How to Hire an Offshore Web Development Team for Your Project
Hiring offshore developers can help you cut your development costs at least (!) twice compared to working with an in-house team. Offshoring can also accelerate project delivery, give you access to a rich pool of highly-qualified engineers and, eventually, bring you closer to achieving your business goals and solving critical business challenges.
According to Accelerance 2022 Global Software Outsourcing Trends and Rates Guide, average rates for senior developers in Central and Eastern Europe are twice lower ($53-$76) than in North America ($114-$170).
Before tapping into these and many other benefits of offshore web development, you first need to figure out where and how to find a reliable vendor for your web project.
In this article, we will answer the main questions that companies come across when they consider outsourcing their web projects to offshoring vendors:
- Where to search for reliable vendors?
- How to hire offshore developers and set up an effective remote workflow?
- What challenges to expect and how to deal with them?
- How to begin an offshore web project?
Offshore web development is a widely-used outsourcing strategy. It implies hiring a remote software team from a distant location that offers lower hourly rates and a wider talent pool compared to your country. Some of the most popular offshore destinations for the US, for example, are the countries of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Estonia, Czech Republic, etc.), East Asia and Oceania (India, the Philippines).
Check our latest Software Development Outsourcing Guide and learn about the top outsourcing locations, service models and the first steps of a successful outsourcing journey.
Offshoring offers multiple benefits, especially on web development projects that require:
- Significant resources and time (average timeframe from web project kick-off to delivery starts from 6 months and grows indefinitely depending on project complexity and scope).
- A cross-functional team and specialists with different skill sets and qualifications.
Hiring offshore developers will help you:
One of the main reasons why companies in the US, Canada, EU, and Australia choose to hire offshore developers is to reduce web development costs by leveraging favorable rates in trusted offshore locations.
Speed up project kick-off and delivery
A typical web development team structure includes several cross-functional specialists:
- Project Manager
- Business Analyst
- UX/UI designer
- Solution Architect
- Frontend engineer (or full-stack)
- Backend engineer (or full-stack)
- QA engineer
The more complex the application is, the more specialists you will need to design, develop and support the system (e.g., DevOps and data engineers for cloud-based data-heavy web systems). Hiring a full-stack tech team can be a real challenge, especially if you don’t have a relevant IT recruiting process and experts in the company.
On the contrary, a mature offshore web development company can put together a cross-functional team in a matter of weeks by leveraging its network and in-house resources. This speed gives you a solid competitive advantage by accelerating project delivery and time to market.
Hire top-tier engineers
Offshoring is a great solution to the increasing global tech skills shortage. Poland alone has more than 400k highly qualified tech specialists, making it one of the most attractive outsourcing locations for the US and Canada. Here you will find quick and cost-effective solutions to your tech needs, whether you are hiring a cross-functional team or ramping up your dev resources and looking for top-tier talent at reasonable costs.
Hiring an offshore development team allows you to quickly scale up or down your resources as your web project evolves and requires new skills. This level of flexibility is hard to reach when working with an in-house team due to employment obligations and a longer recruiting and hiring process.
Onboard unique specialists
What if you can’t find the right people for the job in your region? The offshoring approach gives you access to a wide choice of vendors from different locations. So you get a bigger chance to find specialists with unique domain, tech and business expertise if you search globally vs. locally.
Cut your development costs in half
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As you can see, offshoring is a viable outsourcing strategy. It brings various benefits from maximized savings due to lower rates to extended access to engineering talent from around the globe. However, hiring an offshore software development team can pose certain challenges, such as communication friction caused by significant differences in time zones or other specifics.
For instance, some companies find it harder to work with offshore teams due to disparities between legal frameworks overseas. In this case, a company may choose a nearshore vendor operating in a similar legal environment instead. Considerable gaps in time zones (6-12 hours) can become a benefit on one project (e.g., offshore and in-house development teams rotate and cover all-day support) and a problem on the other (e.g., office hours of a client and an offshore team don’t overlap, which creates a communication delay).
Next, we’ll talk about where and how to hire offshore development team to reach your outsourcing goals and solve the challenges of working with a vendor.
