The Farmer Takes a Job: 'Rural Sourcing' is Latest Trend
U.S. managers are finding that you don't need to go all the way to India to find workers to outsource labor. A new trend in the United States is employing virtual work force team members in tiny, rural areas of not-so densely populated states like Utah and Kentucky. This is called "rural sourcing," and it's becoming quite the trend.
Online staffing source oDesk recently found that workers in small towns, far away from major cities, make great employees, working out of their own homes. Among the reasons researchers are finding for employers to reach beyond big-city residents:
- Workers in small rural areas with populations of less than 15,000 are already online, plugged in, and used to working remotely. They're already accustomed to using the Internet to connect with the rest of the world.
- Small towns generally have a bigger number of people working online, per-capita, than large cities.
- Online contractors in small towns work more hours per month. They average more than 175 hours per month, which is far more than their colleagues in larger cities such as New York (70 hours per month), San Francisco (54 hours per month) and Los Angeles (23 hours per month).
In addition, call centers and companies that utilize call-in contractors and consultants are increasingly springing up in small towns, many near universities where there are plenty of graduates looking for jobs and the cost of living and labor is lower.
The salaries may not be as low in a town like Pleasantville, Utah, as they are in Mumbai, India, but there are other advantages to hiring U.S. citizens to work remotely: There are no unfortunate language barriers or cultural miscues, and there is infinite good will from the public and local residents, for keeping jobs at home in America.
If you're not interested in moving to the big city but you are interested in a decent job that requires little or no commuting, you might consider checking with companies such as oDesk, Cayuse Technologies or Rural Sourcing, Inc. Why move to the big city to find a job when the job just might come to you?
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.