It's not difficult for Luke Salsich, president and co-founder of Group Zero, to describe the impact that oDesk freelancers have had on his web application development business. "Our business is growing monthly," he says. "It's very concrete — I'm a bottom line guy."
Since joining oDesk three years ago, he has put together a team of freelancers, most of them web developers living in Ukraine, who brought great qualifications to their work, several having master's degrees, and have shown a tremendous work ethic. He's not sure he could've found such hard workers in his own back yard, but he knows he couldn't afford to hire local staff with master's degrees.
Getting work done quickly, expertly, all at highly competitive rates means Salsich can charge clients less than his competitors do. He says Group Zero's prices are bringing them more clients every month.
"The benefits of using oDesk are incredible," he says.
Luke Salsich / Co-Founder and President, Group Zero
"We are able to charge a fraction of what our competitors charge."
Finding the Talent
Salsich doesn't view hiring remote workers as a necessary evil to get access to better talent or more competitive rates than he can find locally. "I prefer to hire people on oDesk," he say. "I find that they're tremendously motivated and enthusiastic, and grateful for the opportunity."
He dismisses the idea that hiring remote workers is any more complicated or risky than hiring locally. He says Group Zero takes every hire, whether a full-time staffer in Boston or a part-time remote freelancer, seriously. "We're a professional operation," he says, and explains how he's learned to use oDesk's hiring tools to find the right freelancers. He looks for professionalism in every aspect of of a candidate's portfolio, from previous experience and feedback ratings to the grammar in the cover letter — chat-room lingo, he says, is a big red flag.
Group Zero's Advice
- If you are new to remote teams, start with a single freelancer.
- Start with a part-time, short-term arrangement.
- Expand your team once you've learned to work efficiently and effectively with your freelancer.
Since first making a hire through oDesk, Group Zero has expanded the role its remote workteam plays, and that's not a trend Salsich expects to reverse. "We started hiring [freelancers] on oDesk to supplement our need for additional programmers," he says, "and now it's become a valuable part of our business model."
Group Zero, a Boston-based web-app developer, uses remote workteams to control costs. oDesk lets the company:
- hire educated web application experts for long term jobs.
- hire where the cost of living is lower than in the Northeastern U.S.
- pass the savings to customers, which keeps the business growing.
About Group Zero
Founded in 2006, Boston-based Group Zero ( www.groupzero.net ) specializes in developing personalized web applications.