Outsourcing is a loaded term that is often used to describe scenarios where U.S. workers are laid off in droves in favor of skilled, lower-wage professionals living in faraway lands. But when it comes to TaskRabbit.com, outsourcing is actually a pretty good thing.
The concept behind TaskRabbit.com is actually quite simple, really. It’s an online marketplace or community that allows people to outsource jobs or duties to other people situated nearby. Using TaskRabbit.com, people looking for a little bit of help can detail exactly what the job or task entails and then list the amount they’re willing to pay to the person who can complete the job or task. A level of safety is built into the system as service providers, for instance, have to go through a rigorous sign up process that includes filling out an application online, sending in a video interview, taking an online test that determines whether or not they have familiarized themselves with TaskRabbit.com’s all-important manual and submitting to a background criminal-record check. The person posting the job or task to be performed can, after going over the service providers’ qualifications and asking prices, choose which service provider they want to hire. Signing up to use TaskRabbit.com is free for outsourcers and service providers.
The value of TaskRabbit.com is obvious. People are busier than ever nowadays with work and family commitments gobbling up so much time that some have a hard time understanding what the concept of free time is all about. Enter TaskRabbit.com. People who have to head out of town on a business trip can use it to find a pet sitter to look after Fido the dog or Pretty Paws the cat. Couples looking to have someone come into their home and lay down some hardwood in the living room and the den can find qualified contractors. Elderly folk who are no longer able to adequately look after their property can find someone to mow the lawn, prune the shrubs or shovel the snow off of the driveway and sidewalk. Busy work-at-home moms, balancing deadlines and little ones, can find someone to run a few errands, pick up some cough medicine at the neighborhood pharmacy or buy some ingredients needed to prepare supper. Men or women who have difficulty making sense of the instructions that come with their to-be-assembled office furniture can find someone who’ll put it together in a jiffy. So TaskRabbit.com is an ideal way to connect those who need something done with those who are willing to help.
How much does it cost? That’s totally up to the person looking for service providers. Outsourcers set the price and all the transactions are secure as they’re conducted through the TaskRabbit.com system – again only pre-approved people can use the service. People looking to outsource jobs or tasks should keep in mind that TaskRabbit.com requires as a service fee 20% of the price paid for every job or task completed. So outsourcers should remember that the service fee needs be factored into the equation when deciding how much to pay to service providers.
So is TaskRabbit.com all it’s cut out to be? Yes, for the most part. People who have a hard time getting everything on their to-do list done on time…or at all…will appreciate the opportunity to outsource any job or task via a system that streamlines the whole process. And community-minded people who like to help others can make a few bucks while doing so. In fact, serious service providers – those who apply need to be at least 21 years old – can potentially create a tangible, ongoing revenue stream via TaskRabbit.com. That should be good news to, for instance, students who want to make some money on the side to help cover tuition or living expenses while away at school.
Negatives? At present TaskRabbit.com is only available in Boston, Massachusetts; the San Francisco Bay Area; San Antonio, Texas; Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles, California; Orange County, California; and New York City, New York. So people outside of these areas are out of luck at present. However, the company will expand into other regions down the road, and people have the chance to sign up on the TaskRabbit.com site for notification when the company expands into their areas.