How can I subcontract someone for temp-like tasks?

Without getting into the long, boring specifics…I occasionally do contract work. This work involves a bit of decision-making, a bit of planning, and (generally) a whole lot of menial follow-up tasks.

I’m wondering if there exists a service through which I can hire someone to handle certain portions of these tasks. The portions in question could probably be done by a trained monkey, but take hours of monotonous repetition to complete, and it would be worth my while to pay someone up to about $10 an hour to get them done while I handle the more critical work.

I don’t do this sort of thing often enough, or for long enough periods of time at once, to justify involving a temp agency…or at least, I don’t think so; I’ve never really looked into it. What I have in mind is something more along the lines of RentaCoder (which actually gave me the idea), only in my case it’d be more like “RentSomeoneWithMoreFreeTimeThanMe”. Given the existence of the aforementioned RaC, pay-per-answer question-answering services, and the like, it seems that something like this ought to exist.

Anyone have any suggestions?

ETA: Nothing about these tasks requires that the person be physically present, which is why the internet option sprang to mind. An example of one would be converting a couple thousand image files into predermined formats based on the image itself…not something you can automate (at least, not without dividing the pictures manually beforehand, which would take almost as long as just converting them myself), but which would take forever to do on my own.

Hire a college kid.
He’d be grateful for the dough.

I considered doing this, but these things do tend to be time-sensitive, so I’d like to have at least some semblance of formality to it. I know plenty of college kids, and there’s no way to tell from one brief conversation whether or not you can trust 'em. I should know…as recently as last year, I was one. :wink:

Ask the registrar’s office (or the school’s website) to put you in touch with a professor who teaches in the subject you’re dealing with (English, graphic design, whatever). Then, ask the professor if he can pass along the job request to a couple students he thinks might be interested. The professor is in a good position to make sure you don’t get saddled with someone completely incompetent.

If you need some serious graphic design work, I know just the person for you :wink:

You’ll pay way more than $10/hr to hire someone through a temp agency.

You could post your project to a site like and solicit bids. I outsourced some data entry and found a fellow in India to complete the task very cheaply.

Google “remote executive assistant” and “your man in india” (as 2 separate queries). I read about it in Wired (scroll down to “Outsource Your Job”).

Post and ad on Craigslist when jobs come up.