If you are just starting your career as an indie developer, then you are probably ready to outsource some of the development of an indie game to an outsourced worker. We’ve discussed how to outsource the development process in detail in the past as well as the benefits, but how do you know exactly who you can trust?
It’s a problem a lot of professionals have. Knowing who is going to flake out on you and who is going to be one of your go-to employees is easier said than done. Unfortunately…
There is no way to gauge who is going to work out and who isn’t.
There just isn’t. I’ve hired a ton of writers in the past, and all of them had solid credentials. They had solid reviews of their past work, their samples were great, and when talking to them, they sounded as if they were excited about working and wanted nothing more than to deliver quality work to me.
Want to know how many of them work for me now? None of them.
Finding quality help is extremely difficult, and take it from us: you are going to hire people that will not deliver what you need. It’s all part of the game. Even so, there are tactics you can use to minimize your grief and increase the odds of hiring someone that you will want to keep around for months – possibly years – to come.
Go with someone proven
If you hire someone from Elance or oDesk, check their reviews to see if they are reputable. How many reviews do they have? How many of those reviews come from the same clients? The trick is to find someone that has stellar reviews from a handful of different clients. This will be a good indication that these freelancers consistently deliver quality work that is pleasing to their clients no matter who hires them.
Also, be sure to look over the freelancer’s samples. If they don’t have samples? Choose someone else. A professional that is able to deliver quality work will always be more than willing to provide samples of their past work.
Speak with them
One of the best ways to gauge if someone is trustworthy is to just speak with them. I always like to interview people I want to hire over the phone or via Skype. What does this do for me? It allows me to get a better understanding of the person and whether or not I should hire them. You can just tell when a person is going to be untrustworthy from speaking with them. There have been a few writers I have thought about hiring, but after speaking with them? I could tell they were a little flaky and even a little unhinged. Believe me: you will be able to tell if you should hire someone or pass them on by via a short phone/Skype conversation.
All else fails: ensure they sign an NDA
No matter how much you trust someone you are hiring, you need to always ask them to sign an NDA that states they are prohibited from sharing certain information about any aspect of your indie studio. Especially for the outsourced workers that fail to work out? This can be a lifesaver as it ensures that you can take legal action against the individual if they leak any sensitive information to the public.
To ensure your NDA is solid, I suggest reaching out to New Media Rights so you can obtain free legal advice and services for free. It’s a great non-profit that is helping a ton of indie devs, and they can certainly help you too.
Have any comments/tips for finding trustworthy outsourced workers? Let us know in the comments below!