5 Key Strategies to Maximize the Benefits of Onshore and Offshore Technology Teams
Companies are increasingly seeking to benefit from the advantages of blending onshore and offshore technology jobs. However, this strategy does not come without challenges. In this article, we look at some of the major hurdles to be overcome as you develop a hybrid business model.
Why Develop a Hybrid Business Model?
A hybrid business model, with tasks divided between onshore and offshore employees, provides the opportunity to source employees from a wider talent pool, and, executed effectively, should deliver software development and product realization more efficiently and cost-effectively.
By developing a hybrid business model, you should:
- Fill gaps in your technology jobs more easily
- Benefit from lower salaries offshore
- More easily work on multiple projects simultaneously
- Take advantage of hiring talent onshore by interviewing in person
- Train teams more effectively
- Take advantage of cultural familiarity within your onshore team
When developing a hybrid model, many companies outsource their offshore operations. This helps to improve flexibility and further reduce costs by utilizing offshore capability only when it is needed.
Whether you outsource or directly manage an offshore operation, you’ll need to ensure that you have put in place the processes and procedures to ensure you maximize the benefits of both your onshore and offshore teams. Here are five key strategies to help this happen.
1. Focus on Hiring for Performance in Technology Jobs
Before hiring for technology jobs, establish what key skills are needed, how you will evaluate these at interview, and how you will measure performance once hired.
2. Consider How You Will Motivate Your Teams
Keeping onshore and offshore teams equally motivated needs planning. You’ll need to communicate constantly and ensure that your offshore team feels engaged in the business. Both onshore and offshore teams will respond to:
- Being reminded of your business goals and understanding how their work relates to your objectives
- Utilizing their skillsets to improve business processes
- Providing training and development opportunities to improve skills that add value to project work
- Developing career plans that are personalized to individual employees
When developing training and career plans, involve your employees in identifying needs, scope and style of training provided.
3. Hire for Cultural Fit
As well as hard and soft skills, you should consider the cultural fit of candidates. This can be extremely difficult when you are blending onshore and offshore teams. Some cultural awareness training may be needed to avoid misinterpretation of cultural differences.
With regards to corporate culture – and the way you do things – encourage your onshore team to exhibit acceptable behaviors constantly and employ them as role models for your offshore team.
4. Use Technology to Communicate Effectively
Decide early on how your teams will communicate, and utilize technology to make communication more effective and seamless.
Video conferencing, file sharing, and project management and collaboration software enable teams to work fluidly in real time. However, it’s likely that you will need to establish ‘rules of engagement’ to make certain that your methods of communication work for all. An example of this would be to limit communication to email outside of certain hours in geographically challenged teams.
5. Engage Onshore and Offshore Teams in Integration Strategies
Face-to-face communication is always best, but this is not possible across onshore and offshore teams. Though video calls provide a close alternative, it is not yet 100% comparable to in-person conversations.
Integrating your onshore and offshore teams should be at the top of your hybrid business strategy. This will aid the sharing of business knowledge and skills, and encourage a collaborative approach to problem solving.
Both onshore and offshore teams should engage in planning. The diversity of ideas you are likely to generate will help to devise strategies and plan workloads.
Remember, too, that there may be language barriers as well as cultural differences that must be overcome. Training in communication will help to ensure that messages and instructions are shared and received clearly and that all your employees remain engaged on an integrated hybrid team.
Where Do You Start?
If you are considering building a hybrid team, or you have a team but wish to improve, the first step is to identify your recruitment needs. Hiring the right talent for your business is key to developing a highly collaborative and high-performing hybrid onshore/offshore team in which collaboration leads to higher productivity and improving business growth.
As a specialist staffing agency operating in the highly focused areas of engineering and IT staffing and solutions, you can be sure that our partnership will help drive your business forward with the talented people you need. For a confidential discussion about your needs, contact TotalTek.