When it comes to talent, the strategic advantages of nearshore outsourcing are numerous – lower costs, significantly increased bandwidth, and access to a larger pool of individuals with the required technical skills.
The current technical talent shortage is glaring – 86% of over 1,000 HR managers and recruiters polled by a nationwide survey reported they find it challenging to find technical talent, while 83% believe the IT talent shortage has increased employee burnout, as well as hampered their market expansion and product development.
So, it only makes sense to harness the benefits of nearshore outsourcing.
Companies’ internal teams are often overwhelmed by their workload and the need to keep up with the fast pace of new advances in the technology. Outsourcing vendors, on the other hand, make it their primary task to be at the forefront in mastering the latest trends in technology and methodologies.
Reliable nearshore vendors offer more than great talent and lower cost. You can select the right vendor by focusing on five key areas – reliability, infrastructure, expertise, communication, and talent retention.
Has the nearshore vendor been in the business long enough to grow steadily, or have they gone through ups and downs, and loss of staff and clientele?
If the vendor provides verifiable client feedback, and you can ensure they have longstanding relationships with other clients, it is a sure sign you are in for a solid partnership.
Assess the vendor’s resources, location, and data protection practices. A good vendor will have a robust computer network, reliable data protection and a solid understanding of your data security compliance needs.
See how your nearshore team will connect with your network, and if they have the tools and resources on par with those of your local team.
Expertise and Communication
You want to make sure the right people with the required technical and industry skills are on your nearshore team, and that they share your philosophy and understand your goals. How does the vendor ensure this?
Your developers and project managers need to be able to talk to their nearshore team members whenever they need to. You must be able to take part in your nearshore team’s internal meetings, and vice versa, your nearshore consultants should be able to participate in yours.
To ensure a successful collaboration, your vendor can offer collaborative lunch-and-learns and engagement studios to bring both teams together for brainstorming sessions that speed up the project. The face-to-face interactions forge strong relationships based on efficient communication.
Your project is more efficient if your internal team spends a brainstorming session or lunch with your nearshore consultants discussing the methodologies, best fits for the team, work structure and dynamics, communication requirements and project goals. The integration of your nearshore team is faster and more efficient if you get into the details from the get-go, and maintain a close connection during all stages of the project.
The face-to-face time at lunch-and-learns or cross-team brainstorming sessions makes communication and decision-making much easier, mitigates risks, and reduces costs stemming from project overruns. Face time helps teams create efficient strategies for every aspect of your project – from quality control to mobile and cloud strategy, marketing campaigns, digital promotion, end-user experience assessment, and more.
A transparent vendor will encourage you to have regular meetings not just to keep up with the work, but also to show you how your nearshore team works.
Make sure your outsourcing partner has a low churn rate because losing talent mid-way through a project can be debilitating. High churn rates may undermine all the economic benefits of your partnership, as you would need to spend extra time and resources on training new members to the project team. Nearshore vendors with low churn rates a) pay competitive wages to their employees, b) provide an excellent work environment, and c) have a company culture that is attractive to their employees.
Get the Most Out of Your Nearshore Partnership and Keep Your Internal Team Motivated
- Grant your nearshore team an adequate level of autonomy. Outsourcing vendors, by definition, hire technically solid and motivated talent. They are eager to contribute; they come up with solutions instrumental in delivering superior results. They do not want to be treated as droids devoid of vision and creativity, but as a part of the team. Afford them a reasonable level of autonomy and responsibility, so that they develop a sense of loyalty to the project.
- Ensure that your nearshore team understands your vision, not just the specific short-term goals. By sharing the project’s large-scale purpose, you engage your nearshore team emotionally. Emotionally engaged employees are highly motivated and committed to making a personal contribution to your project’s success.
- Treat them as a part of your internal team through constant communication and interaction.
- On the other hand, do not let your focus on your nearshore team demotivate your internal staff. When local teams hired for their IT expertise eventually become managers for a nearshore team, they can become frustrated. Communication, speed, and flexibility issues may erode your internal team’s motivation. They may feel unappreciated, or reluctant to share responsibilities. To prevent your internal team from getting demotivated, a) ensure internal staff understand the commercial strategy behind the decision, b) remember that your internal team’s responsibilities increase as they need to make the nearshore partnership work, c) keep tabs open on the internal team’s satisfaction with delivery deadlines and quality.
Nearshore outsourcing is an attractive proposition. It helps you deploy your projects successfully – with high-end quality, faster turnaround times, and lower costs. Nearshore outsourcing also prevents your internal team from burnout, and compensates for the shortage of IT resources, which are key to your market expansion in today’s digital economy.