Start-ups approach their operations with one eye on controlling their overheads and another on business growth and profits. In this scenario, attracting top-notch talent to work for their startups looks like a distant dream for most.

All businesses irrespective of their size want a super-talented workforce on their rolls, but this comes at a price, a price that startups are seldom willing to pay or can pay. But a solution exists for these businesses in the form of the “human cloud”.

Also, known as the ‘crowdsourcing workforce’ this is the single most important innovation for tapping human resource that startups are using to put only the best talent to work on their projects.

The human cloud allows you to access the services of a large group of amazingly talented people who do not sit in your office but whose work can be leveraged using the internet, cloud computing or any other collaborative technology that meets your needs and requirements.

What you are essentially doing is using a liquid workforce that can be scaled up and down as per your needs and requirements. Whether your business needs are planned or unplanned, by optimizing the use of your virtual workforce, you can satisfy them quite conveniently without denting your business’s operating costs.

So, now the question is, how do you get the right talent to work on your project?

If you’ve decided to tap into the human cloud to hire your workforce, you still need to attract them. Usually, if you are looking to hire the crème de la crème, you’ll need to primarily attract them on the brunt of the project and the way it will challenge their expertise. But there are other factors that are of some importance as well:

The respect you show for their ability: Talent expects respect. More than the money, they’re looking for clients who will appreciate the skill sets they will bring to the table.

So, show respect for their talent.

Are you willing to build a sustainable long term relationship?:  The best virtual workforce doesn’t want to work for a company but partner with it to work on projects that challenge their intellect, skill sets and experience; while this workforce wants the liberty to work with any client, on any project, in their own time, they’re still keen on forging a mutually beneficial long term relationship.

Rewards: No they aren’t going to work for food, but they will work for practical rewards which mean money, and any other perks that you can think of. Get innovative, money is important but so is flexibility in work hours, or say a promise of continuing assignments.

The promise of a mission critical role: ‘You da Man’ – That’s what the experts need to hear. Driving home the point that the professional will play a mission critical role in project development will help you get the best people onboard for your project.

But now that you’ve got these people onboard, the question is how you will manage these people working from distributed remote locations. The answer lies in project management tools and others that are just about perfect for task distribution, control, management, and evaluation.

Your workers manage complex tasks using well-defined workflows, optimize their tasks, are on top of research and development, access data in real time and have clearly defined lines of communication with all stakeholders of the project.

–Using Crowdsourcing Right

A crowdsourced workforce helps you satisfy some of the biggest hiring challenges that startups face.  At the same time, you have a choice of tapping the human cloud on projects that make economic sense and which deliver the most returns on investment. For e.g. if you are a startup offering internet marketing services, you could tap into the human cloud for content writers, and use them to open doors to broader internet marketing work.

In this case, you are exploring new avenues of business growth, but you are doing so with the use of experts. If this exploration works, you can contract these writers for the long term, but if it doesn’t you’ve the option of scaling back these efforts or stopping them altogether.

What you are also doing with cloud labor is outsourcing mission critical work to experts who know their job well, which frees up your time and allows you to focus on other revenue generating activities.

Another big benefit is that you are able to compete with the big players in your niche by putting the best expertise and experience to work on client projects, and that too without busting the bank.

–Piling on the Competitive Edge

Working with the right talent with a successful track-record of working on cutting edge projects is every startup’s dream. Some satisfy these dreams by paying a king’s ransom for hiring this talent, while others do so at the fraction of the cost by pulling in talent from the cloud.

No prizes for guessing that the latter helps reap rich dividends as startups are able to keep overheads under control and still get the best talent to work for them.

There is absolutely no doubt that a crowdsourced workforce or the human cloud is the future of human resource. It’s not just startups but also medium and enterprise levels companies who’ll use crowdsourcing to generate more value for their business.

There is yet another way you can look at crowdsourcing your workforce

Say your company has an office in New York, and there is a super talent who’s willing to work with your company, but is living in Chicago and doesn’t want to shift. Will you allow the tyranny of distance prevent you from working with this talent? Of course not!

You will ensure the person works remotely for your company. Why? Because you need to work with the best talent to remain competitive! Therein lies the advantage of the human cloud – You can work with the best talent, no matter what!

About Author:  Mary Prescott is working as a community manager at WorkZone – A web-based project management software company. She is @MaryP_WZ on Twitter. When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading fiction or hiking with her dog.

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