Back in early 2015, we realised that our ‘Software and Design’ couldn’t support the increasing demands of our customer’s design requests.  We found it increasingly hard to give the required design output.

The simple fact was, we had to hire more staff.

We tried everything. Hiring locally, Contract work to an offshore design agency, freelancing. We were surprised to find just how much the recruitment game had changed!

This is an article of our experiences and lessons learnt. This is remote working compared!

Our Remote Team

We were surprised to find that the Sri Lankan culture had instilled a very good work ethic on our candidates.

Within a month, we were able to offload all our projects leaving us free to market and bring new clients.

Hiring Locally

This felt the obvious choice at first. The designers could work right from our office, communication should be easier. However, things didn’t quite pan out this way.

We did not receive many CVs from local candidates. The few we received had a High asking price.

We decided to hire an intern as we couldn’t bear the cost of hiring an experienced designer. However, this caused more problems as our lead designer had to spend most of his time training and doing quality control.


The cost of hiring an experienced designer would have crippled us. Beyond the salary, we would have to bear costs such as pensions, insurance contributions, government taxes, increased utility costs.

Candidate availability

We were limited to a limited number of local candidates. The few who fit the job requirement had an inflated asking price.

Monitoring & Security

It was easier to monitor our intern. However, this came at the cost of the lead designer’s work time. And, the intern lack experience in self-managing their time to produce designs for our clients.

Scalability & Growth

Due to limited office space, and the cost of hiring, we would not be able to scale-up our operations. Doing so would require investment and risk of compromising our vision for the company.

Freelancing Staff

We decided to try freelancing due to the larger pool of people and lower cost. However, we found it very hard to coordinate and get actual production done.

We soon realised that our freelancer was doing job ‘on-the-side’. As such, he would often miss deadlines!

It was near impossible to introduce the freelancer to our company’s culture and standards.


The cost of hiring was low. However, we felt that the output wasn’t sufficient. This meant delayed projects and loosing a customer’s order; which actually cost us more.

Candidate availability

Ever heard of too much choice? This is it. We found it hard to vet and pick the right candidate who is a great fit for the company. It is near impossible engage in long-term commitments.

Monitoring & Security

There was extremely poor communication, missed deadlines, lack of time-commitments due to the freelancer engaging in multiple projects.

As a design & software agency, confidentiality and copyright is EXTREMLY IMPORTANT. We lacked legal oversight the ability to monitor our free-lancer. As such, we wouldn’t engage him in demanding projects.

Scalability & Growth

It was very hard to scale as freelancers are spread across different countries and regions. Working from home means freelancers are often distracted and subject to power-outages and internet blackouts.


After a frustrating encounter with local hires and freelancers, we realised that neither option was the right one.

We wanted to have OUR OWN TEAM working in ONE OFFICE without the heavy cost.

This is why we built our own team in Sri Lanka. We initially decided on maintaining 2 designers. However, this soon grew to a team of 3 Designers, 1 Web Developer, 1 Administrator and 1 HR manager. We were finally growing!


The all-inclusive cost of hiring and maintaining employees was significantly better than Freelancing / local hires combined!

Candidate availability

Sri Lanka has a history of producing exceptional candidates in the field of Software engineering, Design / CAD, Administration and Accountancy. In fact, many blue-chip companies such has Pearson’s, IFS, WSO2 have setup their development base in Sri Lanka.

Monitoring & Security

This is our staff working from our dedicated office equipped with 24/7 CCTV monitoring. As such, we can monitor and maintain a high level of security and data protection. We hired a dedicated member to monitor and coordinate the office

Scalability & Growth

We found it extremely easy to scale up or down due to the significantly reduced cost and recruitment time.