Everyone is talking about the new normal of work. What exactly that entails, however, is still to be determined. On one end, companies reject the idea of remote work and demand a return to the office. On the other end, companies embrace remote work but seek to re-establish cohesion, improve productivity, and hire dedicated remote teams that drive development forward. To hire remote software developers means opening the doors to new talent pools, but how do companies go beyond hiring just anyone and acquire talent that effectively integrates into the company culture and mission?
Today’s companies are in a fierce war for tech talent, but the possibilities of remote work opened up avenues for companies to access talent pools across geographical lines.
Here’s what you need to know about going beyond hiring freelancers and building a remote team in Latin America.
The Evolution of Freelancing Work in the Past Ten Years
The rise of freelance remote work has made its mark on the workforce in the past couple of years, but boosting productivity with fluctuating teams can get complicated. While there is a place for freelance developers, companies that need to hire remote developers find that acquiring dedicated remote talent produces better outcomes in the short and long term.
In the last decade, the number of freelancers across all industries increased. In 2020, Upwork reported that the number of freelancers grew from 28% in 2019 to 36% in 2020. They predicted the continuous rise of freelancing with up to 86.5 million people working independently.
Since the mid-2000s, the rise of freelancing work would be known as the developing gig economy. Some experts would even go as far as calling it a freelancing revolution. And yet, after at least a decade people working as freelancers, companies have learned important lessons about what works and what doesn’t when hiring these independent contractors. Tech companies and startups often rely on hiring remote software developers on a freelancer basis to kickstart operations, but companies today want to build committed remote teams that work cohesively towards a goal.
Some consider the year 2015— with rising internet use, digital marketplaces, ecommerce, and freelancing platforms— as the tipping point for freelancing that was attracting folks interested in a legitimate alternative to traditional employment. Since then, the number of freelancers has increased, and so have the freelancing platforms that connect talent with hiring employers. After the pandemic and the Great Resignation, this number continued its robust increase. In 2021, freelance workers contributed $1.3 trillion to the United States economy.
What Do Companies Think About When They Think About Hiring Freelancers?
Companies always look for ways to cut costs, manage growth, and improve productivity. Is hiring freelancers the answer? It is not always clear cut. Companies might think that hiring freelancers is all about cost savings and expediency, but there are also risks.
The flexibility often associated with hiring freelancers can come at a cost for employers. Common pitfalls of freelance hiring include:
- Absent supervision or communication. While freelancers are known to be self-starters and do-it-yourselfers, a lack of communication and connection to the company that hires them can prove detrimental to a freelancer’s motivation and dedication. This disconnection can turn into missed deadlines, lackluster work quality, and quick turnovers.
- Low investment in the company. Freelancers juggle multiple projects at a time, and they may simply not have the long-term investment in the company required to build solid foundations and move towards something truly groundbreaking and sustainable.
- Lack of training and company onboarding. The onboarding process has become something of a business essential. A positive onboarding process means getting an employee excited about working with your company. Lacking this very essential introduction to the company culture, mission, and team can be a good predictor of just how long an employee will or will not last at an organization.
As the pandemic subsides, companies explore ways to adapt to the new work models and post-pandemic workforce demands. Today’s workers seek work flexibility and remote options, but demand improved benefits and job perks. In other words, the best tech talent wants flexibility, but they also seek security. Experienced developers gravitate towards jobs with reliable salaries and additional benefits.
So to get the best developers, you need to offer ample benefits and job perks.
Long-Term Productivity & Remote Teams
Businesses need ways to balance short-term performance and productivity with long-term health and development. In the tech space, innovation happens in short bursts and with a slow accumulating effect over time. Companies make headway when they persist with their ideas and have a reliable team that helps overcome obstacles, face challenges, solve problems, and design solutions.
Hiring remote software developers isn’t just about finding someone that can code. Instead, companies look for distinct tech talent that fits into their company goals and objectives. That can be difficult when choosing a freelancer without prior vetting or structure.
