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Tips to contracting work to foreigners for the first time

Some tips on how to get good results from overseas workers.

Make your requests as specific as possible

First, it is important that the work content is described correctly.
Please provide clear details to avoid any misunderstanding due to culture differences. To facilitate easy understanding give examples in an Excel sheet or Word document.

Periodically check

Please check the progress of the work regularly by messaging the freelancer (worker). The designated date of delivery and the sense of “deadline” in Japanese culture might differ from “deadline” in other cultures.
For Project-type jobs we recommend that you ask the freelancer to send frequent updates to you so that you can monitor the freelancer’s progress.

Use Google Hangouts or Skype

When working with a foreigner for the first time it is common to feel some anxiety.
We suggest you use Google Hangouts, Skype or some other free video chat tools to promote communication.
This will facilitate communication and help you to convey points that are hard to convey in email messages.

Recognize the differences in cultures and business practices

Of course cultures are different from country to country.
Expectations about workers and clients might be different. Sometimes it might be necessary to respect the culture of the other party. Work with a number of freelancers until you find one that meets your expectations and suits your work style.

Q&A for contracting work to foreigners for the first time

Q1. How to judge whether an applicant is reliable or not?

A1. For reference you can check a freelancer’s profile page to see if he or she has submitted any ID verification (such as a passport or driving license) to confirm their identity. You can also send a message directly to the freelancer or use a video chat tool such as Google Hangouts or Skype to interview the freelancer and better understand their language level and personality.

Q2. Can I really trust the skills written in the freelancer’s profile page?

A2. The skills stated on each freelancer’s profile page are self-declared skills by the freelancer, they are not skills that are tested by Workshift. However, you can observe “Evaluations” made by clients of each freelancer’s historical work performance on their profile page for reference regarding the quality of their work as determined by other clients. You can also message or video chat with applicants prior to hiring them to test or confirm their skills.

Q3. Do freelancers diligently meet deadlines?

A3. In a Project-type job the delivery deadline is fixed and if you ask the freelancer for frequent updates the deadlines will be met. In the case of Competition-type jobs, the product is delivered at the time the application is made so the deadline is always met. Moreover, in both cases, payment is never paid until a product is delivered, so there is no need to concern yourself about paying without receiving delivery.

Q4.I hired a freelancer but I am afraid he may not complete the job.

A4. By hiring someone who has submitted their ID verification you can avoid some of these problems. Moreover, sending messages to the freelancer can give you clues to their speed and responsiveness. If such a case does arise Workshift Customer Support will assist you.

Q5. What if the freelancer abandons the job. What will happen to my money?

A5. The freelancer is not paid until the work is delivered, checked, and completion confirmed by the client. So if the job is abandoned by the freelancer before completing the job the entire sum of the contract, the total amount paid by the client, will be returned to the client.

Q6. What is the merit of using foreign workers?

A6. First of all, local freelancers are knowledgeable about local customs and religious issues and can take appropriate steps to deal with them. Secondly, the cost of sending someone overseas to gather market research can be greatly reduced by using talented local market researchers. For example, a local freelancer can easily find and take 100 photographs of elementary school children’s pencil cases. Thirdly, the savings on wages by hiring a local professional compared to hiring a Japanese professional to conduct the same job is often significant and can improve your competitiveness in the international market.

Q7.I am worried that applicants who were not hired in a competition-type job will complain to me.

A7. In this case please contact Workshift and we will handle it for you.

Q8. What should I do if I cannot get in touch with the freelancer after the work is delivered? For example, if a lawsuit occurs it may be a problem not to have contact with the overseas-based freelancer.

A8. In such a legal case Workshift can disclose the user’s registered information.

Q9. Are there any points that we should be careful of when hiring a foreign freelancer?

A9. We advise you to clearly describe the job details. For example, we recommend that you state that you want this Excel sheet filled in, attach an image of the product, ask for regular updates as a condition. You should also send periodic messages to confirm work progress and check that the work is on schedule.

Q10. I am worried that the job details in Japanese are not properly translated to convey the meaning.

A10. When posting a job on Workshift the job is broken into to 3 categories. These categories are automatically translated into English and Japanese so that most users can know immediately what the job category is. Moreover, at the top of the Workshift site is a free translation tool so that freelancers can translate any messages or comments from Japanese to English. For getting a high level of translation you can request translation work from our highly skilled team of translators.

Q11. I am not good at English so I am concerned that I cannot send messages to the non-Japanese freelancers.

A11. If you register as a member, you will be able to use the "translation tool" within this site, so please do not hesitate to use it for your convenience. If you are uncomfortable with a software translation tool, it is also possible to hire a freelancer with language skills separately.

Q12. Does the company Workshift truly exist and can I trust it?

A12. Workshift Solutions has been recognized by the government of Japan as a supporting firm of companies that seek overseas demand. This government link supports our claim( Moreover, for reference, the Workshift Solutions street address, homepage URL, email address, and listing of our management team are all disclosed. The homepage link is here

Q13. What do I do if I am not satisfied with the delivered product?

A13. If you are not satisfied with the delivered product you can reject the file and have it returned to the freelancer for changes. Use the Message Function to explain the changes that you want and the reasoning behind it. The freelancer can make the changes you want and later deliver it to you again.

Q14. I wonder if anyone will really apply for my job.

A14. It is very important to write a job post that is easy to read and understand. Remember that if your requested price range is too different from the market price there may not be any applicants at all. This can be avoided by observing previous job posts on our site for guidance on presentation details and pricing.

Q15. I am worried that the applicant may not be satisfied with my proposed contract price.

A15. Use the SEARCH function to look up previous jobs posted on our site to observe the contract prices achieved by others. Project-Type jobs require the applicant (freelancer) to input their desired price to execute the job. The prices input by the freelancers can be reference price points for you.

Q16. How long can a job post be posted free of charge?

A16. Project-Type job posts are essentially all free of charge. Competition-Type job posts require advance payment because the applicants are asked to create their product and submit it before the winning product is selected. If you want your job post to be highlighted and better positioned than other job posts you can pay for the OPTION to highlight your job or have it positioned it at the top of the job list.

Q17. How much time is required to post a job?

A17. It depends on the content of the request but generally it takes about 3 minutes. More complicated content details may require longer time to write and post.