During that period of time when the Covid-19 pandemic shook the business realm worldwide really hard, the remote collaboration made sense as it was the best way out for many organizations, those in the alerted zones heavily affected by the global pandemic, to keep their business rolling. As a result, remote working in the IT sector increased up to 58.9%.
According to a report by Fiverr, 73% of remote workers have switched to remote working mode within the last four years, and almost 80% of them would like to continue working remotely as long as possible. This is also the current context of the IT sector when more and more software developers prefer hybrid and remote working modes, which requires a shift in the way to hire software developers by IT companies. Plus, the scarcity of IT professionals in developed countries and the fierce competition in the IT labor market make hiring in-house developers more challenging and costly than ever, robustly impacting the decision to select remote developers instead.
In the current software development industry, hiring remote developers is not a fad but a reality or even the future. Steadily more businesses are contracting out remote teams to work on their software development projects in exchange for the rightful advantages. Even though hiring remote developers has become more popular than before, it is still a challenging task for many companies and business owners, especially when they have no idea of where to start and how to go about it. As such, this guide is here for the “rescue.” Hopefully, through this, we will prepare you for the actual offshore hiring process and how to pull it off.
Who Are These Remote Developers?
As the name suggests, a remote developer is also known as an offshore software developer who geographically bases far away from where you are, usually from another country. They are hired to work on specific projects or programs that require a particular set of skills and knowledge levels. Oftentimes, remote developers collaborate virtually with the existing teams of employers. At other times, some organizations gather them to form an autonomous group called the remote team to work on some courses of the development process independently from other team members. Offshore developers are not necessarily freelancers only but full-time employees or short-term contractors who work on a project basis.
Different Ways to Hire Developers Remotely
These days, businesses like yours have more than one way to hire skilled remote software developers – Direct and indirect methods. While some would like to vet and recruit remote talent themselves, others prefer utilizing some sort of managed services to staff their projects without getting their hands dirty.
In this model, you will be in charge of the whole hiring process yourself, from sourcing to interviewing and onboarding employees remotely, mainly taking place online via virtual technology. Employers can directly recruit full-time remote employees and add them to the internal teams. The best thing about this approach is that you can get involved in every stage of the process and fully measure the potential candidates before making them a part of your organization, thus being assured of the quality of your team members. However, this process costs you a considerable amount of time and effort to handle. Because of this, the direct method of recruitment will best suit long-term projects that have specific requirements for human resources.
The other alternative is to partner with an intermediary company. These middlemen can be staffing agencies, freelance platforms, or better IT outsourcing companies that specialize in providing a variety of remote development services, including IT staff augmentation and dedicated teams. When you resort to these services, providers will fulfill your orders by finding the best talent for your projects and taking care of all the legal and administrative work. Compared to the direct approach mentioned above, managed services are more advantageous on different fronts. Companies that are short of time and personnel can benefit from the time-saving nature of MSPs. Besides, you get to enjoy more cost-efficiency, too, since the rates for a full-time remote developer tend to be lower than hiring full-time employees in your area.
More than dedicated remote developers, MSPs offer clients services to set up offshore software development centers (ODCs) – full-fledged remote development teams in which full-time employees work like your local teams, except that they work remotely from an offshore location. Such ODCs are built upon your requests but managed and operated completely by the service providers.
Opting for freelance remote developers is nothing short of a brilliant way to augment staff and tackle programming jobs within a tight timeframe or on a short-term project basis. A freelance developer is not hard to find as there are currently many freelancing platforms and remote job portals like Upwork and Fiverr or special software development platforms such as Toptal and Clutch. They are available in various levels of technical skills, experience, flexibility, rates, and even more, leaving businesses plenty of choices when it comes to hiring freelance developers. Due to the favorable flexibility and no requirements for long-term engagements, freelance developers can be a good option to quickly cover labor shortages or scale up the development team temporarily.
All the Good Reasons Why Hire Remote Software Developers
Hiring remote software developers brings employers a lot of advantages that are otherwise inaccessible in the traditional way – onsite employment. In addition, employees, both in-house and outsourced, can benefit from the remote hiring model as well.
Benefits for Employers
As a business owner, you cannot pass up the chance to hire the best remote developers for your development project, in addition to many other benefits.
Reduce Labor Costs
In recent years, software developers are one of the most sought-after future-proof careers worldwide, and their salary ranges are surprisingly skyrocketing. Just by looking at the software engineers’ salary range by country, we somehow understand how costly and competitive it is to acquire experienced developers. Therefore, the first and most notable benefit we can name is the significant saving in terms of labor costs which comprise different courses of fees other than only salary, such as insurance, benefits, bonuses, etc.
