Both are equally important. For the first, we will have company specialists describing the software development tools we used, as well as the mechanisms that are included in the development of a new module or product within the suite.
On the other hand, presenting and implementing the organizational culture of the company is equally important. Besides promoting this in day-to-day operational activities, we will also have, from time to time, people from the company upper management visiting Bucharest and presenting the mechanisms and values that the company uses.
The labor market for software developers in Romania is one where the competition is quite challenging, especially since it comes both from internal and external forces. Internally, we are dealing with small to medium software developing companies, generally operating for larger companies abroad or working with a bigger international client. These are generally companies that have 30-50 employees and who tend to have an annual turnover ranging around $500,000. For these companies, it is usually the students that make a good start in their recruitment and selection capabilities, mainly because of the lower salaries that they need to pay.
However, given the fact that the labor market is quite volatile, some of the employees at this type of companies can also be a good target for our own company. With word of mouth and spreading the ideas and values of our company around the market, we might have some of these employees being interested in changing their workplace.
The external competition is much stronger and generally comes from companies very similar to our own: companies that want to reduce their costs and diversify their workforce capacities and who chose a country like Romania because of the stable political, economical and legislative framework in which the company can successfully operate. In order to compete with these companies, we need to offer the appropriate motivational incentives that will help us retain employees over any other potential offer from third parties. It is obviously not easy to do this, but we will address this issue in the chapter on motivation (below).
Following Maslow's pyramid of needs, we can identify several levels where are employees can be motivated. In my opinion, employees in Romania will probably tend to be somewhere around the fourth and fifth steps, which means that instruments such as those that manifest appreciation for the employee will be successful tools. Money is obviously a strong motivational incentive, especially in a country like Romania that is only recently joining the more prosperous states. However, we need to emphasize that it is definitely not the only area of motivation that should be targeted.
As such, training sessions and seminars can be perceived as motivational tools, because the employee will have the correct impression of his career potentially improving in the future and his portfolio as a software development growing in terms of his knowledge and experience. Additionally, motivational tools can include regular visits to the company headquarters in the United States, which can also play an important role as an integrating instrument with our organization.
Timeline reasonable timeline would be:
week 1-3: general administrative and logistical issues, registering the company;
week 4-8: marketing campaign, getting the company known in the local media and throughout the recruitment places (universities):
week 9-15: full recruitment campaign;
week 11-18: selection campaign and testing;
week 12-20: training and start of operational activities.
Forecast and vision potential problem that could arise in the future is the constantly ascending trend line of the labor and production costs. Indeed, we need to acknowledge the fact that, at a certain point, the Romanian software developers will no longer be satisfied with the salary they receive and, especially with free access to the European market, will try to find other markets where they can receive higher compensation.
For our company, there will most likely be an upper limit up to which we can actually raise the salaries. Once the requirements are over that respective limit, we are going to have to give up on those respective employees. If this becomes a dominant trend in the company, we will also have to move to another country where we can obtained a better balanced cost - effect ratio and where we would be able to remain more competitive in the long run. Again, other countries in Central and Eastern Europe may not be a good solution because of similarities with the Romanian market. We would probably be expecting similar trends in these countries as well.
The most important cost of this scenario is related to the fact that we would have invested a significant sum in making our employees loyal and, at the same time, in the training processes. However, we can also consider that the company would have most likely recuperated most of this investment given the result of the employees work.
Expanding our working resources to Romania in an attempt to penetrate the local labor market and develop a team of highly skilled programmers and developers, reasonably priced, is our main objective. We expect to be able to operate in the country anywhere from 3 to 5 years, because we consider that, after this period of time, the changes on the labor market will no longer make it a viable option for us in the long run.
The challenges we have identified include competition from other companies, both internally and externally, in terms of human resources, as well as potential initial problems in our recruitment and selection mechanisms (we might identify a potential employee that has great technical skills, but is not adaptable and does not have any social and communicative skills, for example). Additionally, there is also the risk of losing employees after investing time and money in getting them trained for the job.
We don't expect any managerial problems. As I have mentioned, project managers will be brought from the U.S. In the first months and they can also pass on to the future local project managers their expertise and skills.
Our biggest assets are represented by our training programs and the competitive overall package we offer with the company.
The exit strategy may also involve getting some of the Romanian employees to work on the U.S. team, if they prove well qualified and if they have worked with the company for a certain period of time. This will help us transfer the training costs and use them in the future as well within the organization. They can also make the step as a liaison between the consulting and development parts of our organization.
3) the assignment has taught me how to investigate all aspects related to an outsourcing project in one of the developing countries. The assignment and my presentation centered around two main themes. First of all, I aimed at providing a description of the external environment of the country where the outsourcing would be done (Romania). This meant that I aimed to investigate issues such as potential competitors, potential challenges on the market, the legislative aspects of the market and an evaluation regarding its potential trend in the future.
At the same time, this was an assessment of the internal processes that would accompany the outsourcing project. My emphasis was on the development of a clear human resources methodological framework which would include mechanisms for recruitment, selection, motivational instruments and training capacities. The assignment also contained a potential timeline and evaluations regarding costs.
I think one of the strong points of my perspective on the assignment is that I managed to include the description of the process from its very beginning (the outsourcing decision) to the end (potential conclusions and evaluations regarding a potential closure of the outsourcing project some time in the future). I have managed to identify several challenges and proposed solutions in case these challenges appear. At the same time, I was able to describe how the project is likely to position itself on the market.
On the other hand, I do think that my project may have some components that are just too theoretical. I was talking about motivational instruments and about Maslow's Pyramid of needs, but, at the same time, I am not sure that in practice it would be more important for Romanian software developers to be better trained than other employees in other countries than to simply receive a higher pay than they are used to.
At another time, I would probably complete my approach to the assignment with an interview with someone who actually works in the software development industry in Eastern or Central Europe. This way I can actually be able to practically prove whether my assumptions are correct or not. At the same time, I will also be able to gain a better insight of…