Both nearshore developer teams and freelance developers offer one main benefit for companies which is saving money.
Both options are not part of the companies full-time employee payroll so no yearly appraisals, generally no HR involvement and definitely no need for the team leader or manager to buy the first round at the pub for those that are lucky enough not to be in some sort of lockdown currently. So, when should a company use a freelancer and when should they opt to transition to a nearshore team? Let’s give some scenario-based examples and see what outcomes are preferred.
Example 1 – Early-stage start-up requires some part-time ad-hoc development work on their website:
Here the client is most likely one or two people who are doing most of the work themselves and are starting to expand. However, money is most likely the main concern here (or the lack of it) hence they want someone part-time and on an ad-hoc basis. This will generally suit a freelancer who is working with multiple clients and can help this client on an ad-hoc basis. Most, if not all, nearshore companies will not take this type of work on as it is not mutually beneficial.
Preferred Option: Freelancer
Example 2 – A client requires the development of a product in a specified time or budget:
Depending on the required scope and the time restraints, a decent freelancer or a nearshore team can help. If the scope of the project is not so demanding, then a decent freelancer might be a good option. If the scope is broad, then multiple freelancers or a nearshore team is the better option. What is a demanding project? If the project requires several different talented resources (such as a PM, BA, QA, Front End and Back End developers) in order to get it completed then it is unlikely that a freelancer will be able to put on all these hats and give each role the attention deserved. Yes, hiring multiple freelancers might be a cheaper option but the client will have to oversee that they are working together effectively and efficiently. This can be very time consuming especially if the freelancers don’t work well together.
Preferred Option: Small project scope which can be handled by one freelancer then this is the preferred option. Anything larger, a nearshore team that specialises in projects is preferred.
Example 3 – A client is currently working with one or two freelancers and is seeking to increase workload which might mean hiring additional headcount:
If the working relationship between the client and freelancers is good and, more importantly, the relationship between the current freelancers is solid then hiring additional freelancers (especially ones that the current freelancers can recommend). This is a good option if the client is ok with overseeing them all. What is probably a better way to utilise your time rather than having to deal with the additional headcount is to transition the work to a nearshore team where they will manage the multiple resources. This may cost a little more, but the amount of time freed up for you to do what you, ultimately, love to do is worth it.
Preferred Option: Your time is valuable. You do what you do best and get a nearshore team to help with the tech.
Freelancers are great to fill a short-term gap, helping with small projects or when money is tight. I can write several other examples here to illustrate this. Generally, as the project requirements get larger this will mean several specialized people are required. The case of hiring a nearshore team over a freelancer gets stronger.
Feel free to drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements and get your ideas moving forward.