When building their business apps, companies should realize that app development is a continuous process. It means that when their apps are carefully developed and successfully released, companies aren’t likely to suspend their cooperation with their software development teams. On the contrary, the necessity to modify apps with the customers’ demands and an expanding client base increase the amount of work and can require even more IT experts to support the system.
Extending an existing software development team raises new points to consider. Which IT specialists and what kind of experts to hire? Whether to outsource the workload or recruit developers for an in-house team? Whether hiring freelance engineers or outstaffing is a cost-effective strategy? Businesses should carefully consider all these questions before opting for one solution.
In this article, we look into practical ways how to extend a software development team effectively without exceeding budget limits.
Extended Software Development Team as a Service
Before looking into various business practices on how to expand a business team, let’s consider the cases when your business may actually need staff augmentation.
A company will have to hire more IT specialists when it:
- wants to increase speed to market, enhance team capacity for seasonal demand, make its team more agile, or take any other strategic steps;
- wants to enhance its business app with new features or latest technologies that the present team has no or minimum expertise in;
- has to scale up its app’s capacity and serve more clients;
- needs to quickly breach the gap in IT specialists with particular skills.
To achieve these business goals, companies can choose between hiring in-house teams, turn to freelance developers, or outsource/ out staff their app development. Let’s have a look at each business practice and its pros and cons in more detail.
Hiring in-house IT specialists can be an effective strategy when a company plans to onboard only a software development template. As a major development team extension may result in considerable expenses.
Major pros of in-house software developers onboarding include:
Having an in-house IT department is easier to manage. Team managers can control their team’s daily activities on the go, collectively solve emerging issues, and fast train newcomers to the project. Also, in-house teams work great in emergency cases as they quickly obtain the latest information in the company’s environment.
In in-house teams, communication is easier to establish. Team members don’t need to use any extra tools, like messengers or video conferencing apps to talk to their managers and each other. They can interact in reality and better express themselves and understand each other.
Positive office environment
Work in in-house teams implies that team members spend most part of their day at the same workplace. This helps team managers to facilitate the team’s daily interaction by organizing team-building and collaboration activities, or better establishing after-work communication.
Cons of in-house hiring of software developers
Hiring in-house software developers are the most expensive way to extend your team. It involves onboarding local specialists with higher income policies in comparison to outsourced developers, providing a workstation for a new employee, teaching and upgrading the skills of the in-house team, and much more.
Time-consuming hiring process
Hiring the right specialist to join an in-house team requires much time and extra spendings. The company’s HR managers need to spend time on posting vacancies, monitoring, and filtering out non-qualified candidates. After that team leads have to verify the skills of the chosen ones by holding more interviews and tests. Once the right candidate is found, the team managers will have to familiarize them with the project work and spend some more time on their education.
If a company decided to terminate its contract with an in-house employee, it’ll have to deal with the labor laws which protect the employee’s rights. Therefore, a company can’t end the contract before time or exchange one developer for another easily. Moreover, each employee is entitled to unemployment benefits, resulting in more expenses from the company’s side.
Hiring Freelance Developers
Hiring freelance developers is a viable alternative to in-house hiring practice. It works great for small projects and start-ups. However, if a project is complex and requires a specialized field of expertise, it might be time-consuming to find the right freelance specialist.
The main freelance pros include:
Those businesses that are tight on their budgets but urgently require to extend their software development teams can consider freelance as a viable solution. Freelance provides these companies with ready-to-work developers with minimum investments – no need to provide a workplace, any working equipment, or even licensed development tools. Freelance specialists usually charge at lower rates in comparison to in-house specialists. Moreover, businesses don’t need to pay for any social benefits or vacations.
Access to the worldwide talent pool
When hiring freelancers, companies can search in far geographical areas for software developers. As a result, they can find unique specialists with high expertise levels for much lower costs than in their location.
No termination hurdles
Companies that hire freelancers usually find them on specialized platforms that regulate customer-freelancer relationships. Often freelancers are hired to complete a certain amount of work and once it’s finished the contract gets automatically terminated. Moreover, in case of unsatisfactory work or missed deadlines the contract can be terminated without any further consequences and obligations.
Cons of freelancers hiring:
Difficulties in communication and management
Differences in time zones, cultural background, and language proficiency are the common problems businesses can run into when dealing with freelancers. Moreover, freelancers have no managers on their side, therefore, management, work monitoring, and overall work control become the responsibility of the hiring company.
Companies have to familiarize hired freelancers with their current projects and inner policies. Businesses have to carefully consider which information they are ready to disclose to freelancers. Apart from that, freelance workers can’t guarantee that they can prevent any data leaks or store the obtained data securely.
Freelancers work remotely and independently from their customers. Therefore, when they get work, they focus more on completing their tasks rather than on the overall success of a project or a company.
Outsourcing or Outstaffing
Outsourcing or Outstaffing is an optimal solution in staff augmentation for many businesses. They involve IT teams with broad expertise that can be hired on-demand or scaled with project requirements. Before diving into their pros and cons, let’s figure out what are the main differences between outsourcing software development and outstaffing.
Outsourcing is when an IT vendor provides its customers with software development services such as the development of customized web and mobile apps for businesses, the creation of enterprise applications, building cloud-based apps, and others.
Outstaffing is the provision of IT staff augmentation services. It means that any business can hire outside specialists to breach temporary gaps in their staff due to vacation, sick leave absences, seasonal work, and other cases. Software development outsourcing companies often provide outstaffing services.
The main pros of outsourcing or outstaffing are:
Hiring outsourcing teams helps businesses to save up on the expenses they can face with in-house teams. It means that outsourced teams have their own office, equipment, tools, and everything they need for work. Businesses don’t need to spend their time on lengthy hiring, instead, they can expand their own team from the pool of highly qualified experts provided by the outsourcing IT company. Moreover, offshore outsourcing companies often have lower software developer’s salary rates in comparison to local specialists.
Access to global talent and highly skilled experts
As outsourcing companies provide a wide range of IT outsourcing services, software developers that work in these companies usually have an extensive set of software development skills. Moreover, to stay competitive in the market, outsourcing companies have to continuously upgrade and improve the quality of education of their staff.
Easy onboarding and termination
Businesses that hire offshore software development teams, don’t need to worry about taxes, benefits, or proper employees termination. Outsourcing companies assume all the responsibilities for staff management. They provide their customers with their employees and help them to gather their development teams. Customers can add, remove, or change developers with the requirements of their projects or business.
Cons of outsourcing or outstaffing:
Outsourcing companies are often located abroad. They hire software developers in their area and provide software development services around the world. Therefore, businesses that hire outsourced Development teams have to be aware of possible cultural differences. The positive side is that outsourcing companies in Central and Eastern Europe can easily adapt to the US and EU corporate cultures and trends.
Time zone difference
As outsourcing companies can have different time zones it can result in communication issues. Therefore, before hiring a particular outsourcing company, businesses need to consider the differences in time and agree on the meeting schedules.
Modern technologies and high speeds in communication remove borders across the world. Now, any company can find software developers from all around the globe to enhance and extend their teams with the most knowledgeable experts. This allows companies to support and build their business apps in a smooth and effective way while not exceeding their budget limits.