Things to Know When Hiring Offshore Teams
Tech companies invest a huge amount of time, effort, and capital into ideating and developing powerful, innovative, and software solutions to make our lives easier. However, beating their competitors to the punch and standing out while doing it is becoming increasingly difficult, as the need for tech solutions increases.
To manage the industry demands while staying ahead of the competition, these companies hire offshore teams. This helps organizations achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively while also helping discover newer markets.
Of course, this model of employment may pose some unique challenges. But these challenges can easily be managed if you adopt the appropriate strategies and deploy the necessary management tools.
With our experience in providing top-notch offshore software developers and software development teams to tech giants across the globe, we’ve pulled together some strategies and tools that have helped us and our clients manage offshore development teams.
What is an Offshore Team?
An Offshore team means that the team employed by you resides in another country. This method of hiring gives companies access to larger pools of talent. The companies who usually hire overseas tend to reside in countries where the cost of living is extremely high due to various reasons. By outsourcing they can reduce the cost of development. They will also be able to employ larger teams making it easier on the employees as well.
Types of Offshoring
We can broadly classify the types of hiring offshore employees outside the company’s payroll into three. The differences are quite simple. An offshore team will reside in a different country altogether. Usually a country on the other side of the globe. Outside of the cost benefits, companies can have their operations running round the clock in this case.
A nearshore team tends to reside closer to the company’s country of residence. This method also has the same benefits in terms of being able to cover larger time zones but may be more expensive compared to offshoring.
Finally, an onshore team will reside in the same country but may work out of a different office or state and sometimes under a different payroll. Companies that look to collaborate between each other or share technologies and expertise tend to choose this model.
Why Do Companies Build Offshore Teams?
While we may have gotten into this a little, let us talk about the reasons why many top tech companies hire and employ offshore developers.
Access to a Wide Pool of Talents
Most tech giants reside in developed countries. The disadvantage: a fewer young population and a higher cost of living. So through outsourcing, they get access to a larger talent pool more consistently enabling them to deliver and grow faster. You can find the best talent across the globe at a lower cost.
One of the reasons to build offshore development teams and outsource work is the cost. This does not mean cheap labor. In countries with low costs of living, salary expectations are on par with the cost of living. The investment helps improve the purchasing power of the employees overseas and also helps build the country’s economy. The money saved is reinvested in the home country’s economy making it a win-win situation.
The sheer availability of talent means you’ve got a consistent flow of human resources to power your business towards growth. You can develop more highly available solutions at a much faster rate. You will also be able to expand into newer markets.
Management of Offshore Teams: Challenges and Solutions
Of course, there are challenges. But these are challenges with simple solutions making them easily outweighed by the benefits.
One of the hardest challenges in offshoring is communication, both in terms of time zones and language. Since this is also key to any successful business, looking to employ developers from countries like India where English is the official language and is widely taught and spoken will help overcome this challenge easily.
Of course, scheduling regular meetings when the time zones overlap will help build better relations between the company and the employee and give the employees a sense of belonging and ownership.
Less Facetime With the Leadership
In a typical workplace, the team head or manager keeps the team motivated and invested, ensuring that deadlines are met, and excellent work is delivered. But when it comes to remote or offshore teams, leadership is rarely very present, and even when they are, it’s usually through a screen. Offshore teams may therefore easily feel alienated and discouraged.
The way to tackle this is by having regular R&Rs, town halls, reviews, excursions, virtual parties, and other internal engagement activities. Sending Swags and branded paraphernalia will also help them feel attached to the brand!
Lack in Quality of the Output
This is not due to the quality of the employees but let’s not forget that there will usually be significant differences in culture, interpretation, and language between the organization’s resident country and the employee’s resident country.
This may lead to a few communication snags that might result in the quality of output faltering a little. Tackling this challenge is very simple. Figure out how to keep your employees happy and therefore reduce turnover. The longer the team is with you, the more in sync with your company’s style, policies, and principles will be.
It will also help to set clear expectations and educate the offshore team about your company’s standards. Having regular evaluations and reviews will also allow you to recognize gaps in productivity and provide the right feedback to fill them.
Finally, keeping track of deadlines and communicating in case of delays or urgencies. What is said on calls can get missed and emails can easily go unnoticed or buried. This may lead to delays in deliveries.
Overcoming this however is extremely easy thanks to some amazing project and time management software that can help you set deadlines in local timezones and help the team manage their time effectively. Of course, setting realistic deadlines and communicating expectations are given for prompt and quality deliveries.
Tools That Can Help the Offshore Team
Many tools can help you manage your offshore team effectively without any challenges. We’ve listed the few that we’ve tried and tested:
GitHub: For Software Project Collaboration
This collaborative code hosting tool will help your offshore developers store, share, and collaborate on their codes. Its functions include tracking bugs and version control. This helps remote development teams work on the project together simultaneously, brainstorm solutions, make adjustments, look back, or even patch errors without losing the original code.
This will ensure that you have access to the latest version of their work at any given time.
Zoom: For Communication and Collaboration
This popular web conferencing tool enables companies to host video conferences and meetings with over 1000 participants, share screens, appreciations, videos, and documents, co-annotate, and record and transcribe meetings. This will help you strengthen the communication, collaboration, and bond between your teams.
Jira: For Software Project Management
This comprehensive tool allows managers to map out tasks and track work progress and build custom workflows. You can also create an agile environment by creating Scrum or Kanban boards and enabling an iterative process. The solution also allows you to log work done, project backlogs, and roadmaps helping you monitor large, complex projects across timezones effectively.
Time Doctor: A Time and Productivity Tracking Software
This tool allows the user to track the amount of time they spend on various tasks automatically and effectively. It allows the user to learn how employees use their time effectively to ensure that they don’t overwork or spend time on redundant tasks.
For the manager, the tool provides insight into the time taken to perform tasks to estimate timelines and project performance.
Hiring offshore developers is an effective strategy to gain a competitive advantage. Time zones, cultural differences, and work approaches are some factors that make offshoring a little challenging but if you can locate and employ qualified, vetted, and trustworthy offshore developers who are eager to learn, adapt and innovate, there will be no stopping your business.