Hiring remote talent: Learn to do it right

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If you have been hiring lately or are looking for a new addition to your company, then you know the pain: the local market often seems empty. And those few qualified candidates will cost your business an arm and a leg.

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Hire remote developers: Attract the top talent from abroad

hire remote developers

If you have been hiring lately or are looking for a new addition to your company, then you know the pain:

The local market often seems empty. And those few qualified candidates will cost your business an arm and a leg. 

Desperate, you are probably looking for other, more efficient ways to hire your next A player. And that’s when you hit the wall.

But there’s hope.

With remote hiring, you can hire faster and often get better candidates. Interested?

If so, then we are here to help you out and walk you through the remote hiring process, answering your “how,” “where,” and “when.” Ready? Then fasten your seatbelts. We’re about to change your world.

Why hiring remote talent makes sense?

COVID

The Great Resignation hit the world of business pretty hard. With employees leaving en masse, companies are desperately looking for ways to hire talent fast and hassle-free. Add to this the stress of seeing 10.7 million job openings in the US alone and understanding the competition for every position open - and you might realize how much pressure experiences every single recruiter out there.

And then there’s COVID with all the safety precautions and ever-so-changing requirements for businesses that drive people out of the office.

Feeling overwhelmed?

And so are the recruitment teams.

So, when the talk about hiring remote talent gets to their attention, they are all ears. And for a good reason: it is a very promising endeavor.

It costs less.

It can be faster.

It brings the same level of quality to the table.

This is just a sneak peek.

Now, let’s look into the benefits of hiring remote talent in more detail to better understand how remote companies attract top talent.

Remote hiring benefits

1. WFH translates into better productivity.

Many employers worry about their employees working from home to be less productive. They’re afraid employees would slack off and wander around the house during working hours instead of doing their job.

If we’re being completely honest here, some workers might sneak a minute here and there to daydream or load another pile of laundry into a washing machine. But this barely affects their performance.

In fact, one Chinese experiment has proven the exact opposite.

They offered their call center team to volunteer to work either from home or from the office. As time went by, the company compared the results of both groups. To their surprise, they found out that the team working remotely showed better results in improved performance and decreased absenteeism. They took fewer days off and sick leaves while also working more minutes per shift and taking more calls.

The secret was in a more peaceful environment. No common office distractions and the peace and quiet of their home helped employees be more productive.

Therefore, if your biggest concern against hiring remote talent lies in your fear of their lack of productivity, don’t worry. A multitude of experiments has proven the opposite.

2. It is cost-efficient.

Office rent.

Office supplies.

Snacks.

Office insurance.

Utilities.

Furniture.

Technical equipment.

These are just a few things your company can save on with a WFH option. The list can go on depending on your business niche and any specific needs you may have.

In the meantime, your employees can save on gas and office lunches.

Obviously, it’s a win-win situation.

And this theory is backed with hard numbers:

Companies can save up to $10K per employee a year, while the latter can save on average $4K with remote work.

Thus, by choosing to hire remote talent, you’re saving a ton of money and making a decision quite popular with your potential employees as they would greatly benefit from it financially, too.

3. It gives you access to more talent.

Any local market, no matter how big, is quite limited. Thus, if you’re looking for a software engineer in the USA, you’re limited to candidates within the area.

However, you’re opening up your business to a much wider talent pool by choosing to hire remote talent.

Either via freelance marketplaces, direct hire recruiting agencies, or job boards, by offering a work-from-home option, you’re attracting a multitude of qualified candidates from around the globe. Communication and work structure, in this case, shouldn’t be a problem thanks to numerous helpful tools, but we’ll talk about it later.

4. It comes with lower rates.

In many cases, remote employees, especially those outside the US, set lower rates while offering the same level of services as the local talent. 

Thanks to the fact that the cost of living in many places around the globe is lower, candidates can set lower rates.

Thus, for instance, an average salary of a software developer in the US is around $99K while in Eastern Europe, the salary of such a specialist can be around $50K. 

This in no way affects their expertise but does add yet another winning point to their profile, helping them beat the fierce competition.

They’re both equally professional and competent in developing your product. Yet, if you hire remote developers, you can help your business to stay afloat. Whom would you choose?

5. It puts you on top of the game.

By offering the WFH option, you’re getting a competitive edge over the competition.

You’re signaling potential jobseekers that you are flexible and ready to meet their needs.

No more long commute hours and traffic jams eating up valuable time off the employee’s schedule.

