Although it is challenging to manage a virtual team within a company, it is even more challenging to manage an international team of independent contractors (e.g., elance, oDesk, etc.).
In the past ten days, I quickly assembled a project team of 11 independent contractors (assistants, researchers, writers and testers) from the USA, India, Philippines and Romania to help my business grow. The speed at which I hired (and fired) them was unbelievable!
One contractor went AWOL. The other decided to end the contract. And, the third one had an emergency. So far, I’m fairly happy with the remaining eight in my team and they completed tasks that would have taken me hours to do by myself. I am still exploring this unchartered territory but if there is something I learned so far, I need to “hire slowly and fire quickly”.