Working With a Company Abroad: Advatages and Drawbacks
Thanks to technology, people are no longer restricted by international borders when looking to hire a creative team. There are dozens of ways to find a foreign company or a freelancer to work on your project: freelancing platforms, social media, classified-ad websites, etc. But the wide selection comes with a lot of risks. The fact that just about anyone can offer their services to international clients means that the responsibility to find the best person for the job falls exclusively on the client. There are many benefits of hiring a foreigner for creative work. But let us start with the negatives (you know, just to get those out of the way). Clients have many concerns when thinking about hiring a contractor from a different country. Whether based on personal experience or speculation, it is good to address those concerns head-on.
Getting Your Wires Crossed
The language barrier is one of the most popular objections. For you, as a client, it is important to communicate freely with the company or freelancer that will work on your project. Although misunderstandings often occur even between people who speak the same language, it is understandable why you would be wary of linguistic hiccups when hiring foreigners. To avoid a potential lost-in-translation type of situation, it is best to do your research beforehand. If the company you are looking to hire has a website, revise it carefully. Read their blog articles (if they have any), their about-us page, and other copy they have posted. If you are considering a freelancer who does not have a website, ask to review their portfolio and social media pages. Those should give you a pretty good idea of how good they speak English. To be even more comfortable, ask for an online meeting or a phone call. If they refuse to speak with you, maybe consider another person for the job.
Time is of the Essence
Another potential problem might be the time difference, especially if the contractor is on the opposite side of the world from you. To save your project from falling victim to time zones, clarify everything from the start – tell your contractor your exact location, and establish deadlines that take into account the time difference. Have them set their clocks to your time. Most freelancers enjoy the flexible schedule working in a different time zone offers. Besides, most people who work with clients from foreign countries are used to pulling the occasional all-nighter to meet a deadline.
At Arms Lenght
How about not having sufficient control over your project if the contractor is in a different country. You will not be able to walk into their office and meet them face-to-face whenever you need to nudge them in the right direction. But the number of virtual collaboration tools that exist today give you plenty of ways to supervise your contractor as if you are standing right beside them. There is plenty of file sharing, video conferencing, project management, and time-tracking software to fit any need. Try them out yourself and have your contractor show you the ones they usually use. Decide on the tools that will work best for both of you.
Here is Why it’s a Good Idea
There is one major benefit of hiring someone from another country, which is probably why you’ve started looking into this option in the first place. That is, of course, the opportunity to pay a much lower price than if you were working with someone in your country, especially if your contractor is from a lower-income region, where taxes, salaries, and the GDP are lower.
Another great benefit is that you might be getting an even higher quality of work for your money. Freelancers and companies working with international clients are highly motivated to make a great impression. More often than not, this means that they will go above and beyond to fulfill your project. A lot of the creatives working via freelancing websites count on your positive review to increase future business opportunities, so they will make sure you are happy. Even if your contractors work outside of the freelancing platforms, they still want a stellar reputation on social media and review websites. This reminds me: if you are happy with the work a freelancer or a company has done for you, make sure to share the love everywhere you can. Appreciating a job well done is extremely encouraging and helpful when trying to attract clients so a positive review can make a huge difference for a contractor.
To avoid a disaster when hiring a freelancer or a company from a different country, take the time to research them. Once you o that, you’re free to reap the benefits this type of working relationship carries.