oConomy
May 20, 2008 by Jacqui Pittenger

Most buyers post their first job to fill a skill or budget gap on a particular project. You find a skilled worker or two and get the project taken care of. But success breeds success – as your needs grow, you hire more providers. Suddenly you’re managing a growing remote team, which may be more demanding than you’d anticipated.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to keep your remote team in motion, use oDesk to hire a project manager (PM). A good PM minimizes the direct management required on your part, so you can leverage your time and expertise more wisely.

To hire a PM using oDesk you’ve got two options: Search for new candidates, or promote someone who looks promising from your existing team. Either way, you’re looking for exceptional communication skills, business savvy, leadership experience, and technical expertise.

oDesk’s network includes both independent contractors and provider companies with dozens of affiliated contractors working under the same roof. If you hire your PM from a provider company, he will tend to hire from within his company. The downside is that, arguably, there may be better-qualified people for a specific task elsewhere on our network. The upside is that while you are remote, your PM could be on location with his team members, allowing closer management. Plus, a large provider company can quickly move the right people in and out of your team as the project requires.

Once you select your PM, take the time to provide her with in-depth training on your projects. Give your PM ìhiring managerî or ìrecruiterî privileges (in the Team Admin section of My oDesk) and ask her to build your team. Pay attention to whom she interviews and hires and why – discuss how she handles initial recruiting decisions, and offer guidance as needed. Set clear goals, deadlines, and metrics for success. Stay in close communication, and don’t hesitate to reward top-quality results.