Test Jobs 2: How to Hire Marketing Help

August 3, 2011 by

Few small and mid-sized companies have the budget to have marketing experts on staff, which is why various marketing positions are among the most popular hiring categories on oDesk. To make the hiring process easier, Erica Benton, oDesk's marketing communications manager, talks about how she uses test jobs to make sure she hires the best candidate for writing, public relations and social media work. Read Full Article

The Test Job: How oDesk Hires Contractors

August 1, 2011 by

oDesk has about four contractors for every in-house employee, so our managers know how to hire freelancers effectively. The key is giving prospective workers a test job. This post covers techniques for testing out web designers, software developers, project managers, product analysts and customer service reps, with marketing work to be discussed in part two. Read Full Article

oDesk: Your “Small Business Influencer”

July 11, 2011 by

We were recently notified by Small Business Trends and SmallBiz Technology that oDesk was nominated for their Small Business Influencer Award. According to the website, a small business influencer is: … a person, company or other organization that has made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market. Impact may mean (i) providing products widely used by significant numbers of small businesses, or (ii) influencing significant numbers of small businesses by being a thought leader, or (iii) providing information or services of note to significant numbers of small businesses. The team at oDesk is thrilled with this recognition, though we know from experience that small businesses aren’t limited by geographical boundaries. Our employers and contractors run their businesses successfully from all over the world – and we’d be honored if the votes for oDesk reflected the widespread and diverse community of oDesk users. Many of today’s most innovative businesses are taking advantage of the borderless economy and hiring those workers with the best skills, regardless of their location — and workers are connecting with opportunities to create their own small businesses with clientele from around the globe. This is the future of work: Online work offers an alternative for businesses and workers, a path beyond the traditional employment headaches. While unemployment holds steady at an all-time high, opportunities in online work are doubling year over year. Through our platform, more than $18M in work is performed every month, and over 86,000 new job opportunities are presented to workers from more than 150 countries. The businesses and workers that make up our incredible worldwide community are truly changing how the world works. Please vote for oDesk as a Small Business Influencer, and ask your friends, colleagues and coworkers to vote and help spread the word! … Read Full Article

5 Social Media Tools and How to Use Them to Find Work

July 5, 2011 by

Social media is powerful, so powerful that you can use it's many tools to build exposure and find work. In the old days, you could only submit your resume and cover letter to the HR manager, hoping that they will land you your dream job. But today, you can use Twitter, Facebook, and even blogs to find your next big project and to work with people you trust and believe in. Read Full Article

BYOC: Bring your own contractor

June 23, 2011 by

New! Bring your own contractors onto oDesk & manage everyone on one platform. oDesk has made it quick and easy to bring any contractor you work with onto oDesk. Manage all your contractors in one place Only pay for hours worked with the oDesk Work Diary and Work Guarantee. Automated payments to contractors anywhere in the world To add your contractor, all you need is your contractor’s email address: Click “Bring Your Own Contractor” from the oDesk Team Room Fill in your contractor’s email address and the terms of your contract Your contractor will receive an email with your contract terms.  They will click to create an account and instantly be added to your team. Have feedback? Visit our community forum post to discuss this new feature with other users. Read Full Article

Smartphone Money: Implementing a Mobile Payment System for Your Business

June 22, 2011 by

Long a payment standard in emerging markets, mobile payments appear poised to gain new traction in 2011. At the same time, it’s become easier (and cheaper) for small businesses and freelancers to process mobile payments using the bare minimum of hardware. This intersection of technology and support means now might be the time for you to embrace a mobile payment option for your business. Read Full Article

Back to School: 45 Online Resources to Improve Your Freelance Skills

June 21, 2011 by

Most of us don't have the extra money or time to invest in returning to college. Thanks to the Internet, you don't necessarily have to. There are online educational resources for every freelance discipline and niche. Magazines, courses, ebooks, webinars, blogs -- all are learning tools that will enable you to grow in your profession, or even branch out and learn something new. Here’s a list of 45 Internet resources, arranged alphabetically by skill set, to help you take your freelance abilities to the next level. Read Full Article

Empowerment in Action: Creatuity Corp.

June 20, 2011 by

We talked a few days ago about how one of the biggest success factors for startups — a motivated, empowered workforce — can be imported to a more established small- or medium-sized business. We ran some of our thinking past Joshua Warren, whose web design firm, Creatuity Corp., both hires contractors and provides its services through oDesk's marketplace. Read Full Article

5 Major Freelancing Distractions and How to Effectively Manage Them

June 14, 2011 by

I’m sure you’ll agree that one of the biggest challenges when working online is distraction. Distractions can vary, from a single email in your inbox to a ringing cell phone, and they can shatter your productivity and focus in an instant. Distraction, according to Dictionary.com, is anything that diverts or interrupts a person’s attention. In the freelancer’s case, there are plenty of online and offline distractions that could steal away his focus and interrupt his productivity. Get rid of these distractions, and you’ll be able to get your projects done and beat your deadlines. Submit to these diversions, and you’ll find yourself procrastinating like crazy. Let’s take a look at 5 major freelancer distractions to get rid of before going into freelancing mode: Read Full Article

Think Like a Startup: 5 Ways to Empower Your Team

June 13, 2011 by

Tiny startups can move metaphorical mountains. How can established businesses get staff not only to work harder and smarter, but to want to work harder and smarter? By empowering them like a startup. Startups rely on empowered workers at all levels of the business, and Zappos, Whole Foods, Richard Branson's Virgin Group and others have thrived on it. Read Full Article

7-Item Contractor Checklist For Finding Remote Work

June 7, 2011 by

You may think that you've got everything you need to win any job - the experience, the skills, and the portfolio to back it up - but the truth is that you may be missing something essential that's keeping you from that goal. And because of that, your potential employer may pass on you in order to give the job to the next contractor in line. Read Full Article

5 Steps to Improve Your Online Resume

May 31, 2011 by

The oDesk profile is divided into several sections, each one with its own unique purpose. One of these is the Résumé, and it is one of the sections that many contractors tend to overlook or ignore. The resume section is actually a valuable part of your profile because it contains information that supports your freelancing title. These include your skills, your employment and educational histories, certifications, and other experiences. It may be a little daunting to fill this entire section up at first, but with a bit of effort and creativity on your part, you can spruce up your resume in such a way that employers would want to hire you on the spot. Here's what you can do: Read Full Article