5 Best Outsourced Employee Providers

Have you thought about hiring personnel for your team but cannot quite justify the expense? Or perhaps you don’t have the budget for a full-time employee or are afraid to make the commitment due to the time and expense of hiring, firing, then rehiring someone else if your first selection doesn’t work out? Have you considered using a staffing firm but are really looking for something a little different?

Take a look at outsourced employee providers /freelance providers /professional service providers. I run into a number of business owners who have a need for someone but are afraid to act due to money concerns. Some of these owners are my customers. Do you need an IT person but are afraid to hire outsource to a full service firm or hire someone full-time because your budget doesn’t allow it? Determine what specific services you need and post an ad on craigslist (if the services are more broad) or post an ad on Elance or Guru (if the services are highly specific). This can cost you a fraction of the amount you keep mulling over in your head and getting heartburn about.

Are you swamped but just can’t justify a full-time secretary? Whether your company has 1 employee or 100, perhaps you think having an on site full-time secretary sitting outside your office door is passe in today’s age. Well, you can hire a virtual assistant. That person can assist you with all your secretarial duties. Virtual assistants range in capability from a basic to an executive skill set. I’ve had great success with Guru, Elance, and Craigslist for virtual assistants for myself and my clients.

No matter the size of your company, if you need assistance and/or are hesitant about hiring someone full-time or don’t need that person to be physically in the office, with today’s technology you have access to tremendous personnel and service provider resources at a fraction of the cost.

I have used all of the entities identified below. I include descriptions from their websites and my own personal takes on each one.

5 Best Outsourced Employee Providers

Elance – an online provider of outsourced personnel and business service providers. According to Elance’s website, “Elance helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud. For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to qualified professionals who work online and provides the tools to hire, view work as it progresses and pay for results.” I’ve hired people from Elance directly and through soliciting bids. I’ve been pleased by the quality.

oDesk -an online provider of contracted personnel or outsourced employees, especially suited for creating teams. According to oDesk’s website, “oDesk is the marketplace for online workteams…Our unique approach guarantees to employers that an hour billed is an hour worked, while guaranteeing to contractors that an hour worked is an hour paid.” oDesk is really good if you intend to “hire” someone for an ongoing project and you wish to manage them like an employee. You can monitor the person you “hire” through their desktop. Software that oDesk has in place allows you to see the person’s desktop at any given time that they state they are working on your project.  oDesk is great for business owners and managers who have not fully embraced the concept of telecommuting or virtual employees and need to monitor personnel like he or she would at work.

Guru – an online provider of freelance professionals. According to a Guru press release, “Guru.com connects businesses with freelancers specializing in over 160 professional categories including the following: website design, programming, graphic design, business consulting, and administrative support.” Employers can seek professional expertise locally, nationally, or globally.

Craigslist – Who doesn’t know craigslist. But just in case you don’t, craigslist is a great way to access professional service providers, bookkeepers, administrative assistants, writers and editors, and others. The best way to access these individuals or companies is to post an ad. USE an email address with a strong spam filter. Craigslist allows you to anonymously post. They’ll redirect the email to your inbox without exposing your email address. To keep spam nonexistant or minimal, include your company name and website in the posting, but don’t include any phone numbers or email address.

Rent a Coder /vWorker.com – an online provider of web development and IT personnel, specifically those with strong code writing capabilities. RentACoder just recently changed its name to vWorker.com, presumably to capture more of the virtual worker market than just those dedicated to writing code. If you check out the website, you’ll see it seems to be in the midst of re-branding as it definitely plays down the site’s prior emphasis on coding. This is still the hands-down best website for finding people or services who will write code for software integrations, web development, etc. The jury is out on their access to other service providers.