How to Hire Offshore Developers: Your Must-Have Checklist

Hire Offshore Developers | TurnKey

Tech startups require agile and scalable teams that can adapt to fluctuating workflow, product timelines, and deadlines. With advancements in technology, companies now have a plethora of options to optimize labor costs. These range from AI adoption in team management to automating routine work processes.

Offshoring is another increasingly popular strategy that offers several advantages.

If you’re reading this, you likely understand that hiring offshore teams is a win-win situation that can drive operational efficiency and business growth. To help you assemble the best team possible, this comprehensive checklist I prepared is designed to guide you through the intricacies of this hiring process.

So, let’s go!

Table of Contents

How Does an Offshore Software Development Model Work?

Offshoring has become increasingly popular in the last 15 years and is now a common practice among tech startups and high-growth software firms. Here’s proof: the global Offshore Software Development market size was valued at $130556.0 Million in 2022 and will reach $244765.0 Million in 2028, with a CAGR of 11.04% during 2022-2028.

I spoke to many tech founders and can confidently say that there’s no “right” way to hire offshore, and there are various factors that a company should take into consideration before creating an offshore team. 

You want to look at skills, areas of expertise, and culture fit (among other things).

Luckily for you, we do all of that and more.

Do you want to create an offshore software development team that is a perfect fit? We’ve got your back.

Why Hire Offshore Developers for Your Startup? And Why Is It Better Than In-House Hiring?

Opting for offshore software development is a cost-efficient business model that offers a plethora of benefits, especially for startups. This approach not only relieves your in-house team but also sidesteps the high cost of office rent and local talent influenced by the cost of living in your region.

By hiring an offshore development team, you can:

  • access a larger, more readily available talent pool
  • reduce time-to-market
  • ensure flexibility
  • keep your in-house team focused on the core tasks.

This kind of collaboration model streamlines the development process, making your operations more agile and scalable.

The offshore approach offers considerable development cost reduction, from minimizing office space requirements to optimizing the tech stack involved. These factors contribute to the cost efficiency of the project, making it highly cost-effective compared to hiring in house. Plus, a well-managed offshore team, equipped with proper project management, allows for a reduced time-to-market and provides a more flexible project scope.

Your in-house team can remain focused on core tasks and processes, thereby ensuring that you get the best of both worlds: local expertise for key operations and specialized, cost-effective development services for your scaling needs.

So, whether you’re a startup looking for developers or a more established firm seeking to enhance your development unit, offshore software development offers compelling reasons to consider this hiring model.

A Checklist For Hiring an Offshore Development Team

Navigating the labyrinth of the hiring process for an offshore development team can be a complex endeavor, rife with uncertainties and challenges. That’s why I carefully curated a checklist that can be a project manager’s best friend. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the realm of hiring offshore developers, understanding the key steps and best practices will significantly enhance your chances of success.

In this section, I’ll break down a comprehensive checklist to guide you through every aspect of the process, from crafting an accurate job description and collaborating with recruiters to evaluating the expertise of tech experts. We’ll also delve into the best methods for conducting interviews, assessing candidate skills, and even incorporating testimonials as part of your due diligence.

So, whether you’re looking to hire developers for a short-term project or contemplating a long-term commitment, this checklist will equip you with the essential steps for hiring an offshore team that meets your project’s needs.

Stay tuned to master the art of hiring the right offshore development team!

#1 Define your Goals and Requirements

Figure out what you want, so you know what to look for. 

Ask yourself:

  1. What type of developer do you want to hire?
  2. What infrastructure does the project require?
  3. Is there an expected timeline?
  4. Are there benchmarks for quality?
  5. How will you test the product?
  6. What is your budget?
  7. How do you plan for contingencies?

To hire offshore developers, ensure your list of goals and requirements is as thorough as possible — include everything related to the project.

This is all about setting priorities. By making a list of all the decisions that need to be made, you are giving yourself a clear picture of how you want your product to turn out.

