Tips on How to Choose the Outstaff Development Specialist

March 01, 2023 • 358 Views • 14 min read

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Bohdan Vasylkiv

CEO & Co-Founder

Outstaff development and outsourcing are effective methods for software business owners. These models allow for cutting the cost of the development, as well as can become an instant solution for a wide range of possible issues, that may occur during the development process.

Yet, there is a huge difference, when it comes to choosing between outsourcing vs outstaffing. The first and most obvious difference is the nature of each approach. In simple words, outsourcing is all about hiring a dedicated team, while the outstaffing model is a team extension service. So, there are two main scenarios when it is recommended to consider such options:

  1. You are at the very beginning of your software development, trying to weigh all the pros and cons. Thus, instead of hiring an in-house team, which will also require additional resources, having your own HR department, an office, etc. To cut a long story short, gathering your own in-house team will be a time-consuming process. Instead, you can simply find an outsourcing company, which will do all the routine processes and pick the most suited team of developers, which will meet all your demands and requirements.
  2. Your projects become more complex or scalable and your in-house specialists no longer manage to work around the clock. Thus, once again, to avoid spending time looking for extra team members, you can easily just contact outsourcers and get an extra team in no time, depending on what your goals are.

So, both remote teams and team extension are a way of finding needed employees, avoiding the process of research and hiring them. However, when it comes to outstaffing, the reasons and conditions to use this method in terms of software development are slightly different.

What is an Outstaffed Team?

As we already figured out, outsourced developers, also known as dedicated development teams, are mainly full-fledged development group, which has a precise number of team members with specific roles for each of them. At the same time, an “outstaff team” term may be a confusing one.

Frankly, it can be explained in two different ways:

  • an outstaff team, meaning that the group of developers includes third-party skilled professionals, i.e. team extension. It is usually used when you need one or two extra developers to perform some temporary tasks. So, instead of recruiting developers for an in-house team permanent position, software project owners can simply choose outstaffing. In this case, they will work according to a time-limited contract to perform all needed tasks. Then, they will simply stop working on the project.
  • Also, the outstaff team can be explained as a group of a few third-party specialists, who have joined the project. In other words, such a term can be a synonym for a hired app development team, which consists of external developers only, who were engaged in software development for a certain task, yet are not full-time members of an in-house team.

Eventually, the outstaff team means an individual developer, or a few specialists, who were added to the main team, or simply a software development team, which includes also the outstaff extension.

Main Difference Between Outsourcing vs Outstaffing

As we mentioned before, in both cases, we can talk about the development team of external developers. Let’s ignore the fact, that outstaffing also includes the possibility to hire an individual developer, because it is a too obvious distinction.

On the contrary, when it comes to hiring an app development team, the outsourcing vs outstaffing comparison has at least 2 important differences:

  1. An outsourcing team is usually a full-fledged group of developers, each of which has a specific role and works until the whole team performed all their tasks. Nonetheless, judging from the software development process that works, the outsourced team keeps working on the project even after it was developed in order to polish it and fix various possible bugs, optimize it, etc. At the same time, when the member of the outstaff team has performed all tasks, the outstaff development specialist quits the project. Additionally, to keep a dev for optimization and upgrading, the client has to sign an additional agreement.
  2. Outsourced teams are a complex solution, which includes expertise in a specific tech stack and operating with concrete tasks. Moreover, it involves multiple people. At the same time, outstaffing aims to provide a single solution for a specific assignment. For instance, it can be a niche-experienced developer, who is specialized in frontend for Blockchain-based applications.

Yet, this is not the final list of differences between these two approaches. However, the rest of them are more specific and less crucial.

Pros and Cons of Outstaff Development Specialists

Frankly speaking, the outstaff team members also can differ from regular in-house specialists. As a matter of fact, they can bring some influential benefits to your software project.

First of all, it is much easier and faster to find such developers. Clearly, if you are looking for an in-house developer, you are limited in various ways. For example, project owners have to search for local specialists, or those, who can easily relocate.

Obviously, if you are an American software development company, based in San Francisco or New York, you won't look for internal teams in India or Poland. So, instead, your HR department will have to choose from the available specialists in your region.

However, if you will consider outstaffing, you don’t actually care where your outstaff team is located: whether it is in the nearest city, or in Ukraine. In other words, outstaffing and outsourcing allow product owners to find developers globally. This, in fact, results in numerous other advantages of such approaches.

