Hiring Remote Developers 101: Benefits, Top Sites, & Tips 
Tech teams have undergone a remarkable transformation, transitioning to a hybrid work model that combines remote and on-site collaboration. With only 15% of developers working exclusively on-site, companies recognize the importance of aligning their working models with the expectations of their tech talent.
Companies that embrace remote work not only cater to these expectations but also gain access to a broader talent pool. However, effectively navigating the top challenges of remote hiring, such as assessing soft skills or maintaining a positive candidate experience, is crucial for success.
In this article, we’ll provide actionable insights to help you navigate these challenges and successfully hire remote developers for your team.
Why Hire a Remote Developer?
Before we show you how to hire them, you may want to know why they can be a great asset to your company. There are a few key reasons:
Access to a Global Talent Pool
First, hiring remotely allows you to source talent from around the world. This is especially important given the growing competition and demand for tech skills (70% of companies experienced a tech skills shortage in 2022). The advantages of hiring developers from different geographical locations are clear: access to more qualified candidates, insight into new markets, and unique perspectives.
But there is another added benefit you might not have yet considered. This concerns your DEI objectives. Indeed, going global is a great way to introduce other cultures, beliefs, and experiences to your workforce. And given that diverse teams make better decisions up to 87% of the time, what’s preventing you? So, don’t be afraid to look beyond your local area to find that talent.
Of course, on a more practical level, there are cost savings to consider. Hiring remotely means you spend less on infrastructure to accommodate your developers (employers save $11,000/telecommuter/year on average). Think office space, equipment, and overhead. All of these expenses add up, and that’s without bringing tax costs into the equation.
Enlisting the services of a freelancer can help you save even more, as you will not be required to pay for legally required benefits, insurance, retirement, bonuses, overtime, and other expenses. When you consider that the cost of an in-house employee is typically 1.25 to 1.4 times their salary, this option becomes more appealing.
Another important metric to look at when considering whether to go remote, the figures here are reassuring. Indeed, remote workers are, on average, 35–40% more productive than their office counterparts. And this also applies to other flexible working arrangements, such as hybrid work. According to our research, 57% of recruiters and 37% of developers believe that hybrid work has improved productivity, up 6% and 5% from 2022, respectively.
With minimal distractions, improved work satisfaction, and flexibility to organize your day according to when you feel most productive, it’s easy to see why this working method succeeds here.
Flexibility and Scalability
With how fast things are moving in the tech world, it’s only natural that companies would want to adjust their workforce based on project requirements. Remote working offers just that, allowing you to organize your team how you would like without worrying about overhead or infrastructure costs. Offshore development teams can be particularly helpful in this regard, giving you access to a wide range of software developers.
Lastly, hiring remote developers can work wonders for your retention targets. It’s easy to see why. With the ability to work around personal commitments, a healthier work-life balance, and, ultimately, reduced stress levels, employees are likelier to stick around for the long haul. The statistics bear this out, with companies that support remote work having a 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t.
Building a Remote Development Team
So, now that you can see the clear benefits of hiring remote developers, it’s time to show you how to put together a team. Let’s get to it!
Defining Your Requirements
Before you do anything, you need to know how to identify the specific skills and experience you require. This will help inform the sourcing process. Begin by listing out both the technical and soft skills you require.
You’ll also want to be sure they have the experience you require, whether in terms of formal education, certifications, or relevant work experience. While 41.2 percent of software developers have bachelor’s degrees, it’s essential to take a remote developer’s complete profile into account.
Once you have a clear idea in mind of the top talent you’re looking for, you can get to drafting an effective job description. While you may think there isn’t much to learn here, in fact, good job descriptions can impact everything from your retention to DEI objectives. Be sure to use clear and concise language, focusing on the key responsibilities and qualifications. Don’t forget to format them so that they’re easy to read, a great way to both accommodate those with learning disorders and neurodivergence and also keep your candidate’s attention.
Related read: These Soft Skills Matter – Now More Than Ever
Sourcing Remote Developers
Now that you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s time to begin the sourcing process. To give you some inspiration, we’ve listed all the best places to search for tech talent. While this list is by no means complete, it will give you a great head start.
15+ Top Sites for Finding Remote Developers
Developer Communities and Forums
Specialized IT and Tech Job Boards
Remote Job Boards
+1 Bonus – Coding Competitions
Last but not least, coding competitions can be a highly effective way of finding remote developers. Here coders can test their skills to win cash prizes or industry recognition. Many events are even sponsored by leading tech companies.
Take CodinGame’s Spring Challenge 2020, for example. With more than 13k registered players and almost 5000 players in the final leaderboard, it became a great place for dev communities to come together. So why not consider them for your sourcing?
