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Pretty much anything that can be done remotely — we're often surprised by the ever-increasing variety of work performed on oDesk. You can hire talented web and software developers, writers, graphic designer, customer service representatives, marketers and much more. You can see the full list here. Drop a relevant keyword into the contractor search bar and you might be surprised how many people worldwide are offering the services you need.
To hire a contractor, you must first post a job. Jobs can be posted privately if you do not wish to make your posting available to the entire oDesk network. You can also sign up with oDesk to use some of the free tools without posting a job.
It depends. oDesk recommends hourly jobs for most ongoing work efforts, but fixed-price jobs can be appropriate for smaller, well-defined projects.
Hourly jobs are more flexible — you can add to a contractor's work, even retain her for an entirely different task after the first job is complete, without having to renegotiate or repost a job. You have full access to oDesk's time tracking and Work Diary functions, and the "hour paid is an hour that was worked" guarantee behind it. We've found that the most talented and in-demand contractors gravitate toward the hourly work, and that hourly jobs have led to long-lasting, very successful relationships.
Fixed-price jobs may work best for shorter tasks with a very defined scope. They can also be used as test tasks to give contractors as a trial run before hiring them to longer, hourly work.
oDesk is the first and only service to guarantee that an hour billed is an hour worked and that an hour worked is an hour paid. Hourly work done using the oDesk Team collaborative software lets us take a lot of the uncertainty out of remote work. To learn more about the oDesk Guarantee, click here. And please read our oDesk Manifesto to see how we define — and celebrate — the rights of online employers and contractors.
The problem with remote work is the remoteness. You can't sit in the same room for the job interview. Managers can't walk around and check on a worker's progress, and workers can't easily check in with their bosses or consult with colleagues. Payment is usually more complex and slower than internal payroll, and billing and record-keeping is a hassle. What oDesk does is eliminate all that.
oDesk brings robust assurances to the hiring process—each contractor can create a profile that's much more detailed than a resume, can upload portfolio pieces and take any of our dozens of skill tests. Feedback and work history are very clear, all giving you a better idea of a candidate's record and reputation than most in-person recruiting processes.
We also bring transparency to the management/work process. The oDesk Team application accurately logs hours and adds screen shots to the contractor's Work Diary, giving an employer as good an idea of a contractor's progress as strolling around the office would. oDesk also offers have tools for chatting and sharing code and other information, all geared to foster greater confidence and collaboration.
The payment system is streamlined, swift and secure. After the timelog is reviewed, you're billed one total amount for however many contractors worked for you, in however many countries. We handle getting the money to those contractors, who in a matter of days can withdraw it by their chosen payment method.
An hour billed is an hour worked. You can review a contractors' Work Diaries at any time. They start each session with a work memo that lets you know what part of the job they're tackling, and you get desktop screen shots six times an hour, along with a graph charting their activity level. Learn more about the Work Diary here.
All of this information is also aggregated in the weekly financial reports, which you can review before signing off. For more in-depth information, you'd have to be a mind-reader.
Certainly. You can set a weekly limit on the number of hours that any contractor works for you. You can also modify this limit at any time if you and your contractor change the workload or expectations. Hours worked over the limit will not be billed to you.
The Work Diary lets you keep up with their activity and see how team members are progressing. You can use your own email and chat systems, but oDesk also builds chat functionality into the oDesk Team application, along with tools for assigning and tracking tasks and and exchanging links, desktop images and other information. Basically, you can have at your fingertips as much information as you could get doing a cubicle-by-cubicle check-in around your office.
Quality is in the eye of the beholder, but oDesk gives you unprecedented ability to behold it. oDesk makes it possible to hire candidates with proven track records and to manage as closely and collaboratively as you like. Remote work offers many advantages over in-house hiring, such as a global talent pool, quick scalability, less overhead and greater rate flexibility. With oDesk, you get that without sacrificing the transparency and ability to manage that you'd have with everyone under one roof.
Yes. You can register for an account without posting a job, then utilize the tools yourself, and even add some of your colleagues to your new oDesk account. You can have in-house staff logged into your oDesk team room to improve collaboration between them and your remote team. Just keep us in mind when you need additional resources—you can always post a job!
Nothing. Neither the contractor nor the employer pays anything to sign up with oDesk. There are no fees for posting jobs, creating profiles, applying to jobs, conducting interviews, nothing. oDesk makes money only when you pay for work done by your contractors.
You make the full payment to oDesk, and oDesk pays your contractors. The most common payment method is by credit card. Under some conditions, employers may pay by check; see the Payment Methods page for information.
When you pay for work, no costs are added to the rate you hired at; the contractor receives 90% of the payment and oDesk keeps 10%. This keeps the process simple, and the employer's paperwork to an absolute minimum — there's no difference for the employer between paying one contractor in Miami or three in Mumbai, Manila and Munich. It's also how we can make the oDesk Guarantee, and to stand firmly behind our dispute resolution policy.
Also note that you can set a limit on the number of hours your contractors work, to help keep jobs within budget.
No. Hourly jobs are paid weekly, after you've had three days to review your contractors' timelogs. Fixed-price jobs are paid as you and your contractor negotiate it—generally once the job is complete, though you may negotiate upfront or milestone payments along the way. oDesk does not ask you to put money into escrow, nor to make payments before the hours are worked or the related work is done.
Disputes are rare, thanks to the oDesk Work Diary feature, but we take resolution of any conflicts very seriously, and we live up to our guarantee that an hour worked is an hour paid, and an hour billed is an hour that was worked.