#2 Define your Budget

It’s a no-brainer that you need a salary rate within budget to hire a skilled overseas developer.

Clearly outline the project scope, additional services, and anything not included in the project.

It’s also important to consider the development time when budgeting. Longer development times mean higher prices.

And don’t forget about the hidden costs, as they can quickly add up.

#3 Find a Reliable Offshore Partner (to Simplify All Other Steps)

When you partner with TurnKey, you’re choosing an offshore partner you can trust and rely on.

We will help you evaluate how long your project will take and if there’s anything about your plan that might affect its completion.

Our team will also custom recruit your talent, integrate them into your culture, motivate them with incentives, and make sure they’re dedicated to you and your project. 

#4 Negotiate the Terms And Conditions

Whoever you partner with, be sure to learn about their process and the people they use to get work done. Find out how they interact with their clients and allocate developers to projects. 

When you understand how they manage the development teams, and client needs, you can better assess who the right team for you might be.

#5 Sign a Contract

When you hire offshore developers, always, always read the fine print.

#6 Sign All the Legal Agreements

This is the last stage of the hiring process. Once you’ve hired an offshore partner/software developer, it’s time to ensure they do what they say they will.


One of the most important parts of your agreement has to do with confidentiality and IP privacy of your product and company. You are giving international access to and knowledge of your business operations, some of which may be confidential. And you aren’t in the office with your offshore team, so you can’t monitor day by day.

Without a clear legal framework governing data access, use, and sharing, there may be many regrets.

Protect yourself and your business by taking the time to consider the types of legal documents you’ll need to execute your agreement.

  • A Service Level Agreement (SLA) specifies the scope of work, the vendor’s responsibilities, and your expectations as a client. There is a standard SLA that includes obligations, availability, response time, service(s) to be provided, metrics for assessment, penalties for defaults, and uptime.
  • Statement of Work is similar to a Service Level Agreement but focuses on the clients' obligations, including payments, testing, standards, etc. These obligations are subject to the vendor meeting requirements on deliverables, milestones, and schedules.
  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement establishes conditions for using and sharing sensitive and confidential information. It stops the vendor from sharing the application's source code with unauthorized parties.
  • A Software Requirements Specification is the document containing all the project's technical details. It's a plan, a vision of how the software should work. Specifications are the base for the assessment and testing of the software when it’s built.

#7 Check the Potential Candidates

Once your relationship is locked in, get your eyes on the potential candidates they’re finding for you. 

So, what factors should you consider here?

  • Skill: Note whether the talent has the right skills and levels of expertise.
  • Experience: Experience enhances problem-solving abilities. Developers with more experience have faced more varied software problems. That is why senior developers are in such high demand.
  • Values: The underlying consideration of all these considerations is compatibility. So, evaluating your potential employees' mindset, work style, and values is essential.

#8 Evaluate the Skillset

The most common ways to evaluate candidates are:

  • Questionnaires: Questionnaires are an excellent tool for assessing how developers approach problems and solutions. When a developer is creating an application, thinking outside the box is essential. They need to be able to challenge the status quo and be willing to step up when necessary. Questionnaires are an excellent tool to test if they really are.
  • Technical interviews: Technical interviews and coding tests can be used to determine whether an applicant has the skills you’re looking for. You can use CoderPad, HackerRank, CodeSignal, and others. After the technical interview, the code test can be analyzed, graded, and considered in the final decision.
  • Previous Work Review: Many developers might be reluctant or unable to show you their real code due to legal agreements, non-disclosures, or copyrights. If they can show you apps they’ve built, conduct a test to ensure the UI is functional.

It’s a lot, right? If it sounds better to you to just hand off the requirements, do it! We have every process wired and know how to tailor it for your unique needs.

Where to Hire an Offshore Development Team?

Knowing where to hire an offshore development team is as crucial as deciding to go offshore in the first place. Among a sea of options, how do you pinpoint the best offshore developers who will elevate your project to new heights? Factors such as quality assurance, language proficiency, and a proven track record are non-negotiables.

