Top 14 Offshore Problems and Challenges to Avoid When Hiring Offshore Software Development Talent

Cover 3

The tales of woe from engineering leaders about working with offshore development firms are so widespread. That made us seriously think about opening a beach bar. Those folks could enjoy drinks, drown their coding sorrows, and commiserate with other demoralized compatriots. But we had trouble figuring out what should be shaken and what should be stirred. So, we decided we could more effectively rid the world of such sad stories. That’s why we started TurnKey.

So what are the most frequent complaints about offshore development firms that you hear around the watering hole (if not watercooler)? Here are the grievances we’ve heard the most from engineering leaders over the past umpteen years:

Table of Contents

It’s like we’re reading your mind, right? We’ve tackled these issues and more. Turnkey is the solution you need.

We spent 100 hours researching the top 50 to find this fourteen Problems and Challenges in Offshoring.

1. Pricing and pay are not transparent

Not knowing how pricing works and not knowing the exact salary of their developers in particular, is super frustrating for companies. When you don’t have transparency, it limits your ability to motivate engineers to do their best work through raises, bonuses, stock options, and more.

2. Developers are not custom-recruited

You don’t want to engage a firm, tell them what you need, and then have them push their third-string at you anyway. You aren’t here to clear their bench. You want the starter, the superstar, the one who can give you exactly what you need—and more. Not having custom-recruited talent from the start means building culture and scaling is slower and harder than it needs to be.

3. The offshore team is not 100% dedicated

With most firms that bring you offshore talent, just because you hired someone doesn’t mean they work only for you. They might be moonlighting, distracted, half-in and half-out on a project you are 1000% dedicated to. With TurnKey, you have control of what your developers work on and when, which means you are also able to integrate them into your team and create a reliable and measurable development process along the way.

4. The offshore team has low productivity and requires excessive hand-holding

Nobody has time to micromanage. And doing so with an offshore team in a completely different country and time zone is futile. You need to hire a team you can trust so that your project is completed on time, on budget, and on point. (Fun fact: TurnKey can help you do just that.)

4. The offshore team has low productivity and requires excessive hand-holding

5. Way too much gets lost in translation

Mad respect to those of us who are bilingual. But not everyone is, including some of the offshore software developers you might hire. Having crazy engineering skills can happen in any language, but if your team lacks solid English speaking and writing skills, you can lose a lot of time clarifying, explaining, and repeating yourself. And if your offshore talent isn’t incorporated into your Western culture, nuance can become a nuisance. The more everyone is on the same page, the higher the efficiency and the better the product.

6. Process discipline is not always achievable due to cultural barriers

Culture isn’t just what music to play at the Friday happy hour or whether to bring in tacos or Thai food for the company lunch. Cultural influences communication, discipline, expectations, and work style. When your offshore developers aren’t immersed in your culture, chances are they’ll do what has worked for them in the past—which could be completely different than what you need or expect. Bringing offshore talent into your cultural loop eliminates misunderstandings and frustrations.

7. Unclear goals and unrealistic expectations

This one kind of falls on you, my friend. You have to be crystal clear when it comes to your vision, goals, and expectations—and then you have to be able to communicate it in the same concise way. Be realistic when it comes to what you want, your budget, and your deadlines. That way the roadmap is visible which helps your offshore team meet expectations and helps you track metrics.

You know what you want, we know how to find the offshore team who will give it to you. Turn to turnkey!

8. The competition between local and offshore teams has increased

Mick Jagger was speaking truths when he crooned that, “You can’t always get what you want.” You might prefer—or just naturally gravitate towards—hiring local software development talent. But just because it’s close doesn’t mean it’s superior. We live in a big, bright world full of brilliant, talented people. Taking yourself out of the competition between onshore and offshore talent and jumping into the Offshoring game instead just makes sense. And when you do it with the right partner, well, you CAN get what you want. (Sorry, Mick.)

9. The logistics are nightmarish

It’s true, if you aren’t aligned with your team when it comes to work style, hours, delivery expectations, and communication cadence, your dream job can become a Freddy Krueger sequel. That’s where a company like TurnKey comes in. When you work with us, we ensure that your offshore team is not only culturally aligned, they’re dedicated to your process, your product, and your preferences.

