How to Hire Remote Developers
Updated on July 19, 2023
Despite renewed pushes for workers to return to office, it appears as though hybrid work is here to stay. That includes a large number of workers who will continue to work 100 percent remotely, many of them software developers.
If you’re not sure how to hire remote developers, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share our best tips for remote hiring, guiding you through the hiring process and offering advice on sourcing skilled developers and building a remote development team. Let’s dive in!
Hiring process for remote developers
Hiring remote developers requires thorough preparation. We recommend the following steps for a seamless hiring process.
1. Set requirements and write a job description
The first step to hiring remote developers is setting clear requirements for the role or project. Consult with your team to identify what you’re looking for in a new hire or freelancer. Describe the project or role in general, highlighting desired attributes of a qualified candidate. Once you have a high-level description, delve into specific skills and describe day-to-day responsibilities.
As you craft all of this information into a job description, be sure to also convey your company mission, why a potential candidate would want to work for you, and the remote work perks you offer. To attract remote developers, consider offering an internet stipend or a home office budget.
Additionally, be sure to use inclusive language when writing your job descriptions to avoid gendered, racist, or ableist language. Being intentional about the language you use when writing a job description will help you eliminate hiring bias and pull from a larger talent pool.
2. Find candidates
Now that you’ve got your job description ready to go, it’s time to use it to attract top talent through a job listing. There are three main places where you can source talent: job board sites, social media, and, for contract projects, freelancing platforms.
You’ll want to post your job listing on remote-specific sites, such as Remote Jobs, FlexJobs, JustRemote, and We Work Remote. Bigger job sites like Indeed and LinkedIn are great places to source candidates, as well as the careers page on your website.
You can also tap into your professional network by posting on social media. Many social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Reddit have career-focused groups where you can post about open positions and communicate with potential candidates.
3. Screen candidates
Once you have a pool of interested candidates, you’ll need to screen them before conducting interviews to assess soft skill proficiency and technical skills. During the screening process, it’s important to account for implicit hiring bias.
You can do this by using blind hiring, which involves scrubbing resumes for details such as name, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Removing this information at the screening stage lets managers focus solely on the candidate’s experience and skills and reduces the risk of unconscious bias working its way into the hiring decision.
4. Schedule interviews
After screening, you’ll move on to a series of interviews to get to know candidates better. When hiring a remote software developer, the interview process will usually consist of one or two interviews with HR to ask behavioral and situational questions before moving on to a technical interview with a member of the development team.
A technical interview is typically conducted by a senior engineer or team lead who presents the candidate with a software development problem they must solve. Conducting a technical interview remotely may seem daunting, but tools like CodePen make them a breeze. Some applicant tracking systems (ATS) also come with features for technical interviews, so do your research to make sure you’re using the best tools for the task.
5. Make an offer
Once you’ve interviewed a few candidates, you should be in a good position to make an offer and hire a remote developer. HR usually handles this part, sorting out the final details of the compensation package to make a competitive offer.
Be sure to emphasize the remote work perks your company offers, like internet stipends or home office budgets. Finally, be ready to negotiate and hear what the candidate wants so you can make a mutually beneficial decision.
How to onboard your newly hired remote developer
Last but not least, it’s vital to have a solid virtual onboarding process in place to give newly hired remote developers a smooth and welcoming start to their new job.
Begin with an organized, well-structured orientation program that introduces them to the company, its culture, goals, and expectations. Utilize tools like video conferencing platforms for interactive sessions as well as project management tools to outline their roles, responsibilities, and tasks. Clarity is key in remote settings, so make sure all necessary credentials, resources, and materials are readily available and communicated well in advance to be ready for the new hire’s first day.
To foster a sense of belonging and community, consider implementing group onboarding sessions for members of your remote team. These sessions can help create a sense of comaraderie among new hires and provide opportunities for collective learning.
Facilitating virtual coffee chats or “meet-and-greet” sessions between new hires and existing team members can also be a great way to break the ice and encourage informal interactions. These initiatives not only ease the transition but also promote open communication and boost employee engagement, ultimately contributing to a healthier and more collaborative work environment.
When to hire a freelance developer
In the dynamic world of software development, hiring a freelance developer can be the optimal solution for many organizations. But when should you hire a freelancer? Here are some key situations to consider:
- Project-based needs. If you have a specific project or short-term need, hiring a freelancer can be an excellent choice. They bring specialized skills for the task at hand to provide extra lift or augment your existing team’s skill set. Once the project is complete, you aren’t obligated to retain them.
- Budget constraints. For startups or small businesses with limited budgets, a freelancer can provide expert services at a fraction of the cost compared to full-time employees.
- Fast scaling. In times when you need to rapidly scale up your development team to meet project deadlines, freelancers can be brought on board quickly.
- Access to diverse skills. If your project requires a skill set that your current team lacks, hiring a freelancer with that specific expertise can fill the gap effectively.
Use freelancing platforms
The rise of freelancing platforms makes it easier than ever to engage freelancers, giving organizations access to vast pools of talent. However, not all platforms are created equal. When shopping around for a freelancing platform, look for information about how the platform vets talent to ensure quality. If the platform doesn’t require freelancers to apply first and undergo some sort of screening process, consider looking elsewhere.
Consider nearshore or offshore outsourcing
For businesses open to hiring nearshore or offshore freelancers, options are plentiful. Nearshoring allows you to hire freelancers from nearby countries, facilitating easier communication due to similar time zones. Offshoring, on the other hand, lets you tap into global talent regardless of their geographical location. Keep in mind that offshore outsourcing can involve some pretty drastic time differences, so these freelancers are not always the best option when timely communication is important.
Benefits of hiring remote developers
Let’s take a look at what advantages employers and employees gain from remote work.
- Work-life balance. Remote workers don’t have to endure long commutes, giving them more opportunities to enjoy life outside of work. Remote developers can do their job from anywhere, whether that’s a local coffee shop, a new city, or at home while running a load of laundry. When employees are happier with their lives outside of work, they show up with more energy and greater productivity to invest during working hours.
- Increased productivity. According to a global study by Statista, approximately 60% of remote software developers report that working from home has a positive impact on their productivity. Remote employees report higher satisfaction with their work and better performance due to a lack of distractions from coworkers or micromanagement in the office.
- Improved diversity and inclusion. Remote work is a huge step towards creating more inclusive work environments. Working from home has huge benefits for people with physical or mental health disabilities, economic housing limitations, or primary family care responsibilities.
- Cost reduction. Remote work helps companies cut down on operational costs. Reducing the need for office space, utilities, and other overhead expenses allows companies to dramatically cut costs. Even with a hybrid work environment, employers can save about $11,000 per employee every year.
- Reduce turnover. Companies that offer remote work see 25% less turnover than companies that require employees to be in the office. In general, employees are happier when they have the option to work from home because it cuts down on commuting and gives them flexibility. The happier employees are, the more likely they are to stick with their current employer.
- Extended talent pool. Remote work allows employers to source talent globally rather than just locally. Widening your geographic search helps you find a wider pool of diverse, experienced developers.
Hiring is just the start
Now that you know how to hire remote developers, it’s time to get to work on filling those open roles. With a clear understanding of your needs, a structured hiring process, and a comprehensive onboarding plan, you can successfully build a robust remote development team. The benefits of hiring remote developers are immense, from cost savings to access to a global talent pool. But remember, the key to reaping these benefits lies in effective management and ongoing support for your remote workforce.
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