Co-founder and CEO of Ideamotive. Entrepreneur, mentor and startup advisor.
At first glance, the idea of working with someone who is on the opposite side of the globe seems intimidating. Many employers are intimidated by the inability to walk up to such an employee and look over their shoulder to find out what they are doing, but many understand that the potential reward justifies the risks.
The absence of geographic restrictions means that you can hire absolutely any staff - for example, developers from Poland, technical support staff from Canada, and suppliers from Delhi. With access to first-class professionals from around the world, you will have extraordinary freedom of choice.
Moreover, if your employees are distributed around the globe, you will be able to manage costs more effectively. In particular, remote software engineers can work under a contract without pension and insurance contributions, with minimal overhead costs.
Perhaps you yourself know about all the benefits of hiring remote employees, but you still doubt whether they will work effectively.
If this is the case, don't worry - your fears are quite justified. Fortunately, you can always control the process and influence the success of the recruitment.
So how to hire remote developers?
What does a remote software developers hiring process look like?
If you want to hire remote developers who will be located hundreds or thousands of kilometers from you, you need to determine exactly what skills and experience they need to have. In most unsuccessful cases, the problem is that the Engineering or Product Managers do not know what exactly they need.
To avoid mistakes, stick to a clear plan when posting job offers and selecting resumes. Make a list of important skills that the dev should have, and do not forget to refer to it when selecting.
In the recruiting process, try not to limit yourself to a resume. There are many other signs by which you can determine whether a candidate meets your requirements. It is possible that they run a professional blog, communicate in the industry community, or participate in a side project. All this will determine the level of their professionalism.
Put CVs and testimonials aside and do in-depth research to get an idea of a potential remote worker's personality and how they work. If you see that they are constantly involved in various projects and succeed in this matter, most likely they are able to work autonomously and can bring value to your business.
#2. Sorting candidates
Using a list of requirements, quickly analyze the resume and weed out those who do not match your ideas.
After selecting candidates who meet your requirements, you need to make sure that they really are as good as you think. To do this, you need to conduct a small professional check.
This could be a programming assignment or an interview. This will help you get rid of doubts and make sure that you made the right choice. According to statistics, approximately 78% of applicants embellish their qualifications, so such checks are simply irreplaceable.
Having assessed the quality of work, you will not worry that you hire remote developers that will let you down.
Obstacles you will face
Shortage of cheap yet quality solutions. If your business is located in the USA, Canada, or Western Europe you’ll hardly hire remote developers in your region that won’t cost you a fortune. Anyway, you should look for offshore developers.
No experience in working remotely. It is not clear how to hire remote developers. For example, job boardings only recently added the "remote work" column, before this was not the case at all. That is, you could not place a vacancy for a remote employee - there was no such physical possibility. It was necessary to attach a vacancy to a specific city. In other words, not only did no one know how to hire remote employees, but there were even no means to find remote developers.
It is not clear how to manage and control remote employees. How to evaluate their effectiveness? How to track the execution of tasks?
Difficulties in technical implementation. What services to use? What CRM systems are suitable? There are a lot of technical features that, if you have not previously encountered remote work, it is not clear how to implement it.
It is not clear how much to pay employees and how to pay. Should I pay them a salary or just a fixed sum for a particular task?
Extremely high turnover. That is, you agreed with the employee to work, but they disappeared. Or works in a way that doesn’t suit you, or they can’t get the result, or... there are a lot of other reasons.
Skills to look for in remote developers
Hiring remote staff is never easy. It's even harder to hire remote developers based on just their CVs and a few Zoom interviews. However, there are some qualities that can shed light on a candidate's ability to be part of a successful team.
The developer interacts daily with the team, as well as with related development departments, testers, and analysts. To successfully work on a project, they need to interact with colleagues, exchange ideas, and help each other. In addition, programmers communicate with the customer, and here you need to justify your decision and be able to adequately perceive criticism.
The ability to be flexible in the workflow is the most important soft skill of any specialist. The transition to a remote mode, changes in the team, and restructuring of teams are constantly changing conditions that should not affect the performance of the developer.
