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5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Onboarding Your Development Partner

Hiring an outside development team is a smart decision, especially if you are a startup with limited resources. It’s the most affordable way to work with highly experienced developers when you don’t have the time or budget to hire several full-time, in-house employees.

Before you even decide to bring in an outsourced team, it’s very important to have a solid plan for onboarding in place. This will ensure the best possible outcome for your development project. When everyone involved knows exactly what is expected of them and how things work at your organization, costly mistakes and misunderstandings can be avoided.

Here are five pitfalls you’ll want to avoid when planning the onboarding process.

Pitfall #1: Not having a designated onboarding manager

When too many people are involved in the onboarding process, things tend to slip through the cracks. This is why it is very important to have one person designated as the onboarding manager. This could be your HR person, someone from communications, or a member of your technical team. The point is, you need someone who will be responsible for creating an onboarding plan and making sure that all the steps are completed.

Having a single point-of-contact is extremely beneficial for the outsourced team, since there are always many questions during the onboarding process. It is also a more efficient business practice to have one focused employee versus several splitting their time and responsibilities. A project manager or someone with project management or HR experience would be best suited for this role.

Pitfall #2: Thinking of your outsourced team as contractors and not employees

Your new development team may be located halfway around the world, but they should still be treated as regular employees. This goes for anyone in your company working remotely as well.

It’s easy to feel like an outsider when you’re not face-to-face in the same office every day as the rest of the team. Including your outsourced team in all company activities and communications is the key to making them feel like they truly are part of your organization and not just “hired help.”

By treating everyone as equal contributors to the success of the company, you are fostering a better working relationship and a more productive and inclusive environment.

Pitfall #3: Failing to properly introduce everyone

Starting a new job can be intimidating for anyone. It’s hard to remember all your new co-workers’ names and job titles, especially if you’re not in the office with them every day.

Provide an organizational chart for your new outsourced team and schedule a virtual meeting to introduce everyone. Take the time to explain who’s who and how things work throughout your company. Make sure to include the new outsourced team as part of the org chart, as this will make them feel even more welcome.

Pitfall #4: Failing to clearly explain corporate policies

Every organization has a certain set of policies when it comes to the use of the company’s name, proprietary information, and more. This is important in preventing mass data breaches, misuse of sensitive customer data, and other security threats that could occur even in highly secure environments.

Don’t forget to have your outsourced company sign an NDA and ask them about their own security policies and practices. Setting up a strict access policy can also help protect against information leak, hack or loss.

Pitfall #5: Not setting clear expectations when it comes to communication

This is the most important pitfall to avoid. Before you even hire an outsourced team, you need to decide how you will communicate with them on a daily basis.

What time of the day do you usually hold your staff or development team meetings? If your development partner is in a different time zone, how will that work? Will you use Skype exclusively or GoToMeeting or some other form of teleconferencing for these meetings? Do the people on the team you are hiring speak English well enough to communicate easily? Will there be one contact who’s available 24/7 for any questions, concerns or emergencies?

These questions need to be addressed in the hiring process in order to ensure that you and your development team get off on the right foot. By clearly establishing expectations at the outset of the contract, you can avoid wasted time, effort, and even money in the future.

Want more best practices on how to work with an outsourced development team? Let us know! We’d be happy to help!