Management consulting giant Mckinsey writes that companies that focus on organizational health and improvement will fare better in a fiercely competitive market. It is difficult to grow as an organization with a revolving door of freelancers unattached to the company.
When companies hire freelancers without proper placement, training, onboarding, and communication, the results can be detrimental and affect the long-term trajectory of an organization. Building remote tech team is about sourcing talent from the right place and properly vetting it to ensure that the company and the candidate align. With so much competition for tech talent, this process can be challenging.
The Ongoing Remote Work Debate
After the pandemic accelerated remote work, companies weighed in on their experience and observations of ongoing digital and implementing full-scale work-from-home models. The post-pandemic conversation around work revolves around the long-term feasibility of remote work and how companies can reorganize and restructure to adapt to the changing dynamic. As one company founder put it, the pandemic taught companies two lessons:
- One is that remote work is viable and
- Workers want flexibility.
Our own independent research confirms this. In our 2022 Tech Salaries Report, our survey shows that one of the main attention draws for tech talent is flexibility. Our survey indicated that 41% of tech workers looking for a new job list flexible or remote work as an essential aspect. Similarly, 90% of professionals who worked from home during the pandemic do not want to return to the office.
Flex work is not just a growing demand in Mexico but across the tech industry. A 2021 Harris Poll suggested that 76% of workers want their company to offer flexible work terms in terms of schedule or location.
According to some, potential downsides to the permanent work-from-home model relate to the norms that organizations have implemented for generations: company culture and performance standards derived from consistent in-person contact and collaboration. Standards of behavior and interaction help create this necessary dynamic and— for many— it still might not be exceedingly clear how to achieve this remotely.
Many large companies—such as Google, Apple, and Facebook— however, have succeeded when implementing remote outsourcing and hiring remote staff. Other companies like Pinterest, expanded their organization by building a committed team in Mexico.
The Freelance Model vs. Dedicated Remote Teams
Hiring a freelancer or independent contractor can help your company in various stages of development, but in the knowledge economy, productivity is about more than output. Developing and delivering cutting-edge products in the tech industry requires a committed team collaborating and working towards the same goal. So, if you’re looking to hire a freelancer, approach it with the bigger picture in mind.
When you build a committed remote team, you:
- Tap into new talent pools
- Build diverse teams from different parts of the world
- Integrate employees into your company culture
- Provide onboarding that helps employees understand the overall company structure and mission
Not all remote work is freelance work. Employers can have dedicated remote teams that simply operate from different geographical locations and this helps keep costs down while maintaining a consistent workflow and cohesive team.
For companies looking to scale their operations, grow their organization, and encourage innovation and collaboration, the freelance model can come up short if not implemented with the right structural system and support for the freelancer.
Tech companies have successfully built remote teams in various locations by employing effective hiring practices and talent recruitment and implementing effective organizational management, onboarding, and virtual team building. CodersLink has helped companies of different sizes scale their operations and establish remote teams using Mexico’s stellar tech talent.
How Companies Build Successful Remote Teams by Hiring Remote Software Engineers
Building a successful remote team begins with a solid process and unshakable foundation.
It is the hiring and recruitment aspect that often brings companies to a halt on hiring remote software developers. Companies are often deterred when expanding to new talent hubs like Mexico due to uncertainties of the country’s legal aspects of hiring, local labor laws, tax implications, salaries, and accounting nuances.
But there is a solution.
CodersLink empowers companies to build and manage their remote tech teams in Latin America. We have an established network of vetted and skilled developers in Mexico’s most competitive tech hubs.
Ready to hire top tech talent?
Hire a Dedicated Remote Team and Do Amazing Things!
Building a remote team requires consideration of several moving parts. CodersLink employs effective approaches to remote hiring and remote team expansion, so you can focus on finding the right talent.
Download our guide to Building and Scaling a Tech Team in Mexico.
Connect with CodersLink today to learn more.