Right-Sourcing for Software Engineering Talent: How to Source New Hires Based on Risk, Complexity, and Cost

Oct 30, 2015

Sourcing engineering talent in the current market is expensive and slow. How do CTOs/CIOs ensure they will gain the greatest value from new talent on their teams? When should the decision be cost driven vs quality driven? Which options allow for the fastest acquisition of new talent?

Next week, on Thursday, November 5, CONNECT will host a panel on the topic, where industry leaders will discuss in detail the many factors that can drive these decisions, but I’m sharing a sneak peek of the insights the panel will share on how to evaluate the various resources for identifying great talent.

Factors such as risk, complexity, cost, and onboarding timelines can all impact where firms look to hire for their next project. The panel will discuss those factors across different sourcing options (in order from highest complexity/risk/cost to lowest complexity/risk/cost):

  1. Tech Staffing. When the position is strategic or architectural, and exceptional leadership is required, a good tech recruiter can be invaluable, but cost and timeline to hire tend to be very high.
  2. Internal HR Department. For common positions that require team members to be within the four walls of the organization, internal HR should be proficient, but will still be costly and slow compared to the options below.
  3. Near-Shoring. There is a general lack of awareness around this particular type of sourcing. Near-shoring allows for moderate complexity and moderate risk work to be staffed quickly (4 to 6 weeks) and has the bonus of being 20 – 40% less than onshore. This is especially true in an Agile environment where team members must work in the same time zones to be efficient.
  4. University Recruiting. We’re lucky to live in a robust talent market! San Diego is graduating some of the brightest engineering minds in the country. They can often handle highly complex work quickly, but be cautious about handing inexperienced team members work that is high risk. Also be aware that San Diego is challenged to retain our talented young engineers against the onslaught of recruiters from Silicon Valley. While using this type of sourcing is more expensive than off-shoring, the cost is comparable to Near-shoring and great for moderate-complexity, low-risk, short term needs.
  5. Off-Shoring. Off-shoring talent is generally best for low-complexity, low- low-risk positions and can be acquired at very low cost. These engineers work across many time zones and therefore must not be an integral part of an agile environment. India is one example of effective off-shore recruiting because the work – often times manual QA or helpdesk work – will get done overnight and be ready for developers the next morning in the US.

To demonstrate these various options and when to use them I’ve prepared the below graphic that depicts how the concept of right-sourcing can work based on job complexity, risk and cost:

Join us to hear industry leaders discuss right-sourcing for software engineering talent and how to implement the best strategies for your situation. Thursday, November 5 – enjoy a wine reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Click below to attend!



Dave Ferrell, Unosquare