Why and How to Hire Remote Developers

Remote work has increased exponentially across the web since 2005, and even more rapidly just this year. 

Today, the demand for remote developers is higher than ever. 

Indeed, COVID-19 hit in early 2020, pushing software needs into high gear as businesses, previously toying with the idea of remote employment (1-2 days a week, “flexible” jobs), plunged desperately into full-time remote employment for the majority of the employees they were able to retain (Gartner, Inc. reported 88% of organizations asked employees to stay home and work remotely as of March 2020).

Fast forward to September 2020: Virtual Vocations’ September 2020 Remote Jobs Report revealed Information Technology had 3x more remote job openings than any other type of telecommuter jobs. 

Almost 10,000 remote IT jobs were added to the count in September alone. Why the huge demand for and shortage of IT talent? 

Partly because the number of tech talent professionals with the necessary skills isn’t increasing as fast as the demand, partly because of the increasing use of new technologies, partly because not all developers are qualified for the available positions, and partly due to the pandemic-induced need to create remote access solutions for businesses. 

Since “Every company is a tech company now,” (Mehul Patel, Hired.com CEO of tech recruiting), few companies don’t need developers: to reimagine websites, create databases and build apps… Employers need coders to design and develop software to satiate the ever escalating demand for new technology and to boost businesses, keeping them afloat as the new “Remote Era” and the new “Technological Era” collide and merge into the “Remote Technological Era.” Are you ready for it?

Why hire a remote developer?

If you were a developer and had the choice of being tied to office hours and a daily commute or working from home in jeans and a t-shirt and possibly choosing your own hours… is that even a choice? We think you’ll agree that if you aren’t ready to find remote developers, it may prove difficult to find a developer at all!

Even if you can find developers who prefer an office environment, there are at least 5 reasons to offer remote developer jobs.

  1. Availability

Software engineering and development is a specialized field: software engineers, data scientists, front-end developers, back-end developers, full-stack developers… You may not be able to lure the tech talent you need to your brick-and-mortar locale, especially if it’s nowhere near a tech hub. Remote hires remove geographical limitations, opening you up to a world of potential candidates. Literally. More candidates available + larger talent pool = better quality hire.

  1. Productivity

Employers debated this for a long time, but it is now accepted that remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts.

  1. Affordability

Remote hires reduce office expenses. You don’t have to provide office space, desk, computer, internet service, amenities. On average, employers save $11,000/telecommuter/year.

  1. Retention

Remote workers like the flexibility that remote work provides, and are less motivated to seek new employment. What’s not to like about the job environment? There are no immediate co-workers to not get along with. They can take breaks as needed and enjoy a healthy work/life balance. They can move and still work at the same place. All these things add up to happier employees less likely to leave.

  1. Collaboration

Remote developers tend to network more freely and more frequently over the web, generating input and ideas from more people. This means more open-minded ideation, and results in better end products.

How do I hire a remote developer?

The days of placing an ad in your local newspaper and waiting for candidates to come to you are (looong) gone. There are niche job boards specifically for remote tech positions where you can post your job. There are also platforms where developers who want to work remotely advertise their qualifications and apply to posted jobs; you can then choose from the candidates you think will be the best fit for your job requirements. Freelance portals offer yet another option, as well as tech talent marketplaces that offer vetted individual candidates and teams.

Remote developers can be part time or full time, contract labor or full employee. If they are full time, your remote contract will likely be very similar to an in-office contract, except for having to work at a designated location. Full-time employees will still reap all the benefits of full-time on-site work, whether in the U.S. or their host country.

Where can I find a remote developer?

While the largest percentage of traditional hires come from referrals, you will most likely find your remote developer online. Below are some of the best ways a hiring manager can find a remote hire.

Traditional outsourcing

Traditional outsourcing generally means hiring a software engineer from another country, and is often done by companies because new hires tend to cost less than local talent or because they need a specific project or product completed for which they do not have the in-house talent.

You can conduct your own online search to find candidates yourself, or use Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), where a partner company oversees the recruiting, vetting, paperwork, etc. For example, Rademade (with offices in Texas, USA; and Ukraine), DevCom, and TechMagic (for JavaScript projects) are only a few of these companies. TUNGA is an African-based outsourcing platform with offices in Nigeria, Uganda, and The Netherlands; ARC offers developers based in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America; CodersLink matches companies with developers in Mexico, and there are many more.

