TMCnet Feature
January 13, 2021

How to hire and work with Remote Developers

Even before this global pandemic, hiring a remote developer was a common choice for many companies across the globe. I have been running my remote recruitment agency  - DistantJob - for over a decade. Along the way, I’ve made countless mistakes, but I also discovered a few secrets to make the process less surprising and time-consuming. Most of these tips can seem obvious, almost common sense. Yet, the process of hiring a remote developer is trickier than most of us think. The real question is how to transform common sense in concrete actions.

If you’re hiring a remote developer, here are some tips to help you find the best candidate for your company.

What to keep in mind when creating your remote job ad to hire remote developers

When it comes to remote jobs, the hiring process is always long and full of surprises. In this industry, when you are writing an ad you are creating what we call “a job description.” Before writing down your ad, make sure you know what you want. Especially when it comes to hiring remote developers. As obvious as this seems, smart people miss it all the time. You speak on behalf of a serious company, and as such, you’re expected to give a clear overview of job conditions, salary and realistic expectations. By giving clear instructions, you respect your candidates' time and energy.

So, first, get a clear idea of what you truly need and want for your company's growth. Then, write down a brief job description reflecting the project your ideal candidate will work on. Don’t forget to add a list of the technologies they need to know and what job conditions they can expect. Offering flexibility is not the same as providing confusing instructions. To attract skilled candidates, you need to be honest about your company’s goals. If you are honest about your standard expectation, you will have applications by motivated and ambitious people. With general and vague ads, you might attract more people. But you also risk attracting remote workers more interested in expanding their CV than fitting in your team.

What to look for in a remote developer

As well as defining what you want, it is important to define your ideal candidate. Among technical skills, which are the qualities you need to look for?

A well-written application implies good communication and organizational skills. This is something you should always consider to keep high and productive standards. Good communication means good planning. It will make it easier to balance flexibility and independence with deadlines. Neither of you can waste time figuring out a cryptic message or scanning thousands of platforms searching for the latest one.

Also, remember to keep time zones and hourly rates in mind. Remote jobs can expand the talent pool, but you still need a doable schedule match for a successful long-term relationship. Some places in the world are cheaper than others, but time zones can make communication tricky. For example, for North American countries our policy is to hire overseas remote developers working at night and early hours, in a way that fits standard american work hours. We know the importance of meetings and internal communication, especially for long and solid collaborations.

We also prioritize finding people who are a good cultural fit, which is even more important than time overlap. As a last piece of advice, pay attention to candidates' response to your job description. Look at how they try to connect with your company’s goals while presenting their experience. This is one of the best ways to understand their commitment and if they can be a good fit for your team.

How to choose your right remote developer

Once you have defined your ideal candidate, you need to set up the right steps to find your remote developer. Do not forget that the hiring process always takes time. Firing the wrong person can be a one-minute decision. Yet, choosing the best fit for your company takes time and energy. According to budget and necessities, tons of hiring channels are available to you.

The tricky part of hiring is not finding remote developers. The world is full of candidates looking for new opportunities. The real challenge is to find the one that’s right for your team, and to know how to pick the perfect one. Recruiters often use Linkedin to find experienced professionals. Job boards and Social Media can also give you good results with time and patience. Cheap offers usually mean less expertise or experience, which usually imply candidates who aren’t fully committed to the company offering the job. The risk here is that you are likely to waste time figuring out who is a real professional and who is not.

You’ll have to decide which channels for remote hiring are the best for you. If you decide to go without the support of a remote recruitment agency, remember our advice. Writing your ad, make sure you know exactly what you need for your company and who is your ideal candidate. To spot the perfect candidate we usually advise to put a lot of care and attention in the interview process. This process, even with team interviews, is crucial to make the right choice. Handpicking the best experts available on the market is not impossible. Yet, as a tricky process, it consumes time and energy, which are priorities as much as budgeting.

Last but not least, how to work with remote developers

OK, so you picked the right channel to select your ideal candidate. Went through the interview process. Agreed on job conditions and salary and finally found your perfect match. Well, the hard work still has to begin. The first days are crucial to setting a productive and meaningful collaboration. Remote work means flexibility, which doesn’t mean working alone. The onboarding process is important as much as hiring the right remote developer.

Writing your ad at the very beginning, you put all your effort to be honest about your company so you could attract only the best remote developers on the market. In the end, you found someone who is not only a professional but also passionate about your company’s project and mission. Now you need to set up a good work environment, clear instructions, standards and work schedule. More importantly, you need your remote developer to become an active member of your team. During the first week, be around for questions. Introduce your team. Encourage casual conversation. It's also recommended to incorporate microlearning in your onboarding process so your candidate can be brought quickly up to speed.

There is no easy way to find a perfect match for your company. These are some insights from our experience building teams outside offices’ walls and hiring the best professionals around the globe. We want to make sure that our hires feel productive and valuable additions to the company. I hope our experience will help you, good luck with your hiring process!

Author’s bio:

Sharon Koifman is the founder and president of DistantJob — a boutique staffing agency helps recruit full-time remote employees. He believes every company, from the biggest enterprise to the newly-launched garage startup, should have access to world's top talent

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