Instead, you’re offering a flexible option that would allow your team to have a healthy work-life balance.

6. It’s nature-friendly.

This might not have been on the top of your priorities list, but it’s an important advantage.

An average employee working from an office has a tremendous impact on the environment.

They use paper documents, gas to commute, as well as work from spaces that consume way too much energy.

Research by Global Workforce Analytics shows that if people whose jobs allow them to work remotely worked from home, collectively, they would be able to save:

$40 million on gas

108 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to taking almost 20 million cars off the road for a year).

1.2 billion barrels of oil (worth $128 billion)

238 billion miles of highway driving

These are staggering numbers. And by allowing your employees to go remote, you’d be joining in a great effort to protect the environment.

7. It increases retention.

Happy employees tend to stay. Frustrated employees leave the moment they spot a better opportunity.

One of the post-pandemic studies about employee retention showed that more than half of employees would leave their current jobs unless offered flexible hours or an opportunity to work from home.

Working during the pandemic has taught all of us that WFH is absolutely possible, and in many cases, it serves as a better alternative to office life as we knew it.

Therefore, by offering your potential hires flexible working conditions, you’re increasing their loyalty and growing employee retention rate.

Now, we wouldn’t be entirely honest if we said that remote working is flawless.

It has its downsides, for sure. And to make an informed decision, you need to know about them, too.

Challenges of hiring remotely

  • Time zone differences.

This is by far the biggest challenge.

Working from different time zones can be tough and cause issues with the communication with your remote software engineers or any other remote position.

However, to avoid the inconvenience, look for candidates whose location would allow at least three to four hours overlap during the workday.

Additionally, consider using helpful tools to streamline your communication. These include task management platforms like Jira and Trello and all-in-one communication apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams. They will help you build an improved communication experience and prevent tension within the team.

  • Multitude of applicants.

Hiring remotely often translates into brushing through hundreds of applications for a single position. People appreciate the flexibility you offer - and thus, they apply to join your company.

Going through hundreds of applications takes time. Therefore, if you’re doing the hiring in-house, brace yourself! Consider adding specific requirements into your job description to filter out candidates that don’t fit the profile. Alternatively, you can use the help of external recruiting agencies to do the job for you. It will cost more, but it is worth every penny given that they do the work for you - and you just make the final decision on the candidates they choose for you.

  • Cultural differences.

People often underestimate the importance of being in sync with your team culture-wise. Understanding a person's background, what beliefs shape how they perceive things, and an ability to quickly adapt to any situation are cornerstones of effective communication inside a multicultural team.

For it, you need to educate your team on different cultures, establish basic ground rules and boundaries to ensure that every team member is treated with respect, and help them come together as a group.

Once you’ve set these boundaries, cultural differences will only enhance your team effort, with every team member bringing something unique to the table.

  • Difficulty onboarding remote employees.

The first day of work is stressful for everyone.

Meeting new people, establishing new connections, and getting to know your team can all be quite nerve-wracking.

But it’s just one day - and on day two, you already feel more confident.

With remote employees, this can be tricky and time-consuming and, thus, frustrating. 

The process of smoothly introducing remote workers to a team doesn’t happen in one day over a cup of coffee in a break room. It takes longer and requires careful planning on your part.

We’re not saying it’s impossible. We’re just saying that it requires more preparation.

  • Technical issues.

Remember that meme that said that the most popular phrase in the first few months of the pandemic was “Can you hear me?”

With everything quickly shifting online, no one was ready to face a new reality. Before switching to the WFH regime, we had no idea how much technology would fail us and how slow our Internet connection was at home.

With time we made it work, but technology is still quite prone to fail.

Dealing with it will surely put a damp on the work process. But it’s far from being a major concern. After all, people face these same obstacles while working in-house, too. It is rather something to bear in mind when considering this type of collaboration.

These five disadvantages seem to worry potential employers the most. The good news is that they can all be easily handled with a smart, streamlined hiring process, pre-planned communication channels, and raising intercultural awareness among your team members.

Now, let’s see how exactly you can hire your next remote software engineer.

How to hire remotely

1. Establish a strong employer brand.

Companies with no name spend more time on hiring because they lack recognition. Candidates are reluctant to apply for a job at a company they know nothing about. It’s risky; thus, they opt for a safer option at a company they know.

And while if you’re hiring locally, there is still a chance that your ideal candidates have heard of you somehow, in the case of remote hiring overseas, this chance is very slim.

