Avoid Mistakes with Offshore IT Developers

February 16, 2024

Are you looking for ways to cut costs in your business, or just need a wider pool of talent? Then you should certainly consider hiring an offshore development team because, let's face it, maintaining an in-house development team can be demanding.

In recent times, businesses have come to realize the benefit of outsourcing, and that's what makes offshore recruitment more than just a trend and also a business strategy. For example, here at Cloud Employee, we offer a premium offshore staffing solution that helps companies hire offshore developers from the Philippines. We’ve seen the immense improvement in our client’s operations in terms of cost-effective app development and efficiency.

However, before you jump into taking up an offshore IT development team, here are the things you should and should not do to avoid the common mistakes business owners make with this dynamic workforce.

Common Mistakes People Make When Setting Up A Team Of Offshore Developers

The primary reason why many managers opt for offshore development teams is to cut costs and expose themselves to a broader pool of talent. However, some rush the process and end up making these common mistakes.

Poor recruitment process

The number one mistake many HR managers make is not conducting extensive research before hiring an offshore developer. If you want to save yourself from future stress, then you must dedicate time to evaluating their portfolio and business expertise. If you can, go the extra mile and read their reviews and feedback so you can be sure you are selecting a trustworthy off-shore partner. After all, the success of your software development projects heavily relies on your choice of partner.

To avoid this mistake, the following steps will help;

  • Have a set of requirements and only shortlist vendors who meet your standards.

  • Ensure that you review and compare the service models of the vendors, portfolios of their latest projects, co-operation approaches, and client feedback.

  • Get some insight into the team's background, and the role each member plays in executing the project.

  • Do not shy away from requesting the CVs of each team member to be sure that you are making the right selection.

  • Interview the representatives from the outsourcing company so you can have a better understanding of what communication will be like and their capabilities.

Lack of software documentation and required tools

If you do not want to end up with irrelevant or archaic software, then ensure that your IT development team is well equipped with the right tools and have the latest technical know-how to execute your project.

On your path, you must ensure that you have the right software to ensure smooth communication, file sharing, progress tracking, and software documentation.

To avoid this mistake, the following will help;

  • Create a communication mechanism and ensure that your outsourced IT development team uses it regularly.

  • Recruit a team that leverages transparency and integrity.

  • Do not remove yourself from the project, but work with your team to ensure that they meet your set requirements at every point.

  • Create a documentation process that is easy to monitor and agree on it to prevent miscommunication and save stress.

Focusing too much on cost

Agreeably, saving cost is a significant reason why people choose to work with offshore IT developers in the first place. However, imagine picking the wrong development team. In that case, you might end up spending more than you anticipated because the low cost can lead to less expertise, quality, and unsupportive communication.

To avoid this mistake, the following will help;

  • Carry out extensive research to know the actual cost of your project

  • Ensure that your budget is realistic and set limits.

  • Set your priorities straight and be prepared to pay a higher price for professionalism and better expertise.

  • Ensure that your partners use the latest version of technology available to avoid a back and forth in your project development process.

  • Don't hire a company with a lower rate simply because you want to save money.

Failure to consider time-zones

The beauty of outsourcing an offshore IT development team is your access to a broader pool of talent from all around the world. However, many people fail to take into consideration the difference in time zones. Failure to do this can lead to a communication gap and an inability to resolve issues promptly.

To avoid this mistake, the following will help;

  • Your offshore development team does not have to be in your time zone, but they shouldn't be light years away either.

  • Where it is not possible to have a shared time-zone, create a schedule that is convenient for you, your in-house team, and your offshore team.

  • When setting deadlines or meetings, ensure that both time zones are put into consideration to avoid lapses.

  • Where time-zones differ, offer support for your offshore team to ensure prompt resolution of issues.

  • Keep communication open and transparent.

Downplaying workforce diversity

Managing an offshore IT development team comes with a series of challenges regarding cultural diversity. There is the language barrier, conflict resolution styles, working styles, and work culture. Often, business managers downplay the effect of diversity and leave it to chance. Failure to create room for workforce diversity can deter your team's productivity and cause conflicts.

To avoid this mistake, do this;

  • Ensure you engage your team in a cultural onboarding training.

  • Conduct customized communication training for your entire development team.

  • Encourage offshore developers to give you feedback on their understanding of a conversation or task.

  • Share documents and maintain minutes of meetings as it would help eliminate non-verbals.

  • Respect the cultural difference and never ignore it.

To Summarise

Working with a diverse team that you can't physically monitor comes with its challenges, and sometimes, people ignore or underestimate these challenges.

In addition to the mistakes mentioned above, we also have cases where people fail to protect their intellectual property. You can protect your intellect by having your offshore developers sign a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement during onboarding. Furthermore, pay attention to their country's legal system to know if you can count on it to protect you.

In the end, with proper management and preparation, it is possible to have an offshore IT team that is efficient and productive irrespective of where they are in the world.