Nivaldo Gomes

Nivaldo Gomes

27 Aug 2018 5 min read

Should I hire a developer or a software company?

When companies start to grow and the team can’t handle the demand, it’s time to expand the team. Then, you have two options: hire employees or choose a contractor. But which one will suit you better?

Expanding the team

Once upon a time… my friend was a product manager in a startup of data analysis. They were facing some problems with their website, like broken templates and timeout. The product team was too busy developing the new architecture, so they wouldn’t have time to focus on their main page without compromising the deadline.

Gif oh, the drama

He was the person who should care for the product strategy but wouldn’t have time to solve both problems. They tried and tried but they failed!… Strategic as he should be and taking time into account, they decided to hire a contractor, so the product leader could focus on what was important for the project.

They took care of the things my friend couldn’t manage whilst the internal team could address the problems they were supposed to. The product ended up just fine, on time, and most importantly: well built on both sides.

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You can have all kinds of reasons to expand your team but each scenario will most certainly demand a different solution. Following, I summed up the most frequent cases I’ve seen.

Creating a new product

When you’re starting a new product, you’ll need a team that matches the product requirements. Then, you’ll find yourself either having someone experienced that could manage a team or lacking some crucial expertise for the product.

If you have someone experienced enough, hiring employees is a great possibility when you have sufficient resources for the process (including time). Although, if you want to focus on the business itself, a contractor may provide you with better product design while you deal with strategy, operations, etc.

Test a new idea/product

Different from creating a new product, let’s imagine you already have a core product in your company, but want to test new ones in the market. New things are always welcome, but when your whole team are busy dealing with issues from the core product, it could be a challenge.

Gif I'm busy

Hiring a contractor to create a MVP of your new product, and test in the market may be a safer solution to avoid compromising your core business. If you want to keep this experiment in-house, hiring new employees could be a solution, the only problem is what you’re going to do if your product doesn’t prospect.

The need of have an expert in your team

Let’s say you are dealing with a very specific topic for your product, like an advanced problem in your Django applications, so you need someone with experience but just until the project is over. To hire an expert, you should keep in mind that: it will not be easy, nor cheap.

People who make their living as full-time contractors often have highly specialized skill sets, therefore you will have talented professionals to help you. Then, if your demand is just temporary, you will have no new expenses after dealing with it. Also, when you hire a contractor, you get the expertise from the entire team, not just from a single person.

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When to hire employees

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  • When you have budget and time to execute internal tasks like recruiting, onboarding, etc.
  • When you have to keep the skills in-house or have control on how the work gets done.
  • When you need to train them with some specific skills that you will demand now or in the future.
    Airbnb made something similar with its employees. Due to problems with recruiting data scientists, they decided to create a University inside the company and teach new employees about the topic.

When to hire a contractor

Gif I'm a contractor

  • When you want to create a product but don’t want to handle the product design.
  • When you want to test something in your company but don’t want to reallocate someone from your core product.
  • When you need an expert in your team.
  • When you need to hire a temporary team.
  • When you desperately need to reach a deadline and need more people dealing with it.

It’s important to remember that is common for a company to hire employees and contractors as a hybrid team, though. You don’t need to choose an exclusive solution!

What do I know?

I am the person at Labcodes🇧🇷 responsible for making trustworthy relationships with companies and find solutions for the troubles they may face. We have great expertise in designing, building and improving quality in digital products as a web development shop contractors partnering up with companies in US for more than 4 years.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or feedback! I’d also love to hear about your experience when expanding your team.