Mistakes to avoid while hiring a dedicated development team

11 min read
July 14, 2022

In today’s tough and saturated app marketplace, launching high-quality apps in as short a time as possible is becoming crucial.

That means constantly hiring and training your in-house dev team, which is neither easy nor cheap.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that the dedicated team model is gaining popularity. In 2021 alone, companies spent $413.73 outsourcing IT talent.

However, hiring and forming a dedicated development team is not a walk in the park.

It’s easy to make critical mistakes that lead to poor team performance, subpar output, or unnecessary costs.

To ensure this never happens the next time you’re putting together a dedicated team, steer clear of these six hiring mistakes.

Choosing a company without proper research

One of the easier paths to forming your dedicated team is to hire an agency or vendor. They can either help you hire developers for your team or source from an internal talent pool.

For instance, DECODE has spent the last ten years building a pool of experts with various skills.

dedicated teams

So whenever a client comes to us with a project, we just pull experts with relevant expertise from this reservoir.

However, you should treat the process of finding the right agency as you would any service provider—by doing proper research first.

Here are the things you should consider when shortlisting potential agencies.

shortlisting

The top two considerations are expertise and experience. In other words, do they have the skills and successful past projects to prove they can handle your workload?

You can determine this with a simple check on their portfolio. For instance, if you want to build a fintech app, an agency with a personal banking app in its portfolio is a good sign.

Even better than a portfolio is a case study. It’s essentially a story of how the agency solved a past client’s problem through app development.

Reading this can give you a sense of their methodology and work ethics.

Group 6060

But how do you verify that what the agency claims on their portfolio is true? You check for reviews and testimonials from their past clients.

These are strong indicators of an agency’s potential because if someone else had a great experience, chances are you will, too.

However, relying solely on the reviews posted on the agency’s website is a big mistake.

It’s easy to cherry-pick or even fabricate positive reviews while leaving out the more insightful negative feedback.

Instead, it would be best if you also turned to impartial, third-party review sites like Goofirms and Clutch.

They only include verified reviews from past clients so that you can get more accurate, unbiased feedback.

Decode screenshot 1

Source: Clutch

Also, look into the technology stack and methodology that the agency uses to see if it fits with yours.

For example, if you prefer Jira for project management and an Agile software development methodology, finding an agency that can do that ensures easy alignment with minimal friction.

Security is a particularly crucial consideration. Check their case studies on the cybersecurity tools and best practices they employ.

A reputable agency should also be proud of its security efforts and discuss them freely on its website.

Screenshot 2022 07 26 at 11.11.20

Source: DECODE

Make sure the agency uses the same mode of communication as you. A great dedicated team should be able to adapt to your communication schedule and platform.

For example, if you’re involved and want daily updates, be sure the agency can work with that.

Finally, look at the pricing model of the agency. Most clients only start talking about price later, which is a mistake.

As early as the shortlisting phase, ensure you know how the agency will charge you.

In particular, you should look for an agency with a flexible payment scheme. Because while fixed pricing is a common model, it’s not the best for app development. Here’s why.

Paying only a fixed price

Before discussing why a fixed price isn’t ideal for dedicated software teams, let’s first define it.

In a fixed price setup, the client and dedicated team agree on the project’s total price before it begins.

This is based on an estimate of the resources required to finish it, taking into account the requirements and timetable set by the client.

It seems like a reasonable way to price a project. Except that in app development, things are rarely set in stone.

paying 1

Requirements and scope change all the time. For instance, usability testing might tell you a feature is not sitting well with users. Or a prototype might show you the UI design isn’t working.

In this scenario, there are two possible outcomes. Either the client will have a subpar output to maintain the budget, or the developer will revise the app but lose money.

Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.

A better approach is to find a dedicated team agency that supports the time and materials pricing model.

shortlisting 2

In this approach, the dedicated team bills the client hourly, according to the amount of work done in the project.

This model leads to a flexible and fair payment on both ends, as it makes your budget adapt to changing requirements.

For instance, if the app needs to implement a new feature before development, you simply pay for the additional time involved.

On the other hand, if the app project required less work than expected, you could pay less.

Time and materials contract

Pros


  • Flexibility
  • Control over the project
  • Scalability
  • Budget management

Cons


  • Over budgeting
  • Bad contractor

The main reason some clients veer away from this approach is that it can make them pay more. But, if you think about it, that’s just the consequence of a fairer pricing model.

Of course, we’re not saying the fixed price is bad. Indeed, there are some situations when it’s the best path.

Time and Material


  • Flexible
  • Best for bigger projects
  • Projects are divided into separate tasks
  • Client has control over the process

Fixed price


  • Best for smaller projects
  • Unflexible
  • Lots of paperwork
  • Extra charging of changes

Generally, smaller projects with solid requirements will do well with a fixed price model.

One example is if you already have an approved prototype and simply want the dedicated team to implement it.

In these cases, chances are low that the task will stray too far from what’s expected.

But for most app projects where flexibility is crucial, the time and materials model is the way to go. And that’s why it’s the approach we champion at DECODE.

Limiting yourself geographically

The beauty of hiring a dedicated team is that you have the whole world as your talent pool.