Are you looking for a developer or other IT specialist for short-term occasional gigs? Then consider large freelance platforms (e.g., Upwork), social media (LinkedIn), or specialized communities (e.g., Behance if you need to hire offshore web design developers). But if you deal with anything bigger than a 10-hour-a-week job — a full-scale web project or an engineering talent shortage — look into reputable offshore tech providers.
A few places where to search for one:
- Credible ratings and reviews companies. Platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, and TechBehemonths list all major tech providers in various locations. Here you can find and compare the portfolios of offshore vendors (average rates, size, domain and tech expertise, verified reviews, etc.) and contact them to get a quote.
- Referrals. Perhaps, one of the most fail-proof ways to find and hire a reliable offshore provider is to ask for referrals from partners or colleagues. In fact, 84% of B2B leaders begin with referrals before making any buying decisions.
- Resources on the relevant domain, tech, or business expertise. Hiring offshore developers that have already delivered a similar solution or gained solid experience in your niche will save you a lot of effort, time, and money. Look for case studies, domain-focused services, or specialization in your tech stack (e.g. a Node.js development company to scale up your backend Node.js team).
Offshore location is one of the most important factors that will impact overhead costs. The table below shows the average number of developers and the difference between offshore software development rates by country in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America (sources: Salary Expert, Accelerance, 2023). Mind that these are baseline numbers. The real rates vary greatly depending on tech stack, seniority, qualification, and provider’s fee and additional services.
|Country||Salary (USD, yearly ave.)||Hourly rate (USD)||Number of developers|
Number of developers, average developer’s salary, and rates for software development services.
Along with the rates, the choice of location will depend on your outsourcing goals, previous vendor experience, and team distribution. Answering these questions will help you understand which location will better match your needs and also be easy to deal with.
- What is your main goal in hiring a remote web development team (cut costs, quickly scale up your team, find unique specialists, etc.)?
- Do you need to augment your in-house team? Put together a dedicated full-stack team to build a full-scale web product from scratch? Or looking to outsource certain tasks, e.g., hire offshore testing team to work alongside your programmers?
- Will you manage the project on your end and do you have the necessary specialists on board?
- Are there any specifics of your project that would impact your choice of a vendor and location (highly-regulated domain, security requirements, legal and compliance specifics, etc.)?
- Can a large time zone gap (6+ hours), language, or cultural differences potentially jeopardize your project?
Here are a few practical tips on how to hire offshore software developers and set up successful cooperation with a tech provider, based on over a decade of experience in building offshore development teams for clients in the US, Australia, and Canada.
Set goals and requirements
Before you start choosing different regions and tech providers, give good thought to what you expect from your vendor and prepare the essentials that will help you start a dialogue with potential tech partners. Consider high-level project requirements, tech stack preferences (if any), limitations, budget, timeline, available resources, competition, domain knowledge, etc. You will need to answer many questions to lay the ground for your collaboration with a vendor.
Consider collaboration model
There are several established models and contract types in offshore development – dedicated resource, time and materials, and fixed-price. Consider what would work best for you depending on your project timeline, scope, budget, team composition, and management. Moreover, you can agree with your vendor to create a custom framework that better fits your requirements.
Review vendors and their offers
Now that you have a general idea of how you want to work and what to look for in a tech provider, you can begin reviewing vendors in preferred locations. It’s worth checking the following characteristics:
- Years in the market, credibility, track record.
- Tech stack, team composition and a number of full-time employees, access to required skills.
- Verifiable client reviews (Clutch, GoodFirms, etc.), shared stories, case studies.
- Retention rate both for employees and clients.
- Relevant experience in similar web projects/domain.
- Certifications and policies (ISO, HIPAA, etc.).
- Vendor’s approach to security, NDA, data privacy, client support, and advocacy.
- Business practices and ethics.
Negotiate a contract
IT contract negotiation is an important part and a keystone to successful and lasting relationships with your vendor. Therefore, before you hire offshore web developers, focus on negotiating a win-win contract that would fully satisfy both you and your vendor.
