There are many benefits to hiring remote teams. From greater access to talent to cost savings, hiring remotely has proven to be positive for both employer and employee. One important area of your business where you may want to consider utilizing a remote team is software development.
When you hire remote developers, you are not only gaining access to a larger pool of qualified candidates, but also expanding your team to grow your business. Offsite developers are a great way to keep your work in-house without having to hire contract or freelance continuously. Having a remote team means you can access global talent in new regions and your developers might be working in different time zones, meaning your business is always running for your customers, no matter the time.
If hiring a team of remote software developers is the right path for your business, we have everything you need to know from benefits to challenges to the recruiting and hiring process. Our in-depth guide will walk you through all the essential steps to hire a remote software development team.
Why it Makes Sense to Hire Remote Developers
You might be wondering why hiring a remote team of software developers is the right move. The answer is because of the significant benefits of doing so.
Access to a global talent pool
When you hire remotely, you’re no longer constrained to hiring candidates in your local region. Your business is able to source talent from all over the world, giving you access to even more qualified employees. Global talent also allows you to expand into other regions and service customers on a greater scale.
Cost savings and scalability
Hiring remotely can provide significant cost savings. Not only will you save costs on equipment and other expenses associated with a physical office space (e.g. utilities), you also have more flexibility with pay rates. Different locations often have different pay scales, allowing you to hire great talent at a lower rate than just where your business is located.
Remote teams also allow you to scale your business. Hiring remote team members can lead to expanding your business offerings, improving customer service, and creating new business opportunities.
Flexibility for both employers and employees
Another advantage to hiring remote teams is the flexibility it offers to both your employees and your business. Flexible work schedules increase employee productivity and improves retention. This in turn positively impacts your company’s bottom line and gives you a competitive advantage. Employers also have the flexibility to hire employees in areas they are looking to expand into or hire specific skills without being constrained to local talent pools.
Common Obstacles to Hiring Remote Developers
Remote developers are in high demand. However, that doesn’t make recruiting and hiring any easier. There are a few challenges businesses face and need to consider when moving forward with a software development team that is remote.
Identifying Good Candidates
Recruiting talent is its own skill and the stronger your recruiting efforts, the better you’ll be able to identify top talent. In the software development industry, it’s easy to get inundated with a heavy amount of less qualified talent. When you begin looking for your team, it’s possible you might receive an influx of resumes and CVs, since these positions are highly sought after by candidates. Because the positions are remote, your candidate pool will be much larger because employees from different regions—and countries—can and will apply.
To navigate through all the candidates you’ll receive, here are some tips on how to identify and narrow down the ones you’re looking for. To start, make sure your job description is clear and includes the details on the position and all requirements. Next, you’ll want to make sure you post the open positions on the appropriate job boards, in other words, job boards where software developers frequently look for open positions. This will ensure the right candidates are finding your job posting. You can also use an applicant tracking software (ATS) that will scan through the applications received based on the parameters you set. Following these three tips will ensure you are not spending time looking through hundreds of applications that don’t meet your requirements.
Handling a Global Hiring Process
While access to global talent is valuable, it can also present a challenge for your team—especially recruiting and human resources. Global talent acquisition can present not only language barriers, but a whole new set of legal and employment requirements. You’ll need to make sure your team is managing the hiring process per the native country’s guidelines. You’ll also want to work with HR to determine compensation, employment practices, and any other cultural barriers that may impact the interview and hiring process.
You’ll want to make sure you understand the different cultures and practices where potential employees might be located. Should you choose to hire an employee in a different country than where your business is located, you’ll possibly want to consider hiring an HR consultant with experience working with employees in different countries.
Language and Time Zone Barriers
While it’s beneficial to have global talent on your team, there are some challenges. The two most obvious are language and time zones. Having employees working in different time zones might be great for customer service since your business will always have a team member available, it’s challenging to coordinate team meetings, employees might be working odd hours in their location, and turnaround times might be delayed.
Language can also present a challenge. If your business primarily operates in a region that speaks a certain language, hiring employees globally opens you up to employees who might not be fluent in that language. You may want to include a particular language and desired proficiency in the job description, as well as describe the possibility of working with teams in different regions and time zones. Another way to overcome this challenge is by utilizing a reputable staffing service—like Solvo Global—to help source and pre-screen each candidate to reduce the possibility of language and time zone barriers.
Competition (High Demand and High Rates)
Remote software developers are in high demand. In fact, 86% of developers work remotely. The access to greater talent and cost savings makes remote developers valuable to employers, and the ability to work anywhere with flexible schedules entices most developers to seek remote opportunities. This causes an increase in demand and enables developers to ask for higher pay rates.
