The Ultimate Guide to Hire Remote Developers

By Ronak Patel   |   6 May, 2019
The Ultimate Guide to Hire Remote Developers

When you hire remote workers for your project, you can be sure that you are getting the right people for the job. The best thing is that you don’t have to look for one who is willing to relocate to your city. For the same reason, it will not come as a surprise to you if I say that more and more number of companies are interested in offshore development and looking for more and more remote candidates for their project.

Why Remote Developers? What are the Benefits of Hiring Remote Developers?

Easy access to the global workforce

It is true that when you are trying to hire full-time employees for your project, location can always work as a hindrance. This means you have no choice rather than going for the local resources that is available to you. However, things are different when you plan to go for remote developers. Here you will be able to find the services of skilled and intelligent minds without paying any extra. For sure, this can be considered as the topmost benefit of hiring remote developers.

This way you can easily have access to the talent pool which is spread across the globe. Again, you will not have to settle down for the second best option for your project rather has the one which you feel will justify your business vision.

Improved productivity

Now, this may be confusing but there is no harm in believing that the developers who work remotely tend to be more productive than the developers who work at your location. As per a study conducted by Harvard Business Review in 2014, it was found that employees who worked in remote development environment tend to be happier and more productive compared to those who worked in the traditional office set up. For the study, a Chinese travel company named Ctrip was chosen. Here the workforce was divided into two groups from which one remained at the office and the second group worked remotely.

These two groups were observed for 9 months and the final statistics that came out were:

  • Remote employees completed 5% more calls
  • Remote workers observed less fragmentation
  • They worked for more days with less sick leaves

Why Remote Developers?

Optimizing resources for cost savings

When you choose to hire remote developers for your project you are completely saved from spending the money building up a solid infrastructure to keep your employees. In the normal case, when you hire programmers you will have to provide them the space to work from as well as offer needed IT infrastructure to get started. On the contrary, if you are hiring remote programmers, you will not have to face such expenses. Now, this can mean a great thing for a startup company or the one which is struggling to keep up with the budget.

Flexible working hours

When it comes to improved productivity of employees, flexibility in terms of working hours can play a great role. In order to achieve the highest level of productivity and quality, remote developers follow to work under a specific schedule. They go ahead and choose the working hours which best suits them and this result in an excellent outcome. This means as an employer you should not be focused on knowing the number of working hours that your remote developers have spent on the project. This means you can rather focus on other important issues that concern your business. So this turns out to be a win-win situation for both parties.

Higher retention rates

Do you know that remote developers tend to be more satisfied with their job and are able to reach a clear work-life balance? This is absolutely true. They manage to build up a healthier lifestyle and have lower stress levels. Now, this can be the main reason why people who work from home are not ready to quit the arrangement. Once you have hired your first remote developer, you will be surprised to know that it is quite easy to work with him or her. Again, in terms of getting the work done, you will realize there is a sense of reliability and efficiency.

New ideas

Remote developers have worked with a number of clients who are spread across the globe. This kind of working relationship has offered them a wider exposure which ultimately takes the shape of new ideas. They are in actual sense motivated, inspired and enthusiastic about their work.

How to attract Remote Developers for your Project?

Offer detailed work description

If you want to hire a remote developer for your project on a short-term basis, then you should make it a point to offer all the important information related to the project in the first place. You should talk about expected deliverables and related tasks too. You can even come up with some questions which are either completely technical or something related to their availability for the project.

Come up with a robust screening process

Once you start getting the applications you need to speed up the hiring process by taking necessary steps. One way to start this is by drafting an email which offers more information about the company and comes up with a bunch of screening questions. These questions can be based on specific technical tasks which come as a part of the job profile. If you are looking to find the question that you should ask to developers, then this article is a way to go.

You can even ask them to build a test project so as to understand their skills, quality, and experience in work. However, you will have to pay them for the time to get this done.

At this stage who is motivated to work for you will be carrying on with the process and the rest will drop off.

Look for soft skills

If you have managed to find two to three candidates who have performed well in the above process, then it is time to take a look at their soft skills. Just looking at their education and experience is not going to tell you how they will perform as a remote software developer. You need to look for soft skills like time management, ability to work in a distributed team and communication skills.

Things to Consider when you Hire a Remote Development Team

To hire a remote development team which you can trust is the first step. You can be sure that such a team will offer expertise and deliver ideas which can add value to your software project. As we saw above, building an effective relationship from the beginning is important with your remote development team or say, developers. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and avoid any kind of mishaps.

There are a few ways to make it happen:

Things to Consider when you Hire a Remote Development Team

Hire the right development team

The future of your software project completely depends on the team of developers you hire for your project. It would be better that you find remote developers who have experience in your industry. In order to offer you the best software solution, the developers should stay updated with the latest technology trends. Asking questions is quite effective at this stage! You can ask questions about their work ethic, values, communication style and the kind of development process they follow.

