Entrepreneurship, Marketing and the Interwebs

Blog by JP Zeni

Archive for November 2009

Outsourcing … It’s hard to get good help these days

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Outsourcing is a pain in the ass. My experience has shown in-house employees can be led more effectively, managed with less instruction, supervised with less effort and communicated with more easily. Typically North American devs/designers are well trained and have a cultural reference point for the product they are working on.I would prefer to get all my web development and design work done in-house but it’s just so expensive and it requires a steady workflow in order to reduce over/under-utilization.

Consider a recent employee I was looking to hire. Someone with experience in analytics, google website optimizer implementation and SEM as well as some other things … not exactly a developer but someone in the ‘new media’ field with some technical skills. After some research as well as discussions with more than one recruiting firm I found the sweet spot for someone with only a couple years experience was worth between $45-$90/hr. The first time I heard that I secretly wanted to leave the meeting immediately. The second and third times I just shook my head … chalk one up to naivety I guess.

So, I did the same thing I do every other time I’m looking for technical help these days – I searched oDesk. It is a wonderful tool for finding and tapping into the reasonably priced international work force of technology workers. That being said, I return to my original premise that outsourcing is a pain in the ass. Regardless of the nice tools and functionality (like payment processing and keystroke/screencap tracking)  I’m constantly running into the following problems:

  1. Poor communication due to time zones and developing word connectivity issues – It’s very difficult to find Filipino link builders who want to work from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM local time
  2. Over promising and under delivering – From what I hear this is a problem for most outsourcers.
  3. Lack of initiative – Rarely if ever have I had an outsourcer proactively solve a problem
  4. The need to detail all projects to the micro micro level
  5. Lots of chaff and little grain – There are good individuals but finding them requires significant work.
  6. Here’s an oDesk specific issue – The oDesk system prompts employers to rate their providers before having the provider rate the employer so the scores all seem skewed upwards and less reflective of the providers’ actual skill set
  7. Lack of respect for deadlines – Haven’t figured out the source of this issue yet

I’m sure many outsourcers could add to this list of negatives but ultimately my viewpoint today is that outsourcing manpower allows me to push my limited budget further than domestic talent.


Written by jpzeni

November 26, 2009 at 4:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

About Me:

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I’m JP Zeni, (John Paul only to my parents) and this is a little bit about me in bullet form:

  • Entrepreneur working out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Biggest project right now is DMV.com – Department of Motor Vehicle Guide
  • Keeping active with a number of online marketing side projects
  • Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Advertising are my core business interests

Given my business and interests the focus of this blog will be:

  • SEO, SEM and online marketing
  • Entrepreneurship and business
  • My projects
  • The innanets and interwebs
  • Advertising and marketing

Your welcome 😛

Written by jpzeni

November 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized