How to Hire an Offshore Web Development Team for Your Project
Offshore and nearshore web development can help you cut your development costs at least (!) twice. Offshoring/nearshoring can also accelerate project delivery, give you access to the 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 nearshore and 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 and nearshoring vendors:
- Where to search for reliable vendors?
- What to choose – nearshoring or offshoring?
- How to hire offshore developers and set an effective remote workflow?
- What challenges to expect and how to deal with them?
- How to begin a nearshore or offshore web project?
The difference between nearshoring and offshoring lies primarily in the location where you outsource from.
To hire a nearshore web development team means to work with a tech vendor in one of the neighboring countries. Poland, for instance, is one of the most popular nearshoring locations for the Nordic countries, while Mexico is a key nearshoring vendor for the United States.
Pros of nearshoring
- Few or no cultural differences, no language barrier
- Proximity, similar or same timezone
- Similar legal and business environment
- Significant savings compared to onshoring (compare 2022 rates range for a senior developer in the US ($114-$170) vs. the counties in Latin America ($49-$82)
Cons of nearshoring
- Smaller talent pool compared to offshoring
- Higher rates compared to some offshoring locations (compare 2022 rates range for a senior developer in Central Europe ($53-$76) vs. Southeast Asia ($35-$41)
Offshore web development is a widely-used outsourcing software strategy that implies hiring a remote team from a distant location, often in a different time zone. Some of the most popular offshore destinations for the US are located in Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Estonia, Czech Republic, etc.), East Asia and Oceania (India, the Philippines).
Pros of offshoring
- Maximized savings due to lower rates in some locations
- Access to engineering talent from around the globe
- Wide choice of vendors
Cons of offshoring
- Possible collaboration and communication friction caused by significant differences in time zones and cultural specifics
Both offshore and nearshore web development are viable outsourcing strategies. The choice depends to a large extent on the goals of the outsourcing, previous vendor experience, project specifics, team distribution, and project management model.
For instance, disparities between legal frameworks can make it harder for some companies to work with offshore teams. If this is the case, a company would rather choose among nearshore vendors operating in a similar legal environment. Considerable difference in time zone (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. working time between a client and an offshore team doesn’t overlap and creates a communication gap).
To better understand which location to look into, try answering these questions first:
- What is your main goal of 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 new web product from scratch, looking for MVP development services for your startup, etc?
- How do you plan to manage the project and do you have the necessary specialists on board?
- Are there any specifics of your project that would impact your choice (highly-regulated domain, security requirements, legal and compliance specifics, etc.)?
Despite all the differences, offshoring and nearshoring alike offer 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 tech skills and qualifications.
Hiring nearshore and offshore development teams 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 and nearshore 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 it takes to design, develop and support the system (e.g. DevOps, data engineers, etc. for data-heavy web systems). Hiring a full-stack in-house team can be a real challenge for a company, especially without a relevant recruiting process and experience in place.
A long-standing 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 and nearshoring are great solutions to the increasing global tech skills shortage. Poland alone has more than 550k highly qualified tech specialists, making it one of the most attractive nearshore web development locations for Nordic and DACH markets. 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 backend team and looking for a reliable Node.js development company to access top-tier talent.
Onboard unique specialists
You get a bigger chance to find specialists with unique domain, tech and business expertise if you search globally vs. locally.
Nearshore and offshore development teams can be quickly ramped up and ramped down as your web project evolves and requires new skills and resources. This level of flexibility is hard to reach when working with an in-house team due to employment obligations and a longer recruitment cycle.
During over a decade in building offshore development teams for clients in the US, Australia and Canada, we gathered a few practical tips on how to hire offshore software developers and set up successful cooperation with a tech provider.
Set goals and requirements
Before you start choosing different regions and tech providers, give a good thought on 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 nearshore/offshore development – dedicated resource, time and materials, 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, access to required skills
- Verifiable client reviews, shared stories, case studies
- Relevant experience with similar web projects/domain
- Vendor’s approach to security, NDA, data privacy, client support and advocacy
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.
Looking for a reliable provider of offshore web development services? Leverage our decade-long experience in building full-stack teams for clients in the US, UK, EU, Canada, and Australia to accelerate your project. Contact our team to talk about your requirements and expectations.
Working with an offshore software development team may be challenging and cause understandable doubts, especially for companies that have no prior experience with nearshoring/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 the vendors eager to immerse into your domain, understand how your business works, study your goals and market to provide better technical solutions aligned with your capabilities and needs.
In over 12 years of building offshore and nearshore 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. Tell us in a few words about your project and requirements, and our specialists will get back to you on the same business day to discuss how we could help you reach your business goals.
- Offshore and nearshore 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, capabilities as well a thorough vendor review will help you find a reliable tech partner for your project.
- 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