The Top 5 Tips For You to Consider When Hiring a Developer

For the longest time, people have been saying not to judge a book by its cover. So what if we told you not to judge a candidate by their resume? Still true? You bet it is. While resumes might be helpful for taking a look at the candidate’s work history and education, it does little to display their talent level, skills, social capabilities and potential.

In fact, call resumes “half-baked” and “partial” to the real story. They go on to explain that nowadays companies are beginning to adopt the practice of “blind hiring.” A method where candidates are selected by criteria set by hiring managers and potential employees are given a skill test and whoever performs the best are selected for interviews.

The same method can be used when hiring your remote developer! In fact, it should be encouraged. Rather than focusing on resumes (CVs) managers should consider these five aspects: talent, self-motivation, trustworthiness, communication skills and comfort in a lack-of-work (social) environment.

A survey completed by Association of American Colleges concluded after surveying 318 presidents, CEOs, and other C-level executives that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” More and more companies realize that rather than the resume, the work should speak for your employee and not the other way around. The same can be said when considering a remote worker, and DistantJob has put together the five tips you need to know to look past the paper.

Hire For The Talent!

The first tip for hiring a remote developer is selecting the right talent. One way to weed out possible candidates, especially remotely is by conducting a skill-level test online. Not only does it give you an idea of how someone will perform but it also offers people who may not have an impressive resume but excellent skills a chance for recruitment.

By hiring remotely, you have access to a broader scope of the talent pool, something that isn’t easy for companies only hiring locally. In a survey conducted by the Talent Shortage Survey, out of 38,000 employers, 35% admitted they struggle to fill jobs due to lack of nearby talent.

Resumes may sound impressive, but it fails to demonstrate the real talent available. In our article The Way You Interview For Programming Skills Is Broken, there are several examples of top programmers admitting that they couldn’t pass the standard “whiteboard” tests interviews often give out. For example author and founder of Basecamp, David Heinemeier Hansson says, “I would fail to write bubble sort on a whiteboard. I look code up on the internet all the time. I don’t do riddles.”

Furthermore, the article goes on to point out that just because these top programmers can’t pass a “standard” interview question, the talent is there in abundance, and you’d be crazy to pass them up; concluding that “focusing on technicalities in a job interview is a lazy way of evaluating candidates.” Focus instead on their potential and talent when you look for a distant developer.

Scoring A Developer With Self-Motivation

How do you determine if your candidate is a good fit with the right motivation? There are two ways to go about it. First, you can ask the interviewee what they do to stay motivated while working distantly.

Or Forbes has put together a more subtle list of how to look for self-motivation.

Work History– Forbes refers to work history as the “number one place to find motivation.”

Outside Interests– the desired lifestyle can fuel motivation.

Previous Failures-Fuels the desire to succeed.

Along with your developer having proper motivation, you want to make sure you do things to help keep up morale. In our article Motivation Killers: How to Avoid and Counter Them, we point out things to avoid such as false job descriptions and repetitiveness.

Trustworthiness In Your Developer

The third tip to consider is trusting your developer. Something that might be difficult for some managers to do.

PsychologyToday says “you don’t need to bump into someone in the hallway to develop a strong and trusting working relationship with them.” It continues with recommending five tips for cementing a trusting relationship. They are: Going first with trust; elevating your communication, demonstrating behavioral integrity; showing up authentically, and building genuine relationships.

To build a healthy and trusting relationship with your distant developer you want to have peace of mind. To read more about remote work and possible misconceptions check out our article here.

Securing Great Communication Skills In Your Developer

Similarly to maintaining your developer’s motivation by being honest about what’s expected, it’s crucial that you and your remote worker are on the same page with just about everything. From which apps and platforms to use, to how often you need to directly communicate with them and make sure they know that voicing questions and concerns is encouraged. concurs, saying “the more time you spend getting to know each other’s habits and speech patterns and the more effective you are at keeping your standards consistent, the better you’re going to be able to communicate.”

Knowing how to communicate with your distant developer(s) is so crucial that DistantJob created an entire article centered around the different tools you can use to communicate with remote workers. Read our best communication software for remote teams here.

Remember you need to converse with your distant employees just as much as your regular in-office employees. Not only does it build trust and healthy communication but it also helps your remote developer feel a part of the team and not left out. For an even more in-depth look at how to balance good remote communication, check out our Tips for Remote Team Communication article.

A Social Life…or Lack Thereof

Our final tip on what to look for when hiring a developer remotely is making sure they’re comfortable not having the interactions that come with your typical office setting. While remote workers might not miss the Bill Lumbergh type managers, it’s no lie that there’s something lonely about working remotely.

To check for such readiness, you should ask the following questions during your interview process: 

  1. Have you worked remotely before? If they have, then it’s safe to assume that they know what to expect regarding no coworkers or bosses around to help them.
  2. How do you plan on being social? Frequently remote workers will work in social environments such as a coffee shop or a library, and while they may not be able to ask the nearest barista how to merge formulas on a spreadsheet, they will get some social interaction.
  3. Ask them why they want to work remotely. The motivation behind working as a developer will out way the need for social interactions.

One significant way you can ensure that the distant worker doesn’t feel so distant from the team is to include them as much as possible. In our article How to Integrate Remote Workers When the Rest of Your Team is Local we give tips such as sending an office signed birthday card – if you have a tradition of celebrating employee birthdays – and making sure your developer(s) is included in all relevant meetings using methods such as FaceTime or any other video call app.

Hiring your remote developer doesn’t have to be rocket science. In fact, it isn’t when you use DistantJob and let us do the work for you. When you work with us, we take the guesswork out of finding the developer of your dreams while you sit back and come along for the ride. If you’re ready to begin your remote working journey, contact us here and get started today!

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