Offshore Development Team vs IT Staffing vs Project-Based Development: What Works Better?

IT staffing vs dedicated team difference

The world is changing, and so do the models of recruitment and employment.

Among the latest types of staffing, the software development industry mostly makes use of offshore development, outsourcing and IT staffing.

These options are quite different, possessing their own pros and cons and suiting specific types of business.

In this article, experts of Qubit Labs reveal all peculiarities of the staffing process and explain how to differentiate between these terms and select the most suitable hiring model for your project.

Offshore Development Team

The first type of outsourcing that involves a developer or a whole development team working for you distantly, not in your company’s office, is called offshore development.

Let’s dig deeper into what this is, how it may be created, and how you as an employer can manage it in the best possible way to achieve your project aims without a nervous breakdown.

Definition of Offshore Development Team
As the name of the concept suggests, the development team that you hire under such a staffing model is an outsourced one, which means that the developers work on your project at their location, not in your office.

Depending on where you find the developers for an outsourcing team, there may be different types of teams to work with.

For instance, the hiring options include:

How to Build Offshore Development Team?
Based on the option you select for your project needs, budget, and the project’s duration, you can look for the dedicated team of developers in outsourcing vendor.

The first step is estimation. You need to tell the vendors about your project and their specialists will estimate the needed time and budget for completion.

If you are ok with their offer, vendor provides you with an offshore development team.

They have a large number of developers on their staff and they provide you with a ready-made team.

Thus, you don’t need to interview developers and in fact the team is already built for you by the vendor.

How to Manage Offshore Development Team?
Managing a team is always a challenge, while managing the one that is far away from you may be even harder.

Here are some tips from industry experts on how to manage offshore development team and make your collaboration successful:

  1. Invest extra effort into communication and creation of the feeling of relatedness.
  2. Don’t be afraid to let offshore teams some autonomy.
  3. Minimize the communication gaps and ensure that feedback is rapid and timely.
  4. Be respectful of diversity and cultural differences.
  5. Communicate your needs and tasks very precisely and clearly.
  6. Always make sure you hire the right team and right specialists to do the job.

Pros and Cons

Hiring of an offshore development team is a beneficial decision in many ways:

  • Cost reduction (no need to rent office, buy equipment, pay for the accommodation of a relocated employee, etc.);
  • Easier in-team collaboration (if all developers are working together in one office, even if it’s not your office, they will do the task better);
  • Simpler management of performance;
  • Greater flexibility (you don’t need to hire too expensive or inexperienced candidates from your location just to close the vacancy and always get the right talent);
  • Lower risks (by hiring a dedicated developer team with a solid experience, you get into a win-win situation).

However, you should always be aware of the challenges that working with an outsourced team may entail:

  • Cultural and time-specific challenges (for instance, working in different time zones may create problems with holding general meetings, getting timely feedback or responses to urgent questions, while cultural and communicative differences may get in the way when resolving some problems or addressing conflict is needed).
  • Unexpected expenditures (while cost savings are possible, you should still take into account the costs travels).

IT Staffing

Before discussing this option more closely, one should understand the IT staffing meaning.

This hiring model is suitable for clients who want not to delegate a part of their operations to someone else, but to find a proper specialist lacking in their region to extend their development team.

Thus, the IT staffing model implies hiring a programmer to one’s team and working with him/her on a remote basis.

IT Staffing Process: How to Build a Team?
As the definition of IT staffing suggests, this model involves recruiting an IT specialist to a company.

To get the vacancy closed, the client turns to a vendor with the job description and the list of all requirements for the candidate.

The vendor searches for the suitable candidates and provides their resumes to the client for job interviewing.

After the job interviews, the client selects the most suitable candidate, while the vendor hires that candidate to work in its local office.

As a result, the client gets a full-time outsourced expert to the team, employed by the local vendor providing the office, payroll, and equipment for operations.

How to Manage IT Staffing Team?
Overall, the IT staffing team management principles are similar to those of offshore development teams – the employer has to keep in mind the challenges that time, distance, and culture creates for distance collaboration.

Successful team management with the use of the IT staffing option may be achieved by:

  • Making the remote developer indeed the part of the local in-house team via a personal visit or a welcome party online;
  • Answering all queries and questions quickly not to hinder his/her work;
  • Detailing the tasks and explaining them concisely to avoid ambiguity.

Pros and Cons
The option of IT staffing is ideal for companies that already have a well-functioning development team but lack some specific skills for particular projects.

Thus, the cons of choosing this model include:

  • Finding proper talent with a very specific skillset;
  • Reducing the cost of recruitment (relocation of specialists; high salary for locals);
  • Remaining flexible in terms of hiring.

However, the IT staffing model also conceals some cons that should also be kept in mind:

  • Time difference;
  • Cultural disparities;
  • Communication issues characteristic for remote collaboration.

IT Projects Outsourcing

IT projects outsourcing is a mode of cooperation under which the client simply delegates a project to a vendor while conducting its primary business activities.

Most businesses do not specialize in software development, so they don’t need to hire a developer to their full-time staff in cases when they need, for instance, to develop and launch a mobile app for their service.

How to Build a Team for IT Project Outsourcing?
To get the service of IT projects outsourcing, the client usually creates the technical task and gives it to several vendors.

Upon evaluating the price-quality balance, the client selects the best offer and outsources the project.

The vendor usually has a permanent team of developers working on several projects simultaneously.

As soon as they complete the client’s project, they are transferred to other tasks.

How to Manage a Project-Based Team?
Since IT projects outsourcing is usually used for short-term projects, the client does not manage the team. That’s solely the vendor’s task, and all team management operations are done internally.

However, for the clients to be sure about successful project completion, they should stipulate all details in their technical task and keep in contact with the vendor and project managers to clarify all issues that may arise.

Pros and cons
Benefits of working with outsourcing vendors are as follows:

  • The cheapest option for getting the work done;
  • Leaves the client flexible and able to select the best offer among several vendors;
  • Cost savings on low-risk, short-term projects.

This model of cooperation also conceals some cons such as:

  • A lack of your control over the processes;
  • Risks of data leakage;
  • Developers working on several projects at the same time, which may reduce their commitment and attention to detail.

What’s Your Ideal Fit?

So, as you can see, each of the options offers tons of value.

Thus, the choice of the outsourcing option that fits you ideally is the matter of your consideration.

Answer the following questions:

  • Do I need one person or a full offshore team?
  • Do I want the developers to work only on my project or is it OK that they handle several projects simultaneously?
  • How long do I plan to work with the offshore developers?
  • Do I need to close a vacancy or get the job done?

Once you are clear about all this, the answer will be ready.

Good luck with finding your ideal developer!

If you are stuck, turn to Qubit Labs – we know a thing about hiring of top-notch talent.

Iva Kozlovska
Managing Partner
Iva Kozlovska is a Managing Partner at Qubit Labs. She specializes in recruiting, talent resources, and building development teams. Mrs. Kozlovska has been working as an HR for 10+ years, and she got to the conclusion that it’s soft skills that matters a lot. She applies her knowledge of psychology to building development teams – Mrs. Kozlovska holds a Master’s Degree in this discipline and she is a certified user of Thomas International Personal Profile Assessment.
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