Hiring a remote team consisting of software developers is not an exact science. But if you want to get great results out of your remote team, we can offer five tips that you can follow. Read on below.
Look for skilled and motivated software developers
This first step might be self-explanatory and obvious. Everyone knows that you can expect good output from developers who possess the right skill and experience. But the key here is finding the right developer that fits your business needs. This is why we suggest that you hire for a specific skill set, rather than a do-it-all role. While this set of skills may be nice to have, your focus on assembling a remote development team that fully leverages the talents of diverse specialists according to your requirements will surely get better and sustainable results.
You would also do well to recruit developers who are not only technically skilled and experienced, but also motivated and proactive. You can’t always spot these last traits from a candidate’s CV, but you can get an idea of a potential hire’s motivation through the interviewing or initial recruitment process.
Speaking of recruitment, we can’t stress strongly enough the importance of creating a thorough job description. Not only will this give you more focus in finding the specific software skill-sets you need, but also serve as a filter for screening out unqualified applicants.
Pick the location of your remote team carefully
One of the main benefits of working with an offshore team is the reduced labor costs, especially when hiring from a country like the Philippines where highly skilled developers are available and at extremely competitive rates. But having a remote team isn’t all about cost savings. In picking the location, try to focus on value in the long-term, instead of just opting for the cheapest location possible.
Apart from costs, you should also factor in other considerations like the state of the IT infrastructure or the technology available in the location. There are inherent challenges because varying time zones, but these can be overcome. Even communication skills can help immensely — for example, developers from the Philippines offer the advantage of being familiar with the English language and American culture.
Speaking of which, it also helps to have an understanding of the culture. If you can arrange it, meet with your remote team in person and become friends. Some companies even go as far as having their remote developers visit the corporate HQ — by doing so, the remote team can meet fellow members from across the ocean, start to build better rapport, and be more motivated to excel because they’re part of something big.
Plan your development process
Focus on your business goals, but don’t neglect the details. For that latter part, that’s where planning of the development plays a crucial role.
With every member knowing the overall development plan, they are made aware of the parameters they have to work with. Of course, it’s also important for the remote developer to have adequate freedom to make independent decisions, so long as those decisions are consistent with the plan and contribute to achieving the ultimate goal.
In any distributed team set-up, encouraging collaboration among all key participants goes a long, long way. And if the members of your remote team grasp the bigger picture, they’ll be in a better position to perform their main responsibilities, as well as work more seamlessly with others in pushing any project to fruition.
Prioritize quality assurance
There are those who are reluctant to work with a remote team for fear that collaborating with developers from an ocean away might affect or even lessen the quality of the end product. But as a growing number of companies can attest, quality assurance can still be achieved by extending quality practices to your remote team.
Accountability is always key, with every team member expected to own up not only to their main task and responsibilities, but also in tackling any problems encountered throughout the development process. From there, it is just a matter of establishing protocols for QA meetings, reporting, proper documentation, and of course, testing.
Find a staffing company you can strategically partner with
Hiring a remote team on your own will definitely not be easy, so consider joining forces with somebody who specializes in assembling offshore software teams. Choose a partner who can truly analyze your company needs and then work closely with you in filling up the roster of your remote team.
When we say work closely with you, what we mean is that the staffing company will do most of the heavy lifting in recruitment (screening applicants, background checks, scheduling interviews, etc). You should always have the final say, especially in selecting the final lineup. Seek a partner who clearly encourages you to be involved in selecting and directing your team. In other words, your remote developers need to understand they are part of your team. The only difference is that your remote developers will be working in another office set-up by your staffing partner (who will also be handling payroll and HR duties, and providing the IT infrastructure and technical support for your team).