For online marketers, the traditional measurements of time, income, and value often do not quite calculate. Fixed-hour schedules fall by the wayside, static and inflexible salaries are all but forgotten, and the idea of a location-dependent job is completely foreign. The pipe dream of living life on your own terms is not quite impossible – in fact, for many marketers it is a reality.
There is, however, one part of online business that is no different from any other: hiring reliable staff. For most online marketers, entrepreneurs, and strategists, the most common type of employment – whether part-time or full-time – is with web designers, online developers, and graphic artists.
Any serious entrepreneur will have a horror story or two about design staff. It is part of the business and it is something that many people just have to adapt to. What is alarmingly common, however, the types of horror stories that are apparent – they are largely the same. These four tips, tricks, and strategies will help you avoid those same pitfalls and potential staffing disasters, whether you are aiming to hire one web designer or one-hundred.
Don't be afraid to pay a 'premium' rate
There is an old saying that is particularly applicable to the world of online labor – "if you pay peanuts, you should expect monkeys." From designers to developers; consultants to third-party recruiters, the vast majority of highly skilled online contractors are only available at a slight cost premium. It is not a bad thing – just a fact of doing business. With the right premium-level team behind you, you could be in line to crush your competition.
Hire based on experience, not sheer talent
There are thousands of über-talented designers out there without a speck of time management, marketing, or technological savviness. Unfortunately for their budding potential, they are best avoided for employers.
Focus on hiring designers with a proven track record, not just promises of success and flashy samples. While it is fine to hire relatively new and inexperienced designers, they are not the ideal port of call for a long-term project or important online investment.
Micro-test before you commit
If you are in the market for long-term staff, your best bet is to sample contractors using a strategy that has rarely failed internet entrepreneurs: the hiring micro-test. Pick out multiple contractors in your field and assign a simple one-day job to them. Then, compare results and work out which prospective employee is likely to mesh most effectively with your own long-term plans.
If you are serious, conduct an in-person interview
Online staffing does not need to stay entirely online. For long-term projects and potentially lucrative business ideas, it is often best to consult with your staff in-person and work together on occasion. If you are highly invested in a project and in need of high quality staff, the small upfront cost of an in-person interview could quickly be paid back in results, valuable input, and increased performance.
About the author: Roko Nastic is a full time webmaster and blogger passionate in helping other webmasters and website owners create faster, better and more profitable websites. He enjoys writing blog posts and news articles for WebmasterFormat.com and making connections with the like minded bloggers all around the web.