Expanding Your Development Team: Hire, Contract or Offshore?

Congrats on that new project! How do we know? You’re here trying to figure out what’s the best way to expand your software development team, right? Usually, you’d pass along your requirements to HR and be done with it. But nowadays, you have other options to get your projects done. Let’s talk about those for a bit and when it’s best to choose one option over another:

Option 1: Hire a guy (or a bunch of guys)

The most straightforward option. Your HR does their HR magic and grabs developers out of their sorting hat. After a few interviews and a bit of onboarding, your team has their new guys.

Best used for:

Mission critical projects, core technology such as your app if you’re a tech start-up.

Pros:

  1. Doesn’t disrupt your team’s workflow. After all, it’s the new guys who need to learn the ropes and not the other way around.
  2. Easier because you’ve done this before. There is some time and effort involved but you have HR to help you out.
  3. You’re on the same page. Less misunderstandings, and the end product more closely matches what’s needed by the client. Ah, the joys of working in the same office.

Cons:

  1. Finding developers is difficult. Funded startups and tech giants exert a lot of effort to attract all the best talent, and even the good talent go to these companies first. You’re often a second or third choice for developers looking to get a job.
  2. New developers need time to adjust. Some onboarding and training will be needed to get them up to speed. You won’t be able to throw them head first into a new project on their first day.
  3. One hire == one skill. If you need a lot of skills for a new project, you’ll need to hire a lot of people. Full-stack developers are unicorns.

Option 2: Contract it to a company that does developer work.

Contracting out the project is a good way to get it done, especially if it’s to a company that you’re comfortable with.

Best used for:

Large, urgent projects, projects that need multiple skill sets, one-off projects.

Pros:

  1. Work is the same or better quality than what you expect. These guys have the team, the tech and the talent. They have the expertise, they can build it.
  2. Faster completion. As soon as the contract is signed, they can start right away.
  3. Get the skills you need for the job. They have access to the talent that you don’t have since they specialize in this type of work.

Cons:

  1. It’s expensive. It only works if your budget allows for it.
  2. You’re not their first priority. Even if you’re their number one customer, a new number one will always pop up. And their┬ádevelopers work for the company, not for you, so don’t expect 100% focus.
  3. They will be busy. If you thought hiring was hard, try finding a local development company with time to spare for your project.

Option 3: Get an offshore development team

Think of an offshore development team as a remote office but way easier to set up and also way less expensive. After all, code lives online so work can be done anywhere by anyone.

Best used for:

Noncritical projects, projects with very well-defined scope.

Pros:

  1. It’s the least expensive option. Expect to spend only a 33% (in best cases even 12%) of you developers budget.
  2. Lots of options. Unlike hiring locally, you can hire teams from places like India or the Philippines who are ready to work.
  3. Get the skills you need for the job. Like contracting out to a local developers shop, offshore companies make sure that they have the talent you need for the project.

Cons:

  1. Needs due diligence. You have to be prudent which company you use. Look for reviews, ask for referrals, test their skills, do a personal visit of their offices.
  2. Expect a communications gap. I’m not talking just about the time difference. There’s also a difference in cultures, language barriers and the fact that you can never really talk to the developers face to face to clarify things.
  3. You’ll need another hire: a remote team manager. In most cases, you definitely will need a go-between that will handle the remote development team for you, preferably someone local who understands the culture of the developers you’re getting.

We’ve laid out all the options for you but of course, the decision is still yours. If you do decide to offshore, consider us here at Get[Devs]. Contact us and you’ll learn how we work to remove the cons of offshoring and give you the benefits of hiring developers directly.