Setting Clear Expectations for Your Newly Hired Offshore Developers: Why and How

Jul 07, 2015

When a new hire fails to meet your expectations, it is easy to put the blame on them. But it’s important to understand that underperformance is often the result of unclearly set expectations, especially when you hire offshore developers and have to communicate across cultures. With that in mind, setting up an offshore development center means more than hiring and detailing the direct responsibilities for each role. It also involves explaining to each team member what is expected of them in other aspects of their professional life.

Why It’s Important to Make Your Expectations Clear

The first month of your work with the offshore team is when the process is established. You need to be prepared that the cultural difference can be a challenge to overcome. Your programmers become an integral part of your company, so you want them to follow its code of conduct and corporate culture, but as someone living in a totally different cultural environment, they may be confused about how things work in yours. Furthermore, with the language barrier, you may discover that certain things you say are understood literally, or quite the opposite, not taken seriously. The faster and more clearly you communicate your expectations, the less time this initial confusion will last.

That’s why, make sure you invest some time during the first week of your project and onboard your newly hired offshore developers, covering the following topics.

Performance

The process of assessing your employees’ performance should be transparent and understandable for them. Let them know what benchmarks you expect them to meet within the first month and what you will see as indicators of good or poor performance. Also, cover the subject of raises and promotions: the developers should know what they can do to earn one.

Code of Conduct

Your company definitely has certain rules of workplace behavior - whether formalized or just assumed. Be sure to communicate this code of conduct to your new hires: what your policy about using social media or private phones at the workplace is, whether or not your approve of personal relationships between co-workers, and so on.

Solving Problems

Problems are not limited to bugs or design defects: the developers are sure to know how to address these. What’s important to communicate at this stage is how they are supposed to handle other workplace issues that can arise or internal conflicts. Detail your company’s conflict solving practices and give your employees a clear understanding of when they should involve a supervisor in a problem they have.

Company Values

You expect your offshore development center to share your company’s values, so make sure your new employees are aware of them and know how they should practice them. Your values are the core of your corporate culture, and understanding them will help your offshore developers see a bigger picture and feel they are a part of a bigger team.

Onboarding a new hire properly is the foundation of their success in the workplace, and that is especially true when you hire offshore developers. Setting up the working process and communication is more difficult in an offshore development center, so make sure you set clear expectations right from the start.

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