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How Do You Communicate With Outsourced Workers

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by JoshN, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. JoshN

    JoshN Junior Member

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    I meen literally how do you exchange ideas with them in a meaningful fashion... you know assuming you're not a robot yourself.
    Sorry... venting a bit.

    I have yet to find an Indian or Pakistani worker who I can effectively communicate with. I've gone through this process several times now so I've gotten better at becoming specific and somehow UNBELIEVABLY they find ways to miss-understand or misconstrue the instructions I've set, have some sort of issue arise and then all of a sudden lack the ability to communicate in a prompt manner.


    I've worked successfully with folks from the Philippines (except the fact that seem to be ravaged by natural disasters every week) but I'm slowly learning that US based retired professionals and stay at home moms are gold. Even if you have to pay them 2-3x as much
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  2. ghengis_khan

    ghengis_khan Regular Member

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    I don't know, I find your attitude a bit arrogant and degrading. We are talking about people here in the end. There are plenty of Indian and Pakistani people who speak fluent English. But when you are working with outsourcing you always have to expect some kind of language/culture barrier. How you do business in your country doesn't necessarily mean that they do it like that elsewhere, assuming so is pretty ignorant.

    Even if you do have these feelings, best not to share them here.
     
  3. dubious

    dubious Regular Member

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    Use online Project Management tools like ActiveCollab or a custom install of OpenAtrium to manage overseas workers. You might want to find a company with some form of Quality Control if you are truly worried about the quality of worker, however all these companies shave and often have your worker working on multiple clients at once.
     
  4. cmorrow

    cmorrow Newbie

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    I agree 100% with ghengis khan there are people on this forum from around the world so you really cant say these guys from this part of the world don't communicate well I always put that responsibility on me am I communicating my vision. I've been working with designers, programmers, writers from around the world since the days scriptlance and rentacoder back in 05. The key provide as much detail as possible provide examples close to overkill sometimes we have a clear vision in our head of what we want but that doesn't translate to the designer or programmer. Its a pain I know but I have designers and programmers Ive worked with for years build a relationships with these guys
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  5. cmorrow

    cmorrow Newbie

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    as far as tools I primarily use trello and evernote. Trello allows you to share your project management board for each user and assign them task deadlines and have them cross it off as complete when done
     
  6. JoshN

    JoshN Junior Member

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    Its not arrogant or degrading, its a personal opinion I've come to based on the fact that there appears to be a DISTINCT difference in how they do business, or even potentially how they think that makes it hard for me to connect and communicate with them. I don't think it's a language barrier. I think it's a cultural/thought process barrier.

    If I say do X and there is no way to misconstrue what X means than its taken care of but often with life there are many ways to interpret things, and if I were to rule out every way I DONT want it done it would take forever to do everything , and thats essentially what happens.Where as I can tell an American worker the general concept I want to get across and they come up with a general layout, we toss that back and forth a couple times and form something which gains clarity with each cycle. This loose back and forth doesnt appear to apply or work for them.

    Again this is just my personal experience
     
  7. schwagoo

    schwagoo Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    mostly by screaming and pounding my fists on the desk.
     
  8. cmorrow

    cmorrow Newbie

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    If you cant communicate with developers programmers designers from overseas how do you expect to be successful in IM?
    You must be under the age of 25. I worked in IT field 10 plus years before I started IM all of your customer service desks, help desks, IT support from companies such as microshit, dellll, ssymantec, Hewey Packakad I could go on an on all have offices divison in south east asia or india even AT T for their business services such as T1, and T#
     
  9. mrsix

    mrsix Power Member

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    So you're saying that IM success hinges on using outsourced labor? lol... I can't even begin to count how many projects I've been hired to turn around and bring live after outsourced labor is used.

    edit: To answer the OP's main point, you need to be 100% explicit with all directions. Thinking "outside of the box", "use your best judgement", etc... those sorts of expectations are, in my nearly decade of working with outsourced labor, very hard to come by.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  10. Beingakrant

    Beingakrant BANNED BANNED

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    Too rude post... Kinda Racist.. You should never generalize and insult a community or country as a whole.. You deserve a warning for your behavior. I'd wish that you apologize else I'm going to report this thread.
     
  11. mrsix

    mrsix Power Member

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    Kinda racist? How so, and please be specific because unless we're reading 2 separate threads you're way off base with the point.
     
  12. JoshN

    JoshN Junior Member

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    I already explained the context of my comments. I am fully aware of the fact that India alone has over 1 billion people and am not trying to stereotype the people in general. As I said the indian workers I've worked with have been impossible to relate concepts to and the frustration I feel as a small business owner is immense.

    It not racist it's an impression I get, a very frustrating one, which yes I did express in a bit of a satirical way
     
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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  13. Beingakrant

    Beingakrant BANNED BANNED

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    I personally didn't like the way OP vented out. I have highlighted it. There are bad apples on every tree but that should not mean that entire tree is useless. I understand that it's his personal opinion but we must respect feelings of others. I have nothing against OP because I have come across retards who never understood what I meant to say. Generalization is not good. That's all.

    Cheers
     
  14. thefarang

    thefarang Newbie

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    I don't think what you're saying is racist. I used to work for a company that owned an IT company in India with over 1200 people there. I spent half my day on the phone and/or email with staff from India and had to fly out there at least 3 or 4 times a year to supervise.

    I've also had VA's in the Philippines and lived in Thailand for several years where I often employed staff on a contract basis.

    Here are some general lessons I learned along the way.

    And for those who thought the OP was being racist, allow me to just say that this isn't a generalization over an entire country, race, or ethnicity. It's simply differences in cultures, how we see things, and sometimes how frustrating two cultures coming into contact with each other can be.

