In the software development industry, remote tech teams have started to become the ‘new normal’. Most tech companies are now leaning towards hiring remote developers instead of in-house ones because of various reasons. But remote hiring is neither simple nor easy. Many obstacles and questions might come in the way of finding your best team.
That is why, in this article, we are discussing everything you need to know in order to successfully hire a remote software development team. But first, let’s explore whether a remote team is the way to go for your business.
Benefits of hiring a remote team
There are several pros and cons of hiring and working with a remote team. These are the three benefits we want to highlight for a software development business.
- Maximum flexibility.
Working at a remote position provides employees with much appreciated flexibility in their work hours as well as their environment. It helps you, the employer, build a flexible company culture that is not only a sought-after quality for talented professionals but also a great way to lift everyone’s mood and productivity.
- Minimum commuting.
Living in a crowded city myself, I can assure you that wasting time sitting in traffic makes nobody happier. Remote work means no wasting time commuting to the office every day saving valuable time that can be spent productively.
- Access to global talents.
In-house hiring only lets you hire professionals living within the region of your office whereas hiring a remote employee provides you access to a global talent pool. You can hire the best software engineer you can afford even if they happen to live on the other side of the planet.
How to find and hire a remote software development team
Phase One: Pick the suitable hiring option for your business
→ Set expectations for your future employee(s)
Through setting goals for your project, you need to come up with the type and amount of work your remote team needs to complete on a regular basis. This will not only help you figure out the number and expertise of necessary resources, but also set expectations for your employees as early as possible.
→ Decide on the way to go
Once you have a clear understanding of how you want your team to look like and what output you expect from them, you are ready to make the choice that’d lead you to the next phase. Here, you would draw up a plan to go about the whole hiring process. Below are the available options to consider.
- The traditional route of job boards and LinkedIn research.
- Referrals from your professional network.
- Networking at tech conferences.
- Hiring from a freelance platform.
- Hiring a full time developer or a dedicated team online.
- Hiring outsourced developers.
Considering the statistics that IT professionals switch jobs every 3-4 years on average, referrals can be quite a helpful way to go especially in being certain of the candidate’s qualifications. On the other hand, tech conferences can be a great opportunity to find passionate tech professionals of a certain expertise. For example, you may find a good network of Python developers roaming around in Pycon and expert Java developers in Java Day. However, these networks are built over time and are not very helpful in making a quick hire if you are just starting.
→ Freelance platforms
If you need to make a quick hire for a short-term task, freelance platforms might be a good option for you. The top 3 freelance platforms right now are Upwork, TopTal and Gun.io.
Upwork takes a commission amounting 3% of each payment. Their freelancers are not generally pre-vetted, but it’s possible to find pre-vetted developers on their platform. The best part of this platform is their easy and speedy hiring process.
TopTal has an average rate of $120 per hire, but their developers are always thoroughly vetted in a 5 step process. It usually takes 3 weeks to meet your potential employee after posting your requirements at TopTal.
Gun.io costs a 30% fee of developer’s monthly salary. The company vets the freelancers on their soft skills and work style. A hire can take up to 48 hours using this platform.
Online hiring solutions like Prodigies tend to give you the best of both worlds. With a platform like this, you can extend your tech team or hire a full team of developers containing thoroughly vetted tech professionals. Prodigies has a portfolio of all sorts of tech professionals from project managers to developers expertising in any tech you need to UI/UX designers and QA engineers.
Prodigies will hook you up with a short list of suitable candidates within 3 days of you providing the requirements and you will have the opportunity to conduct an optional interview with the pre-vetted potential employees before making the final decision.
The onboarding is usually quite easy and streamlined as the company takes care of all financial, legal and administrative issues. And the quality of work is more reliable than freelancers as your remote employees will be provided with all necessary facilities within their geographic area without costing any extra money from you.
→ Outsourced developers
If you already have a clear understanding of your product idea and a roadmap drawn out, outsourcing your project to a software development company can be a great idea. This will give your project access to a complete development team including developers, QAs and designers without making the individual hires by yourself.
The good thing is that you can outsource your project to anywhere in the world and companies like Astha IT not only give you access to world-class talents but also are likely to cost way less than hiring a USA or Europe-based development team. All you need to do is precisely define your software requirements and they will serve you with a complete project requiring minimal input from you.
Phase Two: Create a standard remote interview process
→ Set priorities
Much like phase one, it is important to know exactly what you are looking for in this phase too. First of all, your job description should list all the skills and qualities you are looking for in the employees and your requirements should also be effectively communicated with the whole hiring team.
→ Initial interview
Even if the team will be working remotely, a cultural fit is absolutely essential while hiring new team members. If the candidate is not a team player or does not have necessary communication skills, maintaining the remote team will get much more difficult than managing an in-house one.
That is why your vetting process should start with a 30-minute face-to-face meeting between the short-listed candidates and a hiring manager or team lead. If the meeting can not be held in person because of geographic restrictions, you may want to opt for a video meeting over Zoom or GMeet.
In this meeting, ask your hiring team to look for skills like good communication, self-discipline, teamwork and prioritization. A remote worker needs to have certain qualities that are not always required in an in-house employee. If the candidate is not able to prioritize their tasks in a way to meet crucial deadlines, they might not be suitable for a remote position.
→ Technical interview
This is best done, in our opinion, with a curated technical assignment. Instead of asking theoretical questions, you need to test how they perform in a practical situation. A technical exam or trial project may be the way to go for you. While assessing the project, check it for potential outputs such as quality of the code, analytical skills, logical thinking etc.
Once the candidate passes the technical interview, you need to come to an agreement with them before sending them the final offer. To do so, you may want to arrange a meeting including the candidate’s potential future supervisor and your HR manager to discuss the candidate’s salary expectations, work schedule and other benefits that come with the job. During this meeting, give the candidate the opportunity to ask any questions they may have lingering and look for some answers for yourself too.
- Has the candidate ever worked in a remote company or team before?
- Do they have any concerns about working remotely?
- Are they able to track their KPI by themselves?
- Are they collaborative and team-oriented?
- How might they react to strict deadlines?
Once you have all the answers you need, make an offer with which the candidate would be genuinely excited. To do so, you need to have an understanding of average salaries in their niche for their region. Do your research accordingly.
→ Send the offer
After the discussion and verbal agreement, you will want to seal the deal with paperwork. Send the official job offer with the benefits package over to your potential employee. Here, you also need to discuss a contract with respective managers and your legal department.
Once the contract is signed by both parties, your company is ready to onboard its new and remote employee. Create a smooth and welcoming onboarding process. Especially for a remote employee, it is important to make them feel like a part of the team. Make an effort to introduce them to the company, the team and the culture as thoroughly as possible. It is always good to have a person from your in-house team who will be able to help the remote developers get along with the working environment.
There you have it! All our remote hiring wisdom is passed on to you now. So which mode of hiring are you going to choose? Whichever it is though, we are always here to help!