MageDirect helps companies to expand their development staff. Over the years we have accumulated professional experience working with clients. Now we want to share it with you. Our company provides a comprehensive package of developer search services for all types of eСommerce projects, ranging from developers and engineers to project managers.
This article is intended for companies who faced with the need to hire remote employees, and at the same time have difficulties at all stages of recruiting: the selection of contractors, the establishment of communication between the company’s headquarters and departments of remote employees.
Recently, the field of offshore outsourcing is developing rapidly, more and more companies are looking for personnel to develop applications, programs and websites. The Internet provides excellent tools for project management online, as well as for round-the-clock monitoring of work on the final product.
Here are the main reasons for hiring remote developers:
- You need to scale the developer team as fast as possible. This is especially important while working on complex large-scale projects since the lack of communication or absence at work at least one specialist can stop the entire chain of tasks;
- You need for experienced professionals who are difficult to find in small cities. This applies to non-format projects that require very highly specialized professionals, who perfectly possess quite unique skills of programming or debugging specific technical processes;
- Cost optimization. The hiring and collaboration of remote workers requires less time and money;
Strong consulting / design / marketing / sales department, but no own development department. Most often, it’s IT technicians who work in outsourcing, so it’s easier to recruit a team of remote developers than to manage a remote sales department, for example.
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The optimal solution for recruiting the necessary specialists is cooperation with a specialized company engaged in the recruitment of personnel. In this case, the responsibility for each hired employee falls on the partner company, and in the case of his absence or failure to fulfill the assigned tasks, the company must find a replacement for him. Advantages of working with a company when hiring a dedicated development team:
- Separate offshore outsource ecosystem;
- Insurance in case of replacement employee. While one employee is unavailable for a certain time, you can replace him with another outsourcing employee.
- Assistance and consulting in setting up development processes.
- Lowering the input threshold in case of lack of experience in building a team of developers.
Possible difficulties that you may encounter in the process of forming an outsourcing development department:
- Distrust to remote employees;
- Difficulties in testing technical skills when hiring a developer;
- Lack of experience in resource management;
- Diverse personal approaches to specific tasks development. Different approaches of different employees to the development of the product;
- Communication problems;
- Data protection.
So, how to manage offshore developer team? Let us examine each problem and solutions for it separately, in more details:
Distrust to remote employees.
Very often, a company that that hires remote workers for the first time, spends a lot of time to recruit proper and trusted specialist, as employees will work then with sensitive client information. The company wants the same productivity of work, as well as from full-time office staff. First of all, they are:
- High-quality communication between company departments
- Strong technical skills
The fair assessment of labor, corresponding to the quality of service.
Our company has already faced with similar problems, so we have experience in finding a proper solution. In practice, to test an offshore development team, you must perform at least a few of the following:
- The first call of the director of the company or top manager, if possible — make the appointment. For the first time, video call will be enough — it is better than text communication in the messenger or by e-mail. During the call, you can ask key questions and get answers. Five questions are enough to first understand whether the goals of the company are interesting to your potential contractor and whether he is ready to help the business.
- Right after, you can clarify with the contractor his development process, aspects and technical details of the work, etc. This point of negotiation is very important, as the employer needs to know all the slightest aspects of future cooperation — the work schedule, the chosen option to check the performance of individual tasks, and the estimated total time for which the selected specialist undertakes to complete all the tasks.
- Further, most often, the test period of cooperation is appointed. To do this, you need to identify a number of tasks, which will test the technical knowledge of the candidates. It is recommended, that this was the amount of work for 20-30 hours. Usually, this is enough to check the level of developers and the quality of communication. In addition, during this time it becomes clear whether the chosen specialist is suitable for the employer, and the hired specialist, in turn, will go into the workflow of your company and decide whether he will cooperate further or whether you will have to look for a replacement for him.
Difficulties in testing technical skills when hiring a developer
Each of your projects has its own characteristics — in particular, Enterprise Level Projects. Many tasks require a phased implementation, so it is easier to rely on the project model of cooperation. You enter into a contract to perform a specific task, then upon completion, you pay. After that, if the hired specialist can perform further items from the list of development of the complex project, you again discuss the details of the implementation, if not — you are looking for a new specialist. The technical skills of many specialists may be too narrowly oriented to perform several tasks from the seemingly one and the same sphere of IT development. Therefore, even if a hired employee has coped with the task, it is not yet the fact that he will cope with the next one.
