Some entrepreneurs usually have a negative perception of the terms ‘outsourcing' or ‘offshore'. Often, they associate it with a cheap quality; some even label it as a ‘scam'.
While there are, indeed, fake or unreliable companies out there, they actually constitute just the minority of the outsourcing industry. In fact, it is a huge generalisation and misconception many people make.
In reality, some of those who have tried outsourcing and failed may have done mistakes that could have led them to failure.
For those who have tried outsourcing before and found that it wasn't helpful or successful for you, have you ever examined why it might have failed? While in some cases, it is the offshore provider's shortcomings, have you ever considered that you might have also contributed to the project's failure?
Here are some points to ponder on why hiring developers offshore worked for some, and why it might not have worked for you.
They know why they need to outsource.
When an entrepreneur or a business is thinking of outsourcing a business function or project, the very first question they should ask is: “Why am I outsourcing?”
There are plenty of reasons why one would want to outsource. Here are just some of its benefits to businesses:
One of the primary reasons companies prefer to outsource, especially when it comes to software development needs, is that labour is relatively cheaper in offshore regions.
Aside from labour costs, businesses also save on infrastructure and overhead costs such as legal fees, and taxes, among others. Outsourcing can be significantly helpful for new or small businesses, especially those who are financially struggling.
Hiring developers offshore can definitely reduce or balance out the workload for your in-house team. Having more people work on a project can make your workflow smoother, more efficient, and significantly faster.
Moreover, as your business starts to grow, you will need to employ more tech talents who can cater to your project's technical requirements. Getting you or your team stuck doing the same tasks, especially those outside your expertise, can prove to be unproductive and can stunt the growth of your team, project and business.
Whether you would want to hire developers for small tasks such as website maintenance to core tasks such as developing new software from start to finish, outsourcing can help fill the gap in your team.
To further increase the effectiveness and quality of work, businesses outsource specialised work. When it comes to software development, DevOps Engineers and QA Testers are just some of the most popular specialised positions that businesses outsource to improve the quality of their project. Hiring tech professionals to handle such tasks allows an in-house team to focus on their speciality and produce better work.
To put it simply, as a business owner or an entrepreneur, you should clearly know why you want to hire developers offshore. This is why some businesses fail or succeed in outsourcing. They don't pause to understand why they're doing it, they just jump right into it.
Without a clear goal or objective, you won't be able to fully maximise outsourcing's benefits and find the right service provider for your outsourcing needs.
Related Article: These are the reasons why you should outsource
They did enough research.
After pinpointing which positions you want to outsource and why you want to outsource them, the next step is to find the right outsourcing provider through thorough research.
While there are plenty of outsourcing providers that have sprung up in recent years, not every provider you encounter can actually provide the developer, technical requirements, and support that your project or business needs. As such, it is essential to stress the value of researching as many outsourcing firms and as much information as you can so you can make well-informed decisions.
To help you out, here are some tips to find the right outsourcing provider for you.
The most obvious and easiest thing to do when looking for developers offshore is searching via the internet. When browsing online, you can simply type the specific kind of developer you are looking for and already find various outsourcing agencies who offer the developer you look for.
When searching online, always keep in mind to thoroughly read for reviews about the company or past and present client testimonials, as well as reviews from current and former employees. This will give you a better sense of how the company works inside and out.
Search via local regulating agencies
If you would like to ensure that you are partnering with an accredited offshore provider, you can contact a country's local regulating agency and ask for referrals. For example, the Philippines, one of the leading countries for outsourcing software development, has organisations such as the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) which businesses can ask for recommendations from their pool of partnered outsourcing centres.
Ask referrals from associates or friends
With how popular overseas software development have become in recent years, some business partners or your very own peers might have already tried outsourcing some of their services. Don't hesitate to ask other people if they have recommendations. This can also help you gain insights about a particular outsourcing provider and helpful tips on where and how to look for the right offshore vendor.
Consider asking these questions
When hiring developers offshore, the following questions can also help you determine whether an outsourcing provider is the right one for you.
- Is the outsourcing firm's customer representative or account manager responsive to your enquiries?
- How does the company communicate to you overall?
- What is the company's business model, and does it complement yours?
- Do you share the same objectives as this outsourcing provider?
- What security and confidentiality measures does this outsourcing provider implement?
- Does the outsourcing firm provide a clear breakdown of the costs or fees?
Being well-informed can spell the difference between a successful and disastrous outsourcing experience. Consider taking the time and effort to find the right offshore provider for your business as it will not only benefit you but also save you from the hassles of a bad partnership or a bad hire.
They didn't compare rates; they compared quality.
What attracts plenty of businesses into offshoring their development needs is its affordability. However, what many companies do not realise is that cheap rates just equates to cheap software developers. As what they say, you get what you pay for, and that couldn't be any more true for outsourcing as well.
If you are hiring developers offshore due to financial reasons, you must be careful not to focus on which offshore provider offers the most inexpensive rates. Research the average or standard offshore developer rate for the kind of developer you are looking for and compare which one has a competitive rate closer to the standard rate.
