To implement IT projects, entrepreneurs are always try to hire high-level developers. But you agree, it’s not always possible to recruit such guys quickly. The reasons can be very different: there may not be enough free specialists in the city, it is difficult to compete with large IT companies in terms of working conditions, local employees’ salary expectations are too high, etc. A way out of this situation is to hire developers remotely.
And here there are many tips that must be considered when hiring remote developers. How to be sure of the quality of work? Will the differences in mentality and culture affect the effectiveness of the project? What to do with a time difference? Will there be difficulties in communication due to different language skills and work in different offices.
In this article, we will share our experience and give recommendations that will help you understand how to hire remote software developers from Ukraine and get the maximum benefit from working with them:
If you hire developers from Ukraine, then most likely you will be offered outstaffing services.
Outstaffing is a form of remote work when programmers work on a customer’s project on an ongoing basis from the office of an outstaffing company. In fact, the outstaffing team is a part of your company, located in Ukraine.
What is good about outstaffing? Why is it becoming popular Western Europe and America? The main advantage is that you only manage the work of remote employees, and the rest of the questions are taken care by the outstaffing company.
Unlike outstaffing, outsourcing assumes that the vendor implements the customer’s project from start to finish. Moreover, the customer has limited access to the team, and he cannot control the work process. Read more about the differences between outstaffing, outsourcing, and insourcing in our blog.
Often there is a question: if it is a remote work, why not freelance. Yes, freelance is indeed the cheapest remote hiring model, but without any guarantees that your project will be completed. And in general, you can hire a freelancer for a small project. Attempts to engage 3-6-10 specialists and form a team from them will fail due to the complexity of communication. In outstaffing, an account and project managers are allocated on the side of the outstaffing company to mitigate these problems.
Why developers from Ukraine: cost, quality, time
Perhaps, for each IT company, these metrics are the key when hiring a new employee. Why exactly the Ukrainians? Ukrainian experts occupy leading positions in the ratings compiled by statistics centers from different parts of the world and this is a weighty argument. For example, according to SkillValue’s research on “Where are the best developers in the world?” Ukraine took 5th place, losing only to three European states: Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. We have collected more facts in favor of Ukrainian developers here.
Given that hiring a coder in Ukraine can be significantly cheaper than in the EU and America, our outstaffing is not only high quality, but also economical. By hiring an outstaffing developer instead of an in-house one, you can save several tens of thousands of euros per year. And the matter is not only in the difference in salary, but also in other items of expenses that the company takes on outstaffing:
- social insurance,
- corporate leisure,
- office equipment,
- workspace, etc.
You can learn more about savings when hiring software engineers in this article. We compared outstaffing from Kiev and internal development in Munich in it.
The third advantage of using outstaffing is time. Ukraine has such a wide pool of IT talents that the average search time for a developer, for example, in TrendLine Global is 20 days.
How outstaffing works: from preparing requirements to signing a contract
We have already determined that it is profitable to look for an outstaffing supplier in Ukraine and collaborate with local developers. Now lets talk about how it works and what stages the outstaffing process includes:
- Introduction with a cup of coffee. In-person meeting or skype call. The first meeting usually makes it clear whether a particular outstaffing company is right for you, whether it has the expertise you need, whether it has recruited staff for your industry, and whether it understands your needs.
- Preparation of requirements. At this stage, outstaffing the company together with you determines the requirements for developers, which it will have to choose for you. It is important to determine the technical skills, level of English, the required experience, responsibilities on the project, as well as personal qualities that I would like to see in the candidates.
- Recruitment. Outstaffing company employees begin an active search for potential developers. Selection usually takes place in several stages: preparation and posting job positions, initial selection of resumes, checking the level of English, assessment of personal qualities and technical skills, interviews with the customer. Per the request, the customer can get involved at any stage. Also, in each case, it is possible to provide for additional stages of selection, for example, performing a test task.
- Signing a contract and starting work on projects. After the candidates have been agreed, a contract with the outstaffing company for the provision of services should be signed. The team gets acquainted with the customer and starts working on the project from the office of the outstaffing company, where a workplace is arranged for it. This usually means providing computers and peripheral equipment, a stable and fast Internet connection.
- Regular account management. Even before the team begins to work on the project, the account manager from the outstaffing company establishes the communication process between the team and the customer, sets up access, arranges business trips to the customer’s office, and then resolves all current issues.
- Assistance of the project manager. Since managing a remote team is quite difficult, outstaffing companies provide a project manager who monitors the productivity of the team, its workload, deadlines, being in the same office with it.
- HR management. It is important that employees who work on a project remotely are as happy as possible. Outstaffing companies undertake incentive programs: team building, training, interesting leisure time in the office, tea, coffee, cookies and more.
It’s good when the vendor has been on the IT market for a long time, the supply of services is adjusted at the highest level, there are successful cases and feedback from past and current customers. To prevent all risks when choosing an outstaffing company, we have developed a detailed checklist that will help you understand how a potential vendor suits you.
How to prepare developer requirements
Each client wants to hire software developers with a high level of qualification and worthy personal qualities. It’s good, after all, when a specialist is responsible, purposeful, professionally writes code, also helps colleagues, communicates freely with non-technical employees and can easily explain complex aspects of programming in a simple language.
However, this is most likely an ideal candidate, and in reality there are not many people like this. To find a programmer that best suits your wishes and project features, you should formulate and write down the requirements for him.
To do this, we recommend evaluating candidates in three areas:
- Soft Skills. For example, the ability to work in a team, plan your time and make decisions, proactivity.
- General information. Understanding how to work with project documentation, knowledge of English, experience in a particular industry or with a specific solution, learning programming languages in addition to specialized, experience in Scrum methodology and more.
