How offshore freelancing can appear cost effective but quickly become very costly
The cheap rates of offshore freelancers in countries such as India, China, and the Philippines are highly attractive for Western clients. For a fraction of the costs locally, clients can hire an equally apt individual from these countries. Sometimes, however, it is too good to be true and the costs can very quickly spiral out of control.
The costs really begin to spiral out of control when a client can no longer work with the freelancer they initially hired. This can occur due to numerous reasons. The client may discover that the freelancer does not have the ability or expertise to achieve the desired result. Working remotely with the freelancer may be too difficult because the freelancer may be having outdated and unstable hardware and infrastructure. The freelancer may not himself give the attention or priority required for the client’s work, rather choosing to focus on other clients’ projects. Often, clients do not even discover until midway through the project that the work the freelancer is producing is inadequate. This is a worse situation because the client has ultimately wasted a lot of time.
In short, there are a whole host of reasons as to why clients have to stop working with one freelancer midway and search for a new freelancer and start the project from scratch.
There are many talented freelancers in countries such as India, China, and the Philippines, yet ability alone is not sufficient for the successful outsourcing process. Freelancing, in particular, with individuals from Third World countries is riddled with inefficiencies and high levels of unprofessionalism. The point herein is that if this occurs, the cost to the client will increase exponentially.
What clients often fail to appreciate or often ignore is the hidden cost of time. The old adage that ‘time is money’ is never more relevant than in the case of freelancing. It is only when a client factors in all the time they invest in the whole freelancing process that the true cost becomes clear. First, the client must write a project specification; speak with several freelancers before awarding the project; decide on a freelancer to work with; then actually learn how to work with the freelancer; acquaint themselves with their customs and habits, etc. A client may be working with a freelancer for several weeks, investing valuable hours during that time, only to discover after four or five weeks that the they are no closer to achieving their desired result than when they first started the entire process. When taking into consideration the time the client invests during those ‘x’ number of weeks, freelancing then very quickly becomes highly cost-prohibitive.
What is worse is that despite all such pitfalls, many clients are lured again into offshore freelancing only to have their fingers burnt yet again. The initial low rates of offshore freelancing are very alluring. With the client’s initial budget now having been reduced due to the expenses incurred from their first bad freelancing experience, clients become even more eager or in need to reduce costs. Clients often consider the first freelancing experience a learning curve or an unlucky experience and so are still willing to hire a freelancer again.
Unfortunately, clients often have to repeatedly contract with numerous different freelancers before attaining the desired result, finding themselves in a vicious cycle. A project that was supposed to take a few weeks can quickly escalate into a few months. Factoring in any costs incurred by way of payment to each and every freelancer contracted with significantly balloons initial estimations. But even more costly is the time the client takes out and invests during this entire process. This is the main reason why the cost of freelancing can quickly spiral by several folds. It is only after taking into consideration this time invested that the true cost to the client can be calculated.
These are the two main reasons why hiring a Virtual Employee is a lot more cost-effective than hiring a freelancer.
Firstly, VirtualEmployee.com’s dual-layered recruitment process has a very high success rate in pairing the client with an employee who is qualified to work for them. The client provides us with a job description and then our HR department searches for and screens many candidates. All candidates are interviewed face to face by HR executives, assigned tests and finally technical project consultants take a second round of interviews with all potentially suitable candidates. All past employers and references of the candidates are also cross-checked. Following this the best candidates are shortlisted and their resumes submitted to the client. The client then has the opportunity to conduct their own round of interviews and tests before deciding if they would like to hire any of the candidates. Therefore, our recruitment process is a lot more thorough in ensuring from the outset that the client works with an individual who fulfills their job requirements.
Secondly, many of the factors that cause a client-freelancer working relationship to breakdown are absent when hiring a Virtual Employee. For instance, working remotely with remote employee is very easy because they work from our office where they are provided with the latest hardware and infrastructure. Working remotely is, therefore, never a hindrance for a client. Furthermore, because a virtual employee is a dedicated employee working only for one client, the client never has any issues regarding their employees devoting their attention to or prioritizing another client’s work ahead of theirs. Our managers supervise these employees at all times. Therefore, these remote dedicated employees are held accountable for their productivity and professionalism.
In conclusion, the low rates of freelancing often lure clients under false pretences of massive savings. On the other hand, hiring a VE is a lot more cost-effective in the long-run because the client does not have to repeatedly search for and contract with numerous different individuals. Working with remote dedicated employees allows the client to save time and money. The clients become able to focus on their goals.