Therefore, once you decide on hiring developers abroad (or filling any other position this way, for that matter), create a strategy for building a strong employer brand.

One of the effective ways to do that is through “building in public.” While the term is quite new, the practice is tried and true. The idea behind it is to use a media channel to share how you as an entrepreneur or your company as a whole are building your product step by step. You can start in your early days and grow your audience count by being transparent about what worked and what didn’t. But if you hadn’t started early, don’t fret: it’s never too late to start.

We recommend this strategy for many reasons: it helps you to build trust, makes you more accessible and transparent, and helps you create an image of an expert in your area. Last but not least, it allows you to build relationships with your audience and attract the right talent. Candidates from your audience, nurtured by your content, are more likely to become a good culture fit.

And this approach will significantly cut the cost of hiring!

2. Collect the testimonials.

Ask your former and current employees to leave testimonials and make testimonials an important part of the exit interview process (when leaving, people are more likely to leave an honest review).

Ask them to share why they chose your company, what it feels like to work with your team, and why they stay with you with such an abundance of choices on the job market.

This would help hesitant candidates considering your company as their primary employer to make an informed decision and nudge them in the right direction.

3. Go beyond job boards.

Often companies would post their job openings on a job board - and call it a day. However, we recommend going above and beyond the job boards.

If you’re utilizing one of the communication channels to build in public, use that channel to also announce these openings. That audience there is already warm, and they’re cheering for the success of your business. So, they’re likely either to apply themselves or recommend a person they trust who, they believe, would become a good addition to your team.

Be where your potential candidates are. That being said, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of social media. Use your social pages to announce the job openings there, describe what you’re looking for in a top-of-the-line candidate and invite your followers to refer candidates they find suitable.

Finally, another strategy that has proven to be extremely efficient - start a referral program for your employees. We know a host of companies that do this - and they unanimously agree that this approach has brought in extraordinary results. The thing is that your employees treasure the reputation that you have. So, they wouldn’t recommend people they are not 100% sure about. We strongly advise offering a money prize for every candidate they refer that passes a probation period. This would serve as an amazing motivation for the team.

4. Outsource the hiring altogether.

Before you get knee-deep in hiring, analyze the internal resource you have and honestly assess whether you have the capacity to do it in-house.

It is better to see that you wouldn’t be able to do the sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding all by yourself sooner rather than later. Outsourcing the whole process from the beginning frees up time, lets you focus on revenue-making activities instead, and allows the professionals to step in and find your next A player faster.

Now, suppose you decide to outsource the hiring. In that case, you can choose either one of these options - an outsource company (if you’re looking for offshore developers), a direct hire recruiting agency, or a “recruiter on request” option. 

Let’s see what each one of them looks like.

An outsourcing company is a popular one. They hire talent in-house and then let third-party companies use their resources at a fee. They’re responsible for hiring, onboarding, paying taxes, organizing the workflow, and finding customers for their employees to cater to. This is a valid option, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

A direct hire recruiting agency is there for you to help you hire talent that would be placed directly at your company. You’ll be their employer, fully responsible for all things organization and structure. 

Last but not least, a recruiter on request is a great option for companies with several top-tier job openings and needing temporary help with closing those positions. They would do the sourcing and hiring on behalf of your company for as long as you need them. This option will work best for those companies that do not want to outsource recruiting to a third party and want a professional to join their team for a short period of time when they are overwhelmed with everything they have on their plate.

5. Establish a transparent hiring process.

Regardless of whether you hire in-house or seek the assistance of third-party agencies, write down what the hiring process at your company will look like and inform every candidate on how the communication will go so that they know and understand what comes next.

From our vast experience, we strongly recommend including these steps in your hiring process (they’ve proven to reap the best results for us):

Initial communication + soft skills check.

At this stage, we introduce the company and meet the candidate. Our goal is to check their soft skills and better understand how well they will fit with the company’s culture and how comfortable it would be for both sides to work together.

You can ask questions like:

- When was the last time you made a mistake? What did you do to fix it? How did the team react to it?

- If your manager had to evaluate your performance on a scale from 1 to 10, how would he rate you and why? And how would you rate your manager? 

- What’s one achievement you’re most proud of in your current role?

Pay attention to how they speak about their team, managers, subordinates, and company in general. Remember that what this person is saying now about their current place of employment, they’d one day say about your team to their next employer. You want to avoid toxic people speaking disrespectfully about their team right now. And you want to stay away from people who claim they make no mistakes as they’re most likely to put the blame on others, ruining the productive, friendly atmosphere in your company.