At this point, there are two cases that we are going through. Firstly, you hire full-time developers on your own. This means you will have to cover all the costs, like when you hire onsite permanent employees. But you can still save quite a considerable amount of money due to the cost disparity between the remote workers’ location and yours. In other words, you can pay offshore developers less than your local ones for the same level of technical expertise and experience.
In the second case, when you hire an outsourced team, all you have to pay is the monthly rate, while the service providers will cover all the associated costs. This saves you a lot of money and time since you do not have to mess around with taxes and insurance as there are no direct employees in your own company.
Cut Down on Expenses
Following the first benefit is another one regarding cost-saving. When you hire remote developers, they, more often than not, work from home or anywhere they want. According to Global Workplace Analytics, when a company hires a remote developer, it can reduce up to $11.000 per year for each by eliminating costs on office space, stationaries, and other amenities. Thankfully, businesses like yours can save money for other more value-added investments and keep the software development costs under control.
More Flexible in Scalability
This is true in the case of hiring remote programmers or a dedicated team through an IT outsourcing service company. If so, you will have more freedom to align your team size with your project requirements. That is to say, you can scale up, down, or even flexibly reconfigure your team as needed. The bottom line is that this kind of flexibility makes it much more efficient for the teams to reach their goals in the most optimal way.
Greater Pool of IT Talent
No doubt about this. The true idea behind hiring remote instead of local developers is to reach out to the remote resource. With fewer restrictions, geographic boundaries, differences in time zones, etc., it becomes possible for businesses to look beyond their local area and find the best developers who meet their requirements perfectly. Companies can search in any country they want and pick those who specialize in their field of expertise instead of being limited by what’s available near them. Not only that, but also employers get access to world-class developers that have years of experience and technical proficiency in the domain. On top of that, they can always hire senior specialists who are willing to work with their budget cap.
Accelerate Development Process
Remote hiring enables businesses to leverage the advantage of time disparity and global 24/7 coverage to speed up the development cycle and progress, thereby boosting productivity and quality in return. Specifically, the flexible hours and comfortable working environment of remote work enable developers to be more productive and efficient in managing their tasks. Additionally, remote hiring eliminates the need for face-to-face meetings during the interview process, which consumes a lot of time, and considerably speeds up decision-making. In addition, if you outsource the whole remote developers’ team or build your own ODC, then you will have the right professionals who can hit the ground running anytime without delays. This way, businesses can get their projects done faster while creating high-quality work in shorter periods of time.
Much Better Employee Retention
Employers in all fields and industries find staff turnover to be stressful, but when it comes to the IT industry, this issue becomes even more serious. This is simply because IT personnel are hard to find, expensive to acquire, and challenging to retain. Employers must invest a lot of time, effort, and resources to secure each stage, from the job posting to the interview to the onboarding process, until they successfully hire one qualified applicant. To fill a completed team, this venture is repeated.
When you hire a remote developer, however, it drastically increases the chances of employee retention. According to research by Stanford University, remote employees are 9% more engaged in work, 50% less likely to be fired, and 13.5% more productive than traditional workers. This somehow tells us that the right remote developers work more efficiently and productively and stay for a longer time. These more committed workforces can bring about a higher level of success to any business, regardless of its field or size.
Benefits for Employees
As stated before, remote hiring and working offer employees a number of advantages as well.
Remote employees do not need to be physically present at work, so they can save a huge amount of time and effort from traveling back and forth between home and office. Additionally, they can work from anywhere they find convenient. All of these contribute to forming a flexible working environment in which the workers can manage their jobs and time more easily at their disposal, helping them balance their personal and business lives better.
While a lot of software development companies and enterprises are more open to the hybrid model and the work-at-home arrangement, some are still anxious about their employees’ performance.
In fact, statistics by ConnectSolutions showed that 77% of employees who work remotely at least a few times per month are recorded to be more productive, with 30% accomplishing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same amount of time. This means remote work can boost workers’ productivity and morale immensely. The flexible hours and comfortable working environment of remote jobs enable developers to be more productive and efficient in managing their tasks. They feel free from distractions like long office hours, commuting every day, or dealing with loud officemates, which helps them focus better on their jobs. Therefore, full-time remote developers can work with better clarity of mind and higher productivity as long as companies put proper project management practices in place. This will be beneficial for not only the employees themselves but also the employers.
Take a Load off for In-house Developers
Not only does hiring remote developers save you from stretching your budget, but it also overloads your internal teams. The onshore development team might be too busy with their own jobs, such as product design and development or testing. In such cases, outsourced remote developers can work on separate projects outside of your core architecture while the in-house teams focus on their main tasks. With more space to manage their tasks better, both offshore and onshore development teams are likely to produce higher-quality results in less time and resources.