When there is a disagreement between employers and contractors over the number of hours worked, we first encourage them to work out the problem. If that fails, oDesk will step in to moderate. We do not evaluate the quality of work, but will focus on a careful review of all time logged to ensure the contractor was working on the job and following all policies and best practices. Fixed-price jobs are paid solely at the employer's discretion, and there is no dispute resolution process in such cases — the employer has the ultimate control.
Most oDesk employers are managers at small to medium-sized companies that are looking for contractors for everything from small fixed-price projects to long-term relationships of a year or more. They're looking for web developers, writers, graphic designers, call-center staff, data entry professionals, marketing experts, business consultants and more.
oDesk gives employers a series of tools to manage the work being done by contractors. If the time is being logged correctly and the contractor is doing relevant work, filling out accurate work memos, and staying in touch with the employer, we assume the work logged is valid and bill the employer.
Every registered contractor in the oDesk network has a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with oDesk. That contractual protection is passed to the employer on any active oDesk contract as long as work and payment are performed through oDesk. See the NDA. Additionally, you may request any contractor to sign your own NDA.
Download your free oDesk App. The oDesk iPhone App gives you literal visibility of your online team no matter where you are:
• See all contractors in your team room grouped by current work status — Working Now, Worked in the Last 24 Hours, Other
• View each team member's latest work memo, local time, 24-hour work sparkline, and latest snapshot
• Check complete Work Diaries including memos, full-size snapshots, activity indicator, billing status, timestamp, and active window for any date
The App is designed for both employers and contractors.
Credit Card Authorization :
* oDesk will charge 2 small amounts to your card, totaling less than $10.00.
* Before you make a hire, you will be prompted to verify these two amounts.
* Please note that the 2 charges can take up to 4 days to appear on your statement.
* The charges will be automatically refunded after 14 days.
* Learn more about credit card verification.
Setting up your account on Elance is easy and free. Simply complete an account registration form and you'll be ready to post jobs and hire contractors.
To get started, click on the "Post Your Job" button to the right.
Once you have set up your account, you can easily post a job on Elance. Posting your job and listing the skills you are seeking will put you in touch with the skilled professionals who can do your job. Candidates can send you proposals, telling you what they will complete and how much it will cost.
For clients, to register and post jobs is absolutely free. This will give you the ability to post an unlimited number of jobs and find great people to get your work done.
Elance makes money when the work is delivered and payments are made through Elance. When clients make payments to their contractor(s), Elance deducts between 6.75% and 8.75% from each payment to cover its Service Fee and Payment Processing costs, transferring the remaining amount directly to the contractor's Elance account.
For clients, the cost of using Elance is already built in to the cost of any work you do on Elance, so there are no hidden fees or extra overhead costs. Your account includes the ability to search the Elance Contractor database, post jobs, work online using Workrooms, see progress of your hourly jobs with Work View™, review and approve milestones and online timesheets, and make secure payments to your contractors worldwide. Elance even takes care of 1099 tax filings for you.
Once you have selected a contractor to work on your job, all the tools you need to manage the job effectively are available through Elance. Each job automatically includes a Workroom, a place where all your messages, files, milestones and completed work are saved. While all your communications with your contractor are saved to your Workroom, they are also automatically sent to your email address so you can keep up to date and work can progress even when you are away from your desk.
There are two ways to work on Elance. You can choose to hire contractors to work on either on an hourly or a fixed price basis. Both methods give you the ability to approve work prior to payment.
For Hourly Projects: When you work on an hourly basis with contractors, you can choose to use Work View™, which allows you to view and verify work as it progresses through screenshots and comments for all hours billed by your contractor. This enables you to provide timely input and guidance and see work as it progresses.
For Fixed Price Projects: If you choose to work on a fixed price project basis, you can establish milestones, which are key dates in the job schedule when work deliverables can be reviewed and approved. Jobs may be set up with a single milestone (the final result) or with as many interim steps along the way as needed. Milestones can be used to link payments with actual deliverables, or can be used simply as pre-scheduled check points to help with progress and communication.
Elance helps safely facilitate payments to your contractors worldwide. We even handle 1099 tax filings for you. You can pay your contractors for work completed using any of the following options:
Elance Account: Employers in the U.S. may fund their Elance Account with a check or Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer. Employers outside the U.S. may fund their account with a wire transfer.
PayPal: Employers who have a PayPal account can use PayPal to fund payments through Elance.
Credit Card: Employers in certain countries can pay a contractor with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card through Elance.
Elance has a number of safeguards in place that put you in control, keep you safe and make sure you get great results.
To start, Elance's contractor ratings and feedback are public records of client satisfaction. This allows you to review what other Employers have to say about a contractor you are considering before you hire them. Knowing that you will also have the opportunity to post your feedback publicly when the job is complete will likely inspire great performance.
Elance's licensed escrow protects both parties by pre-funding the work and releasing payments only when milestones are met and results are approved by you. Elance's escrow is backed by Elance Dispute Assistance in the event a job does not go as planned.
When you work through Elance, all work is governed by the "Services Agreement between Client and contractor" which states that "Upon contractor's receipt of payment from Client, any Intellectual Property Rights in the Work Product will be the sole and exclusive property of Client, and Client will be deemed to be the author thereof."
To get all the Elance Frequently Asked Questions:
The Elance.com client guide:
For more assistance: