Roughly a decade ago, over 900,000 jobs in the US and Europe were moved to developing nations like India and the Philippines. More than 50% of these jobs were dedicated to IT and computer engineering. The primary reason for this transition was that many employers believed that the cost of building an offshore team was significantly lower than hiring local talent.
Today, though the cost is an undeniable and underlying factor that drives companies to look offshore, the more pressing need is to find a talented workforce to build software. Given the dizzyingly fast rate at which technology is advancing, keeping up with the growing market is quite a task.
To stay on top of this ever-expanding market, companies look into opportunities where they can build innovative software quickly to scale their business. Going offshore has many advantages. Your company can work with engineers who can build state-of-the-art software, without compromising on the quality and at a comparatively cheaper cost.
So how do you go offshore?
In this piece, we walk you through the process of building your offshore development team, in just 4 steps.
#1 Choose the right offshore development partner
When hiring offshore developers, you’re very likely to engage people you might meet only once or twice a year. This means that establishing a meaningful connection with them, managing their tasks and making sure that they deliver great software can be somewhat tricky.
This is where partnering with the right offshore software development company is crucial. Their role is to ensure that they build an ideal offshore team on your behalf and take care of all the administration activities while you focus on the core competencies of your business.
How do you choose the right partner?
- Define what you want
Before you partner with an offshore development company, make sure that you are clear on what you wish to accomplish by going offshore. You can even put together a written proposal that primarily highlights your specific goals, metrics, growth targets, capacity and pretty much anything that you think is relevant to the project.
By doing this exercise, you will have a clear view of the expectations for your business. When you do meet potential partners, you can then communicate this as clearly as possible.
- Portfolios matter:
Partnering with the right offshore company means partnering with a company that has substantial experience in building offshore teams. Hence, look for demonstrable expertise. Portfolios, case studies, and client reviews matter.
By analyzing their portfolio, you get an idea of their ability to solve problems and deliver the desired results. This also lets you know that they are legitimate so you can progress talks.
- Evaluate cost-effectiveness:
In a competitive industry like offshoring, every offshore development company is going to offer services at competitive prices. However, cost-effectiveness is what truly matters.
The key is to assess which company gives you the most value for your money. Ask for quotes, timeliness, unforeseen costs and hidden budgets before you make your decision.
#2 Follow a bulletproof hiring process
Even though you’ve partnered with an offshore development company to help you through the hiring and onboarding process, as a stakeholder in the business, spend some time evaluating a prospective employee and if they can be a part of your offshore team. So how can you do it?
- Evaluate the skills of the candidate that you think is crucial. This can involve their knowledge of tech stacks, tools, frameworks, and even their personality.
- Create a list of questions that you want to ask them. This guarantees that the key parameters are discussed before an offer is released.
- Look for cultural compatibility. Even if a candidate is technically sound, a poor cultural fit can derail their progress in your company. Hence, evaluating if they are compatible enough to work with your organization is extremely important.
- Devote time to answering any queries and concerns that the candidate may have about your business. This gives them another reason to work for you and work with you.
#3 Leverage communication tools
In this era of smartphones and smarter people, geographical distance is no longer the boogeyman it once used to be. A decade or two ago, failure to compensate for geographical distance could entirely derail an offshore project. Today, regardless of the time difference, in-house and offshore teams can communicate virtually in a seamless manner. All thanks to modern communication tools.
By leveraging effective communication tools, you can avoid all sorts of bottlenecks, confusions and sour relationships between your in-house and offshore teams. Here are a few tools that definitely come in handy:
- Instant Messaging tools
For day-to-day messaging with team members, instant messaging tools work best. Tools like Skype and Slack are chatrooms where you can leave messages for your team members, at any time, regardless of your location.
You can attach files, screenshots, links and even videos to convey your message as clearly as possible. Some of these instant messaging tools are also integrated with your Google Drive, making collaboration even simpler.
- Cloud storage
Cloud-based platforms have become a necessary part of any business. Platforms like Google Docs have become the worldwide standard to share files and collaborate across teams. It is simple, fast and effective.
- Screen sharing
Real-time screen sharing via tools like TeamViewer for demonstrations and discussions can boost your productivity by making team members feel like they are virtually in the room even though they are miles away.
#4 Track the productivity of your offshore team
When working with an in-house team, you get to see them almost every day. This means that even though you aren’t necessarily tracking their attendance, you have a brief idea of what each team member is working on, and you are bound to be familiar with their tasks and any upcoming deadlines. Working with an offshore team is different.
To keep track of their productivity, across borders and time zones can be a challenge. This is why project management tools are crucial. Implement a system that tracks and manages every developer’s tasks.
The simplest way to do this is to set up a productivity tracker where each employee notes down their tasks, deadlines, and any roadblocks that they encounter. Make this system transparent, so the whole team and management have an idea about how the employee is coping with their responsibilities.
You can even conduct weekly meetings or scrums to make sure that your employees are up to speed. This also gives you an opportunity to review their performance and assess their contribution to your business.
And voilà, you’re all set to work with your dream team by going offshore. You not only get to work with talented and passionate developers at a fraction of the cost as back home, but you get an opportunity to scale your business like never before!
If you have more questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to help you!
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