Markets, industries, and the economy as a whole are very volatile - which is something we are all acutely reminded of during the year 2020. As businesses struggle to survive and retain their competitive advantage, the approach to hiring and recruitment has inevitably changed. Long gone are the days when a company could maintain its operations solely with dedicated teams of in-house professionals. Not only it is nearly impossible thanks to increasing mobility and digital transformation, but also inadvisable in light of the pandemic. Therefore, enter the era of distributed engineering.
Remote software development is becoming the new (or perhaps simply more widespread) reality. Luckily, forward-thinking startups are getting the hang of setting up remote engineering teams, thanks to an outstaffing recruitment model or hiring freelance engineers. While there are some similarities between using freelance talent and hiring dedicated teams, it is easier and more valuable for your company to work with vetted remote developers via outstaffing. Let’s dive deeper into the pros & cons of working with freelancers and why outstaffing is a better choice for scaling engineering teams in short and long terms.
The Pros and Cons of Working with Freelance Engineers
Hiring freelance engineers is not that difficult - there are plenty of marketplaces and self-employed developers to choose from, and you can find freelance talent with impeccable skills. As long as there is demand, even traditionally in-house projects like, for instance, remote machine learning, can be handed over to freelancers. Moreover, hiring freelance engineers per project could become a cost-effective solution for start-ups that cannot afford the costs of managing office space or paying benefits and training expenses for full-time employees. In fact, the training expenditures in the US totaled $82.5 billion in 2020, and health insurance benefits cost companies $3.18, $2.73, and $6.01 per hour worked for civilian, private, and governmental workers respectively in June 2020.
Cost-effectiveness aside, working with multiple freelancers could either make or break your project. Here are some cons of working with freelancers that are important to note:
- Scams are pretty common on freelance marketplaces, with freelancers disappearing, pretending to be someone else, or missing deadlines.
- When working with freelancers from different time zones, asynchronous communication might be your only option to contact them.
- Freelancers juggle assignments from different businesses, with 70% working on two to four projects at a time. This means they lack dedication to your company or product and won’t prioritize your project over others.
If you choose hiring freelance professionals on-demand, you can gain access to highly talented engineers from all over the world, but often there are also just too many options. Consider that software developers and engineers are among the most demanded freelancers in the US, and you might have to sort through tens of so-so engineers until you find the right one. You waste valuable time and resources all the while getting subpar results. That is why choosing an outstaffing model, where an agency searches and hires the right talent dedicated to your technical leadership only long-term and not per project can become a much more valuable solution.
Outstaffing Gives You Dedicated Teams That Stay with You Every Step of the Way
When deciding between working with freelancers or outstaffing, keep in mind that the key to scaling your remote engineering team is your first tech hire. Your first tech hire must be a strong leader, quick learner, and excellent communicator who is fully dedicated to building and scaling your engineering team. A freelancer who jumps from one project to another simply cannot commit his or her expertise to your company exclusively.
Dedicated teams understand their work as part of a larger organizational strategy, thus they align it with the company KPIs. They become a part of your business culture with a dedicated team lead overseeing your scaling process every step of the way. If you already have in-house professionals, a dedicated team of engineers works closely with them to prevent miscommunication, or they report directly to the startup CTO or VP of Engineering.
Outstaffing brings in much more value to your company compared to hiring freelance workers and simplifies the scaling of your augmented team. Your company retains full control over the development process, with the added flexibility of expanding or downsizing the team according to business needs. It allows acquiring the expertise of skilled engineering and R&D professionals, often for as little as a quarter of the cost of hiring a local team, because salaries for developers are much lower in Eastern European countries compared to Western Europe or the US.
Why Hiring Vetted Remote Developers Is the Right Path to Take
Startups that choose the outstaffing model win by acquiring a dedicated team of vetted remote developers that can help the organization grow its engineering capabilities. The contemporary business environment demands constant innovation, but startups often face financial constraints when recruiting specialized staff or acquiring office space. That’s why scaling your engineering teams without overhead costs or administrative work on your shoulders allows you to leverage expert talent brought from outside the company while remaining in full control of your project.
You don’t have to spend tons of money on building a world-class team of developers and engineers. The thing is, your startup might be focusing too much on sourcing local talent for achieving your business goals. Yet, in the world driven by the digital, it is much easier (and cheaper) to find highly skilled professionals in remote locations. While working with Agile Fuel, start-ups do not need to look for and hire developers on their own - share with us what are your current talent needs and most critical requirements, and we’ll do the rest. Get in touch with us and learn how Agile Fuel can help you build and scale your dedicated teams of engineers in the most cost-effective and innovative way.