Keys to Working with Offshore Talent

By: Ben Tao

Ben Tao is CEO of Extra Lunch Money ( In this video he shares keys to working with offshore talent.

  1. Maintain clear expectations
  2. Create clear communication protocol
  3. Assign measurable tasks
  4. Cut unproductive team members

Offshore talent is a great way to save money by utilizing cheaper labor force abroad. However, if you don’t set it up correctly, it can actually cost you more time which will end up you costing you more money. So what we’ve learned is to avoid certain pitfalls so you don’t waste time and you can actually get what you need done in an efficient and productive manner.

First thing that we do is we have clear expectations but one thing that it kills especially when your working with someone abroad is not being upfront about what you want someone to do, especially if there’s a language barrier potentially. It’s very important to layoff front what you want in terms of time, reports, put it all out there in front and make sure they agree to it.

Second, then there should be a very clear communication channel for your offshore talent. If you are working on Skype you say hey you can reach me on instant messenger. If you want to use Base Camp for our project management tool. Make sure that they have ways to reach you in efficient way. Because sometimes they might have a question in that they have regarding a test you assigned them and if they don’t have a way to get back to you or an easy way, there going to do it.


Third, make sure that you have measurable task. If you have none measurable tasks where you make it very vague, say, “Hey, can you help me create some ideas?” A lot of times when we’re used to doing at our own but when you left and assigned something to someone else, make sure you list out exactly what you’re looking for. Just give me 10 different ideas about this topic, if you’re having them research something for example.

And then finally, it’s very important to cut people who aren’t producing on the team. I mean, by working with someone for a couple of week, you can know what to expect out of them and if it’s not working, it’s better to cut them right away than to keep them on and to have them drag on. ‘Cause if your spending more time having to explain things than them producing work, it’s probably a good idea to say, “Hey, it’s not working out” and to find someone else.

So by avoiding those common pitfalls, hopefully you can start utilizing offshore talent to the best of your ability, which will end up many more for your business.