If there is a constant, never changing fact about technology, it is the “change” itself. Technology evolves so fast that most of the time organizations have trouble catching up with it.
Many organizations have their L&D and training programs to ensure that their internal staff are in alignment with their technology road map. However in most cases contract staff hired from offshore agencies and freelancers fall behind.
With over 25 years of experience in working with offshore talent, here are some tips that have worked for us.
Work closely with clients CIO/CTO to ensure that their technology roadmap is ours.
At Bluecorp, We frequently check with our clients what their future plans are and make sure that our staff is trained in advance for a smooth transition.
Our relationship with clients is more of a long term partnership than a headhunting mission. So continuous and frequent communication with the client's CTO/CIO allows us to be in sync with clients technical evolution and our preparation towards that.
Go beyond tech skills when hiring talent.
We hire bespoke talent rather than presenting engineers from “the bench”. This ensures that the starting point of a collaboration matches customer expectations. However, more importantly, we filter beyond the right technical match. Attitude, hunger to learn, passion and self learning takes much precedence over their present skill set. These individuals could easily adapt to any paradigm shift that comes along.
One of the leading Ad Tech companies in the US, faced several transitions over a period of 10 years. They moved from SQL to NoSQL, Windows to Linux, Application support to DevOps, On premise to cloud and from monolithic applications to containerized microservices. In each step, their offshore team at Bluecorp was instrumental in these shifts.Listen to their story here.
Retention is incredibly important
Training is a mutual investment for clients and us. While there is a heavy demand for top talent, our HR and supervisory teams work hard to maintain our retention average of 5+ years/engineer ensuring ROI on the training. These long serving engineers have residual knowledge about the business and legacy systems, so migration to new technologies becomes quite easy.
Two of the leading e-commerce companies in Europe have worked with us for 25 years and 15 years respectively. Both organizations run their e-commerce platforms on Microsoft stack, and these teams have gone through transitions from the era of classic ASP and VB to several frameworks of .Net and Azure.
Align career growth of staff with client goals
Aligning career growth of staff with clients long term goals is a win win for all. It could be stepping up the ladder to more technologically advanced roles or opportunities to work on cutting edge technologies.
One of the top global Salesforce platinum partner has a team of over 20 Salesforce engineers with Bluecorp. Each engineer is assigned a growth path in various specializations in Salesforce leading up to architect level. These engineers not only enjoy sponsored certifications, but also career progression and monetary benefits as they grow their knowledge in their respective specialties.
Set aside budget for training, certifications and provide the right tools.
Together with our clients we provide sponsored certifications as well as sending our staff to various developer forums and seminars. Some of our other initiatives include providing platforms such as pluralsight, Udemy etc.
Sometimes it even involves sending our engineers to onsite locations to attend training sessions or bringing in client engineers to our tech office in Sri Lanka for training programs. Our partnerships with Microsoft and AWS means that our staff benefit from partner training material and sandbox platforms for hands-on training.
Our inhouse blogs (at http://www.cms.lk/blogs/) as well as internal tech talks allow free flow of knowledge between different engineering teams allowing them to learn from each other. With our offshore office (www.cms.lk) being a member of SLASSCOM (Sri Lankan national chamber for IT/BPM industry), our engineers get the opportunity to attend knowledge sharing opportunities with other industry professionals.
When One of the ServiceNow premier partners wanted to build a ServiceNow team with us, we started training and converting .Net/Java engineers to learn the Now platform and successfully transitioning them to ServiceNow.
We strengthen client’s partner relationships with vendors
As our engineers gain various vendor certifications, those contribute towards maintaining the partnership status of our clients whether its Microsoft, AWS, Salesforce or anything else. As Dennis Sangster rightly put in One of our Bluecorp TechBytes episodes, Right partnerships could make or break an organization.
One of our new Data Analytics clients in the US provides Business Intelligence solutions through Domo - a SaaS-cloud based business intelligence solution. Their offshore team with Bluecorp is currently undergoing an effort to get certified in Domo which will further strengthen our clients partnership with the vendor.
Learning beyond technology
For our engineers, learning is not only about technology. Our engineers attend various training program on topics such as leadership, emotional intelligence etc.
Our offshore staff in Sri Lanka annually attends outbound adventure based training with leading training partners such as https://cheadventurepark.com/. During these day outings and overnight trainings, they learn many things about team dynamics, time & risk management to name a few
Having a mechanism to follow up on the training plans and provide guidance and support is important for an offshore team. We have a well seasoned HR & a supervisor team to support the teams to achieve their training targets.
"Taking initiative in learning" & "Knowledge in required competencies" are some of the KPIs measured during probation evaluations as well as quarterly evaluations by our supervisor team. This ensures that the training targets are met by each individual and it is reflected in their performance reviews.
We would love to share our experiences about building great offshore teams. Let's talk!