This section is designed to be your comprehensive guide in exploring various marketplaces and review platforms that provide valuable insights into the quality of offshore teams. We’ll delve into the best sites to hire offshore developers in certain regions, such as Western Europe, are considered to be hotspots for top offshore talents. Moreover, we’ll explore how to discern credible reviews and ratings that speak volumes about a team’s capabilities and quality assurance standards.

By the end of this section, you’ll have a well-rounded understanding of where to find the best offshore development teams with a proven track record, ensuring you make an informed decision for your product’s success.

#1 Tech Directories

There are many online directories, such as Clutch, G2, Upcity, ITFirms, and Good Firms, where you can find many companies that hire offshore software developers on behalf of tech startups.

These directories connect software development firms to each other and to potential clients. During the search, you can look up companies by specialty and get details and reviews for those companies that meet your needs.

#2 Digital Publications

Some developers write articles on websites and explain some complex topics in an engaging way It may be a sign that the developer is a solid expert and understands the field very well. 

So, if you like the technology articles of a particular developer on Medium, it’s time to get in touch with him or her and offer to become your team extension.

#3 Freelancers Platforms

If your business is a small project or your budget is too limited, you must turn to freelance platforms.

There are several online portals, like Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, where you can partner with offshore development teams. You can post job requirements on freelance websites, and the interested offshore teams will connect you.

#4 LinkedIn

Linkedin is a worldwide network that’s used by all professional offshore development companies.

The world’s talent platform is the ideal recruitment tool for clients and recruiters. So, it is a good place to start looking for offshore developers. It may be helpful, but it’s certainly not the only resource for searching for offshore development teams.

linkedin pros and cons

#5 Referrals

As part of the larger tech community, use networking to find the right candidates. You can ask others to help either online or offline.

You should post about your needs and situation. This will help others understand what you’re looking for.

Post this on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, and forums, and ask your friends in the same industry or field to refer you to good specialists.

#6 Offshore Partners like Turnkey

Offshore companies like TurnKey focus on helping tech companies hire offshore developers.

They are expert negotiators. When working with offshore developers, they will negotiate developer rates and get you the most for your money. 

TurnKey is an offshoring partner with extensive hands-on experience helping companies succeed in their offshoring process. We can help you, too.

Where Is It Better to Hire Offshore Developers?

Choosing the right geography can significantly influence the success of hiring offshore developers. While talent knows no boundaries, practical considerations such as time zones, cost, and cultural compatibility can greatly impact your project’s outcome. From the tech hubs in the United States and the burgeoning markets in Latin America, to the cost-effective yet highly skilled workforce in Eastern Europe and Asia, the options are plentiful. But where is it better to hire offshore developers?

Let’s dive into a virtual tour across different countries and regions, discussing the pros and cons of sourcing talent from each. Whether it’s the robust tech communities in Poland, Ukraine, and Romania in Eastern Europe, or the fast-growing tech scenes in India and various Asian countries, we’ll break it down for you. 

ParameterAsiaLatin AmericaEastern Europe
EducationLeader in terms of the number of STEM graduatesVery good educationAn excellent system of tech education
Number of Common Hours with the US0-1 hour6-8 hours0-3 hours
Number of Developers12.5 M900 K1-1.3 M
English ProficiencyFull working proficiencyIntermediateAdvanced
Flight Duration15+ hours4-12 hours10-15 hours

If you are serious about hiring an offshoring team but unsure where exactly you should hire, here’s a comparison to consider. Thanks to the table below, you’ll have a detailed understanding of how each of these regions—be it North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, or Asia—can offer unique advantages and challenges in your quest for the perfect offshore development team.

Take the example of a global software company that managed to adopt offshoring. By going nearshore, the company ensured seamless communication, timely milestones completion, and a balanced work-life environment for its developers.

So, what did they do? They partnered with TurnKey to establish a nearshore software development team in Mexico.

