Starting a business is an exciting time in the life of an entrepreneur. There’s no better feeling than to see your creation take a life of its own and begin to grow in ways you never imagined.
As motivating as it is to see all of these unfold, growing a business comes with its own sets of challenges. It is for this reason that you’ll need to get as much help as you possibly can, especially when you’re ready to expand.
While the prospect of running everything on your own can be tempting, it’s not going to be easy when things become overwhelming. This is where outsourcing comes into the picture.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the process of hiring remote freelancers who can handle different aspects of your business operations. Unlike hiring full-time, this option is more cost-efficient and time-saving. Though outsourcing may look like a simple and straightforward process, unfortunately, hiring mistakes are sometimes unavoidable.
Download our ebook, The 10 Most Common Mistakes of Outsourcing!
Even some of the biggest and most successful companies have had their share of bad hires. This isn’t something to be embarrassed about, however, because there’s no such thing as a perfect system.
Business owners are bound to commit hiring mistakes at least once in their entrepreneurial lives, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be prevented. With that being said, below are some of those mistakes and how you can avoid them:
Hiring Mistake #1: Not Knowing What to Outsource
Getting into battle without the necessary preparations always leads to disaster. While outsourcing is indeed an exhilarating option, the fact still remains that it is not always the best solution. Try not to dive in if you haven’t really thought about it.
Before you entertain the thought of outsourcing, come up with a detailed list of tasks that are relevant to your business operations. Figure out which of them are considered mundane and time-consuming. Check out which of them require highly-specialized skills like graphic design or PPC advertising.
It’s important to identify exactly what your business needs are right from the get-go so you won’t waste time and money. Once you have everything all sorted out, finding the right talent shouldn’t be difficult.
Hiring Mistake #2: Not Having an Organized Interview Process
The interview process is one of the most crucial aspects of outsourcing. With a very deep talent pool to choose from, getting it right almost assures hiring success.
Unfortunately, it is also a process that most business owners fail to capitalize on. It’s one of the common hiring mistakes entrepreneurs usually commit either because they’re not totally prepared or because they’re not asking the right questions. To make the most out of the interview process, you need to be more organized.
For one, you need to be aware of the red flags you need to look out for. While you may have your own standards when it comes to red flags, the following are the general ones that should help narrow down your choices immediately:
- Poor English skills
- Lack of relevant experience
- Bad reviews
- Not enough hours worked online
- Poor response time
It’s best to have a prepared list of questions and qualifications you’re looking for prior to the interview to keep things organized. This will also help you determine if it’s worth finishing the interview or if you need to wrap things up and move on so you don’t waste time.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can then proceed to a more in-depth kind of interview so you make a final decision. If you want your interview process to yield excellent results, this is a great way of doing it.
Hiring Mistake #3: Not Setting Clear Expectations in the Beginning
When it comes to working with online freelancers, communication is key. It’s hard enough that they’re not in the same location and time zone as you are, so if you want the setup to work, you need to exert extra effort to properly communicate with them.
The first step is to come up with clear and realistic expectations. Be as specific as possible with your requirements and deadlines to avoid misunderstandings and confusion This will help the freelancer deliver what you need when you need it.
If you want them to become more productive and accurate with the work they render, you need to let them know how you want it done. After all, it’s your responsibility to set them up for success in the first place.
Hiring Mistake #4: Hiring the Cheapest Freelancers and Hoping For the Best
This is another one of those hiring mistakes business owners tend to commit and it’s perfectly understandable from a business standpoint.
As a business owner, you’ll grab every chance you can get to save money and that’s just how it is. The problem with this approach, especially when it comes to remote hiring, is that going cheap usually leads to hiring low-quality talent.
Yes, lower rates are financially beneficial but skills and expertise-wise, it isn’t worth the risk. You’d be better off spending a bit more on talent and reaping its rewards than paying less and suffering the consequences.
When it comes to remote hiring, it’s better to look past the financial cost and focus on quality because the magnitude of its impact will continue to benefit your business for years to come.
Hiring Mistake #5: Not Fully Integrating Hires
If you want to unleash a freelancer’s potential and benefit from their skills and talent, you need to make them feel that they’re part of the business.
It’s a common misconception among business owners to look at freelancers as if they’re this remote support group who are not part of the business. This misguided view can easily alienate them and pull down their morale.
The best way to motivate them is to fully integrate them into your business. Tell them about your business’ history. Introduce them to everyone and make them feel at home.
These gestures may seem trivial but they’ll definitely go a long way towards building loyalty and inspiring excellent work quality. You must admit that you yourself would not be inspired to give your best if you worked with a business that you felt you didn’t belong to.
