When should you hire dedicated developers?

There are times when hiring freelancers won’t cut it, yet the in-house team is too expensive for your taste. Perhaps you’re a startup with a project in mind that has an undefined scope. Or maybe you’re an established company wanting to gradually expand, and hiring new people each time is costly and ineffective. What can you do in that case? Well, a dedicated software development team may be more up your alley. Come along to find out when should you hire dedicated developers and what popular mistakes to avoid.

Criteria for hiring a dedicated developer team

A dedicated development team is a business cooperation model in software development that is a mix between outsourcing and outstaffing. You hand-pick a team of developers from mainly a nearshore or offshore pool of talents, and they focus their efforts on your project only for the duration of your partnership, as opposed to freelancers who can simultaneously handle multiple jobs.

Also, a cost of a dedicated development team is much lower than hiring and maintaining in-house developers, which has now proven to be a slightly short-sighted option with that nasty Covid pandemic. Plus, you limit yourself to choosing only local talents. Yet, choosing a dedicated team has its specifics. It can be an ideal software development outsourcing model for you if you have certain needs and your business possesses particular attributes.

Scope of the development project

Due to its high scalability, the dedicated development team model best suits projects with an undefined scope. Such projects tend to be a living entity that expands or shrinks depending on the conditions rather than being a one-time occasion. Here’s when it’s best to choose this model of cooperation based on your existing scope:

  • Extra vague requirements. If your project’s discovery phase has been prolonged a bit and requirements constantly change - don’t fret. A dedicated team is used to that and can adapt to any necessary alterations.
  • Startups in early stages. Startups with a recent debut can benefit immensely from a dedicated model since they can easily cut hiring and maintenance costs while not wasting any time on project development.
  • Complex long-term projects. You need to assemble a trusting team for long-time cooperation, which is complicated with freelancers. This way, you eventually bring your idea to a satisfactory conclusion with people with the right level of dedication.

Development experience required

The second most important criterion to consider is needed skills and experience. More than a fourth of all startups fail due to the lack of relevant expertise. Outsourcing vital skills seems like an excellent option that doesn’t lead to bankruptcy since maintaining in-house developers can cost more than $100,000 a year. Think about what type of knowledge gap you’re experiencing and choose accordingly.

Typically, a basic dedicated development team consists of a project manager, a few software developers, UX/UI designers, and QA specialists, but it’s really up to you. The type of skill and knowledge developers should possess will depend on your project’s specifications. For example, if you want to develop a cryptocurrency solution, you’ll surely need a blockchain engineer.

Compatibility and flexibility

Cultural and professional compatibility is still essential when hiring dedicated teams. Choose teams whose culture and professional approach you’re most comfortable or familiar with. If you are from the west, then to minimize adjustments, you can choose teams also with a western work ethic, even if you don’t share a border and every bit of communication is remote.

Flexibility is another major criterion to be reflected on as well. You can easily expand the team if the project becomes more complex or scale it down if you feel the need to reduce the number of tasks or the technology stack. Changing the direction of the project scope is also acceptable and is nothing to be afraid of with the right specialists.

Cooperation model

There are three types of cooperation to consider when hiring a dedicated development team. The first one is a staff augmentation model where you take control of the project from start to finish and take almost all responsibility for it. The team is an extension of your own, and the cooperation does not finish after this one project is done.

Unless you choose a project-based model. Here, the vendor takes most of the responsibility  - you only need to provide requirements and specifications. It’s a complete hands-off outsourcing solution perfect for busy bees. There’s also a nifty mix between the two, called a managed cooperation model with shared ownership and an on-site project manager, and it’s considered the most popular form of dedicated development.

Reasons to hire dedicated developers

Now that you know what to first think about when choosing this approach for your future project, let’s discuss the main reasons why hiring dedicated developers could be worth your while.

Why hire dedicated developers
Why hire dedicated developers

Talent shortage

A local talent shortage is no longer an issue if you choose to go the dedicated development route. Having no geographical limits, you can now find your future project’s team members from any place - the only thing that matters is how their specific expertise matches your requirements.

In-house teams usually adhere to a specific set of practices and choose consistency over experimentation. That often leads to a lack of progress in terms of new skills and technologies. However, freelancers are too niche.