No matter which of the platforms above you decide to use, you’ll want to send a personalized message once you’ve found the ideal candidate. Keep these short and sweet, outlining the most important details of the role. Be sure to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the candidate and leave a call to action so they know what to do next.
Evaluating and Interviewing Candidates
Great news, you’ve found the perfect remote developer for your needs. But how do you go about the next steps? Don’t worry; it’s simpler than it looks.
To begin, you’ll want to establish all the details of your remote interview process. This includes which video platform you will be using (there are pros and cons to each), who will be handling the calls, which questions you will ask, etc. You also, of course, need to decide on how many rounds there are going to be. Planning these details in advance will allow your team and candidate time to prepare.
Then, during the actual interview, there are a variety of things to consider. In terms of remote interview etiquette, it’s important to show up on time, eliminate any distractions, and ensure both you and your surroundings are clean and presentable. You should also take care not to speak over your candidate – remember; it’s not a monologue; it’s a two-way conversation.
Be sure to test your setup beforehand. Technical issues can damper any remote interview experience. Check that your camera, microphone, and internet are working correctly. Having a candidate’s phone number on hand is also a good idea in the case of a last-minute hiccup.
Aside from these considerations, you’ll, of course, need to focus on assessing a candidate’s communication and collaboration abilities. You can do this by asking behavioral interview questions, paying attention to non-verbal cues, and getting feedback from others involved in the interview process. Overall, you want to be sure they would be a good fit for your company culture.
But what about technical skills? Evaluating these remotely is trickier but entirely within reach. In the tech realm, this generally includes reviewing developers’ portfolios, asking them to create a specific functionality within a defined timeframe, or live coding tests. The latter is a great way to get an idea of a developer’s programming skills in real-time.
CoderPad’s technical screening and interviewing solution, for example, allows you to create assessments and conduct live programming interviews. It offers an assortment of features to help you hire the right candidates.
Related read – Remote Hiring: How to Interview Developers Remotely
Managing and Collaborating with Remote Developers
The interview process went swimmingly, and your candidate is now part of the team. But you may still have questions on how to ensure effective collaboration in the long term. Let’s wrap up with a few strategies.
Establishing Effective Communication
It goes without saying that communication is important when working remotely. And this is just as important in software development as in other, less technical domains. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools that can help facilitate it. You are likely already familiar with a variety of these thanks in no small part to the pandemic.
This includes video conferencing tools such as Zoom, online messaging platforms such as Slack, and project management tools such as Trello and Asana. Regardless of which ones you decide to use, they remain highly effective ways to collaborate, even when time zones are apart.
Related read – 8 Effective Ways to Keep Your Remote Team Engaged
Overcoming Time Zone and Cultural Differences
Speaking of time zones, what if your remote developer isn’t in the same country as you? There are a variety of ways to mitigate any negative consequences. Ensuring communication is rock solid is the first step which can be done by checking in daily and using the tools mentioned above.
When communicating with your remote developer, you’ll want to ensure they have enough information to get by on their own. After all, you might not be able to clarify everything in real-time. By keeping things clear and concise and agreeing on the deadline in both your time zone and theirs, you’ll avoid any confusion.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to know their schedule, which may not be as simple as 9 – 5. Not only will this help you to collaborate effectively, but it will also go a long way to ensuring a positive work environment. You don’t want to disrupt them while they’re sleeping or out picking their kids up from school.
But what about cultural differences? Of course, outsourcing jobs overseas often implies linguistic or cultural differences. These are bound to create misunderstandings at some point. For example, whether a culture is low-context or high-context can influence how it perceives deadlines.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways around this, from cultural awareness training and selecting an appropriate development methodology to fostering communication and setting clear goals. And as mentioned previously, this working method can be great for your diversity objectives.
Ensuring Productivity and Accountability
The last key to ensuring effective remote collaboration is a topic of contention as managers grapple with how to navigate our remote working world. Nevertheless, it’s essential to set up systems to make sure everything goes smoothly.
That starts with setting clear expectations around communication. Agree on how often they will check in, when meetings will be held, what channels you will use to communicate, etc. Of course, not all communication will be synchronous, so be sure to be as clear as possible in your interactions.
You will also want to figure out a way to measure performance. Productivity monitoring tools can backfire here as employees begin to feel micromanaged and, ultimately, not trusted. A better idea is to think in terms of KPIs. You can establish these with your remote developer and then assign specific tasks in project management software. Don’t forget to implement a workflow so that there is never any confusion about when a task is complete.
Throughout all of this, you will want to foster a culture of collaboration. Whether you use remote collaboration tools, set collaborative tasks, or organize virtual team-building activities, the payoff is increased team motivation and engagement.