From our point of view, the more detailed you provide information about the technical aspects of the project, the easier it will be for the contractor to find the relevant developer for the most purposes of your project.
A good example:
Let’s suppose there is a project on Magento 2 with the following description:
- Concurrency – 1000 users;
- Queues at RabbitMQ;
- Integration with SAP.
From this short description follows the conclusion:
- Requires a developer specializing in Magento 2 speed optimization;
- Server-side understanding;
- Strong programming skills;
- REST / SOAP API deep understanding.
Checking portfolio is mandatory. A remote developer or an entire team should have a list of already created products as a portfolio to demonstrate their skills to new employers. Also, for a professional portfolio it is important not only to show the product itself but also to provide the technical aspects of the development — elapsed time, software used, etc.
Lack of experience in resource management
Not all company managers have experience managing a staff of remote employees. Also communication barriers can arise.
- Hiring a manager who specializes in working with remote employees. It will broadcast the developer’s tasks to the company’s administration and smooth the development process. Management of remote employees has its own specifics, therefore, in the modern labor market, you can find managers, specialized exactly in the organization of work of remote development teams. Also, professional outsourcing development companies have their own managers in their staff who will control the work of programmers, designers, and other specialists and keep reports for the company-hirer.
- Quality reporting setting. Thanks to digital tools like Zapier, you can customize any workflow automation. For example, you can provide remote workers with measures in real time: the time to complete a task, items for performing a complex task, setting up automatic notifications, etc. With the help of the functionality of similar management systems, you can ensure timely and complete exchange of information between departments.
- Optional solutions: team building, corporate meetings, joint training with remote employees, etc.
Also, a big mistake would be to search for remote developers only in the nearest regions of the country. Most often, when it comes to full-scale development, the company has the resources to recruit developers from different countries. Connecting to the Internet and being able to conduct interviews via video link provides communication even with people on the other side of the planet.
Different approaches of different employees to the development of the product
In the case of recruiting new staff to develop a project, you may encounter a conflict of interest between several developers who may have different approaches to the same task.
Some of the employees work in JIRA, some in Readime, somein Trello. Someone keeps logs of the work done, someone does not. Different programmers writing in the same programming language may have their own styles of writing code.
Before starting work, we ask the recruiting department of the company to fill out a checklist with detailed information about what software is used in the organization of work and detailed aspects of the project management.
This process significantly reduces developer training time. The main thing is the speed of adaptation of the remote employee, the optimal period is 1-3 weeks.
If a company is looking for several developers or a whole department at once, you need to focus on the widest list of required skills. Many companies-contractors have in their bases a team of developers who can offer the widest list of various technical skills — from site design to back-end development and server-side architecture of the project. Such teams are most in demand, as they can provide the most flexible development of any project.
MageDirect stands out for high-quality corporate communication, which allows both he company and the contractor to effectively exchange information.
Very often, misunderstanding even between departments of the same company can lead to reducing the speed of work on important projects.
The mismatch of work schedules of employees of the main office and remote employees.
The development department does not receive answers to requests for information they need and because of this, specialists cannot begin work on the task.
- Creation of a separate department that will be a link between remote employees and office specialists. Work schedule can be as flexible as possible.
- Selection of a team of contractors whose time zone is not very different from the timezone of a company-employer. Selection of contractors in the same time zone as the main office of the company.
- Organizing work on the main tasks in such a way that with the beginning of each new working day, the technical department of the company will brief the changes received from remote employees during non-working (for the office) time.
- Both parties of the remote cooperation agreement must provide telephone numbers. The project manager should be able to call the responsible person of the remote development team to clarify the details of the work on the current project.
When a company operates on customer data, it must be responsible for the confidentiality of all commercial information.
The first solution is to sign the NDA agreement between the companies, and the contracting company must necessarily have signed a non-disclosure agreement with employees.
Further, to minimize risks, the following actions should be performed:
- Provide information about remote workers without personal information.
- Only some technical specialists and managers should have access to the personal information of project outsourcing developers.
- Before starting work, make sure that the remote team understands the technical stack of the project and is well versed in the management process in your company.
- Start with small checks. Try to give a small amount of work and check the quality of communication and technical skills of remote employees.
- If you need to hire a full-time developer right now — prepare high-quality test tasks that minimize the total time of an interview for hiring.
- Protect data with NDA and secure your project sources. Remove sensitive information and customer data from there.
- Build quality communication between your IT department and the remote team.
If you encounter any problems during the development or hiring staff process, then write to [email protected] mail or chat us on this site.You’re welcome!