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Overcoming challenges

At, we never had it easy! I have changed teams many times over the last 4 yrs. At the beginning, I had a great team, but due to various issues, the team under performed. Then there was a period of about 15 months where no real development took place. In 2008, I outsourced complete development to an Indian company. This relationship also came to an end in 2010. Since then I courted with two individuals. These relationships ended well before they got going.

Not ready to give up, once again, outsourcing looked promising. But having to work through project managers and detailed specifications continued to put me off. So I have decided to try a new tact, employment, but with a twist!

So what is the twist? I want to make sure this falls inline with our long term strategy, which is to build a strong in-house team. I also want to ensure this strategy does not result in hire and fire if our finances dry up. With this in mind, I have started to seek a developer from abroad, starting from Sri Lanka.

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Having thought about this in great depth, I cannot wonder why it took me this long to try this out. So how do you proceed with recruiting an overseas developer as your first employee? I was planning to try a job board recommended by a friend, which would have been a long drawn out process. In the meantime, another friend suggested an ex-employee, whom he put me in touch with. But how do you make sure s/he is the right fit for your startup?

This is the process I have devised:

  1. Email interview – questions and answers
  2. Skype interview – strengthen the email discussions
  3. In person interview with a friend who happens to lead a software development company
  4. Develop a mini module and test it for quality of coding and speed of delivery

Then a three months probation period on full salary. What I am not sure at this stage is about the international labour laws. I was not going to blog about this, but my friend, Joel Gascoigne of Buffer twisted my arm, so here I am sharing my current challenges, once again!

I love to hear your experience of hiring overseas developers as employees, to work from their country of residence.