The first pillar of a tech-based startup success is always its software development team.
The competition in digital space is on an obvious rise. Meaning, if there was ever a time where you could pass the user acceptance test on a low quality or glitchy software, be definite that the time is long gone.
Today, the rules of the survival of the fittest game have become one-directional: the digital products that offer the best user experience will rule versus the one that doesn’t.
The real problem that entrepreneurs have to face is not in terms of delivering the best software products – but finding a team that would help them achieve that.
Now, finding such a team is difficult because of business reasons that primarily boil down to high developers acquisition cost. This is the reason why entrepreneurs having kickass app or software ideas generally turn towards the outsourcing route and look for answers to how to hire developers for a startup. After all, outsourcing played a major role during the 2008 recession.
Outsourcing, being a sector that is difficult to navigate when every work process is functional and working as their traditional model, becomes extremely difficult to get a hang off in the present day situation. A situation where the entire world is under lockdown and the software industry is witnessing a new wave of developers rushing in.
In this hiring remote developers guide, we are going to look into the process of how you can expertly hire remote developers, at a time where the ones promising to be the best are 50 times more than before.
Table of content
Type of Engineering Teams
In the software industry, whenever we talk in terms of hiring engineers who won’t be working with a company full-time, we mainly talk about two distinct team compositions: On-site engineers and virtual teams. The latter is further subdivided into – Distributed and Remote teams.
Before we set on to look into the process and streamlining of how to hire remote developers, it is important to come on the same page and understand the different options which are available to you.
On-site team of developers: Another name of this model is co-located team. Meaning, the developer you partnered with work alongside you in your office space. Companies that generally run on this model include IBM, Yahoo, and BestBuy.
Distributed team of developers: This team does not have a physical office space, The team members do not communicate face to face and work from different locations like cafes, co-working hubs. They do not even necessarily have to be in the same city or country.
Remote team of developers: The team that lies between both of them is the remote team of developers. While the terms – distributed and remote developers are often used interchangeably, there is an inherent difference between them – just like the on-site model, remote teams also have an office. They just don’t work from there. The examples of these can be seen in Trello, Basecamp, Help Scout, etc.
[Also Read: How to hire a dedicated development team?]
With that confusion addressed, let us look into one other confusion that keeps entrepreneurs on the fence when it comes into deep-diving into the effectiveness of the answer on how to hire developers for a startup.
Signs That You Need a Remote Team
1. When you lack the desired skill set in your team
The information technology sector is changing at a lightning speed. You will need a constant supply of skills and technical expertise to maintain a competitive edge. Something that is fairly easy to acquire in an offshore software development work model.
2. When you are struggling with high developmental cost
Although there is no reliable source backing this, but the presence of developers in the USA is very less – meaning, the cost of occurring them is very high. Ergo, the high app development cost at the end. The heat of this high cost can be very painful for SMEs who anyway struggle with the perils of working with a low budget.
3. When you struggle in achieving the time to market milestone
What matters is not just your app idea but also how soon you push it into the market for people to use. The one thing that remote teams help you with is working dedicatedly on the milestones that you have planned for your project. Since their main responsibilities lie in adhering to the clients, their whole focus would be on ensuring that your product enters the market just like you expect it to.
Why Should You Look for Remote Developers?
This is the number one reason why businesses go on a quest to find developers online. The remote teams tend to work round the clock. Look at it from this angle – the remote developers belong to different time zones, meaning some or the other part of your app development is happening at all times. Additionally, remote development tends to come with much lesser distractions because of the unwanted breaks and active work culture. All of this together brings down the time to market to a massive extent.
Going by multiple industry studies and surveys, it has now been proven that remote workers are a lot more engaged than people working in offices. Through the help of modern video conferencing platforms, the remote developers generally feel a lot connected than ones who tend to work in an office environment.
Expanded Development Abilities:
When you take the remote route, there is a greater possibility of you hiring talented developers at very reasonable compensation. When compared to the in-house team, the development capabilities are much greater in the remote teams, since they have more time and an immediate need to remain updated with all the changes happening in the software industry.
Expanded Market Reach:
Through remote collaboration with the developers in different geographical regions of the world, you are able to expand the market reach indirectly. Since your partnered remote developers are engaged closely with your startup, they act as an unpaid brand ambassador who promote your products to the potential customers in their respective area.
