If you own a start-up or a small company and are looking to hire low-cost professionals, try this. Tap talent directly in the online marketplace, instead of going through the rigmarole of posting job ads or engaging recruiting firms.
It works the other way round as well. You could be a software service provider, a content writer or a freelancer and looking for a cool assignment. Online services marketplaces can fetch you an employer.
The latest kid on the block is www.limeexchange.com that was launched by Lime Spot, a subsidiary of the US based Lime Group more popular for its peer-to-peer file-sharing site LimeWire. The domain has largely been ruled by sites like www.Elance.com, www.guru.com and www.Rentacoder.com.
A white paper on person-to-person offshoring prepared by Gurgaon based KPO Evalueserve reveals that there are currently more than 90 online marketplaces on the World Wide Web with over 500,000 vendors and freelance professionals from low-wage countries like India, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Argentina, and the Philippines.
There are about 5000 vendors in the software coding and IT services businesses and more than 300,000 freelancers in low-wage countries who provide these services and charge between US $12 (Rs 480) and $30 (Rs 1200) per hour, mentions Alok Aggarwal, Co-Founder & Chairman, Evalueserve, mentions in his study.
No wonder smaller companies find this platform cost effective to find skilled professionals. “My development team finds online work exchanges like very cost effective as compared to local sourcing," Ishfaq Mir CEO, Sapphire Corporation, a services company that works on IT related projects, told Hindustan Times.
Individual contracts are often of low value, starting as low as $100. “Lime Exchange itself will be targeting projects worth USD 1500 or Rs 60,000 to begin with and has a target to aim at projects as high as USD 1000 going forward,” Pawan Agarwal, Head of India Operations, Lime Spot said.
The portal acts as an intermediary for delivery and as a buyer and a seller you just concentrate on your relationship and leave mundane payment and delivery issues to them. For instance, LimeExchange keeps about eight per cent of the ESCROW fees and others like Elance keep about eight to 15 per cent. So if you do a project worth Rs 1000, the company would keep Rs 80 and the rest is yours.
Similar to social networking sites, these websites allow users to recommend each other, which may help a buyer decide on the right candidate. Iqbal Butt, Director 2iInternational, an IT consulting firm says "Good resource pool of talent plus you get to see the skill set in advance is a attraction for me."
However, there are no other measures to check the quality of people you may ultimately get and that remains a challenge for this upcoming industry.