Businesses spend billions of dollars every year on software outsourcing services to help them grow and improve. However, just like with any other process, hiring remote developers has its own specifics. Knowing these, as well as the mistakes you need to avoid, will ensure that you start off your business development process on the right foot.
Pros of Hiring Remote Developers
The world’s talent at your fingertips
The biggest advantage of outsourcing your software development is that you are not limited to local talent. You can search far and wide to find the best match for your project, without having to worry if they are willing to relocate.
Diversity in the workplace boosts innovation and productivity. This diversity is not just a matter of gender and ethnicity either, but the cultural background, education, etc. When you expand your recruitment pool to include people who are not working within commuting distance from your office, you also gain access to a wider range of experiences that your company can benefit from.
Get the most for your money
Another advantage of hiring a dedicated team that works remotely rather than in-house is the cost. High-quality services do not come cheap, but by hiring remote developers you do not have to provide them with office space, computers, etc, which helps to cut down expenses. This makes outsourcing a great option for all businesses, even larger businesses that are not interested in an in-house team of their own.
Cut down on HR’s workload
If you choose to build your own in-house development team your HR department can expect months of increased workload. Recruitment, interviews, background checks, onboarding, and more will take up a lot of their time. When you choose an outsourcing company’s dedicated team services, this process has already been dealt with.
Get started right away
If you assemble an in-house team it can take months before they are ready to start working on your project. A remote technical team, on the other hand, can get started much faster. Depending on your project, you can begin to see results in a matter of months or even weeks.
Cons of Hiring Remote Developers
Assembling an in-house team is time-consuming. It is difficult to find the right people and it takes months to get a new project started. However, an in-house team has an important advantage: consistency. You know your team and you know what you are going to get. When you turn to an outsourcing company, it is a bit more of a gamble.
Solution: Do your due diligence when researching outsourcing companies. A thorough discovery stage before development begins is a good sign that your outsourcing company of choice is going to successfully turn your idea into reality. Once you find a reliable outsourcing partner that can deliver consistently good results, hold on to them!
Time zone differences
When it comes to IT outsourcing services, your partner may be located in a different part of the world than you are. Depending on the time zone difference, this can mean that urgent issues will have to wait for hours before your team begins their workday.
Solution: Western European companies can easily outsource to experienced developers in Eastern Europe with a time zone difference of just an hour or two. This is a negligible difference. For businesses in the US, on the other hand, the time difference can become quite substantial. However, forewarned is forearmed and with successful project management, even a 10-hour difference can become insignificant. A professional project manager will help maximize the benefits delivered to a business by, among other things, providing essential leadership as well as keeping track of tasks, deadlines, and scope.
If you are interested in the difference between a product manager and a project manager, check out our recent article where we discuss these two professions and their role in software development projects.
In tech the primary language is English. Yet if you hire globally there is a risk that the best developers you can find lack the necessary linguistic skills to be able to communicate efficiently with you.
Solution: Before you decide upon a remote technical team, interview a representative together with whoever in your company is going to be responsible for communication. Take this opportunity to get to know the people you intend to work with and determine if you will be able to communicate well with each other. Be aware that when it comes to English education there are significant global differences. You will improve your odds of finding a great outsourcing company if you look for it in countries that have an ample supply of English-speaking developers, such as Ukraine.
Not knowing your product
When you begin working with an outsourcing team, you need to remember that no one knows your product better than you do. While an in-house team may need a refresher to ensure everyone is up to date, a remote technical team starts from square one.
Solution: It is not just a matter of you being able to explain your product to the uninitiated. You also want the outsourcing company to take an active interest and ask questions until they understand your product and business needs. This will help make the necessary project discovery phase run smoothly. Ideally, you should choose a company that has previous experience successfully implementing similar projects for other businesses. This will ensure that they are already somewhat familiar with what you are likely to need.
Managing a remote technical team can feel intimidating if you have never done it before. You may worry that your developers are not using their time as efficiently as they could or have misunderstood your earlier instructions.
Solution: Depending on the scope of your project, you may want to hire a project manager to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You can also schedule regular and brief meetings for status reports. This is an excellent time to not just ask about how things are progressing, but if the team is experiencing any challenges that they might need assistance with. Ensure that they know that they can always reach out to you if they need to. Finally, let the results determine if your team can handle independence.
Do your due diligence researching
A low price tag can be tempting, but at the end of the day, you want quality service with excellent results. This means that you are better off looking for reliability first and foremost.
When comparing developers, take the time to not only look at the case studies that they have available. Also, investigate what other people say about them in places such as Clutch. See if their employees have left any reviews on Glassdoor. No reviews here are better than negative reviews and the best reviews are the ones that provide feedback to the company. If you are unsure where to start looking, the top offshore software development companies of 2020 list are a good place to start.
Does the company that you are looking to hire have any recruitment ads up? Take a look at them and see what they are looking for in their staff. Communication is very important to remote collaborations, so you want there to be an emphasis on soft skills.
A Remote Technical Team for Your Company
If you are considering hiring remote developers to help you overcome your technical challenges, or if you are looking for further advice, do get in touch! Forbytes is happy to assist you in your digital journey.