Within a mere 30 days post signing the contract with TurnKey, they welcomed the first batch of hires for their Mexican innovation center. The onboarding process was seamless and expedited. Encouraged by the early successes, they’re now broadening the initial plans for the innovation center, which has eliminated the time zone challenges.

Case studies: R1, iScribe, Salad | TurnKey Labs

Challenges Hiring an Offshore Development Team

Embarking on the journey of hiring an offshore development team comes with a host of advantages, but it’s not without its challenges.

From dealing with workflow disruptions to navigating cultural differences, understanding these challenges is the first step in effectively mitigating them.

In the following sections, we will explore some of the most common issues tech startups encounter when they hire offshore developers and provide insights on how to turn these challenges into opportunities.

#1 Workflow and Time Zone Hurdles

When you’re dealing with an offshore development team, particularly if they are located outside North America, issues related to workflow control and time zones can pose significant challenges.

The software development process may face limitations due to these gaps in time zone alignment and could lead to misunderstandings. However, these challenges can turn into advantages by strategically selecting a team situated in a similar time zone, thereby streamlining the development process and reducing issues.

#2 Cultural and Communication Challenges

Working with offshore developers brings another set of challenges related to culture and communication skills. Language barriers and cultural differences can create misunderstandings and gaps in effective collaboration.

While it’s difficult to expect seamless integration from someone across the globe, solutions like TurnKey help bridge these gaps.

By assisting developers in acclimating to your work culture and style, TurnKey allows for more effective communication, enabling team members to contribute in a meaningful way and overcome these challenges and limitations.

When Is Hiring Offshore Developers the Right Choice For Your Startup?

Before we start, watch our CEO’s guide on when offshoring is a great solution:

Understanding when to opt for offshore developers is crucial for aligning your business needs and goals. Several factors come into play, such as project requirements, scalability considerations, and overall business growth. In this section, we delve into four key scenarios where engaging an offshore team through TurnKey could be the most strategic choice for your startup’s success.

#1 Accelerated Development and Project Requirements

Offshore developers can accelerate the development process by reducing the time spent on each project.

Through TurnKey, offshore developers can significantly speed up your software solutions implementation. They achieve this by reducing the time traditionally spent on each project, enabling you to meet stringent project needs more efficiently. TurnKey handles all aspects of project management and HR activities like employee retention and support, allowing you to focus on business development and other core activities.

#2 Bridging Skill Gaps in Your In-house Team

In tech hubs like San Francisco and Silicon Valley, securing top-tier local talent can be challenging since most skilled software developers are likely already engaged. Offshoring offers a viable solution by broadening your access to a diverse talent pool, even in niche skills difficult to find domestically.

TurnKey’s services allow you to engage experts from various regions, aligning them with your startup’s unique needs and business goals.

#3 Cost-Effectiveness and Maintenance

Choosing to hire offshore developers is an effective strategy for reducing operational costs, including overhead expenses like insurance, payroll, and rent. TurnKey enables you to achieve cost efficiency while maintaining high-quality software support. Talent from offshore regions like Eastern Europe, India, or Latin America often comes at a fraction of the cost compared to local developers in the U.S., owing to the lower cost of living in these countries.

Local talent in the US demands — and receives—enormous salaries and benefits from attractive perks. But it’s not the only way to hire. Some offshore countries in Asia and Eastern Europe are full of skilled developers who will gladly work for a lower cost because their cost of living is so much lower where they are. 

Hiring a dedicated development team from Eastern Europe, India, or Latin America can be two, three, or even four times less expensive than hiring developers in the US.

#4 Scalability and Business Growth

We’ve often seen startups struggle with internal management when scaling their operations. TurnKey offers a streamlined engagement model to keep you growing without overtaxing your in-house team. By adding skilled offshore talent, you can maintain a pace of business development that supports scalability and rapid business growth.

Hiring offshore allows you to keep your foot on the gas because you hire offshore developers without overtaxing the in-house team. All systems go!


