The concept of building a dedicated remote team for the purpose of software development is something that’s gained much traction in the eighteen months since the pandemic erupted globally. Businesses seeking to diversify their offerings in order to remain competitive realised that software centricity was of utmost importance — but that it required engineers with elite-level skills.
Unfortunately in places like western Europe, North America, and Australia the competition for top talent is fierce, with the tech giants hoovering up the best developers. Put simply, it’s very much a seller’s market where smaller challenger organisations have to compete with major players.
There exists two different models when we talk about building a dedicated remote team for software development: outsourcing and offshoring. Outsourcing is ideal for project-based outside help, whereas offshore engineers are ideal for long-term collaboration. Ultimately when building an offshore software development team, you’re hiring permanent employees to work seamlessly in collaboration with your team at home.
Why outsource software development?
Let’s dive deeper into the difference between Offshoring and Outsourcing. Beginning with outsourcing software development, it eventually began with companies deciding to focus on their core business and moving their support functions to a more cost-effective location. This might be customer service centres abroad, or IT technical support functions. The rapidly changing market and the need to build innovative products and services quickly further popularised outsourcing.
Offshoring like it’s done with an offshore development partner like The Scalers is about ownership of the team and control of the output directly. It’s a remote team, but only in the sense it’s geographically distinct from HQ. However, in the current times of the coronavirus and the new ways of working that seem likely to persist — engineers are indeed working remotely from home.
How to hire freelance software developers?
Using an outsourcing software house is one way to hire developers for a dedicated remote team in the short term, alternatively you can hire full time developers for an offshore augmented team to collaborate properly as genuine colleagues — who just happen to be located somewhere else.
Of course, there are a multitude of methods to bring freelance engineers on board such as third-party vendors, and also freelance job sites that advertise for developers with expertise in specific technologies and programming languages.
Hire in-house software developers
To combat the talent shortage at home, many organisations choose to augment their ‘home’ team in a cost-effective offshore hotspot such as India or Romania — places with a high level of very skilled software developers. You’re in charge of their output and retain control. You essentially work identically with your offshore team as you do with the team at home, with tools and processes in place to collaborate seamlessly across continents if necessary.
Top-tier offshore development partners often have a holistic model for hiring engineers for a dedicated remote team, which is geared towards cultural fit just as much as technical skill. This helps to increase employee engagement and retention as the developers are instilled with the mission, vision, values, and strategic objectives of the business.
When an organisation’s pipeline is too heavy for their existing employees to handle they may choose to extend with a dedicated remote team. One way to do this is outstaffing, where businesses subcontract specific services to a third-party vendor. Outstaffing as a specific term actually predates “outsourcing” and tends to refer to situations when a task can’t be handled by the internal team. An outstaffing provider will select skilled engineers (or other required staff) qualified for a particular task set by the business.
On the one hand, companies specialising in outstaffing work closely with the organisations until the end of the project in collaboration. On the other, an outsourcer is responsible for the results of a project until its completion. This tends to mean they aren’t working in collaboration on a daily basis with the organisation. In simple terms, outsourcing can be seen as handling the whole project, while outstaffing means bringing onboard individuals to work remotely.
Studies have shown that the talent shortage in the United Kingdom has increased 100% over the last decade. This massive skill deficiency means companies have no other option but to look elsewhere for top talent. Whether they choose to outsource or to offshore with a dedicated remote team depends on their specific requirements. As a business, leaders need to decide what their needs are. If it’s a short-term project that needs an extra set of hired hands for a brief period of time then outsourcing is ideal for a dedicated remote team. If it’s actually about finding elite developers to permanently scale your business with genuine colleagues with a view to the long term then offshoring is the way to go.