How To Write A Great Outsource Job Post

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To say outsourcing sites like oDesk have been important for my life/business over the past few years would be a massive understatement. Simply put: If I did not start outsourcing there would be NO way I would be where I am today.

Whenever I need anything done online whether it’s having articles written, design work, development projects, research work, social media etc I always first turn to the incredible network of contractors on oDesk. Outsourcing has been so helpful for me that I even put together a Skillshare class [online class in the works] to help others get as much value out of outsourcing as I have.

A successful outsourcing relationship starts first with an effective job posting. Here are my top tips on how to write a killer outsource job post that will help you land the perfect contractor for your job.

 

1. Issue A Disclaimer

 

Internet freelancer sites are becoming crowded with very low quality applicants. This means that you’ll most likely get a ton of people applying to your job and only a few candidates that you are interested in speaking with. So, to start weeding out applicants, I like to issue a disclaimer. Here’s an example of a disclaimer I used at the top of a recent job posting for an article writer:

 

job post disclaimer

Issuing a disclaimer at the beginning of your post won’t really weed out the bad applicants because the ones that spam their applications usually don’t even read the post. But, for the ones that actually do read your post, you are setting expectations from the beginning and can give points to those who address your disclaimer in their responses.

 

2. Discuss the position and required skills

 

Once you have issued the disclaimer, you will want to explain a bit about what position/role you are hiring for and get into some specific skills you are looking for. Depending on what you are hiring for, this section could be longer or shorter. For example, if you are hiring a writer for contract work, there isn’t a whole lot of explanation needed for what they will be doing. You are hiring them to write; duh.

On the other hand, if you are hiring someone for a more personalized role such as a virtual assistant (VA), it will be important to list skills you are looking for and to give an overview of what the position will entail. Here’s another example of a brief description as well as the required skills I was looking for in a recent VA job post:

 

va skills

Note: If you are looking for someone for the long-term, it is good to mention it in your job posting. Many contractors are also looking for long-term work opportunities which you can leverage when negotiating rates.

3. Interview Questions

 

Including interview questions is the most important component to any outsourcing job post. This gives you a chance to start to get to know the applicants and  to weed out the ones that do not follow directions.

Some of my favorite questions to include are:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What is your current work situation?

Asking about an applicants background can start to give you some insight into what they would be like to work with. With a question like this, the goal is to get them talking/typing which will can give you more clues as to what type of person they are and if you would like to work with them.

Please correct the following sentence and put it at the top of your application.

This one is GREAT! You can simultaneously test their English as well as their ability to follow directions. Furthermore, when you are going through your pool of applicants, you can quickly eliminate those who did not follow your instructions.

What are you hoping to get out of this position and how long would you hope to work together?

This is another good question because it gets them talking about themselves which again will often give you clues as to what sort of a worker they will be. Also, it will tell you about what sort of expectations they have for the job so you can see if they match your own.

Note: Monitor your applicants and delete those who do not follow your instructions and ‘correct the sentence on top’. You want to weed out the applicants that don’t follow directions as quickly as possible because high quality applicants are less likely to apply if they see many other applicants opposed to a small handful of other applicants.

 

While the initial job posting is not the only part of the outsourcing process, it is a very important one. An effective job posting can save you valuable time sifting through applicants and help you determine who you are interested in working with quicker. The more effectively your job description helps you find the right person for your job, the more you can focus on all the other aspects of your business/life which is why you are looking to outsource in the first place, right?

What do you think of these tips? Do you have some others of your own? Please share in the comment section below!

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4 thoughts on “How To Write A Great Outsource Job Post

  1. Hey Nate, great list of suggestions here. I think by showing a little personality in your job posting, it makes it easier to sort through the applications, because you can expect to get a little personality back from the top-notch people.

    Even though Elance and oDesk are more well-known for shorter, project-based work, I’ve actually had pretty good success finding long-term virtual employees there. You can totally tell the applicants who actually read and understood your job posting vs. those who are just shot-gun applying to everything that matches certain keyword criteria.

    I’m tempted to start offering some performance-based freelancer consulting — “How to Get More Gigs” …or at least, “How Not to Get Your Proposal Immediately Canned.”

    All the best,

    Nick

    1. Thanks Nick! Agreed, showing some personality yourself can help bring it out in applicants. And that’s really interesting about freelancer consulting. I got my start working as a freelancer on oDesk and definitely learned first hand a lot of things NOT to do. If this is something you are seriously thinking of pursuing, we should chat!

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