How Can Turnkey Help You With Hiring Offshore Developers?

TurnKey can help you with our next level offshoring model — Yourshoring.

If you are looking for a company that helps you speed up your growth while giving you complete control over your team, then look no further! TurnKey offers an efficient solution to recruitment that fits your needs, your culture, and your product trajectory. 

Teams of developers working on high-performance software products can be difficult to create. But, TurnKey can help build the one that perfectly fits your needs and requirements.

Want to focus on growing your startup and not recruiting? We can take that burden off your shoulders.


How Do You Get an Offshore Development Team?

The best way? Get you some TurnKey. We are experts at hiring custom recruited offshore development teams and can’t wait to work with you.

To acquire an offshore development team, you'll need to go through a strategic hiring process that typically starts with outlining your project scope and specific needs. The first step is to create a comprehensive job description that lists the skills, expertise, and technologies needed for your project. Once the job description is in place, your project manager or recruiters can start the process of screening candidates through interviews, reviews of testimonials, and evaluating their engineering expertise. Depending on your business model, a collaboration model for your offshore development unit will be crafted, often with input from experts in project management and the software development industry. It's important to work with recruiters who understand both in-house and offshore operations for a smoother process.

What are The Benefits of Offshore Software Development Services?

There are numerous benefits to hiring an offshore development team, particularly when it comes to cost efficiency and access to a diversified talent pool. Offshore software development services often offer a cost-effective way to build your tech stack without the overhead costs associated with hiring in-house, such as office rent and higher salaries due to the cost of living in the United States or Western Europe. This approach also enables startups to achieve a quick cost reduction while maintaining quality. Additionally, the global talent pool opens doors to specialized skills that may not be readily available locally, thereby widening your development options. Another advantage includes greater scalability to meet your startup's business needs and goals, without overburdening your in-house team.

Where is The Best Place to Hire Offshore Developers?

When it comes to hiring the best offshore developers, various regions and countries offer different advantages. Eastern Europe, particularly countries like Ukraine, Poland, and Romania, is known for its strong tech talent and reasonable development costs. Latin America, including nations like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile, is becoming increasingly popular for its language proficiency and similar time zones to North America. Asia, particularly India, Vietnam, and the Philippines, offers an extensive talent pool and cost-effective development services. Your choice should be guided by a blend of factors including quality assurance, language proficiency, and cost. Utilize review platforms to gauge the proven track record of potential hires and compare ratings and reviews. Understanding the specific needs and challenges of your startup can help you choose the best fit for your development process.

When Is Hiring Offshore Developers the Right Choice For Your Startup?

Choosing to go offshore for your software development needs is often the right choice when you have specific business goals, scalability concerns, or unique project requirements that may not be easily met by an in-house team. Offshoring provides a flexible approach to meet your startup's business needs and facilitates business growth. It allows you to focus on your core business development activities while experts handle the software solutions and implementation. Furthermore, offshore teams can offer specialized skills and technologies that may be hard to find domestically.

Why Is Offshore Development Better Than In-House Hiring For Some Startups?

Offshore development often proves to be a more cost-effective hiring strategy for startups, especially those operating in regions with high costs of living and office rent. Offshore developers can offer a high level of expertise at a fraction of the cost due to differences in the cost of living in their home countries. This allows for significant cost reduction while not compromising on quality or tech stack requirements. Hiring offshore also offers the benefit of tapping into a global talent pool, which can be crucial for startups looking for specialized skills or technologies. With offshore development, you can achieve more scalability and flexibility to meet your business goals and project needs.

How Do Offshore Software Development Models Work?

An offshore software development model often operates on a collaboration model where a development unit is set up in a different region or country. These offshore development teams use various technologies to assist in the development process. Their primary role could range from project management to actually coding the software, depending on the project scope. They may offer full-scale development services, including maintenance and software support, allowing for an integrated approach that benefits your business development strategy.

September 1, 2023

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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