If you have a web development company or a digital agency; if you’re a CTO or own a business that needs to build a web application – you’ve likely considered hiring a remote web development team. But if you’ve never worked with a remote team before or if you’ve had poor experiences in the past, you likely have hesitations before getting started.
According to Deloitte, businesses experienced in working with third-party service providers have said that the greatest lessons that they’ve learned have been: 1) To spend more time in the selection process, and 2) To create shorter flexible contracts.
That’s why, in this post, we’ll cover how to choose the right remote web development team, as well as the different work models you can choose from, the risks to watch out for, and the benefits you can enjoy.
What Is a Remote Web Development Team?
Remote development teams are useful when you obtain an exciting new web development project but don’t have the time, expertise, budget, or enough personnel. You can either hire more programmers, engineers, UI/UX designers, project managers, etc. or you can hire a remote team for the scope of the project.
A remote development team—also known as ITO, an IT service provider, or third-party development team—is a team of software developers who support projects, as-needed. The collaboration between a web development agency and a remote web development team is a mutually beneficial strategic partnership.
Which Work Model Are You Going to Use?
Two of the most common ways to work with a web development remote team are the outstaffing model and the per-project model.
What Is Outstaffing?
Outstaffing—also known as team extension or staff augmentation—means that you incorporate specific specialists into your team, as an extension of your team, for the duration of a specific project.
This model is very much like hiring an employee because you choose and manage the candidates. But, as opposed to hiring, there is no in-house hiring process, administrative/HR tasks, or typical employee costs like benefits packages.
When Should You Use Outstaffing?
Imagine your team acquires a project for a web application that will require a QA engineer. But your in-house QA staff are all swamped with ongoing projects.
Typically, you opt to hire the necessary personnel, but there are situations in which hiring a full-time employee is not feasible.
- When the new project will only require part-time hours
- When HR is struggling to find qualified candidates among limited applicants
- When you’re not sure you will have the proper workload to provide that person with full-time hours once the short-term project wraps.
This remote work model is a flexible and cost-efficient way to take on smaller projects when you’re short on in-house staff. And it’s easily adopted because it is so similar to hiring a new staff member.
What Is Per Project?
Per project, also commonly known as outsourcing or subcontracting, is when you hire a third-party team to carry out a project end to end. You’re trusting the remote team and their staff to handle the development life cycle independent of your internal activities or in-house programming. What you’re investing in is the end product.
When you find a remote web development team that you work well with, they provide quality work, and their prices are cost-beneficial—this model offers you the flexibility to confidently say ‘yes’ to more projects and grow your web development business.
When Should You Use Per Project?
For a fast-growing web development company, there are many situations in which the per-project model makes strategic sense.
- When the remote team’s costs are lower than completing the project in-house
- When you find yourself turning down projects because you don’t have the time, personnel, or niche, technical expertise to accept a web development project
- When, because of growth, you need more secure and complex IT infrastructure
- When you find yourself with a high turnover rate
- When you need to free up your developers’ time to handle core business tasks
How Does a Remote Team Accelerate Growth?
Although there are many reasons that companies may choose to take advantage of remote web development partnerships, the four main reasons are:
- To face talent shortages
- To cope with high turnover
- To increase productivity
- To reduce costs
Talent Acquisition and Retention
Remote teams help businesses grow by filling in talent gaps and expanding the size of teams, therefore, increasing the quantity of work your business can accomplish.
Talent acquisition and talent retention for small to midsize companies can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. In 2019, companies, on average, needed 66 days to fill an IT position. During those 66 days, companies pay for job postings, background checks, and lost days of productivity.
LinkedIn has found that tech has the highest turnover average of any industry at 13% per year. Smaller web development companies are especially susceptible because they have a hard time competing with benefits packages that larger web development companies can offer.
Collaborating with remote teams is an interesting solution because you can get support when you need it. When demand is high, the remote team you collaborate with acts as your backup. But when demand is low, you don’t have to stress about extra personnel weighing on the payroll because your remote team keeps a full-time staff of up-to-date tech professionals so you don’t have to.
Productivity and Cost Reduction
The 94% of IT organizations that used some form of per project or outstaffing in 2019 reported a 15% increase in productivity and 10-30% savings!
Working with a cost-beneficial remote development team frees up financial resources and it also gives upper management space to focus on core business goals like growth strategy and leadership initiatives, which in turn is good for employee satisfaction.
What Are the Challenges?
One of the biggest challenges when outsourcing, no matter the industry, is internal resistance. Bringing in outside support has traditionally made people nervous about their job stability. And for internal teams, it’s somewhat difficult to relate to remote teams the same way they relate to their in-house colleagues.
However, this tends to be less of a challenge for teams that work 100% remote or teams that maintain a hybrid schedule as they are used to collaborating with teams and clients all over the world.
Other challenges include:
- Sense of loss of control
- Privacy concerns
- Business continuity
- Varying time zones and business culture
For more information about the challenges of working with a remote web development team, read The IT Recruitment Strategy That’s Helping Small to Midsize Business or IT Outsourcing Vs. Staff Augmentation.
How Do You Choose the Right Remote Web Dev Team?
Unfortunately, not everyone who has worked with a remote team has had a positive experience. Companies have lost time, money, clients, and a good reputation because of unprofessional remote development teams that overpromise and underdeliver.
But all the challenges listed above can be managed and avoided with a strict vetting process, and by making transparent and ethical partnerships a priority.
Choosing your remote web development team is not a decision that you should make overnight. It’s a tedious process, but when you consider that you’re choosing someone to trust with your business reputation, the lengthy process is worthwhile.
To begin the process:
- List your priorities and requirements. You can find a list of things to consider before starting the vetting process here.
- Do your research on several remote development teams
- Narrow down your options and set up consultation calls
- Begin a strict vetting process with your top candidates.
A Strict Vetting Process
During the vetting process, don’t shy away from covering the hard questions even for the things that aren’t directly related to web development.
Four topics that often get overlooked in the vetting process are communication, talent, ethical sourcing, and cultural/geographical obstacles.
Communication: How do they communicate with their clients and how often do they communicate?
Talent: How do they find, train, and retain their talent? What’s their onboarding process like? How will they handle poor performance? What’s their turnover rate?
Ethical sourcing: What are their active policies to promote diversity and equal pay for women?
Cultural/geographical obstacles: How do they overcome any language barriers?
For more information on how to ethically source a remote team, read Ethical Sourcing in the IT Industry.
The Importance of Transparency
Looking for a transparent remote web development partner is important to ensure you avoid hidden costs, missed deadlines, and a lack of the required skills.
What sort of information should a remote web development team share with you prior to signing a contract?
- Taxes and costs
- Commitment to the environment and sustainability
- Whether staff will be assigned to other tasks while working on your project
- How projects are monitored, documented, and reported
- Factors that may change deadlines
- And all of the issues listed above in questions to ask during the vetting process
For a closer look at transparency, please read How to Find the Right IT Service Provider
When hiring a remote web development team to support your web development business objectives, you can choose to work per project or with outstaffing.
Remote teams can help alleviate talent acquisition and retention obstacles. And can also increase productivity and reduce costs as long as you decide to invest time and effort in the selection process.
Nativo is a remote web development team that helps fast-growing tech companies and small to mid-sized businesses carry out top-quality web projects without the premium price tag.
At Nativo, we would love to hear more about your web development project. Contact us at Nativo.la or download our rate sheet.