The Real IT Outsourcing vs Negligent One


The Real IT Outsourcing vs Negligent One

And how not to lose your money, aspiration and trust when finally deciding to outsource

Written by:


YanContent Marketing Lead


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20 min read



In business, one of the fastest ways to go out is to say “yes” to everyone. As an individual, you learn to control your time and prioritize your efforts toward those activities that have the greatest payback (subject to managerial preference). When you personally say “yes” to everyone, you rapidly run out of time — “Zeitnot” time trouble — and as a consequence of this perform poorly, and are heavily stressed.

The times of crisis have always been a death sign for one cohort of businesses and a genuine goldmine for growth for others. Today’s economic downturn is no different: some fear it and go into emergency saving modes, so-to-say “sitting on cash”. Others see the immense possibilities that it can give them and are actively looking for the ways to capitalize on them.

This article is aimed at the latest batch. If this is who you are, we welcome you to spend the next 20 minutes educating yourself on probably the most important topic in IT outsourcing — how to make it worthwhile.

On the spot

If you want to get the most out of IT outsourcing and avoid risks — refrain from project-based cooperation and opt for higher-level, strategic partnership. This benefits both parties because a vendor, who’s dedicated to a client’s strategic achievements and growth, won’t think about just accomplishing the work and getting money. They’ll invest in partnership to supply the client with the best-fitting staff possible and thus sustain their own well-being on account of a happy and satisfied partner.

Want to know why this approach works and others are unlikely to? Read on, there’s really a lot of interesting things to discuss.

Who currently plays in the IT outsourcing market?

If you have been unlucky enough to face the dark side of IT outsourcing, you already know that not all vendors are the same, unfortunately.

If you only think about entering this field and haven’t yet learned it the hard way — you are very lucky to come across this article. Here, we will educate you on how to avoid repeating the mistakes of those unlucky businesses. This will significantly shortcut your IT outsourcing journey and potentially save you thousands, thousands of dollars.

The possibility of failure in the IT outsourcing market is out there because there are 3 different types of service providers you can come across:

1) Recruitment agencies
2) Negligent outsourced software development firms
3) And the REAL IT outsourcing companies

We blast all the horns that you avoided the first two at all costs — that’s exactly where all misgivings towards IT outsourcing are coming from. And here’s why.

Outsourcing vs “Outsourcing”

1. Recruitment agencies

These businesses’ source of living is speed. When someone comes to them for talent, the agencies aim at hunting it as fast as possible to get money and move along.

This manifests in everything — a lot of agencies charge for responding to an application. Many recruitment platforms act the same; even LinkedIn didn’t resist the idea to earn not on quality but on quantity.

And as a business owner, you start to have a question: at whose expense is the banquet?

Imagine you came to your favorite restaurant and sat at the table waiting for your other half. You expect a pleasant chat and a wonderful evening. But suddenly, more and more new people sit down with you, peck snacks from your plate and rapidly leave before they can even thank you.

And how do you establish anyhow decent speed in something? By standardizing the process. Making it as templated as it only allows.

You come to them to request talent, they screen your requirements, apply the filters and ignite their monstrous recruiting machine’s starter. We’re not throwing epithets here for nothing — the scales of such agencies’ recruitment networks strike. They’re recruitment agencies, after all.

Hundreds, thousands of CVs fly past them. Many don’t even make it till interviews because there are very rigid filters out there for the sake of maintaining the pace. Any deviation and boom, the process will slow down, the clients will wait longer for talent, the agency will wait longer for money. Totally unacceptable.

That’s why if there’s even the slightest thing that doesn’t suit them — a resume goes to junk. Do you think these agencies are able to qualitatively assess every single resume that comes to them? Or are there yet chances of a gem slipping past their eyes?

But there’s more.

Even if some lucky CV manages to dirge through this hellish flow of standardization and filtration, a candidate is still interviewed solely for their soft skills. Basic, wide-profile recruitment agencies don’t have technical experts on staff to conduct technical interviews and verify technical proficiency.

And what if a person just lied in their resume? Finally overcoming your fears of IT outsourcing and deciding to do it, would you like the first thing to come to be a cat in the bag?

Recruitment agencies don’t focus on their clients’ strategic wellbeing. In fact, they don’t even care about how their hire will perform in the clients’ businesses.

All they’re interested in is getting money for their services and moving forward to hunting a candidate for another requester.

Do you want such an attitude to something that makes your and your staff’s living?

1.1.“Tech” Recruitment Agencies

The subsection is numbered 1.1 because this type of hiring agencies is basically identical to the one we’ve just reviewed. The only difference is that they position themselves specifically as tech-oriented. This is by adding one more filter to their selection process - the “tech” interviews.

