All of us have tried to outsource our work at some point. It is a very difficult process to communicate your requirements and get the work of your choice in such situations. There are multiple reasons to fail but mainly it is poor communication & lack of commitment from both ends. It is very hard to initiate and maintain long distance relations.
Here is one technique that I use while picking the right remote worker/freelancer.
– Write a job description that you would generally write for a specific task
– Scout 6 people for the same task
– Analyze all of them & pick up the top 3
– Write another task & give it to the top 3
– Analyze & pick the top 2
– Write another task & give it to both of them
– Analyze & judge if you found the winner
– Repeat the last step by giving another task
– If the choice remains same, you found your gem
– If not, go for one more and pick the one who was best twice
You found the best talent. It might look an expensive exercise, but the cost of wrong hire is multiples of what you are going to spend in this exercise. It will also help you in improving communications.
This technique should work with local in-house staff too, but it might screw up the culture if you are a startup.