Offshore Developers for Hire: Tips to Find a Superior Team

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27 Oct 2020
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13 min
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Anton D.
Technical writer

The IT services outsourcing market is constantly growing. According to Statista, it generated more than $92B in 2019. Almost 64% of that number falls on offshore development services.

Market size of outsourced services (Source: Statista)

Market size of outsourced services (Source: Statista)

If you’re reading these lines, then you probably came here to learn more about this complex process. In this article, we’ll analyze in detail what steps you should take to hire an offshore development team, what nuances to look out for, and in what regions to look for offshore developers.

Table of contents

Reasons to Hire Offshore Development Team

Offshore development has become a choice of many entrepreneurs and global companies. It helps them hire qualified software engineers from all over the world, not just city or country. This brings a considerably faster hiring process and less money spent on salaries.

Cost and Time Savings

Hiring an offshore development team is pretty cost-effective compared to in-house teams. You don’t need to rent an office, purchase hardware and software licences. Besides, you save on salaries. That’s because you can hire specialists with lower hourly rates than in your region and you only pay for the hours of actual work. No sick leaves or vacations. All your expenses go to the most important thing — software development service.

In addition, you don't have to spend months hiring employees and waste time setting up a development process. Vendors do it all for you.

Diverse Expertise

Offshore development lets you choose from a huge number of companies from all over the world that are full of high-level offshore programmers. In addition, you are not limited to the borders of your homeland when looking for the required expertise. You can always find an offshore company that is an expert in healthcare, retail, logistics, or any other field you need.

Scalability

Different software development stages require a different number of developers involved. If you have your own team, at various development stages, some employees may not be involved due to the lack of tasks for them. That being said, you still need to pay them a salary.

Offshore development teams are easily scalable, and you pay for the work done only. If you want to increase the team, the vendor company will quickly find the missing developers to fill in the staff gaps.

Performance

Offshore development companies are always at the cutting edge of technology. They improve and update their workflow all the time to stay effective. When you hire an offshore development team, you almost certainly get specialists following the latest practices and technologies. All these can speed up the development.

Best Regions to Find Offshore Development Team

To find a company that can deliver your idea, you can start by looking at popular outsourcing regions. Each region is unique in its own way and may differ in hourly rates, the number of developers, and so on.

Here are the four most popular regions for outsourcing software development.

Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is one of the most popular outsourcing destinations with a huge number of companies ready to provide development services and qualified offshore developers for hire.

Many entrepreneurs offshore software development to Ukraine, which is one of the most well-known tech hubs in the region. In addition to a large selection of vendors, this region will delight you with fair development rates ranging from $25 to $50 per hour.

Eastern Europe tech hubs.

Eastern Europe tech hubs.

Talking about the rest of the countries in the region, hourly rates there go up to $100 per hour.

Western Europe

Western Europe is a home for many IT firms. The Schengen agreement creates favorable conditions for relocating IT businesses from neighboring countries. In addition to various outsourcing companies, such corporations as Apple, IBM, Google have offices in this region.

Western Europe tech hubs.

Western Europe tech hubs.

An average hourly rate in Western Europe ranges from $70 to $150 per hour.

South America

This region attracts a lot of attention from overseas companies that look for tech talents and companies to solve their software development challenges. The reason for this is a combination of such factors as the geographic proximity to North America and insignificant time-zone difference between them. Moreover, it brings good value for money with low hourly rates and development quality.

South America tech hubs.

South America tech hubs.

The average hourly rate in South America lies in the range of $35-$50.

Asia

Asia is a well-known software development outsourcing destination. Thanks to cheap development rates and a vast tech talent pool, this region has much to offer. You can expect development rates to range from $20 to $45 per hour.

Asia tech hubs.

Asia tech hubs.

But there’s a price to pay for lower rates. A huge time-zone difference with many regions of the world and cultural gap may lead to numerous inconveniences in cooperation and lower product quality.

Steps to Take Before Hiring Offshore Developers

Before you hire an offshore development team, you should take several steps that’ll help you clear things up and minimize mistakes.

