How to Hire Offshore Software Developers: Your Must-Have Checklist

Calling All Startups: Here’s Your Must-Have Checklist When Hiring an Offshore Development Team

Most startups need their teams to flex and contract based on workflow, product timelines, and deadlines. If you’re reading this, you already know that hiring offshore teams is a win/win. You need the best team possible — our checklist will help you get there.

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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.

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?


Hiring offshore is a cost-efficient way to keep the load off of your in-house team. Without having to expand office space or bring on uber-expensive local talent, you’re able to scale, grow, and accelerate your product when you offshore. 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 

A Checklist For Hiring an 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?

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 projects, teams, and client needs, you can better assess who the right team for you might be.

#5 Sign a Contract

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 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?

#1 Tech Directories

There are many online directories, such as Clutch, G2, Upcity, ITFirms, and Good Firms, where you can find many offshore companies. 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, it’s time to get in touch with him or her and offer cooperation.

#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.

#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 connecting clients to 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?

If you are serious about hiring an offshoring team but unsure where exactly you should hire, here’s a comparison to consider.

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

Challenges Hiring an Offshore Development Team

#1 Difficulties In Workflow Control

When a development team is based outside of North America, the software development process has inherent challenges.

Process control is one of them, but it’s easy to fix once you have your workflow locked in.

Turn this challenge into an advantage by choosing a team in a similar time zone.

#2 Cultural Issues

You’ll find it easier to work with an offshore developer whose culture is more similar to yours. But you can’t expect someone who works across the globe to live and work like you do. 

Enter TurnKey! We help the developers we find assimilate into your culture and work style, which makes it possible for them to learn from you and contribute to the team in a meaningful way.

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

#1 Fast Task Completion


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

When hiring a dedicated team through TurnKey, you won’t spend any time on project management routine or HR activities such as employee retention — we will handle all those tasks.

#2 Filling Your In-House Team Skill Set Gaps

If you live in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, or Mountain View, then most talented software developers are probably already working for someone else. 

Offshoring solves that problem by giving you access to a wider pool of available talent than you would normally have. In addition, offshore developers can possess specific niche skills that are difficult to find on just one team or in just one country.

#3 Lower Costs

When you hire offshore talent, you’ll have no overhead costs, and no expenses like insurance, payroll, or rent. Instead, you can focus your efforts on creating a kick-ass product that blows away the competition. 

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


We’ve seen it before — a software development company goes through a phase where they try to manage everything internally. This leads to scaling challenges that impact their development teams and slows them down.

Hiring offshore allows you to keep your foot on the gas because you’re adding skilled talent 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.

When you hire offshore, you get quality services, niche specialties, and affordable costs. By offshoring, you also can work with flexibility, agility, and enhanced quality assurance because you have a firm like TurnKey that works with you to keep everyone and everything aligned.

Where is the best place to hire Offshore Developers?

You can hire developers from many offshore locations. Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia) and Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia) are the countries that are most recommended. However, your perfect choice depends on your budget and your location. Not sure where to hire? Call TurnKey—we know what you need.

December 12, 2022

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