Is crowdsourcing a good idea?

Crowdsourcing seems like an interesting prospect, where you can connect across various individuals globally and get them to help you to resolve your problem, faster and more efficiently. It might seem very easy, but the reality of it is tougher.

Benefits of crowdsourcing

  • The best part of the prospect is to connect with a larger network of people easily, across the globe. These workers come with their expertise and are available to deliver peace meal job, as per their suitability. They enrich the project with their knowledge and experience.
  • The crowd is also ready to work instantly, as soon as the project is flagged off, which means the lesser time needed to wait or source people.
  • Crowdsourcing gives the advantage to control the flow of work, so if you have more work deploy a larger number of resources or hold on to it. More control over delivery and output.
  • Crowdsourcing makes full-time employment and commitment a passé. It is built on expertise, individualism and is credited to individual merit only.
  • Wider reach of people from online sources. Crowd-sourcing platforms get people to workglobally. The better variety and provides 24×7 coverage of workers, across different time zones, which means no barrier in case of working hours. There are resources working across the world at a different time and points to deliver as per your desired requirement
  • Simple, scalable, on-demand and always on, crowdsourcing is the modern generation multinational.
  • It is cost effective, works according to the budget. You only pay for the job done. It can be on an hourly basis, daily basis or project to project basis. The convenience of payment is unparalleled.
  • Higher diversity across workers and richer experience. Get worker as per the experience you seek to get a job done.
  • Gives equal opportunities to all people across age, barrier, ethnicity. It is truly a global way of working.

Problems with crowdsourcing

  • Probably the biggest drawback of crowdsourcing is to get the correct outcome, or the exact desires result from a task assigned. Simple tasks which have a lesser time assigned and lesser rules to follow has more chances of getting the desired output. But complicated tasks, which requires longer time, is more complex and need comprehension, analysis, and research has more chances to go wrong. People might perceive the task differently and might not get clarity on what is desired to be achieved.
  • Error is natural to human and a mistake can be committed by anyone. But crowdsourcing gives us lesser chances to get the mistakes rectified.
  • Perceptions may differ. Answers maybe subjective from person to person, crowdsourcing can lead to a variety of responses, but whether they solve the ultimate purpose or not is difficult to derive. A worker’s response to a job can vary from what the assigner is looking for. But crowdsourcing has lesser chances of clarifications or rectifications. It becomes difficult to differentiate between right and wrong answers automatically, it is a manual job, so it requires a certain level of check and double work.
  • Crowdsourcing might also lead to frauds and scams by both the parties if proper measures are not taken care off. There are authentic sites who verifies user payments and maintain worker rating and testimonials to fight against such nuisances.
  • There are more chances of confidentiality getting compromised. A task when assigned to several individuals can lead to a leak of information which might be harmful to a brand.
  • A worker is not loyal to a brand or company when working via crowdsourcing. They can easily pass on sensitive information to other organizations, which might harm the brand.
  • The language barrier might be a problem among the worker and tester.
  • Payments are subject to a tester’s authenticity and judgment, which might lead to discrepancies and issues between the worker and the assigner.
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How to crowdsource efficiently?

It easy to evaluate and understand the advantages and disadvantages of using crowdsourcing, but ultimately one needs to evaluate whether the format works for them or not. First, evaluate your problem and what is that you need to do the get the desired result. If you feel it can be resolved by sourcing it online, evaluate your budget and keep a few things in mind before plunging –

  1. Be specific. Make a list of what the work entails and what is that you are seeking from the worker. Make it as descriptive as possible. Give examples, give references and recommend your taste. If it’s a design, give texture, pattern, color suggestion, attach some references do the designer can understand and visualize what you are seeking for.
  2. Remunerate well. Crowdsourcing can be comparatively cheaper, but the more you seek the more you need to pay. Make sure you check the industry standards before making payments. If you don’t maintain the basic amount that others are paying, you won’t get good resources.
  1. Use analytical skills to evaluate results. If you outsource your work to many non-professional workers, your output can vary. Before giving a job check their skills. Check work profiles, recommendations. For a big project, you might even try a trial run, before assigning the complete task.
  2. Check for options. Do not commit to a single person before assigning try out a few options. Keep a good balance of workers. Don’t keep all the eggs in the same basket, so explore and grow your network.
  3. Keep a group of loyal workers. Once you work with certain people, you might get comfortable with them. They might be a better fit to understand your need and timelines. Maintain a good rapport and keep them engaged. This will help in the long run.
  4. Connect with your workers beyond work. You have limited sources to bond with the workers. Take time out to wish them on important festivals and show compassion however you can, this will motivate them and gain their loyalty.
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Final thoughts

Crowdsourcing is a simple and cost-effective way to get your job done out of people across the globe at minimal cost, however, it is mostly limited to the service industry only.

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