Outsourcing need not be the gamble most companies in the West usually think it is. Naturally, if one has decided to outsource to freelancers, then obviously it is always a hit-and-miss affair at best, given the vagaries of fortune that accompany offshore freelancing. In addition, freelancers do not always suit every outsourcing requirement, particularly those software projects that call for greater interaction between client and the freelancer or involve a more long-term and high-investment task.
So, the dilemma that often plagues the average IT company is: how to avoid the dud that doesn't deliver and find the perfect virtual software developer? There are, unfortunately, no shortcuts here except to painstakingly research and do thorough background checks on each and every outsourcing service provider that one is considering. An impressive website does not necessarily promise great results. Past client testimonials, the number of years' experience the vendor has in the outsourcing business and the domain expertise are all factors that must be taken into account before finalizing any outsourcing company.
The good news is that the perfect virtual software developer is not a myth and actually does exist. One should just know where to look. So, the thing is to find the best outsourcing vendor who will then provide you with the ideal software developer to handle your outsourced work.
Let's digress for a moment and see what is involved in hiring the average freelancer. Popular freelance job websites such as oDesk or Elance may seem like the best place to hire remote software developers but they do entail a lot of investment of time and effort on your part. You have to wade through tons of reviews, hunt for the lowest bidder, read past testimonials and basically be completely responsible for the person you choose to work for you. Remember, that there have been documented cases of freelancers faking the reviews and testimonials in a bid to lure clients. Similarly, all bad reviews need not be justified as the exact circumstances would remain unknown to you.
Even the more reputed sites like the ones mentioned have, at best, a paid software that only helps you to keep track of the number of hours your freelancer has logged in but it does not in any way let you know just how productive those hours were. In addition, many freelancers demand upfront a percentage of their fees and there have been numerous cases where the freelancer has literally 'taken the money and run'. There is no supervising authority to keep tabs on the activity of the freelancer and the entire relationships hinges on trust and luck. So, delays cannot be ruled out and precious working hours may be wasted in trying to catch a non-performing freelancer since these websites do not intervene in any dispute between a client and their freelancer.
Established outsourcing vendors, who have an impressive client list and testimonials and who have been in the business for more than five years, are the ones who usually deliver what they promise. For example, VirtualEmployee.com, one of the leading outsourcing companies in India, redefined outsourcing and was the first to have introduced the concept of the 'virtual employee' or the remote worker, who works exclusively for one client just like a regular employee. With this vendor, any company can outsource any office work and, in turn, will get a valuable asset - a full-fledged remote employee instead of a freelancer.
In fact, hiring a virtual employee software developer can be a salve for those reeling under the unsavory experiences they have had with freelancers. It is the vendor who takes care of everything from finding the right employee for you, to providing them with all the necessary hardware and software and infrastructure and acting as a supervising authority on your behalf to ensure that work is done in a satisfactory manner.
In short, the vendor's office serves as an effective offshore extension of your own office, complete with an HR, accounts and IT team always at hand to take care of all work and non-work related issues. This means that you and your virtual software developer get to concentrate on only one thing – work.
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