Writing perfect code the first time is not always possible. The programmer must be ready to look for other stack technologies and improve the code. This manifests variability and expertise, without which it is impossible to create a quality product.
A competent developer thinks not only about how to solve a problem but also about how it will affect the project as a whole. Such an employee knows how to make decisions and is responsible for their choice. This skill is closely related to responsibility and purposefulness. In controversial moments, a proactive developer, first of all, analyzes their own mistakes, does not shift them to others, and is ready to redo the work. Proactivity is especially important for the team leader and manager: the thoughtfulness of their decisions affects the promotion of the business.
In the world of hiring, it all comes down to lowering the cost. An office job candidate can be more expensive to find and hire due to shortages in many skill areas. By hiring a remote candidate, the process is accelerated, and the job offer can take into account that remote work is one of the advantages. Contractors also tend to have lower salary expectations.
Better use of time and resources
Recruiting remote candidates can help streamline the recruiting process, as much of the interaction between candidates and recruiters takes place via email, phone, and virtual meetings. There is no need to invite a candidate to the office, everything can be solved remotely. Even documents and other matters today can be done remotely online.
Easier to select candidates for the needs of the project
If a candidate is needed to work on a one-off project or a project that requires a specific set of skills, it may be easier to find someone remote to do the job than to look in the local talent pool.
Opportunity to hire more experienced professionals at lower rates
Often, coding professionals step out of the rat race of working in a traditional office setting and go freelancing entirely. This can benefit any hiring manager as it means there is access to more experienced candidates who work remotely for less pay.
There may be a language barrier issue when hiring remote candidates from other countries or regions. After all, people can speak the language, but not understand all the subtleties and complexities, or industry business jargon. For instance, when hiring software developers from Belarus, the difference in time zones can play a huge role.
Interruptions in communication with the candidate
Remote candidates can easily and suddenly “disappear from the radar”, without clear instructions and regulations.
Team integration issues
When you hire remote developers your candidates may also experience feelings of isolation or alienation from their teammates. It is very important that they are included in all communications, meetings, project notes, and resources from day one.
Ways to find remote developers
Here are the features of each solution.
They usually have their own developed base of candidates from different cities and even countries, including a base of highly specialized guys. It is possible to attract several performers to one application at once. Thanks to this, even a very demanded vacancy, for example, a React developer, can be quickly closed.
You do not have to spend money on posting a vacancy or buying access to the database - the process of searching for candidates becomes the concern of the executors. You pay for the result - the found candidate.
As a rule, you have to hire the whole IT team. No chances to deal only with one specialist.
Rare specialists at affordable prices.
Specialists for whom there is high competition between employers.
They spare you a lot of responsibilities related to matchmaking.
All in one place: consulting that directs to a great fit, vetting, seamless hiring, swapping, and overseeing developers.
Tech talent marketplaces provide administrative/legal support, such as time measuring, reporting, managing days off, perks, and contracts.
Usually, the posting of vacancies is paid.
The main audience is people who are looking for work in the office. Not all of them will agree to work remotely.
They have a high popularity and allow you to collect a lot of responses.
There are many groups where you can post a remote job ad for free.
There are professional communities where you can hire remote developers for complex projects. There are especially many such groups on Facebook.
Sharpened for hiring remote employees. These sites are visited by people who are initially looking for the opportunity to work from home.
They may be free. Simply put, some websites allow you to freely post vacancies.
The main audience is freelancers. Usually, they are aimed at finding single orders and working with several clients in parallel.
Over to you
The most important advantage of hiring remote devs is the opportunity to work with a wider talent pool (thanks to the best Toptal alternatives for hiring developers). And for many candidates, it is the format of work that becomes the decisive factor why they choose your firm, and not some larger or well-known company.
This mode of work is not for everyone, but now more candidates are looking for ways to optimize their work-life balance in an optimal way, and for this, remote work is the ideal way.
And for companies that provide such an opportunity to their employees, this can become a serious competitive advantage in the labor market as well as in business goals.
Robert is a co-founder and CEO of Ideamotive. Entrepreneur, who with passion spreads digital revolution all around the internet. Mentor and advisor at startup accelerators. Loves to learn and discover new business models.