Hiring high-quality employees is often the top priority for hiring managers, recruiters, and employers—especially in the tech field. Considering the functionality of a service is directly tied to a team’s ability to build out functional programs, employers simply can’t skimp on software talent.
But how do we build remote software engineering teams that are as strong, if not more so, than conventional in-person teams? As more and more companies go fully remote, tech recruiters are having to rethink and reimagine what their ideal candidate looks like along with how they should go about building out their dream remote team.
Fortunately, we’ve got a lot of experience in this area and we’re more than willing to share our tips of the trade.
If you want to attract top tech talent, you need to have a strong public-facing employer brand. This means building an image of your company that is both impressive and inspiring; make it look like the kind of place where a person will find their dream job. While it’s important to show off your company’s achievements and professional highlights, you also want to showcase the more unique aspects of your company and employees—what makes it fun to work for your employer?
This stage is particularly important because it both showcases the attention and detail you give to your brand while also demanding the same attention and detail from prospective candidates. Basically, building a strong company page is like a screening hack for recruiters.
For example, a cover letter or email that speaks in the same language as your company’s online bio—and even mentions specific unique details—shows you that the candidate did their homework, can recognize valuable aspects of your company, and is a potential good fit. Likewise, a candidate who sends a boilerplate professional cover letter despite your company’s clear use of informal language suggests they aren’t a good fit from the get-go.
Remote hiring means that physical distance can complicate traditional forms of communication, like phone calls. Differences in time zones mean that your working hours may be someone’s off-hours, which is why you should provide both synchronous and asynchronous methods of communication for your candidate to engage with you.
Synchronous communication is great for having extended conversations with candidates and lets you get a better understanding of their character and mannerisms, while asynchronous communication provides for convenience and is better suited for exchanging information like resumes or meeting times.
Most importantly, you can use a candidate’s ability to communicate with you via asynchronous communication to gauge if they would work well remotely. If you struggle to interact with someone via email and you notice they make lots of formatting mistakes, chances are they may not be the best at communicating with project managers via Slack.
It may seem obvious, but a good in-person worker may not be a good remote worker. Similarly, not all communication and management skills transfer over to remote environments.
First and foremost, your remote workers need to have strong written and verbal communication skills. Working from home means a majority of communication will happen via email, messaging, and video conferencing. While in the past hiring managers may have overlooked a particularly shy programmer, if a candidate can’t communicate their ideas effectively online then they will only place additional strain on the rest of their team.
Second, strong remote workers are more independent, self-disciplined, and responsible. While these are good qualities in and of themselves, they are much more important in remote teams where a worker may be expected to execute a project with less oversight and guidance. Look for candidates who have shown experience successfully managing big projects on their own, or have been placed in roles where they are given more responsibility than typically expected for the role.
Third, look for candidates who are flexible and can easily adapt to changing priorities. Even the best project management systems fail and, specifically with remote teams, there won’t be the easy solution of assigning tasks in-person or collaborating instantly. Because of this, you’ll want to look for candidates that have experience handling sudden shifts in responsibility (such as experience taking on new projects) or have worked in multiple different positions. These sort of flexible and cross-trained employees will be the superstars of your remote dream team.
Try finding talent on Wavely. You can chat with qualified candidates directly and thus, fulfill your hiring needs quicker.