Destinations for Hiring Remote Developers
The demand for remote developers has kept rising steadily over the years, and outsourcing services have unlocked the door to all the best IT destinations across the globe, leaving employers in the IT sector with a variety of choices. According to the World Bank’s average cost of software development services by region, Asia Pacific tops the list with the most reasonable hourly rate (approximately $28) compared to North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Moreover, this region is well known for its sizable IT workforce, budget-friendly services, and quality. Therefore, when considering a place to hire remote developers or outsource projects, the countries in Asia-pacific are top of the list. There is a number of potential countries where you can find remote developers with quality and affordable prices, but India, China, and Vietnam are the big three that you should take into account.
On nearly every list, India and China have long been the two must-mention tech hubs when it comes to IT manpower supply services. Both of them share many things in common, which are primarily the advantages in terms of tech talent, quality services, and cost-efficiency. As the competitiveness within the IT labor market is becoming more and more fierce in time, there comes the advent of new destinations which surpass all the others to become the alternative mighty IT powerhouse in Asia. Yes, we are talking about Vietnam. The country is even expected to overtake the position of the ideal destination for software development outsourcing services, which long used to belong to China and India since it can offer similar benefits but at a higher level.
Why Vietnam? This country is on fire and has become one of the most desired IT hubs in the Asia Pacific as it outperforms other destinations in the aspects of advantages. Firstly, Vietnam has a sizeable yet sustainable pool of IT talent who possess solid domain knowledge, technical skills, English proficiency, and so much more qualities. That’s the reason why a growing wave of IT organizations seeks Vietnam as the “remedy” for their shortage of talented developers. Secondly, the cost of hiring developers in Vietnam is reportedly much less expensive in other countries, making it an ideal destination to deploy offshore software development services. In specific, it is 90% cheaper to employ developers in Vietnam than in the U.S., 50% and 30% even less than in China and India, respectively. Last but not least, the Vietnamese business culture facilitates a favorable environment where IT businesses can thrive, and the latest technologies are welcomed. Typically, Vietnam has pulled out the stops to shape a feasible future for artificial intelligence development within the nation. These advantages can buy you guarantee that you find what you need to boost your teams and your projects in Vietnam, including IT manpower, services, or both.
What You Need to Pay Attention to When Hiring Remote Development Team or Individuals
To get bang for the buck when hiring a remote developer or a team, it would be better if you are well aware of the possible obstacles incurring along your way and prepare your solutions in advance.
Difficult to Find the Expert Remote Developers
Like a jigsaw puzzle, when you have to find the right missing piece, it takes you a lot of work to hunt and filter the right talent for your team, and now it can be extra challenging as you have to search offshore. So, prepare yourself because the hiring process will be much different when you hire remote developers, and it may also hinge on several risks of failure. In an unwanted scenario, you may end up with a novice team or individuals who cannot deliver the expected performance or even worse. No doubt that it is the least you expect after having to commit to remote workers instead of those available at hand. There are several reasons accountable for this obstacle. The geographical distance is one of them but not enough. The lack of understanding of the local labor market, the loopholes in your own hiring process, the pressure of time, etc., can contribute to the agonies during your hiring journey.
Also, keep in mind that you are not the only one to recruit offshore developers, so it can be tough to source and hire the right talent before your competitors. All in all, there is a solution recommended by most companies that used to or are hiring remote workers – partnering with a local recruiting agency or an IT outsourcing company. For example, if you want to hire offshore developers in Vietnam, look for an IT staffing service provider in that country. Why do that? A local vendor boasts the necessary experience and a big-enough network to find and hire the right tech talent as you request faster and more efficiently than you do.
When engaging with remote software development developers overseas, employers must also pay extra attention to legal issues which may occur due to geographical distances. It is necessary for employers to understand the laws in both countries they are dealing with so that their contracts are legally binding in either country and follow local labor regulations of each other. You should also make sure that the developer has signed a contract that clearly states their job responsibilities, as well as any intellectual property or trade secret agreement.
Is it a little bit contradictory here? You rush to offshore destinations for less expensive developers, but now you face the challenge of overhead costs. In fact, this circumstance is less likely to happen, but it does not necessarily mean impossible. It could be the case that you misjudge the local market and end up hiring developers with higher salaries than expected. As a result, it can counterbalance or even overweigh the expected cost reduction to some extent. Another cause of added expense is the overly expensive consulting firms and recruitment agencies. Therefore, it is highly recommended to research the outsourcing services in Vietnam thoroughly so as to get an idea about the average salary for each development role and budget for other related expenses. You should also compare different outsourcing service providers before deciding on one since their prices may differ drastically.
“Headache” in Communication & Management
Certainly, there will be some dilemmas in managing and communicating with your employees from different parts of the world. The language barriers or time and space differences are responsible for the unwanted communication issues. When your team members are dispersed across the globe, the process of tracking productivity will become challenging and troublesome thereof.
