How to hire offshore developers and build a world-class team

How to hire developers

If you’re reading this guide, you’re ready to hire offshore developers. You just need some help on how and where to find the right talent.

That’s what we specialise in. Over the past 10 years, we’ve built 80+ teams for organisations seeking the people and technical skills they can’t get at home.

In this article, we’ll draw from our experience and show you exactly how to hire elite professionals and assemble a dedicated development team built to last.

But first, let’s ensure we’re on the same page when discussing what an offshore developer (really) is and what they can do for your business.

What (really) is an offshore developer, and what do they do?

An offshore developer is a tech professional who helps companies that can’t find local tech talent with niche skills by designing and creating software, among other tasks.

They’re based in booming tech hubs in countries like India, Poland, and Colombia and are known for being A-players.

Offshore developers aren’t freelancers or outsourced professionals but dedicated employees who work just for your business. This is particularly true if you collaborate with a partner who embraces a modern approach to offshoring — what we call Offshoring 2.0.

tablet graphics the scalers ebook scaling beyond borders
Build future-proof dev teams

Discover how to scale development teams in 2023 and beyond

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

Hiring developers offshore is an excellent solution for two types of businesses:

  • Organisations that can’t find top developers or highly specialised talent in their country and neighbouring regions.
  • Organisations that have already tried outsourcing, nearshoring, or other hiring models and didn’t get the expected results.

These were precisely Preqin’s challenges, a UK-based FinTech that couldn’t get the people they needed in the UK. They tried outsourcing, but it wasn’t enough to meet their ambitious goals.

That’s when they decided to hire offshore developers and build a dedicated team in Bangalore, India to rebuild their flagship product. The results? They went from having a four-person scrum team to scaling to a 450+ person R&D centre in five years.

Hire offshore developers

Hire offshore developers in 3 steps

Now that we’ve discussed what offshore developers are and what they actually do, it’s time to go through the three steps you must take to build a quality team.

1. Set your needs and goals

Before building an offshore development team, define what you require to meet your business objectives. Otherwise, you might end up guessing and picking the wrong approach.

First, consider whether you need to go offshore.

For example, if you’re looking for a few developers to complete a three-month project, we recommend outsourcing instead of offshoring. Why? Outsourcing is the perfect solution for businesses looking for short-term help.

However, offshoring is the way to go if you need a dedicated development team for a long-term collaboration. When done well, offshoring allows you to hire tech talent focused 100% on your company, adding an in-house feeling you won’t get with other models.

Once you’ve decided to go offshore, consider the size of your team and the skill set/technologies you want the developers to be proficient in.

highlight boxes icon
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2023, over 82% of software developers reported using AI to help write code in the development workflow, while another 49% said they currently use it for debugging code.
Source: Statista (2023)

In 2023, the most in-demand skills for recruiters were web development, DevOps, and database software skills. Cybersecurity and AI/Machine Learning/Deep Learning were also highly sought after.

The same study shows that JavaScript and Java were organisations’ most requested programming languages, with SQL and Python closely behind.

Understanding the technical skills you require — whether they are popular or niche languages — will help you choose the right location for your new team.

2. Choose a talent-rich offshore location

You can find the developers you need in many places, from Latin America to Eastern Europe to South Asia. These are all excellent locations to hire offshore developers and build or extend your dev team.

India, Colombia, and Poland are the countries most known for their large talent pools in each of these regions.

Popular tech hubs to hire offshore developers

India

India is home to the world’s second-largest community of software engineers, just behind China and in front of the US.

With 5.8 million engineers living and working in tech hubs like Bangalore, the nation has become an attractive destination for organisations looking for developers possessing niche skills and high English proficiency.

And the surge of talent keeps blooming. In 2022-23, India had one of the world’s largest annual supplies of STEM graduates, at 2.5 million, also achieving a globally leading female diversity ratio of 43-48%.

Colombia

Colombia is a popular offshoring location in Latin America, especially in the past decade. The country has around 85,000 developers spread across metropolises like Bogota and Medellin.

The region’s tech growth and dedication to innovation can’t be fully understood without acknowledging its startup ecosystem.

The 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Index witnessed a surge in rankings for 77 cities across 11 Latin American countries — including Colombia — surpassing more established innovation markets.

Colombia’s cities all showed positive momentum in 2023 without exception. Medellin climbed 35 spots to 168th in the global ranking, underscoring its reputation as an innovation hub and boasting a dynamic software engineering talent pool.

Poland

Poland’s software engineering talent pool is composed of about 500,000 professionals. Most of them are located in Warsaw and Krakow, the country’s two largest cities and tech hubs.

According to Emerging Europe’s Future of IT Report 2023, Poland ranks third in the IT Competitiveness Index globally, while employment in the sector grows exponentially year after year.

man with laptop
Build your offshore development centre

Increase innovation and deliver at speed in the Silicon Valley of Asia

LEARN MORE

The same report states that ​in 2023, the University of Warsaw made it to the global top 100 in computer science studies — highlighting the growing and highly qualified talent pool in the country’s capital.

