Software QA: Hire In-House or Outsource?Whether you need to add skilled personnel to an existing software QA team, handle a short-term crunch or sign on for the long term, the question of hiring in-house or outsource will always come up. The answer might not be as straightforward as you think, since the issues at play are both complex and strategic.

These are a number of factors to examine when deciding on hiring or outsourcing talent for your software QA.

The Expertise Factor

Your location may dictate whether hiring in-house is a viable option. If you’re in a high tech corridor, real talent is hotly sought after, already employed and jealously guarded. With that competition, you simply may not be able to find people with the necessary expertise and experience to meet your needs.

In these cases, outsourcing is a more attractive option, since you gain access to bright minds from elsewhere who can add great value to your team. When it comes to something as important as software QA, it’s a better option to find the best people possible from a large pool than to settle for someone local who may not have the requisite skills.

The Cost Factor

Money is at the root of most decisions, and hiring talent is no exception. When weighing the cost of in-house hiring versus outsourcing, it isn’t as cut and dried as it might seem. Many hiring managers fail to consider the many hidden costs of an in-house hire.

An employee’s salary is just the tip of the iceberg when you start quantifying the cost of hiring in-house. Peripheral costs include everything from employee benefits and recruiting expenses to the risk you take that they will fit into the team — or the possibility that they’ve embellished their resume and aren’t as skilled as expected. Moreover, if an initial hire doesn’t work out, the cost of having to train and then retrain can be exponential.

When you compare the total costs of hiring in-house with outsourcing, the fee for outsourced software QA experts who have proven expertise could be the smarter, more affordable investment.

The Control, Agility and Communications Factors

Concerns over lack of control, less agility and poor communication may be relevant if you don’t choose the right resource for outsourced software QA expertise. This is where due diligence comes in. You need to properly vet outsourced QA companies to learn the processes they have in place to overcome your concerns with respect to control, agility, and communication — as well as flexibility, responsiveness, and the ability to deliver on schedule.

Read 6 Things to Consider When Evaluating Software Testing Companies to find out what you should ask a software QA firm when outsourcing.

It’s especially important to check the references of companies that are vying to become your resource for outsourced talent. You may find in speaking with current clients that they had the same concerns you did when they were weighing the benefits of outsourcing vs. hiring in-house.

In-House or Outsource: Your Takeaway

Before you assume hiring in-house is the best way to cover your software QA needs, it could be beneficial to consider outsourcing. Be sure to weigh all factors carefully, and only go with an outsourced team that has the experience and process controls to meet your needs.