    Nearly all Asians (which India and Pakistan technically are a part of) have this thing about "face." Many misunderstandings arise from your Asian staff not wanting to lose face by admitting they don't understand or that they can't do the job.

    You're never going to change that. But you can adapt your communication style to accomodate.

    Generally, I don't outsource anything to Asia that requires the developer/designer/etc to exercise much thought. Not to imply that they're stupid or can't think but I've found that most Asian workers prefer work that is clearly defined.

    For instance, I was the product manager for a software product and one of our competitors came out with a new feature I wanted to duplicate in our product. I sent an email to my development team in India (most of the team had been working on the product for 5 years) and asked them to duplicate the feature. They insisted they needed a detailed set of requirements but I assured them that it would take me longer to write the reqs than it would take them to develop it if they would just go download the software and see what I was talking about.

    The next week when I called for our regular status updates I asked about the feature and was told they were confused (actually, that admission only came after 1/2 hour of various questions). So, I verbally described the feature and was assured by the 12 developers on the call that they understood now. Again, I asked that they download the software and check out what I was talking about.

    Our next meeting I asked about the feature again and again I was told that they didn't really understand it (again, without really ever admitting they didn't understand). I asked if anyone had downloaded the competitor software and looked at the feature. Nobody had. So I instructed them to all download the software and look at the feature. I made it clear that I was expecting everyone to have done this for our next meeting.

    On our next phone call a week later, nobody had downloaded the software.

    Finally, I did a screencast of the software and sent them the video. The feature was complete in less than 24 hours after I sent the video.

    The point is, while they were highly competent engineers, something was obviously not working with the communications. While there are some adjustments I've made to my own communication style over the years to help me better get messages across in cross-cultural situations, I've learned that it's just easier not to outsource certain types of work to Asia. It is far less time consuming, and possibly cheaper, to pay someone in the US, UK, LatAm, etc 2x - 3x more for the work and give them more freedom and less direction in accomplishing the task. Again, it's not that Indians or Pakistanis or Thais or Filipinos can't do it. It's just not as common because the ability to work that way is not as common to their culture.

    Because, on other types of projects, where we had 3 or 4 months to write specifications, work with our US and European design teams, etc, the engineers in India performed fantastically If the work was highly organized, clearly defined, and there was no room for confusion, they executed amazingly. But the second that something required making a judgement call, everything went sideways.
     
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  15. redrubies

    redrubies Supreme Member

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    I'm not a fan of outsourcing. It has nothing to do with the people, communication, or anything like that. It is a personal conviction. The way I feel is that when we hire within our own country, we are doing our part to stimulate the economy. Fiverr gigs such as article submission, etc and other small jobs are one thing. But for real hiring, I feel it's important for the citizens of each country to help make their own space a better place to live.
     
  16. thefarang

    thefarang Newbie

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    Yes, but at the same time, not all observations are racist. Much of what he said are common frustrations with westerners who do business in Asia. It's a cultural difference, not racism.

    His comment about what planet they were on is both directed at the people who mentioned having problems communicating with as well as an interesting insight into part of the problem.

    They are on different worlds. Not that one is better than the other (though we can argue various aspects of that) but they're different so his observation that he thinks these people are living in a different world is actually accurate.

    Interestingly, many Asian companies are taking note of this. Especially in China where they often hire westerners to act as the face of the business when dealing with other westerners though all of the staff are Chinese. I've seen this at some of the bigger IT consultancies in India as well.

    They understand that the customer doesn't want to learn the local culture just to outsource work to them. So they remove that requirement by using another westerner as the go-between since they both have a similar cultural background which eases communication.
     
  17. thefarang

    thefarang Newbie

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    You say that but I'm guessing most of what you're wearing was manufactured outside the US. Your computer that you sent the message on wasn't manufactured in the US. I could list examples all day long but I think you get the point.

    However, I do believe that the issue goes beyond not actually practicing what you preach. Look at the automobile industry in the 1970's. Japan figured how to do it better and cheaper. At first the cars they built were crap. But they utilized a lot of cutting edge quality management practices and eventually Lexus, Infinity, and Acura are high-end luxury cars that outsell US cars.

    But what happened in the US? US automakers had to get off their ass or die. They went to Japan, learned about quality management, learned new manufacturing techniques, etc, and answered back with better built, cheaper American cars. Had it not been for the competition from Japan, who knows where the US auto industry would be today.

    It's funny because I was at the forefront of the outsourcing movement. I was working in IT in the US and when the dotcom crash came (even before that) everyone started moving jobs to India. All of the people I knew in IT were bitching and moaning about US jobs going overseas but instead of joining in with them, I figured out niches that couldn't be outsourced. And I went out and educated myself in various IT areas that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to outsource. I then repositioned myself as an expert in those areas rather than in the easier to replace specialties.

    Result was that 5 years later I was making more than I had ever made in my career and had great job security while all of the people complaining about jobs going overseas saw their wages decrease and they were still one step away from having their job go to India.
     
  18. criticalmess

    criticalmess Regular Member

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    Outsourcing is cheaper than any alternative, however cheaper usually means costly in the long run.

    As some of you said, clear and simple definition is important, but that's usually the basic idea behind project definition...

    Before I outsource anything I always check if I really need this headache.

    Always divide work into milestones and pay accordingly + don't forget to add an option to cancel the project (if there is a total fail)
     
  19. julia adam

    julia adam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Seems like you have gone through a lot but dude don't be that rude. It happens chill out! :)
     
  20. redrubies

    redrubies Supreme Member

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    I understand what you're saying, but I try to buy products made in the USA whenever possible. I also won't hire out of the country for anything that's not small. In my opinion, making an effort is better than no effort at all.