How to choose an outsourcing partner and avoid mistakes?

Blog / How to choose an outsourcing partner and avoid mistakes?

The only non-guide to outsourcing during the Corona crisis.

If you’ve been following social media in the past few weeks, you might think that everybody out there has published a long promotional corona guide – from 10 ways to work remotely to 5 ways to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.

Before you think that this is another sales pitch sugarcoated in X pieces of advice called A GUIDE (no one really applies) we’d like to tell you that we’ve actually made a NON-GUIDE.

Look, we’re currently sailing through uncharted waters. The coronavirus caught us all off guard. There are NO guides. Many companies out there are struggling to survive while clients are lowering their budgets every day.

Product owners handle remote teams and try to make meetings productive while listening to developers begging their children for the third time not to touch the laptop.

We are all adapting and making mistakes along the way.

That’s why we made a NON-guide for you, something we, as an outsourcing company, know by heart – how not to choose an outsourcing partner and how to avoid the usual mistakes, especially in the time of crisis.

Why would you even consider outsourcing right now?

There are many reasons to do that, but first of all:

1.  Outsourcing cuts expenses

Many developing countries, especially those outside the EU, have lower average developer salaries. For example, the average software developer salary in Norway is $72k.

In Serbia, for example, $24k. Do the math.

2.  It’s tough to find new talents

Shortage of high-quality professionals hampers growth. For example, Sweden faces a deficit of 70.000 professionals by 2022. Looking for a partner in a developing country might be a chance to mitigate the consequences of a current market turmoil.

So, what NOT to do when choosing an outsourcing partner?

First and foremost, don’t look for outsourcing partners in Sweden, they’re having a tough time as well in finding professionals. :)

We’ve collected a few mistakes people usually make when choosing an outsourcing company. This might not change your life but it will surely save you some time and money.

1.  Cheaper isn’t always better

Yes, we did say that cutting expenses might be a priority now, but you should avoid cutting corners. Going for a cheaper vendor might improve your finances in a short-term but in a long-term, it may cause the quality to go down and in the end, chase away your clients.

The gross hourly rate in Serbia is around $15–20. In Croatia around $20–25. Going way below these rates in this part of Europe, although possible and alluring, isn’t something you should go for if your goal is to develop high-quality products.

If people aren’t adequately paid, they sure won’t provide you with results.

2.  Don’t forget to ask about
Team Stability

Do not skip this question in an interview, as this is an important indicator of the company culture. If people often change teams or leave the company, that might be a red flag.

A constantly changing team means that you’d have to communicate your requirements over and over again.

One month it’s John that’s delivering files in JIRA and following up regularly, the next time it’s Caren saying Hi, nice to meet you, could you please tell me more about *something we discussed ages ago*? Frustrating, isn’t it?

That’s why we at Naissus Technologies take great pride in having team members that have been working together for more than 7 years.

3.  Don’t proceed without checking if the team really understands your working process

Agile? Yes.

Lean? Yes.

Planning poker? Yes, on Thursday night, why?

There are many managers who would nod in approval just to win a job. Make sure your needs are understood correctly. Otherwise, you’ll end up with thousands of back-and-forths and slowing down the development process.

Ask for an onboarding process or experience in working in a certain framework. That’ll save you a lot of headaches later on.

4.  It’s ok to demand a near-native proficiency in English, but don’t forget communication skills

Working with people is tough. Working with someone remotely, who lives in another country, is way tougher. Emails get easily misinterpreted.

What’s the point in communicating without grammatical errors if the cooperation ends up being dramatical? (pun intended)

At least make sure you’re working with people who possess fine communication skills.

And we’re not talking only about saying Sorry, please or thank you.  It’s about accepting criticism, giving feedback and respecting people on the other side of the screen.

5.  Don’t forget to put everything on paper

This should be a no-brainer but more often than not, people don’t like legal fuss so they try to avoid it. Wrong!

Contracts and legal terms should be sorted out completely before typing the first line of code. Every single requirement should be defined in details.

Expectations often get misinterpreted. Contract terms do not. If your potential outsourcing partner is recommending that you do something under the radar, that’s a huge red flag.


If there’s a chance to visit a potential outsourcing partner, do not miss it. Visit their site. Things may look perfect on paper or website while the reality is different. Better to be safe than sorry!

Besides, you’ll get to meet each other.

We hope you liked our non-guide to outsourcing. Anything you’d like to add?

Share this article with your network!

And if you’re ever coming to Nis in Serbia, make sure to visit us!

Djordje Mitić

7 April 2020

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