Monthly Archives: April 2014

What types of tasks are good to outsource

Categories: Outsourcing Articles, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

There are countless tweets on this topic. Apparently this type of tweet gets clicked on. It is general, practical and fun.
I always say that you should make it a practice to outsource tasks that meet the following criteria:

(1) Repetitive Tasks where the directions are not too complicated
(2) Tasks that are not time sensitive (unless your service provider is very punctual)
(3) Tasks that are not too critical (unless you know your service provider well & they are reliable

If you are testing out a new company, the sad thing is that you just can’t or shouldn’t trust them. Never trust strangers. Don’t trust your friends either, but that is a different story. If I go to a new massage place, I only commit to one hour. What if I don’t like them? Usually I am not that impressed with their English, or ability to dig down into those stiff muscles of mine. If I’m trying out a new call center worker, what if people don’t like them? What if they don’t get anything done on time? What if they don’t follow directions. Don’t give critical tasks to those until they have a proven track record with you for six months. Yes — six months. Don’t take liberties. They might quit on a whim. People who don’t own their own company tend to lack the type of work ethic and attention to consequences that I have which is why I do a lot of my own “busy-work.” Once you have found an individual or company to be reliable, then you can give them any type of task which you found they can handle.

My problem is that most of my tasks require a lot of specific knowledge, or are time sensitive, or are too small in weekly hours to outsource. I prefer to outsource tasks like long lists of people who all need to be reminded about the same thing. I might have a list of 3000 people who all need to hear the same message. I just outsourced that to a young lady who is doing a super job of it. Everybody likes her including me!

Personally, I think it is a good idea to test out ten companies before you actually hire one for regular work. Most companies are not that great. If you try ten out, perhaps you will find a few that you like, and then keep the ones with the best personalities (who also deliver reliable results.) What I learned about business is that in the long run, meaningful personal bonds translate into happy and long lasting business relationships! Don’t overlook the human side of your business!

(1) meaningful personal bonds translate into happy and long lasting business relationships! Don’t overlook the human side of your business!
(2) Tasks that are good to outsource = repetitive or tasks that the provider specializes in.

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Which countries are the best to outsource particular tasks to?

Categories: Hiring & Firing, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When you boil it down, is it about the individual company, its boss or its workers? Or is it more about the available labor pool in that particular country, and its cultural tendencies? The answer is that it is a little of both. Each country has different attributes. Thank god the world has so many countries, because to get anything done you need them. Can you imagine Danish pastries made by Americans? Or French Croissants made by Germans? What about Chinese food made by Koreans? It just doesn’t taste the same.

IT Outsourcing / Software Development Outsourcing
There are several countries that are good for this type of work. Keep in mind that the market can change abruptly if a single large company like Google decides to hire or fire in mass! Americans are the smartest at programming. We invented the computer and the internet in my state of residence here in California. But, due to market conditions, people are far too busy to be able to get anything done in a reasonable timeframe. Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and India are my best picks for getting outsourced software work done. These countries need more hours to do the same work that an American could do in fewer hours. But, at least they HAVE those hours. The

Europeans are reputed to be more careful about following directions than Indians, but there are companies (if you search hard enough) who are very nitpicky as well. If you plan on visiting these companies, the weather is nicer in India, especially during the winter. Shop around and test these guys out.

Call Center Outsourcing
India has a reputation of being big in this business. But, the sad reality is that they lack the social graces to maintain a client base. The Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and other Central American destinations are now popular picks for outsourced call center work. They have better accents, more graceful social skills, and the prices are reasonable as well. Indians might have an edge at technical support since they are stronger at IT tasks as a culture in India. India might be a good destination for Telemarketing since they are more aggressive than Filipinos. Once again, shop around and compare. Pick your agents by hand as well.

Data Entry Outsourcing
India leads the pack in this type of work, but I have not found so many companies that seem meticulous enough to do data entry outsourcing. I have no recommendations here other than to be careful.

Medical Transcription & Billing
It might be a better idea to find a US based provider that has staff members throughout the world. This practice is already commonplace. So, you can get the price benefits of outsourcing — without outsourcing, at least not outsourcing yourself! There are a few good medical transcription companies in India an the Philippines who I spoke to who gave a good impression so far in these industries.

Web Design
India once again has many Web Design companies with charismatic bosses who communicate well. Prices are low as well. But, don’t overlook Argentina. Please understand that the Argentinians culturally are great artists, and their web designers are no exception. My staff learned that they lack a business mentality in South America. The work is good, but quotas, schedules, deadlines, websites that actually have phone numbers, and other “being businesslike” characteristics are lacking down there! No country has it all, but the South Americans have great art skills and the warmest personalities in any hemisphere. Worth a try!

Accounting, Finance & Legal
India, in particular Delhi has many companies with very educated people engaged in Accounting outsourcing Finance outsourcing as well as LPO or Legal Process Outsourcing. Please keep in mind that the LPO companies cannot do all of the tasks that an American law firm can do, but they can do many support tasks at 30% of cost while you sleep.

(1) Finding the right country to outsource to is a combination of culture & cost effectiveness.

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What are the best interview questions?

Categories: Hiring & Firing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What are the best interview questions?

Too many people are asking interview questions where the answers are too obvious.

Q. What would you do if you won a million dollars?
A. I would come to work the next day, I love being loyal to my boss.

What do you expect them to say. So, I decided that I prefer personality questions where there is no correct answer.

How much would you spend on a house, and why?
How do you fit a giraffe in a refrigerator?
What attributes do you look for in friends?
What traits do you find desirable in an enemy?
What trait upsets you most about clients?

You can learn a lot about a person’s personality by asking these questions. There are also infinite ways to answer these questions.

Unfortunately, what I have found is that the people who did worst at my interviews did the best work. The people who were the most polished at the interview, failed to deliver good service. Please keep in mind that I was interviewing companies with more than one person. I am speaking of the overall output of a company.

When you boil it down, what really matters is if a company can make it through two or three small test projects of varying difficulty and a few test estimates. That says more about them than whether they have good techniques for fitting a giraffe in a refrigerator…

“Here Shelly… just stick your neck through that hole and I’ll give you these nice leaves… yum!!!”

(1) The best interview questions are more conversational than technical. See our examples!
(2) The best interview questions are not what you would ever dream of.
(3) Those that did best at the interview were good talkers, but not good workers. Hmm.

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