How to vet an outsourcing agency in a 15-minute call

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First of all, good mark there for choosing to outsource development and, more importantly, to do so through an outsourcing agency. Outsourcing technical talent with the help of an agency saves you time and money, eliminates risks, and guarantees results.

The only problem now is picking the best outsourcing partner for your organization and its software or web development needs. Every outsourcing agency has a unique way of doing things, which directly impacts the outsourcing process and outcomes. So, the outsourcing agency you choose can very well dictate the quality of the outsourced labor you get and the overall outsourcing experience.

At WeDevelop, we understand the weight such a decision holds. This is why we give all our clients an opportunity to get to know us before deciding whether we’re the right fit for them. We do this through a one-on-one 15-minute call, in which we discuss our outsourcing, development, and staffing services in line with the client’s needs.

But how much can you actually learn about an outsourcing agency from a 15-minute call, and would that be enough to critically vet an outsourcing or staffing services provider? Well, read on to find out.

Understand your outsourcing needs first

Before you start vetting outsourcing agencies, it’s important to understand what you’re really looking for. First, carefully assess your development or IT needs to get a rough picture of the ideal solution. Then, ask yourself why you need to outsource in the first place and the outcomes you expect. According to Clutch, most companies outsource for the following reasons:

  • Increase efficiency
  • Bring in more expertise
  • Increase operational flexibility
  • Free up in-house employees for other tasks
  • Increase available resources
  • Reduce costs

What’s your endgame when it comes to outsourcing? Figuring this out will help you envision the most suitable outsourcing approach and, by extension, the right outsourcing agency to partner with.

Outsourcing agencies vary widely from one to another, and so do labor and technical requirements between organizations. But generally speaking, these are some of the crucial considerations you should make when deciding between different outsourcing companies:

  • The scope of your project
  • Cost efficiency
  • Convenience
  • Expertise, quality, and reliability assurances
  • Ease of communications and collaborations
  • Cultural and language fit
  • Terms of engagement
  • Responsibilities over the management of outsourced teams or individuals
  • Legal and safety compliance

These considerations should form the template to thoroughly scrutinize agencies by pitting their services against a list of pre-determined requirements, qualities, objectives, and expectations. However, we always advise our clients to keep an open mind when outsourcing developers. Allow some flexibility at the vetting table by considering alternative or better solutions to the ones you already have in your sights.

Key questions to ask during a vetting or consultation call

Let’s get back to the 15-minute call. You can indeed learn a lot about an outsourcing agency in that time. But only if you ask the right questions. We’ve handled countless such calls, so we know the kind of information most employers seek when looking to outsource through an agency. Here’s a list of key questions to ask an outsourcing agency to see if they would make a worthwhile staffing solution for your HR or project:

Where do you outsource labor?

Some employers do not give a second thought to where the outsourced developers come from when working with an agency. Yet the outsourcing destination crucially determines the laborer’s professionalism, work ethics, culture, language, time zone, and general outlook on employment. An outsourcing agency can source talent in one (or a combination) of three ways:

  • Onshoring: This means outsourcing locally within the US borders. Some entrepreneurs prefer to have a particular role or project handled locally, usually for authenticity or cultural reasons. But, onshoring usually costs about the same as traditional in-house hires when it comes to compensation. Onshoring also limits your outsourcing scope to just the locally available talent pools.
  • Offshoring: Some staffing companies source their talent overseas, mainly from China, India, or the Philippines. Offshoring is much cheaper than hiring locally. The only downside is that the immense cultural, time zone and language differences can make business communications and collaborations difficult and costly.
  • Nearshoring: Nearshore outsourcing is a sort of middle ground between onshoring and offshoring. The outsourcing agency sources talent from nearby countries — within the client’s geographical neighborhood. This close geo-proximity means you don’t have to worry about wide time zone, cultural, and language gaps. Yet you still get to enjoy the efficiency, convenience, and economic benefits of outsourcing.

WeDevelop is a nearshore development outsourcing company. We source professional developers and engineers from the LATAM region, mainly Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Uruguay. With the vast, highly skilled LATAM labor pools and proximity advantages, you can be sure of quality work at a relatively low cost.

Are your workers qualified?