If you still need some inspiration in terms of why you should make the move of shifting to a remote work process or are unsure if you would succeed along the way, let’s give you some by looking into companies that are doing it and rocking at it.
Famous Companies That Were Built by a Remote Team
There are a number of tech companies that have been set off grounds and are still running with the help of remote frontend developers, remote backend developers, and remote UI developers.
Factors to Consider When Hiring Remote Developers
When thinking of hiring a remote team of custom software developers for your project, there are several things that must be considered to note. They can be very profitable when you analyze the requirements effectively and align your plans with the remote developers’ abilities. But there are many things that can wrong as well. Thus, it’s important to know the questions to ask a mobile app development company before hiring them and to keep the below mentioned points in consideration:
A Clearly-Outlined Development Requirement
Before anything else, you should start with identifying the development needs as it would help you choose the resources you require. The development requirements should clearly highlight your expectations (with respect to work and delivery time) and what you want the developers to achieve, both on an everyday and milestone basis.
An In-depth Remote Developer Screening Plan
Hiring remote mobile developers is never easy. The most important concern that businesses face when outsourcing their project is the fact they would have to share their secrets while expecting a superior-grade work from someone who is sitting thousands of miles away.
Therefore, it is very crucial to be sure of their caliber, competence, and dedication when you find app developers who will be working remotely. Building an in-depth screening process with proper technical sessions would help with the evaluation of a developer’s abilities and prevent any shock instances later.
The biggest roadblock in the remote development world can be glitchy communications. With multiple time zones, non-similar work timings and language differences, collaboration on a software project can be a hassle if you don’t create a communication strategy and get your hands on the best tools.
You should ensure that both internal and remote teams agree on the chosen mode of communication, the tools, tenure, and medium. It would make you a lot more efficient in managing remote teams and gain maximum outcomes when you outsource.
Structured Project Timeline
When working with a remote team, it becomes all the more important to develop a clear, detailed roadmap which defines scope and timeline of a project. In place of being utterly unrealistic about the deliveries, it will always be better to make timelines which all the stakeholders agree on.
It also helps to know the regional holidays to plan the timelines and milestones accordingly.
Flexibility & Scalability
The last thing that we would like you to consider is to account for flexibility. When you find mobile app developers through a remote route, the main intent is to look for experts in their field. A skilled developer generally comes on board with their ideas and suggestions. By being flexible in the development approach in a way that you are able to account for their suggestion can be a good way to go when looking to improve engagement within teams.
Everything that you read till this point was aimed at helping you choose the right remote team to partner with for your software development project. Let us next look into the practices that are required for managing remote employees and making the collaboration effective.
How to Manage a Remote Team?
1. Schedule Communications
The remote teams, by definition, are designed to work from different locations and even different time zones. Keeping up with the scheduled meeting not just helps you organize your team’s workflow and day, it also eliminates the time gap and delayed project launch.
2. Fix the Tools for Remote Teams
Tools are necessary for providing remote team collaborations – for they are what structure your team’s work. A remote team that has a common email service, file sharing capabilities, instant messaging platform, a project management software, a video conferencing tool etc is deemed the most efficient.
3. Define the Work Process
Creating straightforward project guidelines for teamwork, productivity, and accountability helps teams know what to expect. It is necessary to present the project idea in detail and describe what you want to get done in clear details. The project estimate will depend on the communication you do with the team.
At this stage, it is necessary to review project requirement documents in-depth to ensure that all the functionalities are included. Most of the IT companies work on the basis of Agile methodologies. Therefore, it is always wise to break the process down into several iterations and ask your project manager to have a summary session with you after every meeting to know the new goals and identify the decisions made.
4. Offer Constant Feedback
The outcome of every sprint and iteration will only depend on how quick and extensive your feedback is. It is very important to keep the feedback loop and time gaps minimal, so as to ensure maximum transparency.
Another thing that helps when it comes to keeping everyone on the same page is deciding the terminologies that everyone in the team would understand. Try to deliver your thoughts without the medium of slangs and idioms, to save instances of misinterpretations.
5. Reward the Remote Developers
In many ways, you are your team’s leader. Meaning, your team will look up to you for approval and praises. To start on with the praise cycle, you can start every team meeting with praises on the job done so far. Be sure that you explain what you liked about the course of the project. A constructive praise like this, will help your team move in the right direction.