So it’s best if you maximize that advantage by not just limiting your hiring to your immediate location. Otherwise, you might be paying more than you should.

The reason is simple—developer hour costs vary globally. Take a look:

world

Now, being cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that the developer produces low-quality work.

For example, an Indian developer can produce stellar work at a low cost.

Conversely, an American or Australian developer—who is likely to expect some of the highest wages—is not guaranteed to be better than their counterparts in other countries.

hire mobile app agency

The bottom line is that if you search hard enough, you can find a dedicated team anywhere in the world that fits your requirements and budget.

For instance, Eastern Europe is currently one of the most popular places to outsource IT talent.

The skills of the developers there can rival American IT professionals, as noted by Mark Hillary, CEO of Carnaby Content:

“The emphasis is on the quality of the product itself and Eastern Europe has some of the best app developers and cloud-based services in the world.”

You’ll also be surprised that many high-profile apps were founded or built by non-Western developers.

Waze, for instance, was established in Israel. WhatsApp, based in the US, was created by an outsourced team in Eastern Europe.

4 benefits of outsourcing to eastern European market

  • Massive talent pool
  • High-quality technical education
  • Convenient geographical location and time zones
  • Dynamic IT community


The truth is that your dedicated team can come from anywhere. You just need to broaden your search.

But be careful not to focus on the price too much. The team’s value and quality should still be your #1 goal.

Not prioritizing value

Like any business, you should keep your app’s budget in control at all times. But as with anything else, you shouldn’t overdo this.

A critical mistake is to get the lowest-priced development team possible while disregarding quality. Chances are, you risk the output and success of your app.

Remember, the adage you get what you pay for is often true.

While the figures in the infographic below apply for in-house hires, many negatives like less productivity also apply to dedicated teams.

Frame 1682

Many clients go for the cheapest option, not knowing it might not be cheap at all. In fact, getting an inferior development team is guaranteed to be more expensive down the road.

For example, revising a major functionality can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 and will take a minimum of weeks.

That’s lost time and money that could’ve been avoided by getting a more qualified team.

In the long run, dedicated teams can help offset higher development expenses with a quality app that can earn more revenue.

At the minimum, they can help avoid unnecessary work that costs much more to fix.

Imposing unreasonable deadlines

Deadlines are important to ensure that the app finishes development on time. But many clients make the critical mistake of setting unreasonable deadlines just to launch early.

Because, ironically, unrealistic expectations are one of the top ways to guarantee that the app will not finish on time:

Imposing unreasonable deadlines

And not only will the app get delayed, but it will also have a poorer quality overall.

See, it takes a minimum of 500 hours to create even a simple app. On average, development often takes 1,200 hours and more. Taking shortcuts to trim this timeframe will risk your app’s stability.

Realize that rushing your dedicated team with tight deadlines will only seem beneficial in the short term.

In just a few short weeks, most of your team will be burned out and unable to code properly.

Many studies corroborate this observation. They claim that if team members work for 60 hours a week each, you’ll see a dramatic drop in productivity around the fourth week:

Frame 1683

Source: Existek

As per the study, the optimal working hours for your team are 35 hours per week or around 7 hours per day.

Now, we’re not saying that overtimes are bad. In fact, they’re often unavoidable, especially when the deadline draws near.

But it should never be a long-term strategy—for your team’s sake and sanity.

Not getting to know the dedicated team

Many clients make the mistake of treating their dedicated teams as mere service providers. True, they technically are.

But they perform such a critical role in your app development that treating them more like your in-house staff is worthwhile.

At the minimum, you should get to know them better. Doing this has many benefits.

For one, it allows you to better manage and communicate with your team. For example, you can adapt your communication style to fit with what’s effective for them.

LJUDI2

Source: Asana

You should also use this chance to uncover cultural differences between you and the team, especially if you hire offshore.

It’s a critical mistake to ignore cultural fit, as it’s one of the biggest reasons an outsourced team can fail:

ljudi

Source: Accenture / Santex

For example, if you have an Asian team, they might find the frank and to-the-point Western-style communication a bit overwhelming. In this case, you might need to learn to be more diplomatic.

Most of all, taking the time to know your dedicated team shows you care. This can help keep morale, productivity, and engagement up.

Frame 1692

Source: Better Business Bureau | Medium

Getting to know your team should be a continuous process, not just a one-time thing. And the best approach is to get involved as early as the hiring phase.

Whenever you or your agency has a potential candidate, check their CVs thoroughly.

Then try joining the interview sessions to get a better sense of the person and verify if the facts on their CV are correct.

User persona

Source: Novo Resume

After that, be sure to maintain rapport by talking to them regularly. Even a simple email or message will do. After all, it’s simply being human.

How to hire the best dedicated team

We hope you’ve gained a little clarity on what not to do when forming your dedicated team.

However, even if you know these things, the process can still be challenging.

That’s where DECODE comes in. We have an internal pool of professionals with expertise and experience in their respective fields.

That allows us to quickly form a dedicated team that fits your project requirements perfectly.

Want to get started? Contact us today, and let’s talk!

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Written by

Ivor Cindric

Business Development Representative

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