lend a hand...for money?
February 11, 2007 1:44 PM   Subscribe

Is there a no-hassle way to hire someone over the internet for a one-time office type research task?

I have a mindless but time-consuming light research/compilaiton task that needs to be done to deadline. All it involves is searching the internet and putting things into an excel document. I'm wondering if a site or service exists where I can effectively delegate this project by hiring someone else to do it, one-time only. Is there a trustworthy service on the internet anywhere for this type of thing?
posted by irregardless to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
MeFi Jobs?
posted by rossination at 1:46 PM on February 11, 2007

Might try the Jobs or even Gigs section of your local Craigslist.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:51 PM on February 11, 2007

Best answer: ELance.com.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:01 PM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

I do work over the Internet. I find using a contract and sticking to people in my geographic region (e.g. North America) helps. Although I usually do work for other people, I currently have a student intern at the other side of the country.
posted by acoutu at 2:01 PM on February 11, 2007

Seconding Craigslist...I can't personally vouch for the trustworthiness of any of the candidates, but it's a good starting place. I just saw a posting for a similar type of one-time task on there. Also, my husband and I also have a part-time administrative assistant starting tomorrow, whom we found on Craigslist.

You may have good luck by specifying a type of skill you're seeking -- for example, for similar work, even that which is mindless, I've had good luck suggesting in the ad that the job/task would be ideal for a college or grad student. It seems to me that the more specific I've been in such situations, the more tailored the responses. Good luck!
posted by justonegirl at 2:05 PM on February 11, 2007

As someone who likes to do these jobs, I look for them on
  • the local Craigslist (either in one-time gigs or, sometimes, you'll find them in the more-categorized but more-geared-to-full-time listins) or
  • the web-based student employment listings for the school I'm at.

    I find that the ads I would respond to
  • are proofread (unlike this post)
  • request a brief cover letter
  • describe the job and the skills or tools needed. It can also be beneficial to describe the organization or project the work is for - it can change interest level or demanded pay rate.

  • posted by whatzit at 2:13 PM on February 11, 2007

    Seconding whatzit's answer. I do these things from time to time as well, look on Craigslist, and ignore -- well, a lot of them. Put some effort into the post there; offer a decent wage, give a good description of what you want done and the time frame involved, and who you are -- I'm leery over the overly anonymous.

    Academic mailing lists related to what's being researched that allow job-related postings would also be a good place to put the word out.
    posted by kmennie at 2:27 PM on February 11, 2007

    Guru.com is set up for this.
    posted by desuetude at 3:24 PM on February 11, 2007

    Seconding desuetude, my boss has used Guru and seemed satisfied.
    posted by Gilbert at 6:37 PM on February 11, 2007

    Who knows how long it'll take but one of my current projects is a job-site reserved for exactly these types of tasks, OneTimeJobs.com.

    Its not quite ready to launch (Sudo landing page, currently, to track type in hits) but keep an eye out it should be very sweet, we've got a few neat ideas for it.
    posted by farmersckn at 8:40 PM on February 11, 2007

    What about that Mechanical Turk thing at Amazon?
    posted by hedgehog at 10:08 PM on February 11, 2007

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