This blog is not an attempt to give you a secret formula of how to pick an outsourcing company you’ll be working with. Rather it’s an attempt to point you in a direction of what you should focus on and seriously consider when making your selection.
The first question you should ask yourself when engaging in a selection process is what type of engagement will this be? Is this a one time short term project deal, or a team expansion that you hope will be as successful as your local team.
Unfortunately many people start with asking if the company has technical expertise in a given area. While this is an important aspect if you are trying to have someone build something for you quickly, it may be almost not applicable if you are building an ongoing team. At the same time many forget to ask about company’s culture, HR processes, and growth opportunities while this is important for later type of projects.
When you focus on technical expertise you are giving an opportunity for the company to answer the simplest question – can they do the job. The answer is yes. Either they already have people or will hire someone. In any case they will find capable technologists. On top of it you might be getting seriously excited after interviewing their senior architect while he will not be the one working on your project at all.
What truly differentiates companies is their ability to attract and retain talent. These are the areas you should focus on.
Unfortunately technical expertise are commodities but companies management processes and HR methodologies is what will make your project succeed of fail.
Consider asking the following questions when choosing a partner for your next outsourcing engagement:
- How do you attract talent. How do you position your company to prospective employees and how do you plan to position this project
- How do train your existing personnel. What do you do to grow your workers.
- How do you retain employees
- What is the growth path for your employees? Do people get promoted? Do you have a documented process and written expectations?
Focus on people and company’s process, not technical skills.