Hiring Offshore Dedicated Developers: Red Flags to Watch Out For

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MARYNA DEMCHENKO

Published: 04 Nov 2021

offshore developers

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In this day and age, delegating your software development activities offshore has become the new norm. As a company that builds technology teams in Ukraine, we've seen that many North American organizations are now hiring offshore dedicated developers more rapidly than ever. We can even go as far as saying that providing offshore dedicated developers is a key driving factor behind business globalization. 

You're probably here because hiring offshore dedicated developers is a significant part of your agenda and you're on the hunt for a reliable partner. If you want your offshore venture to be worth the time and money, finding the right vendor is vital. In fact, relying on our 13+ years of experience in providing offshore dedicated developers, we can say that offshore teams are only as good as the companies that provide them. Thus, the reputation of your chosen vendor of offshore programmers should be impeccable. 

This brings us to the next question: How to hire offshore dedicated developers safely? In this post, we've put together several red flags you should be aware of when searching for a vendor of offshore dedicated developers. We hope that knowing the tell-tale signs we described below will help you land vendors that you'd "swipe right,” while kicking to the curb those who aren’t worth your time.  

Diving right in, we’ve divided the markers of potentially risky vendors of dedicated offshore developers into two groups:

  • Those connected with online presence;
  • Those connected with the process.

Online presence: Things to watch out

  • An unimpressive website

When you Google "find offshore developers" or" the best offshore developers," Google turns up oodles of websites. While a pearl of common wisdom goes "don't judge at face value", when it comes to choosing a strategic offshore partner, you can do the opposite, given that the website can say a lot about the company it represents. Thus, you should carve out the time to sift through the websites of potential providers of offshore software developers. 

Truth be told, it can be hard to define what makes an untrustworthy website, as such judgment can be highly subjective. So rather than focus on signs of a potentially poor vendor, we went with the opposite approach and preferred to list the markers of a good website:

  • A well-structured layout and appealing design;
  • A blog containing fresh and quality content, including posts aimed to help you hire offshore dedicated developers, which means a company is well-versed in this area of business; 
  • Adequate English. Although many providers are located outside English-speaking countries, a high level of English proficiency maintained across the company is a must for in-depth communicating with their North American partners; 
  • The website should contain readily accessible contact information, including the vendor's office address, and  phone number;
  • You should be able to find links to the company's social media accounts;
  • A corporate video, showing real people and the office, so you can have an impression of what it would be like to work with them.  

If a potential provider of offshore dedicated developers checks out all of these boxes when it comes to their website, it means you've met a solid company that put in the needed effort to build a good online presence, which means they are likely to be mature enough to build and maintain partnerships. 

  • No success stories 

Reputation is the cornerstone of which is the oxygen all providers of dedicated offshore developers build off, and they are well aware of this fact. With that in mind, vendors tend to flaunt their past and ongoing partnerships, proudly putting them forward on their websites. Typically, you can find a dedicated section on their website where they talk about the nuts and bolts of those partnerships. When seeking offshore software developers, you'll be better off filtering out companies without signs of partnerships with legit companies, as you risk ending up with a vendor without the actual experience needed in delivering such services.  

Thus, take your time to go over the companies' Clients/Success Stories/Case Studies pages, as it will help you understand the company's real experience. Those pages may have the answers as to what kind of companies have hired offshore dedicated developers through the vendor in question and how the partnership helped those companies grow. See how that resonates with you. For example, we at nCube have worked with a variety of companies, both large and small. Many of those partnerships are described in our success stories (with permission of the respective clients), and we are replenishing our success stories when we have a chance. 

  • An inactive Careers page 

If you want to know how the vendor is doing, there's no better way to find this out than diving into its Careers page. Vendors of offshore dedicated developers use this section to post their current vacancies to attract and source developers. A career page that's full of recently posted vacancies is a sign that the vendor is active and looking for new partnerships and/or scaling its ongoing ones with offshore programmers. At the same time, we don’t deny that a solid vendor may not have a Careers page on their website at all, we just want to bring to your attention that vendors with recent ads is one of the signs that a vendor is up and about. 

Red flags on the side of the process

So at this step, we assume that you’ve filtered out vendors that have solid websites with up-to-date Careers and Clients pages. Now it’s time to dive deeper into the inner workings of those vendors and see what potential red flags are there. 

  • No prior screening of offshore developers

When looking for offshore dedicated developers to add to your team, you don't want to waste time interviewing irrelevant candidates. Thus, your chosen vendor should have a pre-screening step before they bring in offshore software developers for interviews with your company. It means that they should evaluate each candidate's tech skills and culture fit to see if they match your demands in the best way possible. That way, a vendor of offshore developers will foster efficiency, enabling you to speak only with candidates who are a good fit so you lose no time. 

For example, we at nCube maintain a custom team formation process. We always require an annoyingly detailed portrait of who would make an ideal offshore developer candidate. With this information, we sift through the market to find developers that match your vision. We always make sure a candidate fits in well with your engineering practices, communication style, and corporate culture before they speak with you. With each offshore developer, the final decision to hire will be yours. 

  • No English screening

In an offshoring setup, there's always a risk of running into a language barrier where things may get lost in translation, causing breakdowns in communication and unfortunate misunderstandings. Although English is the official language of IT today, the proficiency of offshore developers may fluctuate, so we consider it a must to source only those dedicated offshore developers who speak and write in English at an upper-intermediate level Thus, you'll be better off making sure that offshore programmers undergo English tests as part of the screening process with your vendor. 

  • Lack of transparency 

Many things contribute to the transparency of your cooperation with the vendor of offshore developers. First of all, knowing who is going to work on your project. In our model, the client is personally involved in everything, from hiring offshore dedicated developers to the management of thereof. Throughout our cooperation, you'll have direct access to each offshore developer on your team. On our side, we will be responsible for your team’s retention, keeping it soaring by taking care of your developers’ happiness, motivation, and comfort. 

Secondly, our vision of a transparent offshoring model is that the offshore dedicated developers we provide should be solely dedicated to the client's goals. Thus, all offshore software developers we source will work for you Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week. On top of that, you will run the team as you see fit and have all team members reporting to you. 

In the end, it's crucial to find a reliable vendor, as the future of your idea lies, to a great extent, in the hands of your offshore dedicated developers. Hopefully, our bits of advice will help you source the best offshore developers.

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