Therefore, you had better come up with the proper strategies in order to manage your remote developers as well as your internal teams well. Additionally, you should use video calls, collaboration tools, and project management software, as well as different communication channels like Slack and Zoom to facilitate communication, or an automated time-tracking tool to monitor working hours. Make sure your team is adequately trained on technologies and processes so they can work productively.
Furthermore, employers should also strive for continuous improvement by regularly evaluating the performance of their remote developers and providing feedback to them. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and all tasks are completed in a timely manner. Additionally, setting well-defined milestones with measurable objectives also helps keep track of progress while keeping everyone motivated throughout the entire process.
Useful Tips to Source the Best Talented Developers
Although the process of hiring remote teams comes with its own unique challenges, it can be done successfully if you are well-prepared. Whether you hire onshore, nearshore, or offshore developers, both full-time ones or freelancers, there will be some mistakes that employers like you are likely to make and also some useful tips for success you should take. Check out the following tips on how to hire remote developers and pick out the ones that work for you:
Know Your Needs & Convert Them into a Precise Job Description
This sounds quite obvious, but a lot of employers overlook this step and then learn the lesson the hard way. What makes up an ideal remote developer at any level is so much more than solely his or her technical expertise but a set of others, including soft skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, etc. Moreover, different methods should be included in addition to the technical interview to make certain that you measure a candidate thoroughly. More importantly, company culture fit should be prioritized criteria during the interview process. So, make sure you communicate the state of work clearly with the candidates.
As a result, employers need to decide their requirements and expectations for the qualified one and translate them into a complete JD. Even in case if you delegate the entire hiring process to a third-party vendor, it is compulsory to do the same thing to ensure that service providers get the right portrait of whom they are supposed to find before the screening process begins.
Leverage All Sources
As stated earlier, businesses nowadays have multiple ways to hire remote developers. While a majority of companies and organizations are still loyal to job boards, many others resort to social media channels, online job portals, and freelance marketplaces to find top-notch talent. Apart from that, using employee referral programs and attending conferences and exhibitions are also prominent sources for finding remote tech talent. But above all, IT recruiting agencies are still the experts in sourcing local talent for you. Whatever the ways you choose, the ultimate goal is to augment your existing workforce with the best one. Therefore, never stick to one source but try multiple approaches for an increased success rate.
Consider Outsourcing When Necessary
If you would like to benefit from the advantages of remote developers but do not want to take risks with a solo hire or small team, then outsourcing is your safest bet.
When it comes to outsourcing, you have two different options – either hire freelancers or outsource to a third-party company. Freelancers or outsourcing companies have their own pros and cons, so each approach will fit into different situations and meet different expectations. But to be a little subjective, partnering with outsourcing companies is a little bit safer and better than freelancers.
Get ready to relinquish your control over the team assembly and management in exchange for a full-fledged development team of top remote developers ready to get their hands on your projects without delays. Worth it, right? But it does not mean that you rely solely on outsourcers’ decisions. Make sure to stay hands-on and monitor every stage of the hiring process regularly, and be ready to jump in with quick solutions when needed. And don’t forget to make sure you choose an IT partner that can comprehend your business objectives and find the perfect fit for you.
Stay in Touch & Provide Feedback
The key to successful remote collaboration is communication. It is critical to stay connected with remote developers throughout the entire process – both during the pre-hiring and post-hiring stages. When you are looking for potential hires, it is important to ask relevant questions that provide insight into their work attitude, technical skillset, and availability to collaborate remotely. Once hired, regular check-ins should frequently happen so that everyone stays updated about what’s happening on the project. Remember to provide feedback, too – it helps in keeping remote developers motivated and improving their performance.
Be Open to Candidates with Different Skillsets & Experiences
Before taking the final step and hiring any remote developer, make sure to take every candidate’s skillset into consideration. It is of utmost importance to evaluate their technical experience as well as professional traits, communication skills, and other qualities that might not be obvious at first glance.
While it is tempting to go for experienced professionals who seemingly master all development aspects, you can also consider those fresh graduates or junior developers who are equally talented and willing to learn more rapidly than their seasoned counterparts. Don’t forget the fact that most developers start from scratch – some even teach themselves how to code by completing online courses and taking on projects to gain experience.
Therefore, don’t close yourself off from new talent, and be open-minded about recruiting potential candidates with different backgrounds. After all, the most important attribute that any developer should possess is the ability to learn quickly and solve problems no matter what their current level of expertise is.
Perhaps the remote developers you hire are not the best-in-class ones right from the beginning, but in time, they grow to be your best performers thanks to feedback and self-development. In fact, a lot of IT companies nowadays send their employees to conferences, workshops, and other educational opportunities to help them stay updated and become even better. So, don’t just leverage the pool of tech talent, enhance it while you can.
Topics: Hire Remote Developers