10. There is a super-high turnover of staff

Offshoring does create a certain amount of churn and burn—40% each year to be exact. TurnKey fights this battle for you by keeping a strong focus on retention. We know that you don’t just need dedicated talent, you need them to stick around and see your project through to the finish line in order to eliminate disruption and wasted time, energy, and financial investment. That’s what we do for our clients, all day long.

11. The team cannot be scaled easily

Offshoring does create a certain amount of churn and burn—40% each year to be exact. TurnKey fights this battle for you by keeping a strong focus on retention. We know that you don’t just need dedicated talent, you need them to stick around and see your project through to the finish line in order to eliminate disruption and wasted time, energy, and financial investment. That’s what we do for our clients, all day long.

Sca-la-bi-li-ty. Turnkey knows how to seamlessly grow your offshore team. Let’s talk it through

12. The offshore firm is not service-oriented

There’s almost nothing worse than hiring a partner who doesn’t treat you like one. But when your offshore firm is based offshore as well, you can encounter many of the above frustrations with them as well as with the talent they present to you. You might end up playing phone tag, waiting hours for responses, and jumping from rep to rep. TurnKey is based in Silicon Valley—we’re in (or near) your time zone, we guarantee our white glove service, and we’ve walked a mile in your shoes. We have lived your pain points—now we live to eliminate them for you. Feels good, don’t it?

13. Security standards are different

Have you worked with an offshore firm that presents a certain security protocol, only to find out it was all made up to pass their security review? No bueno. You want the same security procedures you apply to your in-house employees to be implemented amongst your dev team too, right? You’re safe with TurnKey.

13. Security standards are different

14. There is no shared understanding

It’s one thing to have to get your offshore development team up to speed on what you’re doing, what your product is, and why you’re madly in love with it. It’s another thing when your offshore firm doesn’t understand any of that, either. The firm you hire needs to understand (ideally, firsthand like TurnKey does) how to build a product-based company and how to steer clear of the familiar pitfalls. A shared understanding of what and how your business works is imperative (and inherent, when you work with us).

Do these pain points sound eerily familiar?

We know that perfection is nearly impossible to find in our tech world. It moves so fast it’s hard to keep up. Add in all of the unknowns and you might end up feeling like perfection is a pipe dream. You might be ready to settle for lukewarm. But you don’t have to.

At TurnKey, we can bring you as near to perfection as you’ve ever been. We can take you down the above list point by point and show you how we’ve found a better way to work. Offshoring becomes Yourshoring with us.

It’s not faraway teams with disjointed communication and a feeling that you’re never going to get what you want. Instead, it’s a dedicated team of experienced specialists and full control over their work. It’s developers who mold themselves into your custom tech needs, project requirements, and budget. And it’s consistent communication within both the offshore firm (us) and the hired team. It’s YOUR needs met, YOUR expectations exceeded, and YOUR product taking flight. Sounds pretty good, right?

TurnKey is the peanut butter to your jelly. The kimchi to your ramen. The beans to your cheese. Call us today and let’s build something amazing!


What are the main issues of Offshoring?

With the wrong firm, there’s quite a few. Cultural and language differences, work style discrepancies, lack of dedication from the developers, and a hard time reaching your offshore firm. With TurnKey, the issues melt away. We’ve got you.

What are the advantages of Offshoring?

The most critical advantages of offshoring include:

  • Access to a broad range of talented programmers
  • Access to highly specialized software developers
  • Cost-efficiency

What are the disadvantages of Offshoring (without using TurnKey)?

The most common drawbacks can be:

  • Low-quality customer service
  • The high annual churn of programmers
  • Engineers are not custom-recruited

May 26, 2022

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.

Tailor made solutions built around your needs

Get handpicked, hyper talented developers that are always a perfect fit.

Let’s talk

Please rate this article to help our team improve our content.

This website uses cookies for analytics, personalization, and advertising. By clicking ‘Accept’, you consent to our use of cookies as described in the cookies clause (Art. 5) of our Privacy Policy. You can manage your cookie preferences or withdraw your consent at any time. To learn more, please visit our Privacy Policy.