Step #1. Define Business Goals

This step will prepare you for negotiations with the IT vendor. You must easily explain project details to offshore developers. The clearer for the development company your requirements will be, the faster the development process will start.

Define a problem you want to solve with technology, think of the features needed to deliver value for end-users, and document all this for your tech partner.

Step #2. Determine Expertise Required for the Project

Determine the set of technologies that may be required to implement your project. If there’s no way to do so, then focus on looking for a company with related expertise to get a professional consultation. It means that if you want to build an Instagram-like app, you should be looking for a tech partner with experience in social media.

Knowing these aspects, you’ll make the search for an IT vendor a bit easier. Some vendors may have a narrow focus and not work with the technologies or in the fields you need. You’ll be able to filter out inappropriate companies much faster.

Step #3. Make a List of Vendors

Based on the set criteria, you can start looking for offshore programmers to work with. You can start your search from specialized platforms like Clutch or GoodFirms. They gather information and reviews about various IT firms.

Pay attention to the following criteria:

Vendor size

“The larger” isn’t always “the better.” Large vendors have higher rates that impact overall development cost. Another drawback is that they’re often less flexible than mid-companies due to a significant amount of bureaucracy that slows down change to scope, team enlargement, and so on.

Client reviews

Check out detailed reviews from the company’s previous customers about the cooperation process with their offshore developers. Pay attention to the problems that bring them to the development company, how the workflow went, whether there were any difficulties or problems in the development process, and so on.

You can also contact clients via LinkedIn to personally find out their feedback and discuss details that could be left behind the scenes.

Portfolio

The portfolio will give you a full picture of what exactly the company does and what industries it specializes in. If you see that the main emphasis in a portfolio is on the healthcare industry while you need a FinTech application, then it’s hardly worth contacting a company.

Rewards and certifications

The company’s credibility and professionalism can be measured by awards and certifications. For example, here at Cleveroad, we have an ISO certification showing that we work according to international standards, numerous AWS certifications pricing our cloud expertise, and others.

Step #4. Scoring

Once you made the list of offshore developers for hire, pick those vendors that meet your requirements and schedule a meeting. Tell them about your goals and listen to what they can provide you with. After negotiations with several companies, you can make a final decision.

Even though offshore development implies cost saving, don’t focus only on the cheapest options. Some companies have higher rates, but at the same time, they may have more experience in the required industry and in-depth expertise in your sphere.

Furthermore, don't ignore the human factor. Look for offshore programmers that are sociable and are willing to solve your problem in the best way possible.

Where to Find Offshore Programmers

Before starting research, you need to know where to look for outsourcing companies. There are a lot of various platforms that aggregate information about different IT firms to help entrepreneurs make their choice.

Let’s consider the most popular and credible ones.

Clutch

This platform is probably the most popular one. Entrepreneurs can find detailed information about each company, like contact information, time on market, expertise fields, and much more. Besides, customers live their feedback and ratings about their cooperation experience with companies. Based on the feedback, the website builds ratings highlighting the highly rated companies.

GoodFirms

GoodFirms is a platform similar to Clutch. It also gathers information about IT companies and lets customers leave their feedback to build ratings. Customers appreciate GoodFirms for the integrity of ratings.

99firms

Simply put, this website is an aggregator with hundreds of vendors that provide various IT services. All of them are approved by website moderators to provide entrepreneurs with the best agencies and help them hire offshore developers.

IT Firms

On this website, entrepreneurs can find detailed information about various IT companies and get acquainted with hourly rates, industries of focus, famous clients, and so on.

Types of Contracts and Which One to Choose

The next step of cooperation with offshore programmers is signing a contract. This contract defines the payment model and your project’s workflow.

Fixed Price

The main characteristic of this contract is that the development price is fixed. The client pays a fixed price that’s negotiated in advance. It depends on the number of features, their complexity, and deadlines.

