There's no doubt that an offshore team of developers can be as invaluable to your
company as your best in-house employee. If you're meticulous about your candidate
screening process for in-house staff you should be even more meticulous when it
comes to offshore staff. Why?- because there are a lot of not-so-serious providers of
offshore dedicated teams. However, if you succeed in choosing the right candidates
the return of investment will be truly amazing - having in mind that €8 / $10 an hour
is a real steal for a talented web developer/designer or software engineer.
First things first - the company
At the end of the day the company behind your offshore dedicated team might be the
factor that makes your project a success or failure. Even if a single offshore developer
or designer fails to deliver, the company behind that developer or designer should be
able to save your project. So the question one must ask oneself is whether the
company has what it takes in terms of professionalism to do that.
The company should have enough experience and be big enough to be able to deftly
get a replacement for you. The company should also be big enough to be able to meet
your needs as you grow. You should not be too big a client for them, and they should
not be too big a company for you. You should be important to the provider but not so
important that they'd do anything to retain you (go bankrupt for example).
Another important aspect of your future partner firm is its management. Do you know
the names of its managing director/CEO, project managers, the board of directors,
owners and its executives? If you're unhappy about something, who will you turn to?
Who is your point of contact's superior? Has the management got experience in
handling clients such as your company? How long have they been in business? Have
the management got plans to sell the company soon and have they got room and
capital for expansion if needed?
Once you feel comfortable with your potential partner company its time to test its
candidates. You might be thinking about extensive telephonic interviews and tests, but
I'd recommend trying out a candidate you feel good about after a chat and after having
viewed the candidate's portfolio. A web developer will prove him or herself after a
few days of working and not after long telephonic interviews - especially as the
offshore developer might not have English as his or her mother tongue.
If you have a telephonic chat with a candidate, don't get turned off if his or her level
of English is not entirely fluent. There are many talented software engineers and web
developers who does not speak perfect English, but who definitely understand written
English very well.
Exit strategy - worst case scenario
What happens if you choose the wrong candidates? Will the partner firm offer you a
free replacement to try out? Is there any contract length? Make sure you have an exit
strategy in place before any contracts are signed.
Project management platform
If one of your projects ever runs into problems such as missed deadlines or
misconceived requirements - which most people in the web development and software
engineering business experience every now and then - make sure that your partner
firm has got an online platform through which requirements are being funnelled. So
that you can make project managers, managing directors and other executives aware
of the problems and have someone do something about it quickly. An online project
management platform allows stakeholders to overlook the project in any phase and
without asking developers to mail a bunch of files to concerned persons.
Don't make the process to advanced
Be meticulous about the recruitment of an offshore team of developers, but don't
make it too complex at the same time. Sometimes it's ok to go with your gut feeling
and take chances. Action is better than inaction!
David Claesson is the owner and founder of the web development company
LiteBreeze Infotech which provides web development/web design services and
offshore dedicated teams. David can be reached at email@example.com or