Go through their previous projects

Good work always speaks! So take some time to go through the work samples of your potential remote developers in the same niche. You can even ask for documentation and look for solutions that they have found for tricky issues.

Protecting company information

When you are working with a remote team you will have to share proprietary information about your concern with them. Now if you enjoy a competitive edge in the market, this can seem to be intimidating. So make it a point that you come up with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the team and make it clear that the source code belongs completely to you.

Define the objectives and requirements of the project

You need to be sure what you want to achieve through the software project and communicate the same with your remote work developer. If the developer or the team does not understand your requirements properly then chances are more that the finished product will not be appealing.

Define the deliverables clearly

You need to define the term “done” for every milestone to achieve and set a deadline for the same. Simply don’t come up with a project plan that is vague. Have a detailed plan in terms of design, development, and testing. You need to resolve bugs the moment it surfaces by including effective troubleshooting process.

Assign a project manager

The duty of a project manager comprises of monitoring the progress of the project while ensuring the scope and budget is met properly. He or she will be responsible to keep everyone on the track. Whenever the requirements change or delays come up, the project manager will ensure that the project does not get derailed. This person ensures the standard methodology is followed in software development and is accountable for everything. You should have one rather than going blind with your project.

Have a constant communication

Ensure your team keeps on talking while they are working together. You can come up with communication solutions like email notifications, project management software, chat apps, team meetings and others which can help all the stakeholders and developers on project updates.

Stay involved

Having personal connections between the team members can make things better when any issue comes up. If possible, try to have a one-to-one meeting with the development team before you get ready for the launch. If it is not possible then you should have videoconferencing to discuss weekly goals and bridge any gaps that have been built in the process. Having better engagement on both sides will be visible in terms of the positive final product.

Be agile

Here we are not talking about following any specific methodology. Let’s leave it to your project manager. What we are talking about here is that you should have some basic elements defined to keep the project moving. You should have a word with your development team about how the documentation process should go on, what and how should be the means of communication and specific terms to be used in the project. You should tell your team to be flexible and adaptable in terms of the development process as well as your approach.

Have trust in your team

Once you have made all the efforts and found the right remote app development company then it is time you trust them with the job. Their experience and expertise of past projects will help you have insights which can help you add value to your application. Such a step will help you reach your goals faster.

Challenges of Hiring Remote Workforce and its Solutions

Nowadays more and more number of companies is coming forward and incorporating flexible working hours and remote workers into their workforce. A good number of popular companies like Buffer, Mozilla, GitLab and others have their teams comprising of remote developers from different parts of the world, though there are some challenges too to have remote developers. Here’s what;

Challenge #1 Bonding with the team

When the developer is working within the office premises,he or she tends to build some bond with the other teammates. He or she will be seeing others everyday and have small talks regarding their personal lives. They will also come together to share their opinions regarding the work. As the personal relation builds up they will get to know each other better which will work towards building a rapport and trust within the team.

Now when the developer is working remotely within a distributed team, he or she will not be able to achieve this easily. Building a personal relationship with other teammates will not happen like that, he or she will have to work on that.

Team Work

Solutions:

Start the conversation

The developer needs to start talking about things which are not directly in the context of the work. This will help him or her start building a rapport with others. He or she needs to find the common interest area of teammates with time so as to have personal conversations. Cracking some jokes once in a while can help to break the ice.

Making it a point to meet the team in person regularly

Meeting the team in person always works when it comes to building a relation for a remote developer. He or she will know the team more than just the names and figures he or she sees in the emails, chats and video conferences. It is important for the developer to be part of the company retreats and celebrations which takes place every year or even take some days off each year just to visit the office and meet the rest of the team.

Challenge #2 Getting Feedback

When it comes to working remotely, employees seldom get feedback and in some cases it is nil. Without receiving feedback it is hard for the developers to know their strengths as well as the areas of improvement. They may even not know whether they are doing it right or not. This will reflect in their work.

Solutions:

Offer regular feedbacks

Make it a point that you send regular feedback regarding the work received from the remote developer. It is also recommended to have a 1-on-1 conversation with the remote developer to talk about the project performance in detail.

Retrospectives

Having retrospective meetings is always good when it comes to finding out the issues and making improvements. Plan retrospective meetings with your remote developer on a regular basis and try to discuss the project. This can be a good source to offer your feedback too.

Getting Feedback

Challenge #3 Time zone differences

Now this is an issue that will surely pop up when you have remote workers working on the project. When you have started your day and want to discuss a key point in the project, you cannot do. This is because the remote developer has already called the day off.