This might sound like a good idea but the following 2 aspects will immediately cloud your sunny day:

  1. They are still recruitment agencies using the same hiring mechanism. There’s only one add-on. Everything is still highly standardized, even those “tech” interviews. And the risk of a gem slipping past is equally high.
  2. Even though this additional level prevents lies in CVs, it still doesn't fully protect you from surprises. Even with it, you still won’t be able to just enjoy the immense speeds of recruitment agencies. In fact, this add-on can even complicate things. How?

The terrible truth behind these interviews is that they’re only high-level, just for verifying the knowledge of required technologies. Tech Recruitment Agencies don’t justify deep-level feasibility of their hires with their clients' businesses.

They don’t check whether a prospect understands a client’s atmosphere, is able to dive into it, comprehend it and resonate with it. They don’t make sure an interviewee shares a client’s values and supports their direction and vision.

For this reason, such tech interviews don’t make life easier for you. In fact, they pose an ever bigger threat. That’s because with them, there’s one more standardized filter to the hiring process. And what if someone just gets embarrassed and fades in the interview?

What if precisely that person was the one you were looking for because they perfectly resonated with your business? Far better than someone who shined in the interview, got an offer but came to be a total alien in your business’ culture.

Or, someone who only knows how to pass interviews but didn’t learn to work for various reasons. One of them — and, generally, the most likely — is a difference in mentality. Yuval Noah Harari reviewed a similar example in his book “sapiens”. But he did it through the prism of human evolution while we will show you how it works in practice.

Our Clients come to the countries of Eastern Europe because they know for sure that the quality of experts generally isn’t worse. Moreover, it’s quite often even better in our countries: Poland, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, etc.

But the difference in mentality is still there. It’s hard to imagine an average kid being taught to declaim their thoughts since childhood, unlike in Western European countries.

Can we say that a person who’s grown in such a society will know algorithms and understand the complexities of engineering infrastructure worse? Definitely not. It’s even quite possible that they will know it better, at least as the various programming olympiads’ winners’ results show us.

As they say, clothes do not make the man. Their mind does. But how do we know exactly what that mind is? An ability to sell oneself? Undoubtedly, it’s an important skill. But is it so important for a technical engineer living in the age of still globalization and capitalism?

What do you think, does an additional filtering layer contribute to finding a true gem that’ll best fit you? Or maybe it, vice versa, poses more challenges to this? And, of course, it costs more.

Ask who’s paying for the banquet and, oh, how many assurances “the first dinner is on us” you will hear. But how can you verify if a product is fresh without tasting it and waiting for a while?

Having their drawbacks, both types of recruitment agencies at least position themselves like this. They don’t try to cloud your vision. If you are choosing such a company, you clearly know their drawbacks (at least now, having read till this point). And you are (or at minimum should be) prepared for the risks.

But do you know what carries a far bigger danger for your business than contracting with a recruitment agency? Falling into the trap of fake IT outsourcing.

2. Negligent Outsourcing

Readers who have been in such situations have now probably inhaled nervously. Kudos to you for still considering this topic and staying on this page. Your pursuit will pay off.

Trust us, IT outsourcing can still become your best investment. We’ll show you how shortly.

But first, let’s uncover what negligent outsourcing and its players are for those unfamiliar. You must know your enemy in person, they say. Well, let’s get to it, so that you clearly know whom to avoid.

Fake outsourcing firms position themselves as outsourced software development providers. You will find them in profile directories listing the best vendors in either category.

Yes, that’s right, the best. That’s how serious the problem is. The scale of their market penetration is in fact enormous.

And even the listings, designed to feature the best providers who you’ll believe be top-notch, can’t protect you from a possible toxic partnership. In fact, the bigger the company, the more chances it’ll go down this lowdown path. Such is the bitter truth of life. And you’ll understand why below.

The thing is, such firms only disguise themselves as outsourcing providers when in fact they are… typical recruitment agencies.

And that’s exactly why they pose so much danger, why we persistently advise you to keep away from them like from burning fire.

In the case of traditional recruiters, you at least know with whom you are partnering.

Here, you enter the agreement hoping to receive traditional IT outsourcing services. What you get, in fact, is the same as with our previously reviewed two examples, just packed into a shiny “outsourcing” wrap. Surprised? Let’s see how this kitchen operates.

Let’s be honest, a lot of businesses outsource to optimize costs. And they have their own expectations from outsourcing.

To snatch a contract, these “outsourcing” companies start … lying to both their clients and staff. Imagining what consequences can it provoke? Let’s successively review each case.

a) Lying to clients

Imagine you need a Stardog expert. You come to one of such companies with this request. They happily tell you that yeah, they’ve got such an expert, but he’s currently on a different project.

This should be your red flag — it is a lie. They don’t have this expert. What they will in fact do is start that same recruitment machine and same search as the first two examples.

There’s only one difference — while a recruitment agency hires talent for you, an "outsourcing" vendor formally adds it to their staff (they’re pretending to be outsourcers, after all). And that’s where the differentiations end.

This talent then gets resold to you as fast as possible in order to maximize profits by minimizing HR spends. Such firms don’t care whether their hire will perform well or not with you, whether you will achieve your desired results or not. They only care about getting money right there, right now. Does such a partner fit into your plans of long-term growth?

Let’s dig deeper into why partnering with "outsourcing" companies is even worse than hiring a recruitment agency. With the latter, you know that they hunt your expert and just wait when it happens. With the former, however, you think that they wait for the expert to get off a project to come to you.

In such a scenario, they should give you the clear date when this happens (it’s their employee, after all, they should certainly know it, right?).

And now imagine that their undercover recruitment doesn’t fit into the stipulated time frame (suppose the expert in the "outsourcer's" operating region is really hard to find). Then what?

You will be fed stories about prolonged deadlines, force-majeures that desperately demand this expert on the old project as only they are able to fix that.

Things start to get daunting, right? And now imagine what colossal pressure is being put on the "outsourcer's" headhunters.

If with recruitment agencies the speed is key, it’s still in the so-called "normal" limits. This is their habitual operation practice that establishes their survival.  

Our "outsourcer's" recruiters, however, are pressed hard to find an expert asap. Management knows that they have lied to the client and set a transition date. Failure to comply with it will inevitably provoke questions about this firm’s credibility.

Our first two recruitment agencies had high chances of missing a gem because of the speed restrictions and process formalization. Can you imagine how multifold these risks are here? When management puts a colossal pressure on headhunters to close the need asap and the lie not to uncover?

Do you want to put your business at such a risk by working with these "partners"? After all, it’s not just a recruitment agency that gives you the experts and leaves. It’s negligent outsourcing here, where you bond yourself with a relationship with such a negligent "outsourcer".

Do you want to let a wolf in sheep's clothes in? Open and entrust the very essence of your business? Something that supports yours and your colleagues’ well-being and defines just everything about your business to such a "partner"?

b) Lying to staff

Here’s an example of how these firms behave internally when they want to snatch a contract.

Every company that outsources, even under time and materials model, has at least an approximate budget it can allocate. When our "outsourcer" stipulates it, they won’t stop even if it’s small for them. They will agree, passing on responsibility for this decision on their employees. How?

They’ll lie that times are tough, staff’s being reduced and salaries are being cut. Thus, they’ll try to convince engineers to take on a project in smaller teams just to keep their seats. That’s how they’ll squeeze into a client’s budget.

To compensate for fewer people though, "outsourcers" will overload the enrolled ones with tasks, keeping the same rates. Again, to squeeze into the budget (that’s why the lie about cutting salaries was needed).

Are we talking about quality here?

Or maybe formal signs (type of expert, their experience, rates, project budget) and filters for them that both recruitment agencies and negligent "outsourcers" use for search should not affect work quality?

One of the key aspects of successful work with a client in IT outsourcing is a healthy environment within a provider’s staff. And that’s where we come to the genuine outsourcing that we at SENLA only value.

3. Genuine outsourcing

There’s only one thing that differs this collaboration type from the previous two. Yet in practice, it creates a chasm forever between them. It’s dedication to the client’s prosperity.

The true outsourcing firms are ready to invest in the clients if they find this beneficial. They will present the best talent, the best services, learn and comprehend what’s necessary to satisfy the client’s needs to the fullest. This is the philosophy of business — invest to receive later.

Let us show you what we mean when we say IT outsourcing by demonstrating how we work and treat our Clients.

SENLA’s philosophy

“Partnerships, not projects”

This is the motto that encloses and perfectly summarizes our attitude to work. We do operate this way and don’t treat those who we work with as Clients. We treat them as Partners. And this brought some truly unbelievable results.

For 10+ years on the market, we’ve reached an unbelievable 99% of repeat business with us! This clearly indicates that our approach — the one of dedication and readiness to invest — proved to be the best on such a complex market as IT outsourcing. And it gives us aspiration to stay loyal to it further.

Here are the testimonials of our partners and the detailed success stories of how we helped them achieve their strategic goals.

Wonder how we managed to accomplish all that? Well, let us explain!

