Innovation In Software: Is It Time To Hire Offshore Developers

Emilien Coquard
6 min readMar 1, 2019

Software development has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. If you’re a stakeholder of a successful software development company in the US or Europe, then chances are that your customer base is expanding and, hopefully, your product sales are on the rise.

However, you’re undoubtedly also experiencing fiercer competition than ever. This makes it all the more important to stay on top of your game and build software that is new and innovative to scale your business fast and stay ahead of your competitors.

And that’s a challenge.

Getting ahead in a crowded marketplace

The obvious solution is to hire more in-house software developers to keep up with the growing demand and expectations of customers in your industry. But when you factor in the significant hiring costs and the small pool of local developer talent available, that option doesn’t seem so appealing.

Outsourcing your development is an option, but it’s only a temporary plug that isn’t sustainable in the long run. Outsourcing to external vendors means a loss of ownership over your software development team and, subsequently, the delivery of sub-standard products built by engineers who lack customer focus.

Which only leaves the most effective option: offshoring. There are many benefits of offshoring which make it the perfect solution for saving costs, improving production, and focusing on your core competencies. By hiring offshore developers, you’re not just leveraging lower-cost talent: you’re building a highly-skilled software team that’s a value-driving extension of your business.

However, to successfully build an offshore team and hire world-class offshore developers, you need to move through the right process. As the experts in building offshore teams, we like to think we’ve come closer than anyone else to mastering the process. Here are our tips for establishing a bulletproof recruitment process and hiring offshore developers who will transform your business.

1. Define your requirements clearly

This first step might be obvious, but it’s crucial: note down all the skills you require from an ideal candidate. This is your benchmark. Commit time and effort into this list: tech stacks, knowledge of tools/frameworks, experience, personal skills, and so on.

Make sure the list is all-inclusive and thorough.

Next, refine the list. Identify and separate the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘nice-to-haves’. This will go a long way in helping you sort priorities so you only hire offshore developers who add value to your business.

Finally, create job descriptions for the relevant positions. Use your skills lists as a basis, ensuring again that you are as thorough as possible. Also, include the duties and responsibilities that the employee will undertake. This is the foundation of the whole recruitment process.

2. Follow a structured interview process

The next step is the interview process. To conduct an effective interview — one that can really assess the competency of candidates — you need to prepare.

  1. Create a list of topics and questions you want to ask.
  2. Order them to give structure to the interview
  3. Mark the most crucial questions so you definitely ask them, even if time runs on

This not only guarantees that the key parameters are discussed but also streamlines your interview process. First impressions are significant, but they don’t tell the full story. Your questions help you build a realistic picture of the candidate’s skills. Conduct at least a few technical tests because those fundamental skills that are non-negotiable. You can then arrange for a personal interview to assess their attitude and personality fit with your company before you make your mind up.

3. Conduct strict technical tests

Because you’re hiring offshore developers, their ability to write efficient code is the most important technical skill. There are loads of online coding test platforms — HackerEarth, Codility, Talview, and HackerRank for example — which you can use. The best option will depend on your development process and business requirements.

Technical tests which require programmers to code in real-time is a direct reflection of their knowledge. By demonstrating how they approach a problem, tackle roadblocks, document and comment their code, you can closely analyse their skill set.

You can even include real business cases to challenge your candidates. While difficult, your tests shouldn’t be so difficult that candidates can’t complete them on time. If the tests deviate from your expectations, be flexible and adjust to the situation as needed.

4. Look for cultural compatibility of your offshore developers

It’s not uncommon for candidates to excel in technical tests and then underperform just a few months later. Barring exceptional circumstances, poor cultural fit is the most common problem.

When hiring offshore developers, cultural fit and connection are absolutely crucial.

What is your company culture?

You should know the core values, goals, and practices that define your organisation. The best-fitting offshore developers will have a work ethic and values which align with those of your company.

Managing an on-site team can be a difficult job for even the best managers. Now imagine what it would take to get excellent performance from an offshore team of developers who aren’t self-motivated and who don’t understand what your business stands for.

It can get messy.

Avoiding cultural incompatibility comes back to developing a meticulous hiring process. Hire individuals who will invest time and effort into the vision of your company. They must be motivated, committed, and driven to accomplish what is expected of them.

5. Establish a time-efficient hiring process

Countries like India and Ukraine is where the software development industry is booming. This means that offshore developers don’t stay free agents for long. An efficient hiring process is therefore essential. You don’t want to lose out on a good candidate because of unforeseen delays! If you think that you’ve found a diamond in the rough, don’t hesitate to invite them to interview.

You can also give candidates get feedback on their tests and interviews. We recommended providing this as soon as possible, preferably within two or three days. Though it may seem unnecessary, providing your candidate with a detailed review of their performance even if they aren’t selected can not only soften the blow for them but the efforts that you take to review the candidate will also significantly contribute to building a positive brand for your company.

6. Give candidates a reason to work for you

In an ideal world, candidates would walk out of interviews ready to sign up for the job. Unfortunately, the reality is usually quite different. Competition for skilled offshore developers in countries like India and Ukraine is at an all-time high, which means finding top tech talent is not easy.

The interview process should be a two-way street. This is where the candidates can learn about your business culture. Remember that while you assess the candidate, they’re also evaluating you and your company. They’re trying to figure out if working for you is their best choice. Candidates are not just analysing their working conditions in your company. They’re also looking for the chance to work with cutting-edge technology for the most innovative leaders in their industry.

So before you hire offshore developers, ask yourself: why is your company unique? How is your company’s mission unlike any other? How can you pitch your company so that the very best developers want to work for you?

Engagement and excite the candidate

You need to make sure the conversation is never one-sided. Don’t constantly bombard your candidate with questions. Prompt them to ask questions about your brand, what your business stands for, or any concerns they have. Remember to be as honest and open in your answers as possible. Use this opportunity to build a personal connection with the candidate, a rapport that will make their decision to work with you a lot easier.

At the Scalers, we execute the entire recruitment process on your behalf. You do get to hire world-class developers and build an efficient team. You don’t have to take your focus away from the rest of your business!