Hard skills check.

Invite an expert in the niche to conduct a technical interview for the candidate. Upon receiving their feedback, send a practical test assignment to see whether they’re as advanced and professional in real life as they’re on their resume.

Reference check.

Even though this point is often omitted these days, we believe it is crucial for the hiring process. You have just met this person, and no matter how good the first impression they made, you still don’t have the full picture. Therefore, meeting their former employer and asking a few questions would be beneficial.

We recommend getting feedback from at least three people; one of them has to be a former supervisor or a manager, and the other two can be left up for the candidate’s consideration. When talking to them, ask them the following questions:

-  If N would stay on your team, would you be happy?

- What are some areas that N has an in-depth understanding of? What areas should N grow in?

- What can we do to make N feel most welcome and comfortable in our team?

These questions will help you shed some light on what it really feels like to work around your chosen candidate, and, with that knowledge, you’d be able to make an informed decision.

Tips on hiring developers from abroad

  1. Consider the time zone difference. This can be a huge pain point for businesses and can cause a lot of trouble if not considered from the beginning. If you run a business in the US when you decide to hire developers from Eastern Europe, discuss the possibility of having at least four hours overlap during your working hours. This would help you have that peace of mind and make your teamwork more effective. The same goes if you want to hire a developer in Latin America. Although the time difference can be less noticeable here, it’s only smart to minimize its effect by planning the time overlaps ahead of time.
  2. Educate yourself on cultural differences. When hiring developers abroad, you must educate yourself (and your team) on the cultural differences. This will help strengthen your team and create a healthy working climate based on trust, respect, and tolerance.
  3. Work on establishing informal communication. Going beyond your work agenda is essential. Therefore, you need to find or create opportunities for your team to meet and have fun. If not in person, then at least online. Getting to know each other and building emotional connections will help you enhance your team and spark genuine interest and care inside the team.
  4. Be specific with your expectations and success measurement. Introduce your remote team members to success performance measurement scores. This way, if you choose to hire developers from Eastern Europe, Latin America, or any other place around the globe and you fall a little behind with your communication due to time zone difference, they would know exactly what you expect of them and how they can stay on track.
  5. Don’t push too hard. Sometimes when you work remotely, it feels like certain employees are not doing their best, slacking off, or missing deadlines. And while it might be the case sometimes, managers often get this image because they don’t see their team members working hard at their desks. And thus, frustrated when something doesn’t go according to their plan, they assume that employees are slacking off. We recommend being more sensitive and talking to your team before jumping to any conclusions.

If you look at all of these steps and feel overwhelmed, realizing how much work is ahead of you, we’re here to help. Indigo Tech Recruiters is a global tech recruitment agency with more than 14 years of experience under its belt. The company boasts 300 000+ IT professionals in its database and promises to offer the first perfect candidate within six days.

You can entrust them with the search for your next great hire - and they will deliver great results within the shortest time (and at a reasonable cost). 

Why choose Indigo Tech Recruiters

  • A variety of expert services. Executive search, HR consulting, Sourcing, or Recruitment Process Outsourcing - they’ve got it all covered. Therefore, if your business would benefit from these services, contact Indigo Tech Recruiters.
  • A vast talent pool. Did we mention 300 000+ IT specialists in their database? Easy access to top talent is what makes fast hiring possible if you turn to the agency for help.
  • Customer trust. Vimeo, TransferWise, ThreadUp, Fat Ginger Cat - what do these companies have in common? They trusted Indigo Tech Recruiters to do the hiring for them. And they were not disappointed. But don’t take our word for it. Check out these reviews.
  • Speed of hiring. Six days till your first candidate is delivered to your inbox. Now, that is quite impressive. So, if you’re looking for a fast and effective way to hire a key team player, using their services might be the way to go.
  • Success record. Over the last couple of years, Indigo Tech Recruiters have successfully closed 1500+ open tech positions. Regardless of the seniority and the niche you’re in, the agency can be a huge help to you.
  • Transparency. The agency streamlines communication, keeping the customers in the loop every step of the way. Thus, you will not be left out of the sourcing and hiring process and would be able to add changes to the process on the go if needed.

Sounds fantastic?  We think so too.

Now, enough with the talk. Let’s do the work!
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Author: Катерина Осадчук
112 Views
Category Recruiting
13.10.2022
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