Western countries have become climbing down the charts on the number of IT companies ready to cooperate with small or medium-sized business today.

Most of them are aiming at collaboration with the global IT giants, and those engaged in the development of custom projects, as a rule, require considerable rates for their services. For this kind of situations, the best fit is offshore outsourcing.

For example, companies, geographically located in countries with lower average income (China, Mexico, as well as Eastern Europe) are asking the rates for their work, that are sometimes several times lower of the Western standard. At the same time, the quality of their software development is no different (and in many cases better) than their expensive Western competitors can provide. Thus, the only stumbling block in this way of development recruiting may be incompatible workflow and the sense of priority of the remote team. In this article, we’ll look at the top 5 tips that will help you hire offshore team, that is the best in its’ segment.

Tutorial for Remote Team Management and Recruitment

How to hire a remote team? Read about it below.

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1. Composing a development team

Hire dedicated offshore team. Employee him(her)-self, perhaps, is the most influential factor that will make a difference in the quality of the work performed. On the one hand, everything seems to be simple in theory: one person looks at the portfolio summary, asks a number of necessary technical questions to determine needed details, coordinates the vision of the finished software product etc. But in practice, not even the most experienced and highly-skilled freelance programmer can guarantee that he/she will be able to cope with teamwork if the rest of the hired team members scattered around the world (especially if their number exceeds 15-20 people).

Consider the type of freelancing individual. These are normally people, who used to do the tasks alone on their own, not having and possibly avoiding team interactions. Finding common ground with this type may be a challenge, bring additional risks into the project team forming and cost additional effort on the manager’s part. Therefore, the recommendation is to look for a full-fledged IT company with an extensive experience in recruiting and retaining IT people, like Qubit Labs. Those companies already have their own formed structures of the key employees, who used to act in a team, know how to avoid roadblocks and keep the individual team members together. All the duties of finding and retaining good developers, designers, QA engineers are shifted to HR managers and team leads of this company. In return, you may concentrate on the other important matters, limiting your interaction with the project manager, and stop spending precious time on optimization of the workflow and monitoring each team member.

2. Prevent force majeure situations

If you have a good idea of the commonly used software development project methodologies (for example, agile or waterfall) and want to try yourself in management (in particular, act as a team lead), you can still like the option of hiring individual freelancers if their number doesn’t exceed 10-20. However, this way of organizing your project is full of risks including fraud and low individual performance. Somebody may book the working time, producing a little in fact, another one may disappear with an advance payment. What should you do in this case? Apply only for the proven applicants in order to minimize risks. Use the CV’s from well-known job search resources (such as 1, 2 or 3), look at the employers’ feedback if available, search for some references or portfolio proofs. We also recommend you to deal with an Escrow system (so that your money is reserved on the third unengaged party’s account and transferred to the performer only after acceptance of the job.)

3. Interviewing candidates

How to hire remote developers, who would be able to cope with their tasks with the utmost quality? One can predict the behavior of their potential employee and identify his suspicious or negative traits at the interview stage (a good idea is to use video communication in case of a remote interview). Try to ask the recruit about the nuances of cooperation with former employers, ask about the negative moments, as well as about the conflict situations, that arose in the course of work. These questions should be related to the practical experience of the interviewed, and not to imply any hypothetical answers.

Here you can find a couple of efficient questions that will help you understand the professional qualities of the candidate for the position you published. Ideally, an employee with good potential will never be hostile to the previous employers. A positive candidate would never advertise own experience of participation in real conflict situations and elicit mostly the issues, that directly relate to the work itself or personal work/life balance (e.g. lack of time spent with the family)

It is also very important to figure out the motivation of the applicant. In addition to the most obvious compensation motives, they must be interested in professional growth, good team, company culture and lifestyle. But watch out for the immature ones, mixing the workplace with a good company of friends – these ones may have a serious trouble with diversity and interaction with geographically dispersed team. These employees usually leave the race very quickly as they do not get the portion of live communication necessary for productive work.

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4. Providing remote team management

So, the team has already been formed. What’s next? How to organize the process of managing offshore teams in a right way, in order to minimize the risks of deadline disruption and quality issues? First, make the most detailed tech assignment and immediately discuss it with all the performers. Give them an opportunity to express their views, let them talk about possible difficulties and their fears. On this stage, it is extremely important, that you have a very clear idea of your project or program implementation and communicate your vision in a right way to the rest of the group. Also, the staff must be presented to each other, in order to utilize communication means efficiently in the course of further implementation.

To optimize and monitor the online workflow, you will certainly need special interactive software tools. A good practice is to use  YouTrack, Jira, Redmine, Trello. You will also need some tools for the remote communication like Skype, Whatsapp, Webex, special chat rooms, e-mail etc.

5. Envisaging additional costs

There are a number of situations, that will require additional financing and time. Like, your team member can’t manage something on his/her computer, something won’t start or work properly. Or, another team member would have some difficulties with logistics or communication tools. What’s the way out in such situations? Usually, radical. If you can not delegate the regular duties of an employee, you will need to waste a lot of your personal time or the time of another team member in order to help the incompetent to get through the problematic development phase. This may entail some additional costs, as well as deadline disruption, and most probably cause certain frustration on your or somebody else’s part.

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Summary

Hiring a professional remote development team is the most cost-effective approach to software development in the cases of resource lack or cost-saving need. If you have already tried remote team management via the Internet by yourself, outsourcing to a professional company will bring you exceptionally positive experience.

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