You want to determine whether the outsourcing agency can provide you with adequately skilled professionals for a particular project or role. IT is a broad and diverse field. Take software and web development, for example. There are hundreds of programming languages to choose from, with some of the most popular ones being JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Python, SQL, Java, and Node.js. Each of these languages is a unique point of professional specialization. Besides languages, some programmers specialize in backend development, while others deal solely with user interfaces. You might also find full-stack developers.

So, can the outsourcing agency deliver ready workers with the specific skillsets and qualifications your labor gap or project requires? This is what we do best at WeDevelop. We scrutinize all outsourced workers’ qualifications and capabilities to ensure they’re a perfect fit for you.

Take me through your process

Every staffing or outsourcing agency has its own way of connecting employers with outsourced labor. It’s important to understand the agency’s process to see whether it fits your HR structure or project’s needs. You also want to learn what role the agency plays in the outsourcing process and your responsibilities as a client.

Our process is pretty simple and designed for speed, accuracy, and maximum results. First, you tell us what you need (in your own words). We then translate and match your requirements to professional skills in our diverse talent pool. From there, it’s only a matter of handpicking pre-vetted developers that fit the skill profiles required. We then present the candidates to you for final approval. But our job doesn’t end there. We’ll also assist you in onboarding the new talent and ensure long-term success through continuous support.

How do I work with outsourced developers?

This question is a means to discover how you’ll utilize the experts sourced and curated by the outsourcing agency. They’ll probably answer by describing their outsourcing model, which basically represents your relationship with the outsourced team or individuals. Consequently, this relationship determines the value that outsourcing brings to your business.

With WeDevelop, you can leverage nearshore outsourced developers in three ways:

  • Staff augmentation: This means bringing in additional skilled talent to work hand in hand with your existing staff to either complete a particular development project or fill internal labor gaps.
  • Dedicated team hires: A dedicated team is a self-sufficient group of outsourced developers, programmers, or engineers working independently from the rest of your HR community.
  • Outsourced development: Besides straight-out staffing, we also give businesses the option to outsource entire development projects instead of hiring new workers. This works best for short-term and long-term projects requiring a quick turnaround.

Do you have any experience in my industry?

Most outsourcing agencies serve only specific professional fields. This specialization makes it easier to accurately source, vet, qualify, and manage experts in a particular occupation. On the other hand, all-rounded staffing agencies can source labor for any niche. But many universal outsourcing agencies tend to incorporate several third parties in their talent sourcing and vetting processes.

WeDevelop is an IT-based staffing agency. We connect employers with pre-screened software and web developers, engineers, and designers. However, our outsourced professionals can fill any IT position, from systems maintenance to special projects.

How much does outsourcing cost?

Cost is a crucial factor when choosing between different outsourcing agencies. But unfortunately, cost comparisons are way more complicated than just weighing the figures. This is because many factors can determine the final outsourcing cost, including professional qualifications, experience, track record, and the role or project in question. So, looking at just the price tag can be misleading. Instead, a more helpful strategy would be to assess the value that outsourced labor brings to your company and calculate the ROI based on costs, savings, and returns.

Since it’s hard to pin down the average or standard cost of outsourcing a particular role or task, we break down the costs on a case-by-case basis. As a result, we offer the most competitive prices in the nearshore development outsourcing market. But besides that, we’re more focused on the value that each developer we outsource brings to our clients. We also believe that cost transparency is important etiquette in all business partnerships.

Do you have any references?

Ask about the agency’s reputation in the outsourcing industry. For example, do they have any references, reviews, or a portfolio of past clients that can speak to the agency’s track record in the outsourcing business?

WeDevelop has been matching employers with exceptional tech talent from the LATAM region since 2019. We’ve worked with companies such as InJob Online, Moneda Lending, Betzar, and many others. Check out what they have to say about their experiences working with us. You can learn a lot about an outsourcing agency from its client portfolio, whether they have one in the first place, and even their willingness to share customer feedback.

Make that call

Clearly, a 15-minute call is enough to vet an outsourcing company if packed with all the essential information. So, let’s have that conversation. We’re all ears. Tell us about your nearshore IT or development outsourcing needs, and decide for yourself how well our services fit the solution in just 15 minutes.

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