The crowd is a powerful force, if you know how to manage it and what benefits can be derived from it. That is why crowdsourcing (literally translated from English - using the resources of the crowd) is becoming so popular. What is crowdsourcing?
We already once wrote about outsourcing -outsourcing employees to perform specific tasks, single or long-term. Crowdsourcing is similar to outsourcing in that it is based on the attraction of third-party human resources. But if outsourcing implies conclusion of an official agreementcrowdsourcing people are attracted on the basis of public offer.
What is a public offer? Let's say a firm needs to develop a designcalendars. Instead of hiring a designer, she announces on her website a contest for the best design. That is, it makes a specific proposal addressed to an undefined circle of persons (site visitors - potential bidders). This offer contains all the terms of the contract.
The person who responded and fulfilled the conditions (who took part in the competition and won) has the full right to demand from provider (the firm that made the offer) of executionobligations, specified in the contract (in this case - remuneration for winning the tender). As a result, the firm has a design, the winner has a prize, the participants have a moral satisfaction from participation.
This is the principle of crowdsourcing. The company makes an open offer, and amateur enthusiasts do it for a small reward or out of pure enthusiasm. Announce a competition with a fee is cheaper than hiring a professional, and you can look at the winner later and, possibly, take him into the staff already post-factum.
One of the vivid examples of commercial crowdsourcing is Threadless, engaged in the production of T-shirts. T-shirt designs are created by site visitors, and visitors also select 4-6 designs weekly, which will be launched in production if enough pre-orders are typed. Winners receive prizes and cash awards, and their names are printed on the labels of T-shirts.
Crowdsourcing in the Internet sphere can be non-commercial. Many Internet projects exist due to crowdsourcing, on the enthusiasm of users who sharecreate content and receive in return perhaps moral satisfaction. One of their most striking examples is the free encyclopedia Wikipedia, in which users create and edit articles themselves.
Crowdsourcing is beneficial to the company by the fact that allows you to significantly reduce costs: she gets a lot of ideas forlittle money. In addition, public competitions attract attention to the company's products, serving as a kind of advertising. But at the same time crowdsourcing has its drawbacks.
Crowdsourcing can be good for one-off shares, It's difficult to use crowdsourcing on an ongoing basis: sooner or later the audience's interest will fade. Do not resort to crowdsourcing if you are limited in time resources: who knows how long it will take until someone offers a really worthwhile idea.
In addition, if there are many ideas, someone has to cope with their flow (to get a grain of gold, you need to wash a lot of sand, the percentage of really good ideas and proposals is usually small). And maybe so, that ideas will be negligible if the audience for some reason does not take an interest in the contest.
The problem is also that Some unscrupulous employers disguise crowdsourcing for a competition for filling a vacant position. Call it crowdsourcing in its truemeaning is difficult. The public offer contract, on which crowdsourcing is based, does not imply the conclusion of an employment contract, unlike a competition for the replacement of a position. In fact, this is not crowdsourcing, but trivial fraud.
Sometimes crowdsourcing really helps the companyto find new employees, but it is rather a "side effect": the provision of a workplace is usually not a prerequisite for a public offer. Therefore, it is not worthwhile to rely on him as a method of searching for potential employees. Also, not the fact that a person who once offered a good idea, is suitable as a permanent employee. Suddenly he is not disciplined? Or does not know how to work in a team?
So, crowdsourcing is one of the ways to "shift from a sick head to a healthy one" and save money. There are situations in which it is beneficial for all parties, but you should not abuse it.