This week, we’re answering one of the toughest queries that technical hiring managers face: how to hire remote devs.

Whilst it can seem like a bit of a daunting challenge, keep in mind that there are some things that you can think about beforehand to achieve a successful hire. Asking yourself the right questions before, during and after the hiring process will help you build a successful strategy that you can follow when needing to hire other team members. Below, we’ve come up with 5 easy questions to ask yourself before diving headfirst into hiring remote devs:

Am I asking open-ended questions?

When hiring team members who are going to be remote, it’s vital that you pepper in some open-ended questions so that they can’t just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to everything that you ask. You’ll want to make sure that your candidates understand your tech stack and share the same priorities; like technical testing, code maintenance and documentation. This way, you can ensure that the people you are interviewing are the correct technical fit and they’ll be no ethical issues along the way.

What kind of team member am I looking for?

As much as you need to hire based on code skillset first, soft skills also matter. We’ve detailed how candidates can pass the ‘cultural fit’ stage, but it’s important that you write a short list of soft skills that you think your candidates will need in order to make the remote transition run smoothly. As a start, make sure they have a good support system in place. Remember, because they are a remote employee, you’re not going to be physically with them and so you or your team members cannot be their only source of socialisation.

Something else to think about? Good communication. As we discussed earlier, trust is an important part of your remote strategy and ultimately, you’re going to be looking for good communicators as part of the overall package. Make sure that you’re finding people who can write a clear email, or express themselves well over video calling tools.

How do I know they have the right skills for the role?

When searching for remote talent, be mindful and take a methodical approach to your hiring strategy. Ask yourself, what skills do you require candidates to have? One way to hire a remote dev successfully is to ask them to complete a technical test. As an example, at hackajob, we pride ourselves on our vast library of coding challenges. Each candidate on our platform has access to this library and is scored based on the quality of their code and nothing more. Screen your talent efficiently, and you’ll have an objective, data-led decision to draw a conclusion from.

How can I create trust?

Creating trust is crucial when it comes to hiring remote devs. Obviously, they’re not going to physically be in the office so it’s important to be transparent and make an effort to make them feel like they’re a part of the team - because they are. There are some easy tweaks that you can make to ensure that everybody feels involved. For example, every time you hold a team stand-up or that all-important company meeting, be sure to dial in your remote team. Better still, get them involved via video call and have them lead some aspects of your meeting. Remember to encourage them to message their team when they’ve pushed new code to your repository. Creating that initial key rapport will lead to success.

Have I made a flexible working environment?

After hiring remote team members, keep in mind that they probably have their own way of doing things; and that’s ok. Trying to micromanage every aspect of their day probably isn’t going to work - it’s not worth the personal stress and you’ve got to instil that feeling of trust from day dot. Instead, accept that some of your remote devs might work at different hours of the day compared to the usual 9-5 (yes, we are talking about your stereotypical night owls). That doesn’t mean that you have to abandon all business practices in order to accommodate new team members. Instead, agree on deadlines for projects and have regular check-ins that do fit the wider business schedule. 3 am commits are all well and good but they will have to work with non-remote devs and so we recommend implementing a schedule that works for all parties.

Interested in changing up your hiring strategy? Make sure to get in touch and see how hackajob can help you hire the best technical talent, remote or otherwise.