Dedicated teams, on the other hand, have no reason to restrict themselves and can gain new expertise with each new project. Skill upgrade is then just a matter of time. You directly influence the team’s assembly and can choose those individuals whose knowledge suits you best.

Continuous development

Long-run projects are where you can take the most advantage out of working with a dedicated software development team. You get a remote extension of your own team that provides you with continuous development and post-release support.

Sometimes with complex projects that need numerous updates and changes throughout the development process, it’s hard to predict their duration. By providing long-time software development and maintenance, dedicated teams can gradually fulfill your requirements, devoid of fuss. You also avoid sudden termination risks by putting it all in the contract.

More cost-effective compared to in-house development

We’ve mentioned before that maintaining an in-house development team can set you back a considerable amount of money - apart from salaries, you have to manage office infrastructure and maintenance costs, operational expenses, utility bills, etc. With dedicated teams, all that, apart from salaries, is taken care of by the vendor company itself. You only pay for the scope of work done.

Another side of cost saving comes from hiring offshore from countries with lower wages due to lower living costs in those areas rather than an indication of poorer quality of work. Consider looking for dedicated developers in countries like Ukraine, Poland, Romania, etc.

Transparent management

By setting up the right channels of communication and an appropriate amount of oversight, you end up with a more transparent management approach. Dedicated teams, by their nature, are less autonomous than freelancers or a professional software development company that doesn’t offer dedicated project services.

Transparency manifests through every task and activity. Constant communication, in turn, breeds better understanding. While the vendor carries nearly all of the responsibility for the project, you or a project manager you agreed upon is in control of the essential oversight. That way, you don’t get left in the dark in case something goes wrong.

Frequent mistakes when hiring a dedicated developer team

At first glance, it may seem like hiring dedicated developers is a one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are a few mistakes you can make in the process that make it worth considering all options. Tread lightly and know what to avoid to make the dedicated team approach the best option.

Finding dedicated developers without the proper experience

One of the most common mistakes you can make is hiring a team whose specialists don’t quite match your needs or a team that doesn’t have the right experience in the dedicated development approach. Find out what technology stack and tools the company’s dedicated development team specializes in and how well they match your future project.

To avoid making that mistake, go through the company’s portfolio and look for similar projects. Also, don’t limit yourself to one geographic area - if you broaden your search, chances are you’ll find specialists with the required experience and skills.

Sacrificing performance in favor of lower costs

Focusing on price over value can cost you performance and, eventually, the quality of your finished product. The big mistake is swiftly hiring a dedicated development company that promises outstanding results at a reduced cost without confirming the quality of their work.

By chasing lower prices, you may end up with a generic product that won’t get you the success and ROI you were hoping for. Indeed, hiring a more professional and skilled dedicated team can set you back a bit more than your average one, but you can be sure of their performance and your project’s quality.

Minor projects and/or strict deadlines

It has proven to be absolutely redundant to hire dedicated developers for short projects with clearly outlined requirements, strict deadlines, and a limited budget. You could have these types of projects already done and deployed by the time you finish selecting dedicated team members and their onboarding.

When you have a strict outline for your project that you don’t intend to deviate from, it’s best to just outsource a few developers to quickly get the job done. The shorter the project, the better it is to choose a fixed-price cooperation model. For middle-range projects, opt for a time-and-material approach that will let you adjust your needs according to the set limits of your budget.

A long-distance relationship with no sufficient oversight

And the last big mistake you can make is when hiring remote dedicated teams that live numerous time zones apart, you don’t pay enough attention to management and communication. Sure, time differences and language barriers can be an issue, but only if you don’t put enough work into your cooperation.

There is an insufficient level of oversight when you leave the communication to chance rather than taking the time to give frequent feedback. Make sure to regularly be in touch with the project manager, who, in turn, will help with conveying your requirements to the team more efficiently.

Bottom line

Hiring dedicated developers is a new way of ensuring a quality digital product with a competitive advantage without unnecessary hassles, such as high maintenance and talent scarcity. You get a continuous relationship with a software development team that is tuned to your needs.

Add extreme flexibility and scalability to the mix, and it’s a perfect choice for startups or companies with long-term projects planned and confirmed. Having said that, we also have an option of dedicated teams at Merge. Contact us to learn more.

Sergey Gyluyk

Head of Growth

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

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