Are you growing the technical side of your company through outsourcing? You are far from alone. IT staff augmentation and outsourcing have continued to offer companies great ways to build their software development muscle. Hiring developers – specifically to work on remote software development – is cost-effective while being beneficial to performance.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to hiring developers. Together, we’ll walk you through some important tips to consider when you’re hiring a remote software developer.
Tips to Consider When Hiring a Remote Software Developer
First, you shouldn’t have to ask about initiative. A remote software developer should be a self-starter. Try to gauge how the candidate organizes their work, manages their time, communicates, and deals with challenges when they encounter them. It can be helpful to have the developer you’re interviewing give real-life examples that illustrate their initiative. It can also be helpful to role-play a situation where they are on your engineering team and they are dealing with another team member who disagrees with a decision they have made.
Also, when you’re in the interview process, you should avoid leading the interviewee and guiding them towards the answer you are looking for with the question. You might feel, for example, that it is appropriate to describe what your team is looking for before you ask a question. However, it can be more valuable to keep the question open-ended, and to ask the interviewer to answer with examples from their own previous experience.
When hiring developers, it’s important to cover the languages, frameworks and tools they are familiar with, but you should also be ready to test them on their knowledge. It can be useful to give a specific scenario related to writing code, and then asking the interviewee to pseudo-code a solution to the problem. Because you’re interviewing a remote software developer, it can be beneficial to use a shared text editor that both interviewer and interviewee can view. This way, you’re able to observe how a candidate breaks down a problem, understands code, and communicates their ideas.
If you’ve got the budget for it, it can be useful to give your top candidate a paid project. Clearly define the requirements of the task, then give them 8-16 hours to deliver a final product. You should also ask your candidate to illustrate their process – everything from the framework they select to their workflow.
When seeking software developers for hire, it can be important to avoid sticking to a script. There’s no need to force a candidate to remember language style and syntax when they are coding during a skills test. If a candidate has trouble understanding a problem, you should be prepared to reframe the problem or move on entirely. Maybe you phrased the problem in a way that didn’t make sense. Or, maybe the candidate is nervous about messing up. If you feel like either of these things are happening, issue back-up questions, or a programming exercise of differing length/difficulty.
As someone who is hiring developers, you should also consider your existing remote team. Do you think your candidate will fit in with the remote team? Will they need help to adjust? If, for example, your candidate says they often prefer silence and scheduled meetings, they might not work well with constant interruptions from team members that opt for a more casual approach.
Similarly, diversity is important. If a developer has a different style of working, they might be able to add much needed value and perspective to the team. But, regardless of different experiences and styles of working, you should clearly establish that you want every team member to work together to achieve project milestones.
References can be a very important asset when you’re hiring a remote software developer. A good reference can confirm a candidate’s capabilities, experience and achievements. Furthermore, references go beyond what is on paper or what happens in an interview. However, it’s important to note that references a candidate gives are going to be a pool of people the candidate would love for you to call.
Another important step in hiring developers is to not make assumptions. Yes, multiple accounts of poor client experiences can be a big red flag. But, just because a company and employee don’t mesh, that doesn’t always mean they won’t be a good fit for a remote team. If there is one bad report amid numerous glowing recommendations, it can be helpful to ask your candidate about their experience with a client that rubbed them the wrong way. Your candidate may be able to offer valuable lessons they gleaned from the experience.
If you are interested in hiring a remote software developer, KitelyTech can point you in the right direction. KitelyTech has years of experience working with entrepreneurs, and augmenting businesses to better reach their own tech goals. Contact KitelyTech today on (800) 274 2908 to see how they can help you.