What is the correct order of steps to screen an outsourced company?

Many of us hire BPO companies to do outsourcing work for us. Some of us who are less experienced just talk to them over the phone, say, “They sound good”, and hire them. Once we have had bad luck a few times, we start scrutinizing a lot more. But, what is the best order of steps to scrutinize a company?

If you spend hours interviewing people, and then find out that they don’t cooperate when given a real task, you just wasted a lot of time. Sure, it is fun to interview people, but that is a huge chunk out of your day, and can go down the drain easily.

Part of scrutinizing companies has to do with finding out how cooperative they are. People these days tend not to be so cooperative no matter what you pay them. An email is a fast way to contact many companies quickly. You can keep a log of how fast people responded to your email. You can ask them all types of questions and see how thorough or realistic their answers are.

Requesting a bid for a project is a wonderful way to get to know companies. You can see right away if they have slow or inefficient workers. I would do basic email Q&A, and a bid request before you spend too much time talking — if you want to save time. Once you get a bid on a sample project, maybe give them a mini-project to see how they do. You would be surprised at how companies handle mini-projects. A few will leave you high and dry, others will deliver horrible work, while a few will do a great job. This is your opportunity to weed out the troublemakers and identify amazing service providers. There are “A” quality people out there, you just have to find them.

After a company has done a good job on a test project, then talk to everyone at that company who is pertinent. However, I recommend spending as little time talking to salespeople as possible. They are not going to be working with you after the fact, so don’t cloud your mind with the impression of how much or little you like them!

(1) Do you talk to the company over the phone and say, “They sound good” or do you test them?
(2) You can spend hours interviewing people & learn that they don’t cooperate w/real tasks!
(3) Requesting a bid for a project is a wonderful way to get to know companies.
(4) Interviewing new companies? Get to know the technical manager, not the salesperson!

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The 2% rule; only 2% of companies are worth hiring

The 2nd interview: why is it so important?

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