A look first at the post-COVID scenario
In the future, we’d look back on 2020 as the year that fundamentally changed the way we live.
This nasty global pandemic has threatened the old order and forced us to reimagine the very way we work. Yeah, that’s what happens when your boss begs you not to come to the office anymore, much less peak over the shoulder of that colleague who writes genius code.
People have been pushed to scrum meetings over Zoom or Skype. This is nothing new, but if there ever was a silver lining in all the turmoil that COVID-19 has inflicted on the human race, it is the fact that the virus has intensified and accelerated the changes already happening in the workplace.
(Heck, even hobbits, elves, dwarves and wizards have resorted to Zoom meetings).
Instead of doing virtual meetings “every once in a while,” we now turn to them as a fundamental part of the workday. And tech companies are leading the way, pointing to a future where every organization who wants to flourish post-COVID has to embrace the virtual workplace that social distancing has birthed.
Quick-thinking IT managers swiftly connected the dots and said, “Hey, if we’re already doing this, why not collaborate with awesome developers from the other side of the world. Geography means nothing in cyberspace, anyway.”
The virtual world doesn’t distinguish between your colleague who lives a few cubicles on your left, from someone who lives a few time zones to your right.
And just to be clear, I’m not talking about offshoring or outsourcing here. With those, you essentially move your bean bags and glow-in-the-dark aquariums to another country where it’s much cheaper to run your campus. Cool, but it still means you pay for real estate, taxes, and air conditioning. And don’t forget HR! (Learn more about the differences between offshoring/outsourcing and remote staffing HERE.)
Nope, I’m talking here about remote staffing—a totally different animal. It does offshoring and outsourcing one better by getting rid of the office altogether. With remote staffing, your software development team is spread all over the world, but because of available technology, you’re still able to gossip over the “watercooler” as if it’s 1970.
From London to Wellington, the world is your oyster, and you have your pick of the best developers on offer. And with everything that’s happening in the world, boy, this is the perfect time to make your move.
But...do you know exactly where to look and how to do it?
So where on earth will I find them?
To answer the question “Where In The World Are The World’s Best Software Developers?!”, I will have to bring you first through“The Four C’s of Remote Staffing.” Let these C’s help your organization zero in on the best software developers that are the perfect fit for your team.
Here are the 4 Cs:
This is a familiar hymn—forward-leaning companies sing the praises of cost reductions from hiring in much cheaper countries—as if the savings were a religious experience.
But hiring abroad doesn’t automatically mean huge savings. You’d have to look at those latitudes and longitudes wisely because different countries have different ROIs or return on investments. Find a country that can make your dollar go a long way...in both the short and the long run.
Cost doesn’t just mean your developers’ going rate, although that is a big part of it. Many factors come into play—like the three other Cs we’ll be talking about. You’re going to have to look at both the details and the big picture for you to know that the arrangement is truly to your advantage.
For example, changes could happen in these countries, often without your consent, that drastically changes your costs. A country will look cost-efficient on paper...then suddenly decide to join the EU, putting calculations out of whack.
That said, there are certain corners on earth where your dollar is many times more potent. Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America are good bets where the exchange rate can play to your benefit, so turn your eyes to these regions.
C number two is “Culture.”
This is a two-edged sword that, just like “Cost,” requires a fine balancing act.
Yes, diversity in thinking can lead to breakthroughs and innovations, and you should definitely hire from countries and cultures that bring fresh perspectives and insights to age-old problems. That, in fact, is one of the compelling benefits of remote staffing.
On the other hand, if only to save yourself some future headaches, make sure that the culture you’re collaborating with has reasonably similar values and expectations from your own. This would help minimize future sources of friction.
Different countries mean different ways of doing things. One is not superior from the other, it just means we are different.
You may be separated by miles, but like it or not, you will be working closely with your developers. You might as well take time to consider cultural fit.
Values and expectations can be illuminated through telling questions like:
What are the country’s most trending Twitter topics for the past year?
What do millennials think about grandpa?
How many non-working holidays does the country have in a year?
Knowing the answers to these questions give you insights that help your decision.
The third guidepost is “Communication.”
Math may be the universal language, but we talk to each other in English.
And you might have taken this for granted, but the world’s most popular programming languages are rooted in English. The most robust developer online discussions, the latest developed hacks, and the most recent updates are in English.
There’s no use in hiring the best thinkers to your team if their brains think in a language that you don’t understand.
Down the road, when projects are clicking at a breakneck pace, and iterations are coming in strong, good communication is the glue that holds your team together—preventing miscommunications and misinterpretations.
So it has to be said: Find software developers who not only speak the programming language you require but can communicate properly. English and personality. Do the “Airport Test” and ask yourself: Do I want to be stuck at the airport with this person? Or do an adjusted version by asking, “Do I want to Skype with this person almost every day?”
The United States, UK, and Canada might be good candidates for English-speaking software developers, but their rates could bleed your budget dry. You’ll have to look somewhere else. (I’ll tell you exactly where later.)
The fourth C is “Competence.”
Your team must have the talent and skill to make you look good to your own boss.
That is, the country must have a proven track record of producing developers that finish projects...on time, and of a quality expected. Otherwise, all the reduction in costs, the cultural fit, and the funny banter online would mean nothing.
You should hire people who can do the job and do it well—smart, creative, talented people who really bring something to the table and make your organization into a formidable player in the software development game.
So, “Where can I find these angels?” you ask.
We at Kinetic think about these issues very deeply and have looked around the world for the best place for remote staffing. Our expertise is to align the 4Cs for you so you can make the best decisions for your organization.
Well, our team searched far and wide and has confidently come to the conclusion that the Philippines, a 100 million strong nation in Asia, is the country that beautifully and convincingly ticks all of the 4Cs above. (India and China were also strong contenders, by the way.)
We are very excited about this market and here’s why:
Costs—Because the cost of living in Manila is 51% cheaper than Sydney, you can be sure that you can easily afford competitive rates that will attract the best local talents. In other words, what would be a A$95,000 software developer in Australia costs just A$38,000 (or about US$26K) in the Philippines. The country is an eminently attractive remote staffing destination, with Manila already besting New Delhi. According to Tholons, a global consulting advisory group, the capital ranks 2nd in the world’s “super cities” for the outsourcing industry.
Culture—Filipinos are loyal, hardworking, honest, and can flourish through adversity. If you want team members who treat each other like family, this is where you should go. The Filipino culture is service-oriented, going above and beyond what is expected of them.
Communication—Owing partly to its colonial past, the Philippines is a fluent English-speaking nation, with English as one of its official languages. In 2012, GlobalEnglish Corporation ranked the Philippines as the number one country for business English.
(Taking advantage of differences in cost, Asian countries like Korea are sending their young to the Philippines to learn English.)
Competence—Filipino technical skill is a proven commodity, so much so that the country has become the first option for many American businesses for their software development initiatives. In fact, the problem in the Philippines is not the shortage of talent, it is that these talents are being aggressively wooed with lucrative contracts in other countries like Singapore. The Philippine government is doing everything it can to reverse the “brain drain” and you can mop up all the resulting benefits through remote staffing.
There’s still so much to say about this remote staffing powerhouse. If you’re interested to know how to tap all this talent and skill at a fraction of the cost, do not hesitate to reach out.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.