Hiring Mistake #6: Not Diversifying Across Business Operations
It’s one of those things where putting all your eggs in one basket is ill-advised. While having one person do multiple things would definitely be a lot easier for you, it also comes with a huge risk.
What happens if this individual suddenly gets sick or decides to go AWOL? You’re going to be in a lot of trouble if you decide to go this route. If you onboard several freelancers to take care of the different aspects of your business operations, however, this isn’t something you should be worried about.
Diversification is essential when you’re working with remote freelancers. By having more people in your roster, you can conveniently replace a freelancer with another temporarily while looking for a permanent replacement.
This is crucial because you don’t want your operations to suffer just because a freelancer failed to show up. Identify all the tasks that are critical to your business operations then hire individuals who fit your requirements. You can then continue to hire more people as they become seasoned experts.
Hiring Mistake #7: Failing to Listen to Freelancers’ Ideas and Ask for Feedback
Your job as a CEO doesn’t end after hiring and onboarding freelancers. In fact, more work needs to be done, particularly when it comes to proper communication and management.
While most freelancers today are good at what they do, leaving everything up to them would be a huge mistake. Not only will this be a demoralizing move, but it also robs you of the opportunity to understand your business better since they are the ones who are fully immersed in it daily.
No one is in a better position to let you in on what needs improvement than the people who are actually “on the ground” so to speak.
The best way to help your business meet its goals is to keep your doors open for feedback. Listen to suggestions and ideas freelancers may have about the business. Make them feel that their contributions are valued by holding one-on-ones, running surveys, or having an open door policy.
Hiring Mistake #8: Failing to Properly Onboard Freelancers
Assuming that freelancers already know what you like and how your business works after talking to them a few times is a big mistake. You can’t expect someone to perfect something after just a few rounds.
Proper onboarding is an important part of the hiring process because this will help freelancers learn to do things on their own. The best way to do this is to set them up with everything they need before they commence work.
Give them access to tools and programs they need to perform their tasks. Create document or video guides they can refer to after showing them how you prefer things get done. The point of onboarding is to get them ready and help them become independent. Onboarding would help them continue to perform their tasks even when you’re not around.
If you hired a social media manager, for example, make sure that they have access to all your social media channels. Provide them access to post samples, hashtag banks, and pictures so they can perform their tasks even without your supervision.
An organized onboarding process can go a very long way. It would help you grow your business and take it to the next level so make sure you have one in place.
Hiring Mistake #9: Not Setting Up Backups in Your Free Time
A good leader always expects the best and prepares for the worst. When it comes to running a business, this couldn’t be more important.
This is especially true when you have full-time contractors in your business who have vacation leaves to use. Having freelance alternates waiting in the wings can go a long way. This would come handy if any of the freelancers you hired go on sick leave or decide to take some time off.
A good way to set this up is to keep track of everyone’s leave schedule. Have your seasoned freelancers onboard the newly-hired freelancers, especially for tasks that should consistently be completed during the former’s absence.
With everything in place, you are assured that there’ll be no disruptions to the business’ operations even when your main guys are not around.
Hiring Mistake #10: Not Allowing Freelancers to Grow with You
Just like most regular contractors, remote freelancers are looking for career advancement and growth. They want consistent work, especially career freelancers who rely on it as their main source of income. They also want a secured future, so knowing there’s still so much in store for them.
Awarding promotions is a good idea because it gives freelancers additional motivation to perform well. It also promotes loyalty which is extremely valuable for businesses especially today when remote help can so easily come and go.
If you want to make things easier and still achieve each of your business goals, giving remote freelancers something to work for is the best way to do it.
Hiring mistakes are inevitable especially for a business owner who’s still trying to figure things out. In fact, even seasoned entrepreneurs aren’t immune to these mistakes because, at the end of the day, nobody’s perfect. You don’t have to try to be perfect either because doing so will simply drive you nuts.
Following this simple guide should help you minimize, if not totally avoid, committing these hiring mistakes. Remote hiring is a great option to explore especially when done right, which is what this guide is all about.
If you’re scared to give it another try because you committed some of the hiring mistakes mentioned, it’s time to set those fears aside. Go back and make a list of all the things you think contributed to those hiring mistakes. Refer to this guide and jump back into remote hiring so you can start correcting those past mistakes.
If you’re not a FreeeUp client yet, make sure to sign up so you can begin your next run at outsourcing. And don’t forget to download our ebook, The 10 Most Common Mistakes of Outsourcing, for more outsourcing tips from FreeeUp CMO Connor Gillivan.
Noel Rosos is a personal development writer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and founder of Life’s How You Live It, a personal development blog dedicated to helping people live the life they’ve always dreamed of. He is also a writer/contributor for Arianna Huffington’s wellness site, Thrive Global. He is an affiliate marketer, a full-time husband and father, and a self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST.