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A Tale of Two Outsourcers

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Ever since I wrote the post about the 8 tips for hiring an outsource worker, I’ve had a few people write to me and ask how I use these techniques in my business.  So today, I want to tell a quick story about something I did a few months back…

Hiring a Quality Outsource Writer

In February, I made the decision to outsource a lot of the articles for my online business(es).  The problem was I’ve had a couple of bad experiences in the past when outsourcing my online content.

Sometimes the writing would be horrendous.  Other times, it would take forever for the outsourcer to deliver the content.  And once in awhile, the article would be okay, but it wouldn’t be written in the informal style that I prefer.

So when I was looking for an outsourcer in February, I decided to add a wrinkle to the process.  In addition to listing the requirements that I needed for the articles, I also awarded the project to two different outsourcers.  Each was given seven articles to write.  Then I sat back and saw how each person handled this project.

Here’s what happened…

Two Outsourcers…Two Different Results

The first worker I decided to hire was a woman I’ll call Claudia.  Her resume and sample writings were pretty impressive.  Unfortunately what I got back was a little bit different.

After awarding her the project, it took about a week for her to look at the article ideas that I sent.  Eventually she got back to me…but asked a series of questions that delayed the project by a few days.  Then after about a week and a half, I received the first article.   Finally after three weeks, the project was complete.

In my opinion, the content that Claudia created was pretty good.  On the other hand, I also felt that she was one of those people who overbooked her time.  Instead of focusing on each individual project, she was juggling many balls in the air at the same time.  I liked what she created, but was also disappointed that it took her almost three weeks to get back to me with some pretty basic articles.

Now on the other end of the spectrum is Melissa (aka: The Short Hair Diva)

After being awarded the project, it took her half a day to send back the first article.  Then like clockwork, she submitted a new article each day.  It took her a grand total of six days to complete a project in 1/3rd the time it took Claudia to complete.

Furthermore, her quality was top-notch.  Even if Melissa didn’t know what I wanted from a certain article, she wasn’t afraid to take a shot at it. (As I mentioned in this post, I’m a big fan of dealing with people who take risks in life)

As you probably guessed, it was an easy decision to hire Melissa on a permanent basis.  Currently she writes about 3 to 4 articles each week (When I overcome my laziness and remember to send her content ideas).

So what can you learn from this story?  Well, it briefly illustrates the concept of…

…Human Split Testing

Split testing is a major buzzword in the Internet Marketing circle.  Basically, it’s a way to statistically measure the performance of a web page or section of your site.  It’s a great way to make sure your maximizing the results that you get from the people that come to your online business.

What’s funny about this technique is you can apply it with the people you hire.  When it comes to outsourcing you can take the exact same project and assign it to two (or even three, four, etc.) different service providers.    Then all you do is sit back and see how each worker handles your project.  In all likelihood, you’ll find that one outsourcer who outshines the rest.

Okay, I’ll admit that this might seem a bit Machiavellian to many people.  But I honestly feel that it’s important to treat your websites as a business.   If you want to make a profit, then it’s crucial that you hire the right people.  By doing a simple human split-test, you can quickly discover separate the all-star performers from the people who talk a great game, but fail to deliver.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ralph

As always, I enjoy when you share how you make decisions and the process. I like to model myself on success and you have it.
.-= Ralph´s last blog ..Wake up and smell the – Kniphofia =-.

Reply

Steve Scott

Glad you found it useful… Actually, tomorrow I have a post asking for article ideas for this site. If you want me to write about a certain subject, submit a comment and I’ll be sure to include this on the site.

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Brandon Connell

Wow, she couldn’t crank out nearly as much information as I do. I have had issues with outsourced workers too. But I never outsource my writing because I always end up receiving what can only be described as bad english.
.-= Brandon Connell´s last blog ..“Dropped by to say hi” marketing and other cool tricks =-.

Reply

Steve Scott

Normally I would agree with this comment. But I do highly recommend the services of Melissa (I had the link above). She is the ONLY outsourcer that I’ve found that writes quality posts while “getting into my head” and creating articles that really cover a lot of the weird little life philosophies that I’ve seem to have formulated.

On a whole, I do agree that it’s hard to find a quality outsourcer. That’s why I now do the “human split test” trick that I just described.

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Ed Barnes

Thanks for sharing your process Steve.
I’m reminded of the practice of some organizations to take in a number of junior applicants and have them go through a grueling series of training/competition in order to pick the best one from the group.

I’m curious, do you tell potential outsourcers about the existence of others who are vying for the same position?

Reply

Steve Scott

I did, but just n an oblique way. I just told them there could be future work for them. You do not want to give “too” much information because you want to get an idea of what their “average” work is, not what a super special, “job application” work is.

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