The Dishonest Outsourcer

Dishonest OutsourcerOne 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.

Comments (9)
  • Completely I share your opinion. In it something is also to me this idea is pleasant, I completely with you agree.

  • Pretty impressive post. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be coming back and I hope you post again soon.

    • Sure. Christmas is keeping me busy but I’ll update the site soon so stay tuned…:)

  • I’d be inclined to okay with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I really like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

    • Thanks and your welcome as well.

  • Dishonesty is a fact of life and there will always be people who will practice them. I think that outsourcing is much more conducive to dishonesty because there is no one to check on the outsourcer. The only effective defense the employers can have is to be able to know when they are cheated. 😉

    • You are right about that Walter. I just hope that outsourcers learn the value of honesty for their own good. Much more important than the amount of pay is the trust of an employer. Without it, you can’t expect to work for anyone for the long term. And in the online world, long term work with one employer is far and few between. And you can always expect incentives and rewards for being honest. Nothing gets better than that. 😉

  • Hi there, I think it must be very tough to hire an outsourcer and trust them, especially after reading your post.

    But I do hope to find one of the more honest workers when the time comes for me to outsource.

    Do you have any good recommendations of the best sites to find some reliable workers?

    Thank you Alex.

    • Hi Alex,

      As much as there are dishonest outsourcers around, there are also outsourcers who are gems to their employers. Not only are they honest, they are also very competent at what they do. It will take some patience though to find these gems…and as all gems are, sometimes they need polishing in order to shine. You can check out and to find outsourcers for your projects.

      Thanks for dropping by!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge