Hiring Remote Developers Versus Relocation – What To Choose in 2022?

Remote Developers Remotely - HackerEarth

The pandemic has reshaped the global workforce area dramatically, causing tech companies to hire more remote developers. According to a recent Eurofound report, 34% of employees residing in the EU worked exclusively from home as of July 2021. Compared to pre-COVID statistics from 2018, that’s a whopping six-fold increase.

The numbers are similar in other regions around the world. In the IT sector, telework had been the norm before the coronavirus crisis broke out, let alone the current circumstances. At some point, many software engineering companies run into difficulties filling job positions in their area and turn to the workforce overseas. In August 2021, 77% of job offers posted on a popular social news website for computer science professionals mentioned remote work.

That being said, HR departments often face a nontrivial dilemma when trying to bridge the talent gap with local coders: to hire remote developers from offshore locations or relocate employees so that they work in your office. For a start, let’s dwell on the differences between these two options.

In the relocation scenario, a programmer moves to another place (city or country) to work onsite. The employer typically assists with work permits, visas, transportation, and accommodations. The whole process extends over several months.

Contrary to this approach, remote developers enhance your office team from another location. This tactic is much more cost-efficient than relocation as long as the software engineering or web design workflow is backed by proper administrative support, digital infrastructure, and the security of collaboration at a distance.


India is one of the world’s fastest-growing remote developer hubs


Companies based in Europe and North America are increasingly hiring remote developers from South Asia. India is dominating this ecosystem due to the high level of education and long-running track record of its IT professionals. Furthermore, the country is exhibiting a booming growth of developer population.

Some may argue that being in different time zones will put a spanner in the works, but well-thought-out management and coordination of efforts between onsite and remote teams can smooth the edges in this context. Another important thing to consider is that most Indian developers speak fluent English, which facilitates the interaction considerably.

Things on the plus side of programmer relocation


The ability to communicate in person and collaborate side-by-side is the fundamental advantage of relocating personnel to your locale. It underlies effective teamwork, quick decision-making, and instant feedback. The following aspects make a difference in this case:

  • Keeping corporate culture high. Having all employees under the same umbrella is the pillar of some companies’ culture. These enterprises spare no expense to turn their offices into oases for synergy between team members.
  • Face-to-face communication. Beyond all doubt, being able to discuss work issues in the same office is important. It is a prerequisite for problem-solving in real time without the need to give someone a phone call or type a message and wait for a reply.

81% of professional developers are employed full-time, a decrease from 83% in 2020. The percentage of professional developers saying they were independent contractors, freelancers, or self-employed increased from 9.5% in 2020 to 11.2% in 2021 – indicating potential job insecurity or a shift to more flexible work arrangements.


Challenges of relocation


The bitter truth is that developer relocation is a bumpy road. You will have to tackle a handful of bureaucratic obstacles, incur significant costs, and spend a lot of time addressing all the accommodation nuances. Ultimately, these hurdles may eclipse the advantages and discourage company executives from carrying through with their original intentions.

Let’s get the lowdown on these gotchas:

  • A cumbersome hiring process. It’s hard to find a competent developer and get them on board these days, and even more so if the candidate resides in another country. This is doable, though. If you are successful in your scouting endeavors and recruit the right professional, that’s half the battle. Keep in mind that you will additionally need to prep and file paperwork for visas and work permits. Sorting out all these technicalities gobbles up your time, which means you may have to postpone your next major project.
  • Costs. Moving has never been cheap. If you are planning to cover your new employee’s relocation expenses, be ready to pay a few eyebrow-raising bills for the travel, temporary or corporate housing, and other services. You may additionally need to pay for language lessons. If the employee is moving with their family, assistance with schooling and childcare may be necessary, too. All this expenditure is particularly frustrating if it eventually turns out that the person is not the right fit.
  • Low flexibility. With relocation, it is problematic to align the size of your dev team with your current programming needs down the line. After investing funds and a ton of effort, such a decision can be tough.
    Also, there are several caveats on the employee’s end. Culture shock, social integration difficulties, and a strain on family relationships due to the dramatic change are common problems encountered in light of relocation.


The benefits of recruiting remote developers


IT firms can get a lot of mileage out of working with remote coders. This method of cooperation is more cost-efficient and more flexible than the relocation approach, with today’s top-notch technologies helping you ruin communication barriers that used to be a serious concern. Here is a summary of arguments in favor of this move:

  • Less time, less spending. If you choose to cooperate with a remote development team, relocation costs won’t be draining your budget. Also, neither your company nor the employee has to go through the fuss of moving and finding an apartment near your office. At the end of the day, you save a great deal of time by extracting this tedious part out of the equation.
  • A competent crew. According to a SkillValue report, developers from India have a decent score index (78.13 out of 100), which means they are competent enough to meet your company’s programming needs. Their qualification stems, in part, from an increasing level of education in the country. Many of these coders have a wide spectrum of skills in both mainstream and rare programming languages. Most of them can easily communicate with foreigners owing to their excellent English, both written and spoken. Plus, diligence is part of their mentality.
  • Flexibility. Sometimes, software engineering businesses need to upsize or downsize their teams based on current projects and the state of the market niche they are in. A recruitment model involving remote devs allows you to adjust the size of your team to different circumstances quickly. As a rule, this can be done with a month’s notice.
  • Corporate culture. There is no denying that an in-house team is the best environment for nurturing your company’s values. With remote workers, you can fill the void by having a dedicated HR manager who is responsible for continuous communication with an overseas team. This is also a great way to gather feedback from remote colleagues and address their concerns in real time.
  • Plenty of secure communication channels. There is no need to reinvent the wheel here. Specialized platforms such as Slack and Zoom will help you maintain permanent communication with your staff working from another place. These services provide end-to-end encryption of your video conferences and chats to keep sensitive information intact. Although Zoom dealt with a series of security and privacy scandals last year, it has since addressed those vulnerabilities and is now a reliable tool to stay in touch with your teleworkers.


Are you up to hiring remote developers? HackerEarth is here to help


HackerEarth is a company headquartered in San Francisco, US, that specializes in assessing and screening software developers to help organizations make informed, data-driven hiring decisions. Boasting a decade of experience in this area, it provides enterprise software that accurately evaluates candidates for more than 12 roles and 80 skills across all levels. The company has conducted over 1,000 virtual hackathons over the years.

With HackerEarth’s automated tools, you can easily set up a real-time remote programming or video interviewing session with your candidates. Frictionless integration with the world’s top applicant tracking systems (ATS), such as Zoho, Workable, and Greenhouse, further facilitates the hiring workflow. This platform is used by hundreds of high-profile customers around the world, including Amazon, Barclays, Intel, VMWare, and Zalora.

You can hire remote developers, grow, and build strong teams with the company’s flexible assessment as well as learning and development plans. If you want to enhance your business with remote development talent, outsourcing the hardest part to HackerEarth is a sure-shot way to give your recruitment effort a boost.



David BalabanThis article is contributed by David Balaban. David is a computer security researcher with over 17 years of experience in malware analysis. He is also a regular contributor to 500+ high-profile tech and security websites. David regularly covers topics related to the cyber threat landscape and has a strong track record as an investigative journalist.

You can find some of his guest articles here OR connect with him at David Balaban Security.

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