We are highly, again highly dedicated to quality. SENLA is not a transit hub for IT talent. We never supply our Partners with someone we’ve just found and barely know.

We don’t rush to snatch each available contract, hunt and resell developers without proper adaptation to get fast money. Instead, we look to the long term. We nurture.

We carefully assemble the teams from exclusively the top tech talent and make sure they all fit culturally. A sound atmosphere, as we already mentioned, is one of the key drivers of our successful partnerships.

We constantly develop laboratories and trainings, and nudge our staff to attend external courses that we compensate for. Recently, we’ve launched technological Centers of Excellence to elevate the company's expertise even further.

If a person has a burnout or feels like they can’t work in the same position anymore, we offer them other directions, opportunities for relearning. We fight for each single expert till the end.

Our principles are laid out in our Codex — the principles behind everything SENLA does.

Our purpose — To make the world better through effective software development. 
How — Make money for us and our Clients. 
Our foundation — Taking care of our specialists.
Our aspiration — Deliver on time.

For this reason, working with us you can be really sure — everyone who comes to your project is indeed from our staff, carefully trained and raised to produce the best results and leave the best impression possible.

All of this is unreachable without comfort. If a developer works without it — there can be no talks about anything above. And as we saw earlier, recruitment agencies and negligent "outsourcers" don’t dare ensure that whoever they bring will feel comfortable on your project.

For this reason, to establish the feeling of safety for our developers, we never lie to our Partners. Instead of saying "yes, we have this person" when we, in fact, don’t, we say "we will educate our talent to give you whom you need".

We’ve been on the market for more than 10 years, and new people have been constantly joining us. And only a sound atmosphere with technical excellence (trainings, laboratories and CoEs that we create) allow us to reach the maximum productivity that our Partners enjoy so much.

And when asked, we always reply: we’re ready to invest in our Partner. That’s what sets us apart in the swamp of negligent outsourcing. We are always on the side of our staff, our Partners. And when you’re going for IT outsourcing, it’s important to find like-minded people.

In the end, when your strategy is to win a competition and grab that coveted prize, add it to your awards and achievements, whom will you prefer to take along:

1) All the best stars playing in different leagues and clubs


2) Well-played team, sharpening its mastery for years?

So, maybe it’s time to go away from traditional IT outsourcing and come up with a new term for this type of cooperation? Let’s be engaging ourselves in strategic outsourcing with mature and reliable partnership.

Resonate with the approach? Give it a go!

A formal sign in genuine outsourcing works in a different way than with recruitment agencies and negligent "outsourcers".

We always know our staff, their strengths and weaknesses. And this way, we can offer the most efficient configuration precisely for your operation peculiarities. The one, far outpacing any negligent provider and simply unreachable for them.

Like our approach? Fill in the form below, we’ll be glad to partner with like-minded people!

Why Senla?

Broad own talent pool

We have more than 600 nurtured experts in 5 development HQs across the globe. This helps us cover most of the talent needs you'll have. All this staff is ours, no cat in a bag. We're proud to have the lowest attrition rate in the industry — 6%. An average expert's working time in SENLA is 5 years.

Vast industry and technology expertise

Throughout our 10+ years on the market, we've accumulated domain knowledge and gained relevant certifications (ISO 9001, ISO 27001, HIPAA) in 15 industries and the most relevant tech stack. This gives us an upper hand in handling our Clients requests of any complexity.

Approved by Fortune 500s

Everything written above helped us get recognition and referrals from highest-tier businesses among which are Bosch, Abbott and Bayer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we start cooperation?

First is an introductory call with our BD team to clarify the project needs. Upon your request we sign an NDA. After the evaluation, we offer a preliminary solution (CV, timelines, etc.). If everything is OK, our staff can get to work in as little as 5-10 business days, depending on the engagement model that you choose.

What if requirements change during the process? How flexible are you?

A Client’s satisfaction is the top priority for us. We support all actual software development models, so whatever your requirements are, on whatever conditions — be sure we can accommodate.
Our engagement models are also highly flexible for scaling. For example, our offshore development center can give out up to 100 experts per year! All we need to change conditions in a 1-month prior notice and that’s it.

I am not happy with my current vendor. Can you overtake the development?

If you are not satisfied with your existing partnership, you can transition the work to us. We will gladly take the ball and run with it, bringing our attitude to guarantee your satisfaction.

Is there any kind of support after the project is finished?

Sure! We strive to form partnerships, not projects. Our cooperation, based on lifetime warranty, doesn’t stop with the development. If anything goes wrong, you are still covered. Additionally, we can maintain your system upon a request.

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