For instance, outstaff teams are cheaper. Or, at least, they can be, depending on the region you are considering. So, by recruiting developers from Eastern Europe, most likely, you will get a chance to cut some expenses due to the fact, that wages in this region are lower than in the rest of the European countries. This is one of the reasons why this region has become a center of outsourcing solutions.

Finally, outstaff allows looking for niche-experienced developers, as well as narrow-profile specialists. Of course, it is possible to look for such specific employees in-house too, yet it is hard to argue that with the outstaffing approach, it will be much easier and faster. Access to the global labor market makes it not only easier, cheaper, and faster but gives the freedom of choice: the bigger number of accessible specialists - the bigger competition is.

How to Recruit Developers

Talking about the process of recruiting developers, we have to take into account a few main aspects.

Outstaff Team vs Freelancers

Traditionally, team extension is a service, proposed by outsourced companies. Alternatively, there are the same outstaff developers, who are independent. They are called freelancers. They also can be an option for extending your software project team. The main advantage of freelancers is the fact, that there are no extra fees and payments to the intermediaries (outsourced development companies in our case).

However, there is a reason for the existence of outstaff services. In the case of freelancers, no one can guarantee you their expertise and fulfillment of all the requirements. At the same time, if you choose outstaff, the outsourced company will not only select the most suited developer, who will meet all the requirements and will be experienced enough but also guarantees the fulfillment of all terms and conditions of the agreement. Additionally, these companies are interested in your success, because it directly impacts their reputation and recognition. Thus, we will stick to the outstaffing approach and will use it as the main scenario for further guidance.

Set the Requirements for the Recruit Developers

Each process must be started with the planning stage. This is not an exception. So, before you hire an app development team, you have to understand what you are hiring them for, what technologies they must know (What technologies are used in your project), what expertise they should have (Frontend, backend, full-stack, etc), what is the scale of work and the terms of the agreement. These are the basic aspects worth knowing before even considering recruiting outstaff developers.

Find Your Outstaffing Agency

The next stage is related to looking for the intermediaries between you and the specialist you are looking for. There are numerous aspects to consider, yet the most important checklist for picking an outstaffing firm is:

  • Is this company mentioned anywhere except for its website and social media?
  • Is there any feedback from previous clients and companies, they have worked with/for?
  • Does the company has a list of the cases, it has worked with before, also known as case studies?
  • Does this company have any developers, who match your requirements? You can find out the answer to this question by contacting the company directly.

Interview the Potential Remote Employee

After getting all the answers and if you are satisfied with them, you can start selecting the candidate.

Contrary to an outsourced team, which is usually selected by the outsourcing agency itself, outstaffing is mainly the clients’ choice. To rephrase it, in terms of outstaffing, the client always makes the final choice.

So, it would be a great bonus for you, as a future employer, to prepare for interviewing developers and testing them in advance. So, when another company will provide you with a list of possible developers, you were ready to additionally test them and choose the most suited for your project.

There is a wide range of various testing methods and approaches: you may just have a conversation, using the terminology and asking about technical aspects of work, or how would the developer solve some hypothetical issues, give them a technical task, ask to code some functionality, etc. To make it simple, testing methods are limited only by your imagination (and the limits of reason, of course).

Sign the Agreement

Eventually, if there is someone, whom you are satisfied with, you can proceed to sign all the agreements and the contract, onboard the developer, and start the development process. Yet, it is essential to make sure you haven’t forgotten to clarify all the questionable aspects and processes like giving up the credentials, deactivation of accounts, etc.

End Line

Summing up all the above, outstaffing and outsourcing models are great services, which can simplify the software project owners’ lives a lot by providing them with the opportunity to find a replacement for in-house developers or team extensions in no time, also making it slightly cheaper.

Still, before rushing into selecting such an option, it is recommended to weigh all the pros and cons, including the overall context of your project, your needs and requirements. What is even more important - is to examine your possible partner in detail, find some relevant feedback, learn the history of the company, and consider the CV of the future employee. The CV of the company is its case studies, i.e. previous projects, it has worked on.

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What is an outstaff development specialist?

An outstaff development specialist is a professional software developer or engineer who is hired on a contract basis by a company to work remotely or from a different location than the company's main office. The outstaff model allows companies to access a broader talent pool and leverage the expertise of skilled professionals without the need for a full-time in-house team.

Why would I need to hire an outstaff development specialist?

How do I assess the technical skills and expertise of an outstaff development specialist?

Can I hire an outstaff development specialist for a short-term project?

What if I need to scale up or down my team size during the project?

What is the main difference between outsourcing and outstaffing?

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