The main drawback of this contract is its inflexibility. If there’s a need to make changes to the confirmed scope of work or implement new features, additional fees may be applied.

That’s because the team has to revise the development plan and recalculate the time and cost. As a result, this model is not the best choice for complex projects as they often require constant reviews, modifications and room for complex changes.

Pros

  • Fixed deadline and development cost
  • Low financial risks
  • Straightforward development schedule
  • No management needed from the product owner

Cons

  • Overall inflexibility
  • Slow planning phase
  • Not suitable for complex projects

Time and Materials

If you choose a Time and Materials contract, you pay for the actual time the team spends on the development. This solution is very flexible since you can make changes, switch development priorities, and add new features. Its flexibility suits perfectly for the MVP creation and testing your product on real customers.

However, since the project scope is not defined in detail, you never know the final cost and the exact release date. Precise development cost and release date replaced with an approximate estimate.

Pros

  • Great flexibility
  • Ease of setting development priorities
  • Full transparency of development process

Cons

  • Uncertain final cost and low budget control
  • Blurry deadlines
  • Requires deep involvement from product owner

Dedicated Team

This model completely differs from the previous two. It stands for hiring offshore developers to work on your project remotely. This model is for you if you’re lacking iOS developers in your team, and you want to hire them fast. You get professionals with extensive expertise. Moreover, you have full control over the team and can manage it the way you want.

However, this contract is related to constant communication, which may be difficult, especially if you’re working with offshore programmers. Time zone and cultural differences can impact your cooperation.

Pros

  • Diversity of experts to choose from
  • Team flexibility
  • Full management and work transparency
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Fast hiring

Cons

  • Communication difficulties
  • Need for tech knowledge to carry out supervision

Offshore Development Team: Challenges to Consider

Before you hire an offshore development team you should be aware of challenges that may appear in your way.

Time Zone Difference

This is the most common pitfall when dealing with offshore programmers. When a workday starts at your homeland, your offshore development team may still be asleep and vice versa. That’s why it’s crucial to schedule all meetings in advance to maximize communication efficiency.

Lack of Face-to-Face Communication

Long distances between you and the team restricts the communication. There may be a feeling that you’re not fully connected with your team and not receiving up-to-date information about product development.

This problem can be partially solved with a schedule of meetings to stay in contact with your team. You can also fly to the office where your offshore developers are located and spend some time with them. This’ll give you an opportunity to speak with your team personally.

Cultural Differences

Working with foreign developers is a quite tricky process since you must be aware of what culture type you’re dealing with. All cultures can be split into Low-context and High-context.

According to Wikipedia:

”High-context culture and low-context culture are ends of a continuum of how explicit the messages exchanged in a culture are and how important the context is in communication.”

Simply put, high-context cultures utilize underlying context, meanings, various tones. Meantime low-context cultures rely on stated explicitly, massage clearance, and absence of room for message interpretation.

Countries and their culture types.

Countries and their culture types.

It’s very important to hire an offshore development team with a culture close to yours to spend less time trying to understand how to work with your team.

Level of English

English fluency has a great impact on communication. The lower the English level in the development team, the higher chance of cooperation difficulties and communication misunderstandings.

When you’re choosing a region, you should pay attention to overall English proficiency in it. For example, according to the English Proficiency Index (EPI), the average EPI in the Middle East equals 44.60, while European EPI equals 56.71. The higher EPI is, the greater chance to find offshore developers with a good English level.

How Can Cleveroad Help You?

Cleveroad is an offshore software development company from Ukraine. Having more than five years of experience, we provide top-tier development services in industries like healthcare, travel, streaming, e-commerce, and many others.

Recently, our development team has worked on Blockbuster — a versatile video-on-demand platform for the Nordic region. In cooperation with the Blockbuster’s CTO Henrik Loop, we’ve built a powerful streaming service with a unique movie renting system.

Cooperation feedback from Blockbuster’s CTO Henrik Loop.

Want to hire offshore developers?
Our team is ready to help you. We’re offering a free of charge tech consultation for your project.

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