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Just five days to the proposal and the ring was still miles away across the ocean. This is a story of love… and outsourcing

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Rod, a neurosurgeon from Sydney had decided to propose to his wife and had chosen a ring that was located in Houston, Texas.

Since he wanted to pop the question in just five days, he needed someone he could trust to fly to Texas and bring back the (very, very expensive) engagement ring back to Sydney.

For a thousand bucks plus expenses, Alexa, a mother of two and a very trusted runner with over 150 five-star reviews on Airtasker ran the errand.

She even had time to catch up with an old friend who lived in nearby Dallas.

Yep, people really are getting things done with outsourcing. In fact, even some difficult parenting tasks like toilet training and kicking a ball are being outsourced too.

Anthill recently interviewed Mr Tim Fung, CEO of Airtasker, one of Australia’s leading outsourcing platforms. He shared with us some interesting insider insight on this trend.

Why are more Australians outsourcing jobs?

Outsourcing allows smaller companies to scale quickly and easily without a big team of full-time employees. Businesses can hire skilled and experienced people, for a wide range of jobs, for whatever amount of time they need them, be it only an hour, a day or a year.

There are also so many hidden costs in hiring a new staff member; recruitment costs, office expenses, contracts, leave accrual, workers compensation and more. With outsourcing, you can avoid these extra expenses and only pay for exactly what you need.

What challenges come with outsourcing jobs?

The biggest hurdle is communication. Yes, the world is fast becoming a global village but you unfortunately still can’t underestimate the “tyranny of distance” just yet.

Time difference and a lack of direct communication tools, like picking up the phone or the good old tap on the shoulder, can make it difficult to put your exact requirements across.

It can also be quite time intensive especially if you outsource outside Australia, as you will need to set aside time to write a well detailed job description and check in on your worker.

What sets Airtasker apart from other outsourcing platforms?

Mr Fung pointed out that Airtasker’s biggest standout is that it connects you with local workers that can complete tasks in the real world, not just virtual tasks like web design, search engine optmisation, coding and the like.

Unlike virtual outsourcing platforms, you can actually meet the people you are working with and they can perform jobs that require a physical presence like data collection/market research or handing out flyers in another city.

What unusual jobs have been outsourced on Airtasker?

Most tasks on Airtasker are fairly common; house cleaning, deliveries and the like. However, Mr Fung reveals that there are a few more like the earlier mentioned Houston Ring job.

There’s the iPhone line up. The CEO of a local mobile comparison start-up Finder.com.au wanted to be the first in the world to get his hands on the new iPhone so he posted a task for an Airtasker to line up at the front of the Apple Store for over five days.

Steve, a truck-driver that had recently been made redundant picked up the job and whilst the rate per hour wasn’t huge, he walked away with a grand after a few days of camping during which he spent most of the time studying for his TAFE course.

Lastly, there was this one user had recently split with her boyfriend and wanted a “pick-me-up” via having an image of her Photoshopped to “improve her look”.

The response from the community was actually really heart-warming as quite a few users pitched in and told her that she really didn’t need Photoshop to be beautiful.

Aww… how sweet was that?

As you can see, a huge army of people with time and skills are now at your finger tips whenever you need so, be creative this year and tap into this potential.

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