How To Effectively Manage An Offshore Team

How To Effectively Manage An Offshore Team

Offshoring practices could indeed be called an adaptive response to the recent challenges that occur in the business world. Modern realities demand companies be more agile in terms of customer satisfaction and production terms.

In plenty of cases, it is quite expensive and in order to stay competitive, these companies had to come up with the new ways of business processes’ optimization while staying in the scope of their budget. One of the most evident ways is outsourcing and offshoring in particular.

If you are looking for answers about what benefits could hiring an offshore team to bring you, and how to successfully manage it – this article is just for you.

What is an offshore team?

An offshore team usually implies a certain number of specialists who work for you remotely. These people can be located anywhere and whole communication is being done through messengers, video chats, and phone calls. To hire remote developers or any other type of specialists used to be a great way to save financial resources back in the day.

Such practice was usually associated with small companies that had a lack of financing. However, today the situation is different and even huge companies turn to offshoring as it has a number of undeniable benefits. Let’s quickly get through the most prominent of those:

  • You can provide your services 24/7. Paying in-house employees for night shifts can be quite expensive, and work still needs to be done. This is especially relevant for companies’ support desks where service has to be provided 24/7. In this case, offshoring can be a perfect way to solve the situation – just hire a team of offshore specialists from a different time zone.
  • It saves you time. Offshore jobs often imply a development work or any other similar activity. In other words – this job does not require your personal attention as an owner and can be easily outsourced, giving you plenty of time to take care of the management tasks.
  • Lower operational costs. Hiring people from a country that has lower costs than yours can be highly beneficial, especially if speaking in terms of employing the whole team.

Choosing the offshore team

Now that you have learned about all the perks that you can get from offshore company hiring, it is time to find out how and where to hire your offshore team. Try the following tips:

  • Examine their skills. Make sure that people, whom you are about to hire, possess the necessary skills for a particular project you are about to give them. Do not hesitate to ask for certifications and diplomas to prove their skills.
  • Look for English proficiency. When it comes down to offshoring practices – communication is the key. It is crucial that you and your team have clear communication as you will not be able to personally control their actions, that is why they have to clearly understand your demands.
  • Ask for previous cases. There is no better way to find out whether your offshore developers for hire are a good match for your project than to look at their portfolio.
  • Pick out a convenient time-zone. Depending on the needs of your business and project’s complexity, pick out a time zone that suits you the most (for example, look for countries nearby if you will need to travel a lot).
  • Pay attention to the price. Hiring the cheapest team as well as hiring the most expensive one – is not always a good idea. Pay attention to the team’s skills and experience.

Where to hire offshore employees?

Knowing places of where to look for your future offshore team is a big deal that can save you a lot of time. Usually, companies turn to Eastern European countries as typically they provide specialists with great education and skills for a considerably low price. However, lately, things have changed a bit.

Now, according to the research data provided by Statista, the most popular destinations for offshoring in 2019 were India, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. India is currently being considered the best option in terms of the combination of skills and prices of its specialists provided by outsourcing software development companies.

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You must also decide the outsourcing destination depending on your business’s needs and every project in particular. Each country’s specialists are stronger in some particular matter, for example, when it comes to programming, then according to this data, the world’s best programmers are located in China, Russia, and Poland.

So before choosing a destination, make sure you have a clear understanding of your business goals and expectations about the project’s outcome.

Also, keep in mind that you can always delegate the HR process to an outer company that will help you with finding an offshore team, saving you a great deal of time. It might cost you some additional money though, so keep that in mind as well.

Manage an offshore team

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Offshore team management 101

Finding the right offshore team is only half of the problem – the bigger challenge comes with managing it. Just for this occasion, we prepared a list of X tips on how to successfully manage your offshore team in order to get the best results.

Explain your vision

It is important to get your workers not only to understand what you want to be done but also to motivate them. For this reason, be as specific as possible about what your future project should look like, what your company does in general and how these particular people will add value to it.

Overlap schedules

As we have already mentioned, offshoring is impossible without constant communication between the client and contractors, so make sure that you have at least a few hours during a day for live communication. While communicating give preference to video chats where you can also see emotions of the person.

Assign a manager

Do not leave your offshore team ‘hanging’ without supervision – assign them with a local manager who will send you reports regarding the team’s performance. Pick out a person who has strong leadership qualities and has authority within the team.

Use specialised software

These days there are plenty of options for anyone who wants to successfully manage their working time. Ask your offshore specialists to register in one of those time management programs such as Trello, to make sure they do not miss any task. As an advantage – you will be able to see their progress.

Communicate as much as possible

Lack of communication often results in a lack of motivation from your offshore team. Make them feel like they are just as much a part of the company as any other in-house employee. For this matter, after you hire offshore developers, do not limit the communication time with them.

Do not micromanage

If you decide to micromanage your remote workers from afar, it will only look like you are not trusting them enough with their job. Set a person responsible for that and just make sure that everyone understands their tasks clearly. By trusting people you are also motivating them for better performance.

Invite them for meetings

Meetings are an important part of the company’s culture and business process. By including an offshore team to your meetings you will help them better understand the processes within your company, and, eventually, complete the task better. Offshore companies hiring processes should be treated just like any other within the company to get the best possible result.

Give feedback

Feedback is an important part of any management process, especially when it comes to an offshore software company. Giving feedback to your team ensures the quality of the result as in case of mistakes your offshore software outsourcing team will be able to quickly fix everything.

Do not overcomplicate your communication

Your offshore team members obviously will not be native English speakers do try to make the communication process as easy and specific as possible. Do not use complicated words or idioms, it is better to speak a bit more primitive but ensure mutual understanding and great results.

Encourage small talk

It will be easier for you to communicate and get along with the remote team if you make them feel connected to you and your company. Create a group chat for all the team members and actively participate in conversations. make them see the person behind the ‘boss’ figure.

Recognise achievements

Very often remote workers do not receive enough appreciation for the hard work they do. To be a good manager to such a team it would be great if you paid attention to their achievements within your project. Showing them your appreciation will greatly boost their motivation and performance.

As you see, there are plenty of aspects to pay attention to while managing a remote offshore team, however, these tips should make the process easier. Just make sure to try and apply all of them.

In Summary

Having an offshore team can be highly beneficial to any type of business – it saves you time and money, the most important resources in the modern business world. Knowing how to successfully manage it is important, as it plays a big deal when it comes down to receiving the result.

Hopefully, these tips and pieces of advice will be helpful on your way of becoming an excellent manager to your offshore team. Just remember that it is possible to build trustworthy relations even despite the long distance between you and your team.

It all depends on your willingness to invest in the communication process first and make this remote team of yours feel like they are just as important part of your company as any other employee.

 

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