Interview with Cyril Samovskiy, CEO of Mobilunity

Cyril Samovskiy CEO of MobilunityCyril Samovskiy is a Founder and CEO of Mobilunity and today we are talking with him about building remote teams of engineers in Ukraine.

Mobilunity is global provider of near/off-shoring solutions for businesses of any size, specializing in building dedicated development teams and R&D centers in Ukraine. The company is located in Kyiv, Ukraine. Founded in  2010, Mobilunity has grown from 2 people to 200+, having served and continue serving over 50 clients spread across the globe. You can find Mobilunity in Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Medium.

1. How, when and why did you become a company that creates remote teams?

Having a rich background in delivering more traditional outsourcing projects, we saw a  growing need in dedicated engineering teams manageable by the client in full. We made a full pivot toward this model in 2016 and have since grown substantially while building great relationships with both our clients and the teams that we provide.

2. What are the advantages of becoming distributed teams provider?

Mobilunity gets to focus on people and relationships. This may seem like something that all companies want to focus on, but if you are a product company, then you need to focus on making sure that your product beats the competition.

Frequently you have to sacrifice certain aspects of relationships to meet your bottom line. We are competitive as well, but in our business ties are closed thanks, in particular, to the high-quality services we offer and in part to our clients’ trust in us to deliver and provide them with the right people.

3. Have there been any disadvantages and obstacles? 

We are in the people business, so the obstacles we face are the same that many companies face no matter what the business model is. People are up and down and we basically have to find the golden mean between people and process. We realized that if we build our processes around people, instead of forcing people into a predetermined “one size fits all processes”, our teams, our clients and our company benefit a lot.

4. How did you manage to operate effectively as a provider of dedicated teams? 

We are constantly adjusting things once we either see a need, or once we foresee an upcoming need. We have been able to remain consistent, because we have a model that matches our philosophy. We call it the 3Rs of nearshoring and its three main pillars are Relationships, Recruitment, and Retention. You can’t have one without the others.

Our relationships tell us what we need to do to fix and adjust our processes, tools and internal activities. Such connections make it easier for us to recruit the right kind of people for our clients. Last but not least, we see our employees as a core value of our business and work on “hearing” their needs to improve retention.

5. How do you hire developers for remote projects? 

What is really important in building dedicated teams is our belief that there should be a commitment in  finding not just good professionals, but people who fit the culture of both our company and client’s company. With this in mind before presenting a candidate to the client directly, we run several interview stages internally to be sure (s)he will be a 100% match when it comes to both soft and hard skills.

Our hiring process always comprises of internal vetting with our recruitment team to check things relevant to cultural accordance and English level, as well as professional skills that are gauged by having  internal technical interviews with one of our in-house experts to ensure that the candidate has proper skills and will contribute to the project.

Once that part is completed, we  present the candidate to the client with a brief overview of all that we have observed. If all goes well, we then move on to a client interview, where the candidate meets his/her future colleagues and managers, and both sides check whether this cooperation will really be fruitful and exciting for all.

6. What would you say to companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?

We understand that this model may not be for everyone, and that  there are indeed limitations across different industries and countries, which can make things complicated. However even with that, technology has made the world smaller and the amount of connectivity that we have in our everyday lives should be an indication that remote work, when managed properly can be a great fit for a company that is looking to remain flexible, and efficient.

By the way, we’ve recently published an ebook “Why Nearshoring Is Not for You”, which highlights the cases when working with a remote development team may not be the best solution for  business.

In the majority of cases we find that extending a team with remote workers provides lots of benefits including cost reduction, diversification of technical skill-set, ability to manage unpredictable load and  more.  With the right vendor working with remote workers is  easier than many may think.

7. Which are the tools that you use or help you to work remotely?

Usually those are pre-defined by the client, as we aim to make communication between the remote team and in-house employees of our customer as smooth as possible. As a rule, these are all cloud tools for communication like Slack or Skype and project planning like Jira, Trello, Asana and tools alike.

8. How do you manage the business, salaries and things like taxes as a dedicated team provider company?

This all comes from an understanding of the market, as well as years of experience navigating the somewhat complex world of salary negotiations, taxes, and business needs.

Mobilunity has a management process and a philosophy that allows us to remain flexible in many aspects, which keeps us competitive in terms of salaries and rates to our clients and at the same time sensitive to our business needs.

9. What advice would you give to companies, businesses or startups that start hiring distributed team?

First of all, be ready to invest your time in building a remote team, educate them on your business and product as well as communicate your  key values to them. You need to be involved in the process from the first day to ensure that the team is engaged and is  effectively working on your projects.

It may seem like a lot, but this initial involvement is very rewarding, as just in a matter of weeks you will feel that your remote workers have already become a part of your team, your corporate culture and have a vested interest in your goals and corporate vision.

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