How to choose candidates
Once applicants that meet your requirements are selected, they should be invited for an interview. There you and a recruiter and, possibly, another, more experienced developer, will be able to personally communicate with applicants, evaluate them, then make the final choice and make offer to the best candidate.
We recommend choosing a programmer according to the maximum skill that was identified by the applicant during the interview. Other related skills will be tightened in the process. Also try to minimize the emphasis on CVs. Look at the fact what a person knows, and not what diploma he indicated and how many skills he listed.
One more aspect. Why it’s worth interviewing a technically competent specialist. It is believed that only the developer whose hard skills are expressed at the same level will recognize a qualified programmer, and it has been repeatedly confirmed in practice. It is difficult for a person of a non-technical orientation to understand the terminology and understand if the applicant speaks competently or tries to show off smart phrases.
By the way, we have prepared an article for you on how to interview developers. We gave 15 tips for interviewing programmers and told how to conduct the selection effectively in it.
For sure, each potential client is interested in the legal aspects of cooperation. Therefore, in this block we will answer the most popular questions asked by customers, using the example of TrendLine Global:
- Does your agreement comply with international standards? Yes. We offer our clients a familiarization model for outstaffing cooperation in advance. We are legally based in London and regulated by the legislation of the UK.
- Can I propose amendments to the agreement? Yes, you can offer your own corrections, which we, as agreed with the lawyer, will make to the agreement.
- Are you ready to sign the NDA (non-disclosure agreement)? Yes, comfortable conditions for cooperation are important for us, and if the client wants to keep the information confidential, we sign the corresponding agreement.
You can choose any convenient model of working with a remote team for yourself. Experience shows that usually customers choose the Scrum methodology with weekly or two-week sprints, daily stand-up meetings, Friday retrospectives.
But no matter what work model you choose, our account manager will organize all communication as conveniently as possible, and the project manager will help in monitoring and improving the productivity of the development team.
Another important aspect is the tools that will be used to work on the project. You can choose any communication and project management tools with which you are comfortable working. The most popular in our practice is Slack for internal communication, Hangouts for video conferences and Jira for project management. To help you make your choice, we interviewed our project manager, in which he talks about the features of different tools.
Of course, software development is a specific area, and programmers are peculiar employees. Therefore, to make the work go smoothly, it will be useful to know some of the nuances of interacting with them. In particular, try to clearly identify the problem that needs to be solved, set the priorities and goals of the project correctly, take an interest in software engineers with the time needed to solve the problem, do not limit them to invented deadlines. Read more about how to establish communication with programmers in our article.
Agree, this factor is important in the process of cooperation with an outstaffing company. After all, a close-knit team whose members have been working together for a long time is a guarantee of a quick and successful project management, as well as a demonstration of the responsibility of the service provider.
For example, we at TrendLine Global, as an outstaffing company, pay a lot of attention to creating the most comfortable working conditions:
- Interesting projects that allow developers to improve their skills and conquer new heights, because they are passionate about coding and strive for development.
- Weekend, sick days, vacation, lunch break, we always meet the employees and listen to their problems and wishes.
- Modern workplace equipment, powerful computers, high-speed Internet.
- Comfortable recreation areas with board games and ping pong, where programmers can “take a breath” and get distracted from work for a while.
- Corporate events, teambuilding, training, outdoor recreation.
- Pleasant buns: tea, coffee, cookies, fruits.
- How is outstaffing different from outsourcing? In the first case, the team is fully accessible to the client and works only on his project. The customer can control the workflow, participate in the hiring and dismissal of developers. Outsourcing means partial employment and the lack of direct communication between the client and the team of specialists, communication is most often carried out through the project manager.
- How is the outstaffing company paid? Payment for services occurs after the signing of the contract, when the programmers start working. The monthly payment will include the salary of your programmers and our management fee, and is carried out at the end of the month. You do not make any advance payments or pay for the recruiting process.
- How do you communicate with remote developers? The constant communication between the client and the team of programmers is set up by our account manager, using tools convenient for you (Slack, Skype, etc.). Also, per the request of the client, team trips to the client’s office can be organized for personal acquaintance and closer communication with the in-house team.
- What benefits will I get by choosing developer outstaffing? When choosing outstaffing, you no longer need recruiters, as the selection of personnel is carried out on the side of the outstaffing company. Also, you do not need to think about the accompanying processes (workspace, arrangement of the workplace, other benefits for employees such as insurance, lunch, training, corporate events). Plus, this is a money saving. The savings can reach 40,000 euros per year in comparison with hiring in-house staff.
- Are you hiring specialists? The selection of candidates is carried out by our employees, but you can get involved at any time. And of course, the final interview and the final choice are on your side.
- How fast can you find a developer? There is a wide pool of IT talents in Ukraine, so the average time to select a qualified specialist takes an average of 20 days. But our record is 1 week.
- Who is involved in supporting the workflow on your part? HR, account and project managers, as well as C-level executives. As a medium-sized company, we’re able to provide as much C-level communication as needed to avoid any bureaucracy in decision making.
- What if, after the start, we are not satisfied with the quality of work of certain employees? You are provided with a trial period of 2 months for each expert, so you can replace or fire the expert any time.
- How many developers can you find? We provide you with any number of specialists: from 1 to infinity.
- Is there a minimum period of cooperation? We guarantee the employees long term engagement, so minimal work period is 6 months.
- What time zone is in Ukraine? Time in Ukraine is defined as UTC + 02: 00, and as UTC + 03: 00 in summer time.
- What is holiday length in Ukraine? It’s about 20 days a year.