Why Freelance Developers May Not Be the Best Choice
You might be thinking it would be easier to hire a contract or freelance developer. While there may be some cost savings, hiring freelance developers comes with disadvantages, especially for small to medium sized businesses. Some disadvantages include prioritizing (your business and projects are most likely not the only ones they’re working on with deadlines), lack of full integration in the project and team, and lower commitment to the company vision.
Freelancers are a better solution if you really are just looking to hire someone for a one-off short-term project. However, if you are looking for long-term commitment and loyalty to the company, complete integration with your teams and projects, and the ability to work on multiple projects with your company, it will be more beneficial for you to hire dedicated remote developers full-time.
How to Hire Remote Developers…Who Won’t Leave After a Few Months
Once you’ve decided a remote developer team is right for you, you’ll need to know how to hire remote developers. Here are some tips and best practices to help you.
Determine the required level of expertise and experience
The first thing you’ll want to do is determine the skillset, experience, and expertise you require for the developer position. Narrow down the exact qualifications for the position, set parameters to eliminate candidates not meeting the requirements, and determine the personality and culture fit you’re looking for.
One way to gauge a candidate’s expertise is to ask for a portfolio or work samples. Oftentimes developers will have samples of code or links to live work they’ve completed. This will show you the type of work they produce and help determine if it’s in line with what you are looking for.
Since the position is remote, you may want to consider candidates who have experience working remotely. Experience with project management tools is also something to look for. Most likely, your remote developers will be utilizing a project management platform to track progress and complete tasks. Proficiency and being comfortable using these tools will be beneficial.
Consider Time Zones and Work Habits
With offsite development teams, some team members may be working out of locations in a different time zone than your home office. This can present a challenge when hiring as well as a roadblock for collaboration.
Determining how many of your developer tasks require a quick turnaround will help you gauge whether or not it’s a good idea to hire someone in a time zone that’s the furthest from where you operate. If your projects don’t typically require quick turnaround times, then it may not matter as much if team members have a 12-hour time difference. The best question to ask yourself is: if you can’t get a hold of team members for a full business day, how will your daily operations be impacted?
A good idea is to generate a list of the most ideal time zones that will work best for your business needs. Then you can include those time zones as preferred in your job posting to narrow down remote candidates in those regions. Another tip is to consider asking candidates if they are willing to work your time zone before ruling them out.
Provide opportunities for growth
The technology industry is constantly evolving, and so are the necessary skills to stay relevant. Your remote software developers will likely have certain certifications that renew or will need to be updated to include the latest industry changes. Providing opportunities for your developers to expand their knowledge and skill sets is a great way to increase retention and ensure your team stays up-to-date and competitive.
Determining a growth plan for your developers within your company will also increase retention. By setting goals and determining career paths within the department, you’re helping your team build a career and enticing them to stay with your company long-term.
Consider soft skills
In addition to technical skills and expertise, you’ll also need to consider the relevant soft skills required for the position. Does the position require working with different departments and teams collaboratively? If so, you’ll want to look for candidates with strong communication and interpersonal skills.
Since they will be working remotely, time management skills will also be important. Your team should be able to organize their workflow, meet deadlines, and manage tasks. Problem-solving skills are important, especially when troubleshooting. Your team will need to make quick decisions and produce effective results.
Important Skills to Look for in Remote Developers
We touched on many different skills your remote development team will need to have, but here are the top three that are the most essential.
Technical expertise relevant to the position
Your job posting should list the exact type of developer your team needs. Whether you are looking for back-end or front-end developers, list out the exact details of the position and the exact technical skills they need to have. For example, do you require candidates to have knowledge and expertise in specific programming language? Are their day-to-day tasks software-focused only, or will they also work in quality assurance? Be as specific as you can with the technical expertise you require and ask candidates to provide a portfolio.
Strong communication and collaboration skills
Most likely, your developers will have to work with other teams within the organization. Therefore, candidates with strong communication and collaboration skills are a must. Your developers will need to be able to communicate issues and resolutions as well as work with multiple departments to complete projects. You can ask candidates if they have used collaboration tools and project management platforms previously as these will be the primary form of communication and collaboration between teams.
Proven ability to work independently and meet deadlines
While your remote developers will have a supervisor, with everyone working remotely it’s essential that the team members can work independently, take initiative, and meet deadlines. The supervisor may also be remote, so your developers will need to know what tasks they need to complete and by when, and motivate themselves to do so. In software development, getting tasks done on time within the deadlines is a must to keep projects moving and provide deliverables on time.
Your Team of Software Developers Begins with Solvo
Building a remote development team has many advantages from cost savings to greater access to talent to improved retention. However, it’s not without its challenges. Choosing to hire remote developers can be very involved, with many different aspects to consider. If you’re looking to implement a remote software development team, Solvo Global can help. Our remote solutions include staffing and recruiting, so you can easily start building your virtual teams with us. At Solvo, our recruiters will help you find, hire, and collaboratively train your team. We’ll find the right developers for your business. Contact us to get started.