What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The quality of the work is really related to the quality of the people and team members that have them. The pre-screening that they do helps because if you can spend less time interviewing, usually the people that are doing the interviews are key resources that we need working on the product. Every hour I pull them out to go and do an interview is key and if it doesn't work out, that's a hit. That was very helpful. By the time we get a team member on board, retention is very high, especially for contractors and definitely just developers as a whole.
Our average tenure is 2.5 years, which for a company like us is incredibly helpful because our platform is large and it takes a while to get ramped up. If our retention rates are low where we've got a lot of churns, it actually really affects our bottom line. I think that this has been a big factor. Speaking back to the culture, usually people we've brought on board with their staff are more heads-up developers and they're going to communicate, which again is really helpful because it's common for developers sometimes to get caught in rabbit holes and not raise their hand for help, communicate, or update their managers and product managers.
We've had really good results from BairesDev's developers. They communicate up and are very proactive and creative thinkers. It really doesn't feel like you're dealing with a contractor. This has been our experience.
How did BairesDev perform from a project management standpoint?
We do most of our product management in-house. We do have an assigned project manager through BairesDev but they are primarily more of a human resource manager for us. If we are having any personnel issues, for whatever reason, they're there to help and they make sure that things get corrected and move smoothly. That's primarily how we work with them on a product manager basis. They'll also help with schedules. We have pretty stringent time logging requirements. Everybody in the company logs time down to the 15-minute increments on different tasks that are working on. As you can imagine that can be difficult to herd people into complying with that.
One of the other benefits that their staff brings is that their product managers will help us if there are any issues around time sheets, resolving them and the like. Really anything that we need to support the staff administratively.
What did you find most impressive about BairesDev?
They're extremely responsive in my experience and that was key for us. They're constantly talking to us, willing to set up meetings, even at the senior leadership level, to discuss ways in which we can partner with them in a better way and provide more services. They're trying to help us streamline and leverage their services better. I never really feel a lot of pressure from them from a sales perspective. They are there to help. They're very responsive, to the point that their CEO visited our offices. We were able to work out special arrangements with him that were unique to our situation. They even talk to us through all the methods that they use, technical practicals, down to the more culturally and soft-skill base. I think that the responsiveness and the level of organization they bring to recruiting and onboarding differentiates them.
Are there any areas BairesDev could improve?
Early on, we talked to them about a relationship in which they can take on more. Instead of providing straight staff, QA, devs that just distribute themselves in our organization. That we actually hire a cross-functional team from them, provide more specs and then they can execute on it. We weren't interested in that in the beginning. I think over time working with them, we became more interested in it and again, they're not hard up sellers with us. So I think that this is on us for just not following-up on it much. I didn't get the sense that they provided as much of that.
I think that's maybe something that could have been a little more proactive, that we discussed transitioning into that kind of relationship and that may come. But that's the only thing I can really think of for now. I think for us, one of the downsides to working with any contracting company or contractors, is that you're not in direct control of their compensation, even though you're trying to foster a more direct relationship, it makes it harder because there's just things on the administrative human resources side that to some extent is going to remain opaque to us. But I think that's the nature of the business.