In many cases, you will start discussing the terms early on – the scope, workflow, guarantees, data security, IP rights, etc. Once you are ready to put it all on paper, pay attention to the following clauses that, in our experience, may cause confusion:
- Project description: scope, budget, payment terms, methodology, change requests and requirements management, high-level development plan, acceptance criteria, team structure, milestones, deadlines.
- Security: IP rights, data security, NDA, conflict resolution, acceptance criteria.
- Service guarantee, support and maintenance period.
Start with a smaller project
It won’t hurt to test the water before committing to long-term collaboration. This is a normal practice to start with a smaller project, for instance, hire an offshore web design team or kick off with a Discovery Project. It will help you see if there’s any friction and then grow the team and move to the next phase without risks.
Need a reliable provider of offshore web development services?
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Working with an offshore software development team may be challenging and cause understandable doubts, especially for companies that have no prior experience with offshoring. Time difference, cultural mismatch, security, and lack of business understanding cause the most concern. Here’s how experienced vendors address these challenges.
Effective communication and collaboration practices
It’s essential to set up an effective communication framework between a client and an offshore team to ensure transparency and avoid miscommunication. Normally, such things as collaboration tools and platforms, communication frequency and best practices are agreed on at the very beginning to make sure a client and a vendor are on the same page.
At Digiteum, we promote several ground rules among our teams and partners and set effective communication and collaboration practices to avoid friction entirely:
- Answer work-related emails/messages on the same business day.
- Employ all forms of communication (email, messaging, video calls, personal meetings) for effective and fast response.
- Adjust offshore team’s work schedule if necessary.
- Assign priorities and confirm message receipt when necessary.
- Conduct clear, straightforward, and open communication.
- Assign a client advocate/project supervisor to oversee the client’s interests (expectations, concerns, changes, etc.) and nurture relationships.
Focus on business goals
Always search for vendors eager to immerse into your domain, understand how your business works, and study your goals and market to provide better technical solutions aligned with your capabilities and needs.
In over 13 years of building offshore development teams, we have proven time and again that focus on the client’s business is no less and often even more important than innovation and trends. This approach helps us find cost-effective, practical solutions for our clients – choose relevant tech stack, prioritize requirements, optimize project roadmap, etc.
Are you ready to hire offshore development team for your web project? Leverage our decade-long experience in building offshore development centers and tech team augmentation.
Here are just a few success stories from our portfolio:
- A leading photo printing lab in the US works with our dedicated development team of 20+ engineers, designers, and managers since 2010. The team works on a large high-load web system and web portal for the client’s B2B and B2C services, provides system support 24/7, and ensures the client’s tech excellence and competitive edge.
- Reputable UK trend analytics brand assigned Digiteum to set up a team of senior full-stack, QA automation, and DevOps engineers for an offshore web application development project. We augmented the US-based development center adjusting to their working schedule, which allowed the client to restructure their in-house team, double the development speed and surpass delivery goals for 2021.
- Since 2021, our engineers have been working on a web platform for a large sports data analytics company in Australia. The team is fully integrated into the client’s in-house team and works effectively on the platform’s frontend providing React software development services and DevOps support.
As a custom web development company, we have 50+ senior and middle engineers, in-house designers, analysts, managers and data specialists on board and extensive experience in web development for retail and eCommerce, clean energy, healthcare, education, publishing, sports, travel, IoT and wearables. Tap into our range of custom web development services, including:
Start your offshore web development project by filling out our quick contact form.
- Offshore web development is an effective strategy that will help you speed up project development, optimize development costs and get access to skilled specialists from around the globe.
- The choice of location, vendor and collaboration model depends on many factors, including your key outsourcing goals, project specifics as well as previous outsourcing experience.
- Good understanding of your goals, timeline, and capabilities as well as a thorough vendor review will help you find a reliable tech partner for your project.
This post was originally published on March 21, 2022 and updated on March 10, 2023.
- Start with defining your goals and requirements
- Consider a collaboration model that works best for your project, scope and budget
- Review vendors in the preferred offshore location/locations
- Negotiate IT contract
- Start with a smaller project or milestone