Handling Work Ethic Differences when Outsourcing Overseas
In the morning, when you open an email that asks you to re-explain the same issue that you had clearly explained yesterday could be a day-spoiler. This can happen anywhere, even with the onshore colleagues. But these events become more frustrating with the overseas team.
Is it bias? No, not because you are biased, but the frustration arises because of the inability to understand what went wrong and how you are going to improve it. It is difficult to say what went wrong in the current situation, but much easier to analyze what has gone wrong in the past. You think that, most likely, it relates to the hiring process.
No, it begins much before that. It began when you first planned to outsource, with pre-determined opinions. The first opinion is that overseas outsourcing will save you cost, without compromising the time. The second issue is when you ignored the cultural factor.
Outsourcing overseas expert is cost-effective only when you are willing to dedicate time. If you think that you will give the assignment to an outsourcing agency, and rest is their headache, then your outsourcing plans are bound to fail.
Many managers also completely ignore cultural factors. They judge every cultural aspect based on their personal parameters. This won’t help. Respecting a culture is a good thing. You have a choice. But understanding a culture and taking appropriate business decisions is the formula for successful businesses.
We can also scrutinize what can go wrong during the overseas hiring process. Hiring employees in a different time zone, with different cultural backgrounds could be exhaustive, occasionally amusing if you like meeting different kinds of people. While hiring employees, you should be aware of the culture and work ethics of the country.
The real-time differences could be significant, but with planning and patience, you can easily curb those annoying mails and improve your business process to operate smoother.
Cherry Picking Employees: Whom to choose – A developer with fees of $20 per hour or $40 per hour? Cheap has its price. Think before hiring whether your company or project is ready to pay that price. Always hire an employee with good work experience, with a minimum of three to five years. But this work experience may not be relevant work experience.
It is important to make a quick test of the employee, and the test should be executed within the dedicated hours. This will help you determine the quality of the work and the work experience of the candidates. It should be your responsibility to clearly define your future requirements and not the responsibility of the candidates.
Remember, the candidate you hire is going to shape your project and your reputation too.
Breaking Language Barriers: Most of the countries from where you are potentially going to outsource have their own native language. I would suggest that you don’t simply pass over a good developer solely because he is not proficient in your language.
I have known managers who have rejected some of the best candidates because their spoken English was not good. And, those same managers, later on, complained that the employee they did hire is not outstanding in his/her work. The solution is to hire a permanent English trainer who can provide written and spoken English classes to the employees. Make the classes mandatory for employees, at least for three months.
Hire from a country where English is the official language in schools and businesses. Accents are easily removed through training and practice.
Understanding Culture: Before hiring, you should be aware of the culture, holidays, and values at the home location of your IT partner. This will help you to understand how the person is going to react in a particular situation. It will also help you in establishing relationships with your employees.
Don’t Just Talk To One Person: If you are planning to hire an outsourcing company overseas, don’t just talk to one person, because that person might not be the one actually doing your job. Always talk to the person who is going to work on your project. Also, make sure to provide information in writing to avoid missing instructions.
Keeping the employees motivated: Motivation for employees from country to country may differ. For some, it is the promotion, and for others, it is money. Create a formula where both can be easily provided without compromising cost and delivery. Break the hierarchy into small structures that can include both promotion and increment.
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