The crowd is a powerful force if you know how to manage it and what benefits you can take from this. That's why crowdsourcing (in a literal translation from English — the use of resources of the crowd) is becoming so popular. What is crowdsourcing?

We have once wrote about outsourcing — attracting employees from outside to perform certain tasks, single or long-term. Crowdsourcing is similar to outsourcing in that both are based on the outsourcing of human resources. But if the outsourcing involves the conclusion of a formal agreement. in crowdsourcing people are attracted on the basis public offer.

What is a public offer. Let's say a firm needs to develop a design for calendars. 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.

People responded and fulfilled the conditions (participating in the contest and winning) has the full right to require the Offeror   (the firm that made the offer) to fulfill the obligations specified in the contract (in this case, the reward 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 best examples of commercial crowdsourcing is company 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 may be non-profit. Many online projects are funded by crowdsourcing. the enthusiasm of users who share and create content and get in return except moral satisfaction. One of the most striking examples is the free encyclopedia Wikipedia, where users themselves create and edit articles.

Crowdsourcing profitable company that allows to significantly reduce costs. she gets a lot of ideas for little 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 stock, to use crowdsourcing on a regular basis difficult. 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.

Besides, if a lot of ideas, someone has to deal with their flow (to obtain a speck of gold, you need to wash a lot of sand, the percentage of really good ideas and proposals are 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 that some unscrupulous employers under the mask crowdsourcing contest for the vacant position. Call it crowdsourcing in its true meaning is difficult. The public offer agreement, which is based on crowdsourcing, this does not imply employment contract, in contrast to the competition for the vacant position. In fact, this is not crowdsourcing, but a banal fraud.

Sometimes crowdsourcing really helps the company find new employees, but is rather a "side effect": all the workplace is usually not mandatory public offer. Therefore, to rely on him as a method of finding potential employees is not worth it. Besides, not the fact that people, once offered a good idea, perfect 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 the blame on others," and save money. There are situations in which it is beneficial for all parties, but you should not abuse it .