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September 3, 2014

Does Your Agency Really Need to Hire In-house Developers?

It is no secret that there are several pros and cons when it comes to hiring in-house developers.

The key difference in deciding whether an in-house developer is the correct solution for your company lies in understanding the specifics of these pros and cons, and how they will inherently affect your company.

To best help you understand the true nature of hiring in-house developers, we have provided a brief analysis of some of the most common pros and cons.

The Pros of In-House Developers

It is important to note that when analyzing the following pros, you must first assess your company's specific goals.

Level of Customization and Response Time

Does_Your_Agency_Really_Need_to_Hire_In-house_DevelopersIn-house developers are closer to the end client, this enables them to directly hear the requirements and changes, which subsequently improves response time. Improved communication and response time with the end client has been shown to lead to an increase in project customization. Due to their hands-on nature and knowledge of the software being built from the ground-up, an in-house team is more likely to understand subtle nuances and minimize downtime from technical errors.

More Control of Hiring

The individual members of an in-house team are hand picked; this means that each team member will have a specific skill set to fill a needed niche. By hand-picking team members you have improved the ability to communicate with people you already know and understand.

Company Understanding

In-house developers have a much better sense of the end client and the over-arching company culture.

The Cons of In-House Developers

It is important to note that when analyzing the following potential cons, you must first assess your company's specific needs and developmental goals.

Lack of Diverse Skills

Every client will inevitable want something different; as such it is not practical to hire enough in-house developers with the required skill sets needed to cover every technical need. For example a developer may have experience with Joomla and WordPress but not Drupal. Conversely, another developer may be well-versed in iOS by not Android, Ruby on Rails but not Python, and so on.

High Cost of Hiring In-House Developers

As seen in the previous con, hiring a team of in-house developers with the required skill set needed to resolve every technical need is not only impractical, it is also incredibly expensive. In layman's terms, hiring an in-house team will cost hundreds of thousands in salaries, as well as hundreds of thousands in the equipment needed to create a productive work environment.

Responsible for Team Dynamics

Hiring an in-house team is a difficult task. Not only is the agency responsible for keeping team members from leaving, but they also must keep them up-to-date on all training, create an attractive work environment, and find individuals who work well together. All too often, in-house teams fall apart and recruiting new members is a never-ending process.

Determining the correct course of action for your company means that you must truly understand the technical needs of your clients compared to the skills of your current internal team. What technical skills will benefit your company most? What is the most time and budget effective solution to growing your software development capabilities? Answering these types of questions before you begin to analyze the aforementioned pros and cons, will put you on the path to determining whether your agency needs to hire in-house developers.

Mike McAuliffe

In his role as Managing Director, Mike advises technology and technology-enabled companies on effective strategies when building high-performing, global software engineering teams. He is a highly accomplished executive, with proven ability in innovating and implementing business-building strategies for recognized...

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