If you ask people to describe what people who work from home are like, you’ll probably get stereotypical answers. A bunch of slackers who spend their day on the sofa in their PJ’s, firing off the occasional email and doing just enough work not to get fired, right?
No? Well, maybe you think they’re all hipsters, who strap a laptop on their back as they bike between coffee shops. There they drink a brew that’s been pooped out by a monkey as they stroke their beards and discuss the benefits of veganism.
Of course not, that would be ridiculous, right? We all know if you want to hire a remote developer you’re looking to recruit a shut-in who has a poster of the Lone Gunmen on his wall and at least three monitors. At least.
Well, you’d be wrong.
Way back in 1993, Gillian Crossan and Paul F. Burton published a study which showed that the majority of telecommuters were mostly women. Back then, the majority of telecommuters were married women. They had childcare responsibilities and weren’t interested in promotion. If you’re still clinging to that notion, you need an update.
We’ve been placing extremely talented remote developers for over ten years, now. You can head to our contact page if you need some NOW, or read on to learn what we’ve found out about the kind of people they are.
So, what does the ‘average’ telecommuter look like these days? Your stereotypical remote worker is now a man, in his 50’s. At least, according to Global Workplace Analytics. He’s not a freelancer. He has a full-time contract with a company (most likely a larger company). There’s also a pretty good chance that they’re working from home as a reasonable accommodation under the American Disabilities Act.
At DistantJob, our demographic is slightly younger. Because we headhunt the very best global talent, we attract senior developers. Age-wise, most of our candidates are in their 30’s and have a proven track record behind them.
What does that mean for you, the employer? It means that in addition to all the numerous benefits of hiring remote workers, you’re getting experience. You’ll be hiring someone with a solid background in software development, a mature attitude, and a proven track record in delivering projects.
All those concerns about your developer logging in to do the bare minimum from the side of a mountain in Tibet don’t look so scary now, do they?
The Times, they are a-Changin’
But of course, the world of remote working is constantly changing. It’s the fastest growing area for recruitment, right now. More and more companies are opening up to the potential of hiring staff who perform better. And they’re realizing the cost-saving benefits of not having your staff onsite.
Then, of course, there’s those Millennials. They’re just starting to get themselves settled into their careers, and they like the idea of working from home. These whippersnappers are getting themselves into a position where they can negotiate their terms with more ease. We predict that the demographics of the remote worker in America will change.
Interestingly, most industry experts are saying that Generation Z (those born after 1995 who are just entering the workforce) value personal connections more. So they’re less likely to want to work from home. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that this generation is genuinely ‘digital native.’ They’re capable of building and nurturing relationships via text, FaceTime and more.
The Big, Wide, World
And, of course, those statistics are related to the USA. The real beauty of hiring a remote developer is that you get to pick your talent from a global pool. At DistantJob we connect the very best global talent with companies around the world, all day, every day.
The beauty of that, for the developer, is that they get to work on projects that expand their knowledge. You can pick and choose from developers around the world. They can look at a wider variety of opportunities, including working for organizations that don’t have an office in their country.
It isn’t just global diversity, either. Remember the high percentage of American telecommuters who were taking advantage of their reasonable accommodations? Well, people work from home for all sorts of reasons. You’ll be better able to hire someone who is working with a disability if you hire remotely. There is a whole range of hidden gems out there, great workers who choose to stay at home for a variety of reasons.
And there are some genuine benefits to diversity for your company. Having people of different backgrounds and experience in your organization encourages innovation. That’s something that underpins excellent software development. Not only that, but it shows your staff (and candidates for future roles) that your company hires on merit. That will help you attract even more great talent.
Hiring is Key
Whether you’re looking for Mr 50+ average or increasing the diversity of your team and company, the real thing that will make a difference to your success is who you hire. It’s a simple thing to test whether the person you are looking at has the right technical skills (at least as long as you take our advice on doing it right). It can be harder to determine if the person has what it takes to work remotely.
That’s where we can help. We headhunt the very best developers from around the world. We make sure that in addition to being great at what they do, they’re also great communicators and self-starters who will work effectively at a distance. If you’d like our help in hiring your next remote developer, then get in touch today. We promise we’ll stop stroking out beards, put down our monkey poop coffee, and help.