If there are only a few hours of differences between the time zones, then it will not be a big deal. The issue starts when the time difference is quite more and the working hours of both sides do not overlap at all. In such situations it is not possible to have real-time communications between the teams and if it may occur it will be a rare thing.

Time Zone Differences

Solutions:

Define time slots for calls and meetings

Discuss and decide a time which is comfortable for the team to have calls and meetings. This can be used to discuss the dailies. This way no one will have to make last moment adjustment for calls or even make sacrifices on the personal front just to be part of the call or meeting. For ease of managing, you can plan to go for timezone converters to find out the comfortable time for both parties.

Write it down instead of frequent meeting

Don’t wait for the meetings to convey all the messages to the remote developer. You can simply write everything down in the chat so that the developer will find it when he or she starts their day. If you want some emails to be sent at a said time then you can easily schedule it.This will ensure the email reaches the developer at a time which does not disturb them when they are not working.

Challenge #4 Focusing and avoiding distractions

When it comes to a remote developer, he or she may be tempted to watch Netflix or carry out a hobby during the working hours. With no one around to stop or tell, it becomes the sole responsibility of the developer to remain motivated and self-directed.

Again, if the remote developer has kids or other family members who stay at home then it will be not easy to focus on work. Any urgent tasks or constant interruptions can disturb the work and they may tend to be less productive. Again, it will not be easy to take up some calls or attend meetings amidst the chaos.

Focusing-Avoiding-Distractions

Solutions:

Having a proper workspace and set working hours

You will be able to focus on your work properly when you have minimum to no potential distractions around you. The same goes for your remote developers. Before you start with the project, ask your developer to set up a workspace of their own from where they can work without any distractions. Keeping personal gadgets away is effective too. It is also suggested for the developers to set a list of tasks to be completed in a day and plan their breaks accordingly.

Challenge #5 Keeping your personal and work time separate

For a remote developer there is no fixed schedule to work on. So in the end it may happen that they will be working from morning to night due to a number of careless reasons. This can lead to burnout. This will not look good either for the developer or for you. It is important for your developer to know when they should stop and disconnect.

Solutions:

Set working hours and set an alarm

As a remote developer there will be no fixed time for your extended team. But, when he or she sets an alarm it becomes easy for him or her to know how the work is progressing and when should they call off the day. Again, you should ask your developer to let you and the rest of the team know about such a fixed schedule as they will know when the remote developer will be available to approach.

Setting up work boundaries is another thing which your remote developer can do. The time when the kids are back from school or when your spouse comes back from work can seem to the appropriate time for the developer to take a break or logout. Based on such external factors, the day can be set and followed.

Log off during the lunch hours

Ask your remote developers to mark their lunch hours in the calendar so that no project meetings get scheduled during that time. You can even ask them to set reminders for lunch time so that they log out and here you and the rest of the team will know when and how to handle work. Again, this will mean a lot when it comes to boosting the productivity of the remote workers as they will take the break properly and will be back on the desk with more energy.

Keep devices different for personal and professional use

It would be better that the remote developer keeps things different for personal and professional use. This will help them build separate boundaries for a healthy work-life balance. For the remote developer it is always a challenge to keep things different and knows when to disconnect. You can help them with it and ensure they are giving their 100% to work. Moreover, this will also ensure their personal life is not at stake.

Why Hire Remote Developers from South Asian Countries like India?

Today digital transformation is taking place at a great speed and this had led to the increasing demand for software solutions. With globalization on its way, the demand for offshore software development has spiked in South Asian countries especially India.

Even though there are other countries which is into outsourcing but India stands out in terms of quality and costs. Outsourcing to India comes with a set of benefits and they are:

Significant talent pool:

Remote developers from India are highly professional and you can easily find here homogenous talent pool. With the largest workforce, it will not be difficult for you to find what you are looking for.

Lower costs:

In India the operational costs as well as the labor costs are low. This means the overall expense of the development of software solutions comes down. This means you can hire remote developers at a charge which is less than that in other countries like the US.

Fluency in the English language:

When you choose remote developers from India you can be sure that you will be able to find developers who are fluent in English. Majority of the educated population speak English which makes it better in terms of communication and collaboration.

Advantage of time zone:

The developers in India are willing to work in different time zones which mean you will be able to witness faster development as well as enjoy 24*7 services.

Conclusion

It will not come as a surprise if you find more and more number of companies coming forward and choosing remote developers for software development needs. They are cost-effective, offer quality services and come with the flexibility which you will need for your software development project. Still, you need to be sure you have the right people onboard and for the same;you need to follow the best tips.

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Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel is a CEO and Founder of Aglowid IT Solutions, an ever-emerging Top Web and Mobile Development company with a motto of turning clients into successful businesses. He believes that Client's success is company's success and so that he always makes sure that Aglowid helps their client's business to reach to its true potential with the help of his best team with the standard development process he set up for the company.

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