Several Australian startup accelerators have partnered with oDesk to help startups find low-cost freelancers from around the world.
The accelerators involved in the oDesk Upstarts program are AngelCube from Melbourne and Startmate and Pollenizer from Sydney. Under the partnership, participating startups can receive oDesk credits to hire online freelancers and access to recruiting services.
Startups can also receive mentorship from oDesk executives with Silicon Valley backgrounds. This will include virtual and face-to-face meetings to discuss fundraising, monetisation, sales, marketing, hiring, delegation and remote management of online teams, oDesk said.
The American company oDesk has found great success in Australia, where it can be difficult and expensive for startups to hire local staff, oDesk CEO Gary Swart said in a recent interview.
However, Swart said people should think of the global freelance service as “staff augmentation” rather than “outsourcing.”
“Outsourcing implies throwing something over the wall and getting something back,” he said. “This is more about you and I working together over the long term as a direct, one-to-one relationship.”
Finding and retaining staff is no easy task for startups, said oDesk vice-president of international, Matt Cooper.
“Even if the ideal hire lives within a 50-mile commuting radius, startups will need a plan to actually find, attract and afford them,” he said. “And even after you’ve managed to hire, the war for talent is not over — retaining star employees is often cost-prohibitive for startups.”
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