Will More Startups Hire Remotely In The Future?

future of hiring remotely for startups

It almost feels like a joke asking what’s the future of remote hiring for startups. After almost 2 years of the pandemic, is everything remote? Are all businesses hiring remote employees? Well, the answer is not that simple. 

Remote hiring cuts company costs and allows looking for candidates further than your geographical boundaries. Typing on the Google search bar, you can find hundreds of companies hiring remotely. For Amazon to Github, most of the opening positions are fully remote. If the solution works for established brands, how will hiring remotely impact startups?? 

The Future of Remote Hiring for Startups

Remote working got extremely popular and most luckily won’t go away anytime soon – you know, because of the pandemic and its consequences. In the past year, companies had to adjust their hiring and working structures to fully remote ones. But remote work didn’t start with the COVID outbreak.  

Back in 2018, the state of Vermont jumped on the remote work bandwagon in a significant way. In June, Governor Phil Scott signed a bill promising that the first 100 people who moved to Vermont with a full-time, remote, out-of-state position by January 1st, 2019 will receive a whopping $10,000. The article cites the shrinking population as the reason, stating they are trying to attract younger residents who will then be paying state income tax on their out-of-state jobs.

Vermont may see the appeal of increasing numbers of tax-paying citizens, but startups realize the real investment comes in remote hiring. Real estate savings aside, startups who hire remotely can pick from the cream of the crop on a global scale.

The 100% remote work company Zapier CFO, Jenny Bloom, recently remarked on the advantages of worldwide talent pools.

“With a typical office, you have a 50-mile radius before potential hires need to relocate. With remote work, there are no boundaries.”

Today, according to Buffer, 97.6% of employees prefer to work remotely, even extroverts! On the other side of the coin, employers are looking forward to implementing remote and hybrid solutions. 80% of company leaders plan a hybrid model, and 74% of leaders aim to shift at least 5% to permanently remote positions.

The hiring process follows this trend. Tech solutions like video conferencing for online interviews, collaboration software, onboarding, and solid HR team changed the hiring process adapting it to a remote setting. 

Here are some numbers to track the growth of remote hiring in the last few years: 

  • In January 2021, Fortune Business Insights said that the global video conferencing market size would grow from US$5.32 billion (2019) to US$10.92 billion (2027). In addition, in one year, Zoom’s annual revenue went from US$623 million (January 2020) to US$2.65 billion (January 2021).
  • Further, the global team collaboration software market will increase from US$13.44 billion (2019) to US$35.71 billion (2027).
  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will expand from US$1.08 billion (2017) to US$1.81 billion (2023).
  • Finally, the onboarding software market is going from US$772.6 million (2018) to US$2.19 billion (2027).
  • 29% of startups posted only remote positions on AngelList in August 2019. It means over 7,600 startups opting for remote hiring, with more than 1,500 companies mostly or fully remote.

What Does Hiring Remotely For Startups Look Like?

Looking at stats, it sounds logical to consider the option of remote hiring for startups. However, there are a few things to put in order before starting with this path: 

1. Communication 

Whatever your startup will be fully remote or hybrid, hiring a new remote candidate requires communication between team members and internal documentation. For established firms, it’s easier to put communication channels and internal communication together. For startups, this step is challenging because you’re still adjusting team dynamics and workflow.

If you need to hire to support the launch of a new project, make sure to start the process with the documentation ready for your candidates. Are you hiring a developer and need to test specific skills? Have trial examples prepared before the interview process. Need to hire a new marketing manager? List questions based on the campaign you want to launch. 

2. Plan Your Resources 

Usually, startups have a limited budget and need to plan their resources carefully. Whether you are hiring by yourself or relying on a recruitment agency, the process costs you money and time—the two things you cannot waste. Investing in the support of specialized agencies has multiple benefits in the long run. First, you can speed up the hiring process and interview candidates that have already been tested by the agency. Secondly, they can support you on factors such as payroll, taxes, location, language, time zones, etc. you can save time and effort to your HR, just focussing on the ideal candidate for your project. So, before starting the hiring process, make your evaluation. Is it better to invest more resources in a recruitment agency or more time hiring by myself? 

