3 Principles to Follow When Managing a Remote Dev Team - Questers

3 Principles to Follow When Managing a Remote Dev Team

Having a nearshore development team brings a great opportunity to grow and diversify your tech division. Moreover, hybrid resourcing approaches like the dedicated team model ensure a swift entry into a new talent pool, full control over your project (unlike traditional outsourcing), transparent and secure collaboration and reduced labour costs.

Sometimes, however, managing a remote team could bring along some challenges, especially when it comes to keeping your distant team members engaged with the company’s culture.

Questers have been supporting companies such as NewsUK, Ocado Technology and Funding Circle in building and managing their remote dev teams in Bulgaria for more than 11 years now and we’re eager to share with you our tips on how to build and grow a remote team and keep its members engaged.

1. Identify qualified candidates

For starters, you need to identify qualified candidates who fit well within your company’s culture. This would ensure there wouldn’t be any discrepancies in candidates’ and your expectations when it comes to vision and values, business attitude and career growth.

When using the dedicated team model, you would usually collaborate with a local partner who should know the labour market well and will do the job for you. What you’ll need to do is provide detailed information about your requirements and company’s culture.

Based on these, your selected partner will take care of resourcing the best fits for your team after a careful pre-selection process according to your specific needs. They’ll also take care of coordinating the recruitment process based on your availability and preferences and take care of the negotiation process with the candidates approved by your home team.

2. Integrate the chosen ones into your company’s culture and structure

Your dedicated team is a natural extension of your company. It just happens to sit in another location. And as if you are hiring people for your head office, the onboarding process doesn’t stop after you’ve attracted the new talent.  You also need to quickly integrate your new hires into your organisation.

What we usually advice our partners, is to think of a simple “Welcome programme” which could include the followings:

  • Beat the drum for the new team members and introduce them to all colleagues they’ll work with, especially if they are located in your head office or other distant locations. You could take advantage of various online video conferencing tools or simply invite the new-starters to your headquarters for a few-days onboarding business trip.
  • Prepare a Welcome pack. A bag of branded goodies (e.g. mug, T-shirt, stickers, notebook, etc.) would do a perfect job for welcoming your new team members and make them easily identify themselves with the company and the new team.
  • Make a New Starters’ Guide. You could prepare a short list or even a detailed handbook, that could include information about the internal tools you are using, team structure, main contacts, etc., and add it to your welcome pack. This would make your new colleagues feel informed and let them be well-prepared for the first few days.

Of course, you could always think of something different that better reflects your organisation’s internal processes and values. At Questers we collaborate closely with our partners to build a smooth onboarding process that match their requirements and candidates’ expectations.

3. Treat your dedicated team as part of your company

As your dedicated team is up and running, you need to keep its members engaged and integrated into the company’s processes. Here are a few good practices we advise our partners to apply when managing their remote teams:

  • Weekly Calls – show your team what’s going on. The fact that they are away from your head office doesn’t have to make them isolated and distant from the company’s heartbeat. Regular video calls would not only let them be on track with the ongoing work and processes but would also allow them to keep up with the company’s daily life, internal jokes and excitements. It will also help you stay informed about progress of their projects, tasks and challenges the team is experiencing.
  • Regular Business Trips – our practice shows that business trips to our clients’ headquarters make team members more excited about the projects they are working on and make them feel part of the company. It’s not necessarily to do these trips too frequently – once a year or simply for special occasions (big team building, company’s anniversary or another important corporate event) would give great results in terms of team members’ motivation and engagement.
  • Annual Performance Reviews – make your team members feel their work is appreciated and that the company values their contribution. That doesn’t mean you have to spare them the feedback that could improve their performance, but make sure you also note the good work they have done.

In conclusion, managing a remote dev team is not much different from handling your internal team. It requires some dedication to transfer your company’s culture and integrate your new team members but doubles the added value in terms of productivity, creativity and diversity.

Moreover, when collaborating with a trusted partner, you barely have to think of the legal, facility and administrative processes. Having knowledge and expertise of the local labour market and the dedicated team model, expert services providers will guide you through the whole process of building, growing and integrating the remote team.

Trying to find a smart way to expand and diversify your tech division? Contact us for more information and bespoke advice about your specific requirements.

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