Technological advancement has enabled companies to switch to remote working methods and businesses to adapt to the digital way. In the current scenario, demand for tech professionals is only increasing each year. So is the need for hiring offshore/overseas developers.
The wave of seeking technical expertise from remote teams is at an all-time high. The key reasons are technical skills, lower costs, flexibility, and new business models among others. With time and experience, organizations have also come to realize the challenges they have to face while hiring overseas developers and thus learned the steps to resolve them.
While the option of availing software development services from remote teams is blurring the geographical lines and integrating workforces internationally to bring innovative minds together, it is also bringing in a set of difficulties along the way. Offshore staffing services often look promising but it’s not without the risks involved.
Let’s dive right into hiring overseas developers’ challenges faced by organizations and business owners and how to resolve them.
1. Control over the project
As product owners, it is obvious that you will have full control over your project while it’s being developed but it is not fruitful to micromanage. You have the final decision-making power but you need to give some control to the product manager as well to deal with the on-ground activities and changes. Too much micro-managing doesn’t allow developers to show their full potential and work freely which eventually affects the quality of the product.
It’s best to establish roles and duties at an early stage of your project. This can help set boundaries for both the product owners and product managers and help in the smooth running of operations.
2. Lack of technical knowledge
You may feel constricted when you don’t have the technical knowledge and understanding of your project in the same way the developers do. Many doubts arise such as – how do we know that the outsourced team is working on what you really need or how do you communicate clearly without using the jargon and technical terms used by professionals?
This is a common issue faced by many project owners while dealing with developers, especially if they have an offshore team. You can bring a technical person on board who can communicate with both parties and relay your feedback and briefs to them. Another way this can be dealt with is by seeking the help of the project manager on the ground to take you through the development updates and explain to you the details in a less complex language.
Intellectual property needs to be well guarded as it is prone to cases of plagiarism and theft. This becomes a deterrent while hiring offshore teams since it is not possible to keep all information to ourselves while working with an outside team. A considerable amount of data, ideas, and information have to be passed on to offshore teams to achieve the desired results. It is believed that this issue cannot be completely resolved but the risks can always be minimized.
There’s no need to worry when you have the following things: 1) Choose an offshore team after taking reviews and ensuring that it’s well-reputed. 2) Check if they follow compliance with international security standards. 3) Have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) signed before starting work.
4. Code Quality
When code is developed by your offshore team, you get the chance to review the quality standards only once it’s delivered to you. This means that if you need changes and improvisations, it will cost you more time and money. Code quality is crucial and hence it poses one of the most significant challenges while hiring an offshore team.
The possibility of such a situation can be avoided by having certain code checks in place before hiring overseas developers. This should include code reviews, unit testing, documentation, bench marketing, and refactoring. It’s also helpful if you take second opinions from someone within the organization that has a better understanding of such concepts.
Communication is key. While working with an overseas team, it might be difficult to communicate with complete clarity. Language and cultural differences may add to the problem because the vendor might understand your language but may not fully understand your thought process and point of view. Hiring overseas staff might be difficult to supervise and manage due to communication barriers.
It can be worked out if the project owners initiate regular virtual meetings with the team. Video calls will help them understand your body language and gestures with a lot more clarity. However, if you still feel communicating is a major problem and you won’t be able to bridge that gap, there’s an option of hiring an outside team within your country.
They will be able to understand you with a lot more ease and grasp an understanding of your project without any additional effort.
6. Time zone difference
The time zone difference may cause a lot of delays. While offshore teams claim to be available round the clock, it becomes difficult to coordinate and communicate. Last-minute meetings and calls are never possible due to different time zones and it inevitably causes pauses and delays in your project.
Hire a team that shares some of the working hours as yours. Having a team with a minimum time difference can work well for both sides without causing any trouble. For example – For US project owners, hiring a team in North or South America can be ideal.
7. Uneven expectations
As mentioned earlier, if the project owner has difficulty in communicating, giving feedback, having access to the project code, etc, it will lead to disappointment in the end. You may feel like the developers have underdelivered and not understood your vision.
The only way to avoid such a situation is by doing thorough market research before hiring an offshore team for your project. Establish certain guidelines which you would like them to follow throughout the tenure and ask your outsourcer to identify potential threats and risks involved. Lastly, set realistic timelines and standards in the beginning.
8. Cost overruns
Most companies seek assistance from offshore teams due to lower cost rates. However, that is not always the case. Project development can take time and you may not be able to anticipate the total costs in the beginning when you’ve hired a team considering their low per hour charges.
Work with a well-reputed development team with a history of reliable time and cost estimates. You may have to check reviews of their previous customers to learn whether their estimates are accurate.
Also, make sure you own whatever code is created throughout development, even if the product is a work in progress. This allows you to switch to a new development team.
Hiring an offshore development team may be intimidating and full of risks, but there are many cases of successful project completion and beneficial partnerships as well.
While some of the challenges that come along with this method of working are unavoidable, there are ways and tactics you can use to overcome them. Using proper research, seeking recommendations, and submitting detailed paperwork, in the beginning, will save time, and money as well as safeguard your project from any risks.
A diverse pool of talent is available to you to choose from. It increases the potential and success rate of your project if you choose the right team for yourself. Evolving work dynamics and culture have paved the way for offshore teams to explore and grab opportunities that showcase their talent and hard work.
Your project may cost you the same or less while working with offshore vendors, but it doesn’t have to suffer in quality if proper measures have been taken from its inception till the end.