premises employed on a full time basis.
Many different entrepreneurs have different ideas of what works for them as well as what doesn’t, but at the end of the day, they do what is best for them and their business. Some entrepreneurs swear by having:
Full time employees on site,
Full time employees who can work from home,
Full time and part time employees hired through an agency (and managed by external human resource)
Part time employees who work per project and report physically to work
Part time virtual employees
Below are some of the considerations that you should make if you want to employ a virtual workforce through online services. This option is becoming more and more popular to many entrepreneurs and is done on many different levels including crowd sourcing and hiring virtual professionals to work on projects from virtually anywhere in the world.
When hiring and managing a workforce virtually, you will need to consider the following.
- Define what you want to accomplish and include a definite schedule
The first thing that you need to do is to define the scope of the work that you need done and estimate how soon you need the job done. Once you have defined what the job is, you will be able to get someone with the exact skill set that you need to get the job done.
It is important to estimate the time it will take to do the job and especially how soon you want the job complete. The best way to do this is to determine the man-hours it will take to get the job done. By doing so, you will be able to determine how many people you need to get the job done on time.
When defining the job that you need done, the more accurate you are about the deliverables you require and at what timeframe then the better for you. This is because you will be able to determine the progress and quality of the work done throughout the process.
- Evaluate external service provides as you would a full time employee
When hiring an external workforce, it is important to do all the necessary due diligence to ensure that they are the right people for the job. The best way to ensure this is to use the same hiring process that you would a full time employee who has to report to work physically to your premises.
- Look for experience relevant to the job you need done
When hiring for a specific job, whether technical or not, you will be more concerned about hiring for a particular set of verifiable skills and less about the credentials that someone has. The credentials are important to sift out the competition but at the end of the day you want to make sure that you have someone who can do the job as it should be done and at the right price.
- Don’t choose only based on price
When choosing the right person for the job, don’t make price your only consideration for hiring. Most entrepreneurs get tempted into thinking that the person that demands the most remuneration is probably the best person for the job. While at the opposite end of the scale, it is also easy to think that getting the cheapest person to do the job may be an advantage to you.
The truth is, most of the time, you need to balance out skill or expertise and the remuneration asked for. You will have to make the best choice according to the candidates that you get but it is best not to go into the process with any preconceptions.
- Assess portfolios and samples
When determining the right person for the job, make sure that you go through the person’s portfolio of work to determine the quality of work he or she produces. If you are convinced that you have made a good choice, ask for a sample of the work you want done to verify that the person can actually get the job done. If necessary, pay for the sample and treat it as a mini project.
- Get your feet wet with a small project first
Apart from getting samples and going through a portfolio, at times it may be necessary to do a mini project to determine that you have the right expertise to do a major, more crucial project. The purpose of this is to determine how the new recruits work and you understand their peculiarities so that you know the kind of output you can expect.
- Breakdown the payment structure to different project milestones
Once you have the right person for the job, it is important to break the job down into chunks or milestones that you can use to verify that the work is on schedule and that the quality of the work is up to standard. A common standard to use for most online projects is to pay an initial 20% to 30% and then to pay the rest according to the completion of 3-4 milestones for the rest of the job.
The advantage of this model is that, if the work is not according to agree upon standards, you can easily terminate a contract and still have parts of the job under your control because they have been done and paid for.
- Document the negotiations and agreements
Before you engage a new worker, it is important to put down all the agreements down on paper and have them signed by you and he worker. When you do so, make sure that you put it important terms about who owns the work, how it will be paid for and other duties and responsibilities of both parties.
Dave D. Sorrells has been a finance executive at a fortune 500 company for the last 17 years. He has written several finance and investment articles and commentaries including debt relief reviews. Visit his blog for more information.
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