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Michael Talei Headshot

Keeps Jobs in America by Freelancing to Students

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It's 2 in the morning. I need to be up in 4 hours and am already exhausted from a long day of work, but instead of sleeping I'm awake on my computer. I'm talking to Parshant who is a web developer I hired from India. Before, I would outsource my business needs to workers in foreign countries. Let me tell you why I would never do that again and how people can benefit from hiring students right here in America.

When it comes to hiring people, there are only two options -- get someone who's local and a professional, or go overseas and outsource your operation. If money was not an issue, we would all hire local pros to do the job. Even then you're competing for a limited supply of talent against much larger companies that have more money and perks to offer employees. There's such a pressing shortage of talent that the most influential people in Silicon Valley, from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, have formed FWD.US to support immigration reform.

Another option is to hire people in places like India and China, where differences in time zone, language, and cultural barriers make it difficult. The overall quality of work is often lower than American standards and you will end up spending more on the time wasted repeating something that was not done right the first time. To make sure you are only hiring American educated talent, I created so that a student must prove an affiliation with one of our schools before signing up.

Prior to, students were limited in their options as to how they could work while in school. They could either take up an internship, where they would be underappreciated and underpaid if paid at all. They would be bossed around, have a lot of boring busy work, and ultimately not achieve the level of experience they were hoping for when they joined the company as an intern.

Students can choose to take a part-time entry level job, such as at Starbucks or at their school library. They would make some money but it would do nothing for their career goals. In the year 2013, where teens are innovators and entrepreneurs, there is no doubt that students are extremely talented. Freelance is a great way for them to use their skills, earn an income, gain real work experience, and develop employer relationships. The contacts they make freelancing can help the students land a great job right after graduating college.

Our schools are the biggest producers of talent in the world. I've seen employers hire students for writing projects from the best journalism schools and parents hire students majoring in a specific subject from an Ivy League to tutor their kids, and this is all happening on Freelancing your work to students not only helps your own needs, but if we see more American companies following this trend then more jobs will stay here and our entire nation would benefit as a result.