As a business grows, it may become practical – even necessary – to export both products and roles. Whether your brand is near a national border or it’s time to start globalizing, there are challenges associated with expanding a business outside the walls of your country. The best way to approach this transition is with nearshore hiring, onboarding, and outsourcing. This article will go over what nearshore staffing is and seven questions that will help you choose a nearshore partner.

What Is Nearshore Staffing?

Most businesses are familiar with the concept of “on-shore” and “off-shore.” Business is either conducted inside the national borders or by crossing national borders. But when it comes to hiring and expansion, proximity matters. The nearshore partnership means expanding to countries geographically and culturally close to your own. Work with people who share your time zones, climates, and cultural familiarity.

The United States, for example, can find a nearshore partner in Mexico, Canada, and South America. Alliances, trade agreements, and historical sister-cities make these partnerships more comfortable and safer than going international with a distant global partner.

When a business is taking its first steps into international expansion, nearshore partnerships are the safest and most approachable option.

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7 Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Nearshore Partner

Once you decide to expand with a nearshore partner, your next step is to start interviewing candidates. To gain the most benefit from your new partner(s), they need to be ready to help you streamline your transition across the national market border and help you build a well-rounded set of off-shoring policies.

The research and interview phase is essential to finding the right nearshore partners for your business. Here are the top questions to have answered before you choose a nearshore partner.

  1. Is the company headquartered in the U.S.?
  2. Are they experienced with nearshore partnership?
  3. What does their onboarding process look like?
  4. How will they enable your partnership transition?
  5. Are they big enough to scale, but small enough to care?
  6. Are they an established business that won’t disappear?
  7. Do they follow an agile development model?

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1. Are They Headquartered In The US?

Hiring and outsourcing across national borders require careful integration with your country of origin. It is beneficial for your nearshore partners to have their headquarters within the United States for US businesses. It gives them an advantage in the legal and bureaucratic process in managing the talent on both sides of the national line. A partner headquartered in the US can also handle all of their internal business with you without worrying about border-related policies.

2. Are They An Experienced Nearshore Partner?

There is a big difference between a partner ready to go nearshore with you vs. a partner that has already been through the process several times. A business experienced with nearshore staffing or outsourcing will have already seen all the pitfalls and paperwork details necessary to make it work. Everything you can’t know until you go through the process once – your experienced partner will know about it. Permits, tariffs, taxes, visas, and trade policies are all part of the process that a professional partner can make easy.

3. What Does Their Onboarding Process Look Like?

When growing your team through a partner, their onboarding process matters. You need to know how your partnership – as a joint employer, is being conveyed and how your new team members will be ready for your joint ventures. Naturally, you will want to be involved in the hiring and onboarding process for your nearshore team’s new talent. But it’s even better if your nearshore partners have an onboarding process that has already streamlined the needful and honed a personable, skill-focused approach.

4. How Will They Enable Your Partnership Transition?

There’s another type of onboarding to consider as well: your transition into partnership. An experienced nearshore partner will have already been through the transition process and can help you along the way. Work out a roadmap to define the steps between finding a great potential nearshore partner and building an international team together.

Teams that specialize in nearshore partnerships may even have on-staff professionals ready to walk your business through the necessary steps for partnering across national borders. Tax and financial advisors, nearshore HR experts, and cross-team collaboration are essential in expanding to nearshore operations.

5. Are They Big Enough To Scale, But Small Enough To Care?

In partnerships, the size of your partner is worth considering. When looking for a partner to help you expand, it’s crucial to choose a big enough business to stand on its own. You also need a partner that is ready to scale with you, enough revenue and size to adapt if your partnership is successful with some velocity.

At the same time, partnering with a business that is too sprawling will diminish your importance in the partnership. A global brand with hundreds of nearshore partners will not invest in any one partner. A smaller nearshore team is more likely to care about your joint success and support entirely in the endeavor. Your partner might do some proposals to improve and adapt to the market as a team with a small to medium-sized nearshore partner.

6. Are They Established And Ensured Not To Disappear?

Another thing to ask about is a potential partner’s lasting power. Figure out their likelihood to still be in business in five years and ten years. A good partner is experienced in partnerships – and therefore has a stronger place in the market. It would help if you had a partner who won’t disappear partway through your endeavor, and that means investigating the history and current stability of partners before forming a bond.

7. Do They Follow An Agile Development Model?

Finally, modern businesses should seek partners that are flexible and technically advanced. Agile development focuses on response to data and quick improvement iterations. In software development, agile development can determine whether a team is compatible with your current process. A company-wide agile approach will ensure to resolve any concern and the implementation of any innovation swiftly. With an agile nearshore team, you can make the most of any market opportunities between your international markets.

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If your business is looking for a nearshore partnership and software development, contact us today!

Mike Hernandez