Having an in-house developer is very different from having a remote developer. When other companies in the market focussed on only having developers and other team members in their office premises, we decided we would also collaborate and work with remote developers.
We onboarded developers from around the world because our projects needed people who had a different angle and perception of the market than us, who had global exposure and those who would bring in new and unique competencies to the table.
Hiring remote developers remains one of our best decisions but personally, the journey from finding and hiring them and working with them has been sweetly challenging. There was a lot to learn and unlearn and if we’re able to get more things done from both the teams, it’s because of the insights we gathered along the journey.
We thought if we’ve found it useful, you would, too. So, if you’re looking to hire remote developers, this is how you could go about doing it.
Being clear about your requirements is one of the fundamentals of hiring remote developers. They will have a clear picture of their role in our organization only when we clearly define it. That’s why the first step in this is writing down your requirements because doing this will also give you an idea of other associated questions like the remote developer’s pay, work schedule, duties and responsibilities, reporting manager, work timing (due to time zones) and more.
Get started with the following factors:
- Describe the job role you intend to hire a remote developer for
- Mention the project area/team the developer would be working on
- Clearly define the payment structure – it could be weekly, monthly, hourly or biweekly.
- Include the type of job role – full-time, freelancing or contract
- The work timings the remote worker has to follow
- How would you include the developer in meetings and how do you intend to get them onboard
- The performance measurement metrics
- Do you need a remote worker as a backup or to work on an ongoing project
- What type of developer you need – full-stack, frontend and more
All these questions would give you a picture of where you stand in terms of hiring.
Finding The Ideal Candidate
Once you know what you want, finding the candidate becomes easier. From the questions above, there are only two possible outcomes – you either need a full-time remote developer or a freelancer.
If it’s a full-time remote developer you’re looking for, there are social networks like LinkedIn and several job portals that can fetch you, ideal candidates. Profiles in these are uploaded by aspirants who are serious about a full-time job but are flexible about their place of work.
If you’re looking for a freelancer, you should approach websites like Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour and more. They are secure platforms that have some of the best developers from the freelance communities in the world, especially when you are looking for tech talent specializing in Vue, Ember, React or Angular. Initiating payments also becomes easier with these platforms as most of them deploy an Escrow payment procedure.
For those of you who didn’t know, there are freelance developers portals out there that specialize in one particular technology. For instance, a portal called Codeable.io offers niche developers for WordPress. If you have a developer requirement for one particular technology, you could approach such websites and find pros in the market.
Payment and Payment Procedures
Like we said, freelancing websites take care of payment-related tasks as they have Escrow payment procedures. An online contract ensures an eventful collaboration for both. But if your recruit is a full-time employee found outside of freelancing websites, payment depends on the developer’s country of residence, work policies prevailing in their region and more.
In this case, websites like PayPal become more useful in initiating fund transfer. If the remote developer is based in the same country as you are, the on-boarding procedures remain comparatively similar to recruiting an in-house staff.
The Hiring Process
When it comes to a remote developer, recruiting someone who is trustable and has a good attitude towards work is equally important as his or her technical skills. The fact is, when you have an in-house developer, calling for meetings and having conversations about work and projects are easier. That’s not the case with remote workers. The approach you take should be entirely different and it starts with the recruitment process.
Considering the following method of filtering out candidates to recruit candidates would be a culture-fit.
Include a sentence in your job description and ask candidates to include the word at the beginning of their cover letter. Usually, freelance applicants tend to have a template cover letter or response they simply copy and paste. Most skip the job description part and simply apply after reading the job title. When you don’t do this, you would end up speaking to every other candidate. To eliminate this, you just have to look for those who have responded with the magic word as they are more serious than the rest.
Also, consider these factors:
- A good candidate would ask more questions than talking only about themselves. Look for those who give a gentle introduction about them and their career path and are curious about the work involved.
- Look for their ratings and reviews if you’re looking on freelance portals
- Do a quick background check on LinkedIn
- Check if they have experience working remotely. This saves time on training and familiarity with productivity tools.
- Look for their portfolio and look at their roles in the contribution to the projects specifically.
- Assess their communication skills and communication quotient. Conveying things is key in remote working and if they don’t communicate messages at the right time, you would be in a soup.
The Assessment Process
Your assessment process need not be daunting or time-consuming simply because it involves a remote worker. You can execute a seamless assessment methodology regardless. All you have to do is have a systematic procedure in place.
The First Phase
The first phase in the assessment process – after you’ve filtered out candidates – involves getting on a quick call with the candidate to get an idea about their profile. From how they started off as a developer to the reason they’re looking for a remote job, you get a sense of all the information provided and see if the candidate is promising.
The Second Phase
This involves sending an assignment to assess their technical skills. There are a lot of tracker tools available that paves the way for a fool-proof recruitment process. To ensure the assessment process is genuine, use these trackers as they keep a track of time for the assignment, record the websites visited during the course of the assignment, take occasional screenshots of the work and more.
Once the candidate clears the first round, you could have another round of tasks that is specific to the project they are supposed to work on. This would show how oriented the candidate is.
The Final Phase
Once the candidate qualifies overall, it would be a good time to get on a video call with all the stakeholders involved for another final round of assessment. This is a culture round to see how good of a fit would they be to the team and organization. This is also the time to assess their responsibilities and attitude as a remote developer.
Once every process is done and dusted, it’s time to get the developer on board and assign them to the team.
So, these were the 5 crucial stages in hiring a remote developer. But as a recruiter, the job doesn’t end there. Working with a remote worker is a task by itself and needs a dedicated post. Follow these steps and watch out for this space for more insights on working with a remote developer.
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