3. Pick a reliable offshore development company

The final step to hiring your offshore team is to choose a partner who can help you find the right talent in the location of your choice.

But that’s not all. Your offshore development company should be able to guide you through the entire process and assist you in setting up operations abroad, from HR to administrative and legal tasks.

Make sure your partner ticks all of these boxes before signing the dotted line and starting to collaborate with them:

  • They follow a model that sources the best talent available.
  • They offer you the chance to scale your team as you grow.
  • They prioritise quality assurance to guarantee high-quality software delivery.
  • They follow security best practices and have official certifications that prove it.
  • They have a portfolio demonstrating extensive experience hiring offshore developers.
  • They have a strong management team that understands your industry and unique requirements.

When an offshore partner meets these criteria, you’re in good hands. It means they’ll build a world-class dev team for you, allow you to extend it, and do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on your product.

The benefits and challenges of hiring developers offshore

Offshore developers bring many benefits to your organisation, but there are also a few challenges you may need to face when hiring them.

Benefits

  • You achieve cost-effectiveness, as developers working in top offshore locations are as specialised (or more) than local professionals, and their hourly rate is significantly lower.
  • You gain added value, given that offshore developers participate in proposing innovative solutions and sharing new points of view to improve processes.
  • You get dedicated engineers who work just for your business and don’t juggle between several projects simultaneously.
  • You work with integrated and culturally aligned engineers who work as your in-house team and know your values, goals and mission.
Software developers hourly rate: US vs India

Challenges

  • You may struggle with geographical distance, although some companies consider it a major advantage because they can enjoy 24/7 round-the-clock operations with highly specialised talent.
  • You may encounter cultural issues, but only if your offshore partner doesn’t prioritise open communication and organise regular in-person meetings like team workations.

To maximise the aforementioned benefits and challenges, you must rely on a unique (and proven) offshore model…

Hire offshore developers with a unique and proven model

At The Scalers, we’ve built an offshore model with 7 unique advantages no other partner can offer you.

Our Offshoring 2.0 model tackles the common issues and concerns tech leaders have about traditional offshoring and offers organisations, like yours, all you need to build a top dev team:

  1. You’ll get a fully dedicated development team sourced from the top 1% of Indian tech talent in Bangalore, ‘The Silicon Valley of Asia.’
  2. You’ll enjoy a dedicated office where your developers can work in a modern space and have access to the best equipment and tech appliances.
  3. You’ll have the ongoing support of a Chief Happiness Officer (CHO), a professional responsible for the daily well-being of your team.
  4. You’ll benefit from your engineers growing with the latest skills and training with the help of an internal Learning and Development Manager (L&D Manager).
  5. You’ll balance work and leisure with a CHO and HR team planning events, celebrations, and workations in Bangalore or paradisiac places like Goa, where you can meet your team in person.
  6. You’ll gain access to the Team Platform, an online portal where you can monitor your team recruitment, get an overview of your employees’ profiles, and track invoices.
  7. You’ll benefit from growth opportunities, where we develop bespoke services to address the needs and challenges of individual partners. For example,  having us build an office building from the ground up just for you, as we did for one of our partners.

But don’t just take our word for it. See what the COO of Colmore, a Financial Services company, says about our partnership.

highlight boxes icon
The Scalers took the time to understand our needs and acted on them. We really needed good talent and The Scalers got us just that. From day one we’ve had a real collaboration and constant engagement. It’s been a game changer.
Mícheál Forrestal
Chief Operating Officer, Colmore

If you want to know more about our recruitment process and how we can help you hire offshore developers and build an A-team, fill out this form.

One of our senior executives will contact you shortly to talk about your new tech team!

How to scale fast with global development
Scaling innovation: Preqin case study

How we helped Preqin establish a 450+ person global R&D centre in India

DOWNLOAD CASE STUDY

In summary

We hope this guide has helped you understand how to hire offshore developers for your business. We’ve compiled all the lessons we’ve learned since we started building dev teams back in 2014 and summarised them to make them as easy and digestible as possible.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
1.
Offshore developers are dedicated employees, not freelancers, working exclusively for your business.
2.
When hiring offshore developers, make sure you define your needs, choose a talent-rich location, and select a reliable offshore partner.
3.
Benefits of hiring offshore developers include cost-effectiveness, added value through innovation, and culturally aligned teams.
4.
Challenges may include geographical distance and cultural differences but can be mitigated with effective communication and regular in-person meetings.
5.
Offshoring 2.0 offers unique advantages, such as top talent sourcing, dedicated office space, and ongoing support for team well-being and growth.

If you want to learn more about how we collaborate with organisations of all sizes and industries, read how we’ve helped some of our partners succeed.

See you in the next one!