Keep in mind that if the cost of offshore software development is too low, you might be losing some necessary services or technical support that should have been included in a standard outsourcing package. As a result, there might be a compromise on the quality of your offshore developer's work or the quality of your offshore provider's service.
That is why it is best to look at what your outsourcing firm can actually provide, rather than how much they can offer.
What factors should you take note of when looking for quality service? Here are just some key qualities to look for:
A reliable outsourcing provider, as well as offshore developer, is already experienced with communicating expectations and progress to their business partners. Look for someone who can clearly and accurately inform you about what you need to know regarding your project or offshore developers. Regular updates on the project progress and responsiveness to your concerns are just some of the signs of a collaborative and communicative offshore provider.
Quick problem solvers
When hiring developers offshore, don't just look for an offshore firm who can say ‘yes' or ‘no'; look for an offshore partner who can truly help you with your technical needs, especially when facing difficulties.
Is the offshore provider quick to respond to technical issues? Are they open to collaborating and resolving issues or conflicts? Do they provide helpful recommendations in line with their expertise? These are just some of the questions you should consider.
For some, work may just be a day job they need to get by; however, there are some who are aware of the fact that they are creating and producing technology that can change society, thus put their best in every task they do. See if the offshore provider can provide the same level of enthusiasm and commitment in your project as you do.
No matter how much of an expert an offshore provider or developer could be, they can only reach a certain quality of work if they are not dedicated to their work.
Remember: when hiring developers offshore, a successful outsourcing experience is based not on how much you can save, but rather, on how much quality you can gain for a competitive rate.
They implemented a good onboarding process.
Many businesses undervalue the importance of a proper onboarding process. Employee onboarding is the process of introducing and integrating a new hire into your company and culture. This allows them to adjust accordingly to their new work environment and make them an effective new member of your team.
When you hire an offshore developer, it's crucial to onboard him or her as if they were also physically there in your local office. This helps your offshore developer to fully adjust to your workflow, in-house team, and work culture.
Onboarding becomes more crucial because of the distance between you and your offshore developer. A good onboarding process will allow your offshore developer or team to feel that they are truly part of your company, and make them an effective extension of your in-house team.
It is important to note that onboarding should not be confused with orientation. Orientation involves paperwork and tasks required to complete HR and legal requirements, while onboarding is a strategic process that can last up to a year. Those who implement excellent onboarding processes improve their employee retention by 82% based on a 2015 study by Glassdoor.
When planning for your onboarding process for your offshore developers, here are some questions to consider:
- When will the onboarding start and how long will it last?
- What impression do you want to establish with your offshore developer on his or her first day at work?
- What should your new offshore developer know about your company and work culture?
- What goals or expectations will you set for your new offshore developer?
- How will you gain feedback, and what will be your standard for measuring its success?
These questions can guide you through planning a fitting onboarding process for your offshore developer to help them quickly get accustomed to your company policies and work culture.
Related Article: These 17 Onboarding Mistakes Are Costing You Your New Hires
They built a good relationship with their offshore team.
The reason why some companies have a successful—and even long-lasting—partnership with their offshore providers is because they took the time and effort to build a strong working relationship.
Establishing a good relationship with your offshore developer right off the bat can definitely help you and your project in the long run.
Here are some ways to build a good relationship with your offshore provider.
Implement regular evaluation
A strong relationship between a business and its outsourcing provider is built upon regular evaluation. Develop metrics that can establish your expectations and help you monitor your offshore provider's progress. Some examples of parameters you can set are in terms of the billing process, utilisation, and efficiency, among many others. You can conduct evaluations monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on when you see fit.
Give credit when it is due
Taking the time to recognise your offshore provider or offshore development team's achievements—no matter how small they may be—is already one crucial step towards showing value and establishing a stronger relationship with your offshore team.
Due to the physical distance between you and your offshore provider or team, the feeling of being disconnected to your company and in-house team can be more evident. As such, the importance of recognition becomes crucial.
Using a simple all-staff email, a post on social media, or even a physical or financial reward, you can show appreciation and encouragement for your offshore development team or service provider.
Visit your guys
If you can get the opportunity to meet your offshore developers face-to-face, don't hesitate to grab it. The physical interactions further close the gap between you and your offshore provider or team and establish a deeper bond.
At Cloud Employee, we encourage our clients to visit their offshore developers as a way to not only work with them personally but also to develop a deeper understanding and work relationship with each other. While video calls are still an excellent way to establish face to face communication, nothing beats a good old drink with your co-workers.
As an example, here is just one of our many client testimonials regarding their experience of finally meeting and working with their offshore team.
Ultimately, this is why others were successful.
Considering all the key points above, the most critical factor for a successful outsourcing experience is:
Partnering with the right offshore provider.
Without a partner who can provide your needs and whom you can trust, everything else will be more difficult and risky for you and your business. That is why you should not just pick any offshore partner, choose the right offshore partner for your project or business.
All the tips mentioned above can guide you into having the best possible outsourcing experience.
Looking for a reliable offshore partner? Let's work together! Learn how Cloud Employee works, see our Developer Pricing Guide, or talk to us. You can hire dedicated offshore developers with us across many technologies.