Freelancer outsourcing

Freelance sites offer many high quality developers, both on general freelance sites such as UpWork and tech-focused sites like TopTal and FreeUp, who boast the top 1-3% of freelance tech talent available. 

Freelancers are contract developers; you post your job and make your choice from the candidates who respond. If they turn out to be a good fit for your company, though, they could eventually become full-time remote hires.

Niche remote job boards

Niche job boards are similar to well-known popular job boards such as Indeed and Monster, but focused specifically on a particular field. There are several tech-focused job board sites, where developers looking for remote work can post their resumes, and hiring managers can post jobs to find remote developers that match their needs. 

Some tech-focused sites that developers frequent include WeWorkRemotely (the “largest remote work community in the world” with programming jobs at the top of their list), JobsPresso.co (“expertly curated remote jobs in tech…”), Remotive.io (Software Development tops the job categories, which also include Design and DevOps further down the list), AuthenticJobs.com (“specifically for designers, developers and creative pros”), and Cybercoders (featuring “tech and IT jobs in JavaScript, Java, SQL, C#, and MySQL” and an overall talent pool of 40 million candidates).

Some niche job boards are part of developer communities, like GitHub and Stack Overflow. These draw a lot of web traffic from the developer community, so are good places for job postings that get a lot of visibility from the world’s best developers.

Talent marketplace

Going a step beyond the niche job boards to help you find remote developers are platforms that vet applicants’ skills and even provide software engineer teams matched to your project. 

It can be hard to build a team from individual remote workers discovered on a job board, so this can be a valuable convenience; the fact that programmers are vetted for skill level, ability and experience can save you a lot of time and grief. 

These platforms can help you contract employees, extend your own resources with extra help, or provide the talent to complete your project for you. They take the hassle out of hiring. Though it is not free, it’s not nearly as inexpensive as doing the legwork yourself, but probably worth the money if you can afford it. 

Some examples include YouTeam, VenturePact, and Gigster. These platforms generally vet your company, too, to ensure that both the company and the developer are topnotch and reliable.

CodinGame Sourcing

Another good place to find potential remote hires is CodinGame Sourcing

We’re taking a new approach to sourcing candidates, somewhere between a niche job board and a talent marketplace. Indeed, our coding community is 2 million strong, and while it is not a job board for developers to search for jobs, many of our coders are open to opportunities that intrigue or interest them. 

You create your job profile: you describe your ideal candidate (years of experience, field of specialization, location if applicable, etc.). We ask that you include salary, as too many companies keep it secret, wasting candidates’ time with interviews for a job that doesn’t even meet their salary requirements.

We match you with highly qualified candidates that meet your specific requirements. 

Here’s how it works: you might want a senior full-stack developer, for example. We’ve developed a precise algorithm that immediately gives you the number of matches you can expect based on your criteria; you can see right away if your job description needs to be adjusted or is realistic as is—unlike job boards, where you post your job and wait a couple of weeks before realizing that either there are no senior full-stack developers left in the world or your job description needs revision! 

When your job posting is matched to qualified candidates, we send you their information and you can choose to initiate conversations on our platform.  

Back in January of 2020, remote tech hiring was an experimental but rapidly growing trend. 

Today, it is a staple of the IT workforce, with proven advantages of increased retention, productivity and collaboration; expanded availability of quality tech talent; and reduced overhead costs. 

It’s doubtful that work-on-location-every-day developers will ever again be the norm; but you can use niche job boards, talent marketplaces, traditional and freelancer outsourcing, and a variety of other methods to successfully discover and hire your ideal remote candidate. 

To rephrase an idiom, you now have “the world (of developers) at your fingertips,” and you may find that it does, indeed, open “a world of opportunity” for your business.

STRUGGLING TO HIRE SKILLED DEVELOPERS?

There’s a better way to test coding skills.

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Nathalie Morris

Nathalie Morris

Nathalie is CodinGame for Work’s content manager. When she's not busy creating quality content for HR pros, chances are she’s watching Friends, baking, or snuggling her little grey cat, Moon.