3. Put Technology In Place

Last but not least, put technology in place. Remote hiring is all about technology. Otherwise, the communication tools market wouldn’t have grown so much in the last few years. Even with a recruitment agency’s support, you need at least Zoom to make the whole process work. First, you need to set up video calls, illustrating to candidates which tools you are using, and let them prepare for the interview. Secondly, you need to make sure to say which tools they will need for the interview. 

For example, you are hiring a developer and you will use a whiteboard to test the candidate’s expertise. Make sure to communicate to the candidate which tools you intend to use before the interview. Or, you are hiring for a marketing role. You and your team use AirTable to set up marketing campaigns. Inform candidates to download the program and be ready to draft a communication plan on it during the interview. That is to say, make sure to have the right conferencing tools and communication channels for both you and your candidates-you don’t want to waste time waiting for people to look for what they need when you are busy understanding if they can work with you, right? 

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Remotely for Startups

1. Freelancers vs. Remote Workers: What is The Difference?

Another question you need to ask: is there a difference between a freelancer and a remote worker? Yes, there is a difference. The real question is which type of contract works best for you. 

A freelancer is an optimal choice if you need particular skills or temporary support on launching a project. However, freelancers tend to have multiple clients at once. Or they may be looking to expand their portfolio and take any project that happens to them. If you want to build a solid team, hiring remote workers is a more efficient strategy in the long run. You can hire a skilled candidate passionate about your project, training the new hire on what you need. 

2. How To Identify Priority Skills And Qualities?

To answer this question, you have two options. First, you can have a meeting with your team members and work out what to look for during the hiring process. Secondly, you can rely on a recruitment agency. Whatever you will go for, remember that remote candidates need different skills from on-site candidates. They need to be confident with online tools and communication, as well as being able to work without supervision. So, agencies can offer you a pool of candidates that exactly match your needs, but you need to know exactly how to illustrate your needs to them to hire the right one. 

3. What Are The Benefits of Hiring Remotely for My Startup?

  • Fewer operating costs: Companies hiring remotely save $10,000 per employee each year. In addition, businesses save $1,800 per employee annually because remote workers ask for fewer sick days.  
  • Broader talent pool and inclusion: For example, IT seniors positions are 40% more difficult to fill than entry-level roles. Remote hiring is one of the best strategies to build a talented IT team with different expertise and cultural background.  
  • Access to innovation and technology: In the same vein, 60% of CIOs said that lack of local expertise makes it harder to keep up with their competitors. Hiring in other countries allows you to pick specialized candidates that can bring innovations and new solutions to your business. 
  • Reduced employee turnover: 95% of companies confirm how remote models have a positive impact on employee retention. On the flip side, two-thirds of workers would leave their current position to work from home. 
  • More productivity and better work-life balance: remote workers are 20-25% more productive than office-based employees. In fact, 91% remote workers feel more productive and healthy working remotely.
  • Good for the planet: Research suggests shows that remote work has a positive impact on the environment because it decreases: $20 million in gas; 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions; 640 million barrels of oil;119 billion miles of highway driving.

What Are The Platforms That Help Startups With Hiring Remotely?

Out there, you can find hundreds of freelancing platforms to hire remotely. They all have good and evil, depending on what you need. Remember that if you need a long-term team member, a freelancing contract isnìt the best option for you, especially launching a startup. You need people willing to focus on your project and work with you to grow professionally and personally. 

future of hiring remotely for startups

What I can tell you is that my team is a group of professional headhunters. They know better than anyone how to spot the best candidate and ask the right questions with tech positions. Plus, we have a specialty. Our HR team follows you and your candidate before and after the hiring process. That’s because we love remote work, but we are also aware of its challenges – we have been doing this for over 10 years! If you need to target your budget and still get the best candidate, contact us!

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Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman believes every company, from the biggest enterprise to the newly-launched garage startup, should have access to world’s top talent. That’s why he used over 10 years of experience in tech industry recruitment & HR to create DistantJob. His unique recruitment model allows DistantJob’s clients to get high quality IT experts working remotely at a fraction of the usual cost - with no red tape and within two weeks.