Hiring in-house employees is not always the best solution. What if your company needs to develop a mobile app or a web platform, but the project is one-time and temporary? Or what if you have an in-house development team, but it has no capacity to meet a temporary increase in workload? Would you hire full-time developers for that?
The business world offers some healthier alternatives. If you need to serve food at a special event, instead of setting up a kitchen and hiring full-time cooks, you request catering services. If you want to redecorate your office, instead of hiring a full-time interior designer, you contract a design agency. In the IT industry, you can request outsourcing or outstaffing services to meet your software development needs.
So, what is outsourcing and outstaffing and how can you make the most of it?
What Is Outsourcing, Outstaffing, and Dedicated Development Team?
Outsourcing and outstaffing are two major software development models. Outsourcing means that you hire a company, give them your project requirement, and expect a final solution in return. The outsourcing company manages the project and provides you with all the specialists needed for the project completion. Usually, you pay for the time and resources spent to develop a program. Meanwhile, outstaffing offers you one or a few developers to augment your existing in-house development team. This way, the company gives you a developer but not a manager. In this case, you pay for the number of hours that the developer(s) spend working on your project.
To compare, let’s come back to the example of serving food for a special event. If you hire a catering agency, they prepare the food with their products and equipment in their facility and bring you the cooked meal. You can monitor their work, discuss meals, or negotiate recipes, but the management of this process is performed by the company itself. After the event, the catering agency cleans up and collects dishes, while you pay the agreed price, which includes the cost of ingredients, equipment, transportation, and wages. This is how outsourcing works. To understand what is outstaffing, imagine that you have a kitchen in your company. They cook meals for your staff on a regular basis, but once you need to serve food for a special one-time event, you understand that your cooks will not be able to finish it in time. You call the catering agency and hire a single cook, who will work alongside your kitchen personnel under the command of your chef. Once their job is done, they pack up and leave, charging you for the number of hours they have spent on your kitchen.
Basically, should you engage in outsourcing or outstaffing, the agency will provide you with a dedicated developer or a dedicated development team. “Dedicated development team” is a set phrase, not a qualitative characteristic of the people you will work with. In other words, not each dedicated development team will be indeed dedicated. So, how do you look for the best one?
Where to Find the Best Dedicated Development Team?
There are five paths you can follow when looking for software developers.
1. The first and most obvious one is Google. You can search for anything – “software development agency in New York”, “outsourcing agency in Berlin”, “education software development services Lviv”, “UX design agency”. Formulate your query according to your needs and go for it.
2. Clutch is a powerful platform helping businesses make the best outsourcing/outstaffing decision. Here, you can check B2B ratings, find and compare hundreds of different design and development companies, and see client reviews. All this is to help you make a weighed decision.
3. Clutch has a sister site – The Manifest. Besides ratings, you can find a lot of informative material here.
4. LinkedIn is the best social network to look for professionals and not only designers or developers. You can find and easily contact anyone here in a few taps.
5. Upwork is the web platform aimed to help you hire freelancers, but you can come across an agency there as well. This platform helps you not only find developers but also organize cooperation and process payments.
Once you check these sources, you will find out that there are hundreds and thousands of companies waiting to offer you their developers. How do you know which ones are great for you and which should you stay away from?
How to Identify the Best Dedicated Development Team?
1. Check the website. Does it look solid and responsive or cheap and bugged? Are there any commercial ads? Does the blog consist of authentic articles or SEO keywords clusters?
2. Check reviews. You can look at partner testimonials listed on the website, at client reviews on LinkedIn or Clutch, or at actual projects listed in the portfolio.
Message them. Write the first message to the company and look at the answer. Does it sound
professional or amateur? Do they follow business communication rules? Do they
make simple grammar mistakes? Do you feel like they want to help you?
4. Conduct technical interviews. If you have approved the company at all the previous stages, request a technical interview with developers. Do you feel like there is a language barrier? Do they seem confident and knowledgeable? Is there someone who can help you assess their technical expertise?
5. Secure your cooperation. If you have decided to partner up with an agency, take some precautions to protect your business. Sign an NDA and a cooperation agreement, let your lawyer proofread these documents, and be prepared to use legal leverages if the need appears.
These simple steps will bring you a mile closer to the successful completion of your software project. Eventually, hiring a dedicated development team is your path to software success.