Outsourcing websites have become a big business in itself. Searching for such work possibilities online can spawn a plethora of hits. For that reason, outsourcing website advice sites themselves have garnered some of the most hits on any search engine.
The current tendencies show that remote and freelance work will keep on growing. It is not a hard guess that the number of outsourcing websites will proliferate even further. So will the number of those sites that give the recommendations of which ones to use.
On one hand, more offerings will create more possibilities for both the businesses searching to outsource some of their work, but also for the growing number of people looking for remote and freelance work. But, at the same time, such proliferation of outsourcing websites and their offerings can create information overload and confusion.
Where exactly should potential clients look for the best quality and value on offer? Which of those sites, on the other hand, offer the best opportunities for freelancers?
When looking for the right answers to these questions, both clients and those looking for outsourcing jobs have to have a clear idea and plan about why they need and want. The potential clients have to know why and which jobs they need and want to outsource. Job seekers for remote and freelance work have to have a clear idea of why that is the best solution for them. At the same time, both sides have to know the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing and its implications. Both financial and otherwise.
Only then will they be able to navigate through the maze of outsourcing websites on hand and what they really offer. And in many cases, clear ideas and plans are the sole methods that will get everybody needing outsourcing websites through.
What are outsourcing, its advantages, and disadvantages for potential clients
The Balance Small Business offers a good definition of outsourcing. It defines it as “the business practice of contracting with an outside party to take care of certain tasks instead of hiring new employees or assigning those tasks to the existing staff. It’s a popular way for businesses to lower operational costs and streamline operations while still handling important functions.”
Outsourcing may involve some occasional tasks. For example, small businesses often find it better both technically and financially to hire a freelance accountant or an accounting agency to do their taxes once a year.
Still, some jobs and tasks can be outsourced on a regular basis. Some businesses outsource all their public relations, advertising, or translation jobs.
A general list of possible advantages of outsourcing work can look as follows:
- Businesses can focus on core tasks;
- Outsourcing lowers costs;
- It is one of the elements that promote growth;
- With outsourcing, clients can maintain operational control;
- Staffing within the organization becomes more flexible;
- Outsourcing can provide continuity and risk management;
- There is a possibility to better develop internal staff.
But as is the case with any business solution, with advantages also some disadvantages. In its analysis of possible drawbacks of outsourcing, Forbes lists the following:
- Lack of control when a certain job is done off-site;
- Communication issues like different time zones, communication methods, and reliable internet connections;
- Possible problems with the quality of work;
- Impact on company culture – reducing possible negative effects on internal staff.
Still, the tendency to outsource work is gaining in its momentum among potential clients. Possible because, as Time doctor notes is the fact that they can “ get access to top quality people at a much lower rate than if you were hiring in your own country and the cost savings can be very significant.”
Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing for those offering their services
There are two types of offerings for covering outsourcing jobs. One is through specialized agencies and small businesses and the other is through individual freelancers. Specialized agencies and small businesses in most cases have a similar structure to the potential outsourcing clients. Of course, on a much smaller scale.
They themselves would not necessarily frequent outsourcing websites, but actually present one of their own. Such a site would try to present their services and the advantages potential clients would have in hiring them.
But, the bulk of services on offer through outsourcing websites comes from individual freelancers seeking opportunities. The advantages and disadvantages they potentially could have from such sites are in many ways connected to the general advantages and disadvantages of freelance work.
To that effect, The American Genius (TAG) site offers one of the more concise lists of both advantages and disadvantages of freelance work. In many respects, their lists reflect what is on offer to freelancers on the bulk of outsourcing websites.
TAG list among advantages of freelance work includes the following:
- Flexible working hours that give freelancers a chance to utilize their most productive time to come up with best work quality;
- Control over jobs and clients – in many ways, freelancers can choose who they work for as well as which specific jobs they can work on;
- Location and work setup of their own choosing, including whether they want that to be open or close space, in total silence or possibly with loud music;
- The only person micromanaging them is themselves;
- All eventual financial gains are their own.
On the other hand, the list of disadvantages has no fewer points:
- The workload and income can be unstable and inconsistent, often notching at the time when they are most needed;
- Distinguishing between work and personal time, with a tendency of work overtaking the private time in full;
- They have to constantly seek work and clients on their own that can be taxing on their time, effort and finances;
- There is a constant risk of not getting paid, where even playing the role of a debt collector is of no help;
- Any pension or health benefits fall onto the freelancer herself/himself.
Outsourcing Websites – where to start?
As far as the potential clients are concerned, this is where having a clear idea and a plan what you need plays a key role. Say a company or a business need public relation solution or solutions. Do they need an occasional press release or a job for a freelancer that they do not employ, like a voice actor for a new commercial? Or, on the other hand, do they need an agency to guide and conduct a long-term PR campaign?
As mentioned, in the latter case they would probably look at the specific websites of PR agencies that they have previously shortlisted. But in the former case, their job might be a bit more complicated and time-consuming. Not only is the number of outsourcing websites big, but the quality of their operation and the services and freelancers they offer can vary greatly. Also, those websites can offer the services of freelancers from practically anywhere in the world. This in itself can be a blessing but at the same time a curse for potential clients. It all depends on what job they need to be done.
To that effect, probably the first place they need to visit is an aggregating site that makes a shortlist of outsourcing websites. Such a shortlist can have as little as 5 to 7 entries or as many as 100. In most cases, such a list consists of 10 to 15 addresses these aggregators recommend.
The categorization of the sites itself can also wary. From those concentrating on the quality of work to those focusing solely on the financial benefits for clients.
The hardest part – making the right choice
On the other hand, the recommendation sites for those offering services are lesser in number and mostly concentrate on the field of freelance writing. Still, even for other services, these often cover similar themes. This is due to the fact that some of the larger sites like Upwork or Freelancer, offer diverse freelance services.
In most cases, these sites work as a two-way street. Both potential clients and freelancers present their needs and offers. Clients present the specific jobs they need to be done, while the freelancers present their profiles, portfolios, and other information that can be crucial for them getting any specific job.
But who to choose and what job to solicit for? In many cases, it all depends on the manner in which the outsourcing website presents itself, its services, freelancers, and clients.
Some sites are a cornucopia of job offers with everything more or less piled up in one long list of competing for offers. Such sites can be very hard to navigate for both clients and freelancers. In many cases, it is anybody’s guess what kind of job quality is on offer. At the same time, freelancers, do not necessarily have an idea of how credible the potential clients are.
The reliability of both clients and freelancers is often reflected in the manner an outsourcing website is organized. Do they explain there freelancer selection process or do they present a list of their clients?
Sites like Bunny Studiohave specific organized sections for different job categories, making it easy to navigate for both clients and freelancers. Also, the quality of outsourcing websites is also visible in their explanation of the charging and payment system they use. In that respect, both clients and freelancers are more or less aware of what they can expect.