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Local startups hire global help via online service

Adam Bender | Feb. 18, 2013
oDesk addresses local skills gap and isn't outsourcing, says CEO Gary Swart.

Swart said that Australian contractors are also finding jobs, with about 57 per cent of their work coming from international companies, he said.

Rony Charchar, a freelancer doing Web design and development from Melbourne, said he’s done contract work for 30 companies in the last one-and-a-half years via oDesk.

Through three digital agencies in Australia, Charchar has worked on projects for football clubs and large TV brands, he said.

While he has worked on projects for companies in the US and India, Charchar said most clients have been Australian, he said.

“I’m guessing [it’s] because they like the fact I’m based in Australia as well.”

Case study: hiring online

Griffiths, a Sydney railway engineer by day, told Computerworld Australiahe relied on oDesk to build, an online service for organisations to post job ads to multiple career websites.

Griffiths used oDesk to find help with PHP, HTML4, CSS and graphic design. He searched for and hired three contractors. The site has been under development for about six months, and Griffiths said he’s spent about $12,000 on the oDesk hires.

Griffiths said he’s mostly satisfied by the work of the contractors. With two of them, he can assign a task and “let them run with it,” he said.

However, he said he has had some trouble managing his graphic designer, who seems to have “too much work on at the moment.”

While his current contractors are from Russia and the Ukraine, Griffiths said they speak English well and he’s had no communications issues. They usually talk over Skype and email, he said.

Griffiths said he likes that oDesk contractors have been flexible to his schedule.

“A lot of my work’s done at night and by email,” he said. In addition, Griffiths said he’s been able to temporarily put the project on hold when things get too busy at his day job.

Griffiths said he plans to work with his current contractors on a continuing basis.

“I see it as building a team,” he said. “I’ve got a team of guns on call.”

Case study: Finding contract work

Charchar said oDesk helped him become a full-time freelancer doing Web design and development.

Charchar has used oDesk for about two years. The first time was to hire for a friend’s project, but six months later he decided to try the other side.

“I started out doing a couple of really cheap jobs and got some [positive] feedback on my profile,” he said. “After that people started to contact me.”

“After about two or three months on oDesk, I got enough work to leave my full-time job.”

Charchar estimated that at first, he made about one-third of what he would get doing full-time work in Australia. A year and a half later, his hourly pay is comparable what he’d make in a full-time position, he said.


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