One major problem outsourcing clients have with regards to outsourcers is the fact that they don’t really have control over the hours their outsourcers log in. This is especially true for those who do not insist on having a tracking software installed in their outsourcer’s system.
It is very easy for an outsourcer to bloat his hours so that he can bill you more. And because you are miles away from where he is working, you really have no way to tell if indeed he is working the hours he is billing you for. And unless you are really familiar with the tasks you give your outsourcer, you won’t have a base reference of how long the task actually takes.
As a project manager for an American client, I manage a small team of outsourcers. My bosses do the hiring and I oversee the day to day operations of our outsourcing team. We’ve hired really great people and the not-so great ones, including dishonest outsourcers.
At first, these outsourcers all appear great. They put in excellent work and respond to your emails immediately. They are very cordial because they want to earn your trust. After they get their first payment and feel that you are a legitimate employer, ideas start coming to their heads…
That’s when they start putting in all the hours that do not equate with their output. Thinking that you, as employers, won’t put together two and two or underestimate your knowledge about the tasks (that’s why you are outsourcing them, they think), they will take advantage of you through their hours. And then you start seeing 8-hour days, with only 3 hours of work output, or worse, an hour of work output.
This is one of the most difficult problems an employer usually has. Of course, you want to give them work, but should you let your outsourcer take advantage of you?
Treat it as a test. Let them ‘cheat’ you with their hours for a week. Then, tell them subtly in an email about honesty and the importance of equating hours and output. One email is usually enough. If the outsourcer is concern about his position in your company, then he will most likely adjust his hours. If not, then he will continue billing you bloated hours.
If the latter happens, you have to put your iron fist down and tell him, in a nice way, of course, about terminating him. There is no sense in working with a dishonest outsourcer because in the long run, it will cost you more than having an honest one with a higher rate working the real hours.
Not all Filipinos are dishonest though. There are just some who think that a person who earns dollars is “rich”. They don’t get the fact that you are just taking advantage of the global economy.