How to Hire Remote Tech Talent

July 31, 2023
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The year 2022 saw an increase of almost 105% for highly skilled talent on a contractual basis. The same report states 85% of this demand was for tech roles such as full stack developers, data scientists, React and Java developers, mobile app developers and cloud engineers. 

The latest data also shows that remote hiring and hybrid flexibility are coming back in the tech sector, with a 40% rise in companies who hire remote employees. 

While companies grapple with a shortage of finding skilled tech workers, India ranks at par with Europe with a 16% share in the top tech talent in the world. Randstad's CEO recently stated that India has the biggest international talent base.

If you are planning to recruit remote workers from India, knowing how to find the right talent and comply with its diverse law landscape is essential. 

This article will provide a complete guide on remote hiring of tech talent.

Advantages of Hiring Remote Talent 

Transitioning to a remote talent workforce can be stressful but these benefits will outweigh your worries. 

1. Access to a Wider Talent Pool:

Statistics show 76% of hiring managers face challenges in attracting suitable candidates. Companies who hire remote employees can expand their candidate sourcing process to a much wider talent pool. They can outsource skilled talent beyond their borders and meet their hiring needs better rather than settle for an unfit candidate. 

2. Higher Productivity:

Remote workers are reported to be more or equally productive to those working from an office. While a stark difference is recorded between employee and employer perspectives on productivity in remote work, employees prefer jobs that offer flexibility. 

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Another study states 64% of employees agree that they are more productive when working from home. Flexibility and lower stress are some of the factors that bring out the best in remote workers.

3. Lower costs:

Research shows companies switching to remote work save $10600 per worker yearly. These costs include the savings on annual office rental, utilities, coffee and snacks and the bulk expense of desks, chairs and laptops. In large cities with higher real estate costs, the transition to remote work can lead to substantial savings on rental payments. Startups that have limited budget expenditure can benefit by hiring remote workers. 

4. Better retention:

According to IWG's HR Leaders & Hybrid Working Report, two-thirds of the respondents believed that hybrid work increases employee retention. Employees' preference towards remote and hybrid work results in employee satisfaction, which makes it advantageous for even the recruitment teams. Nearly 95% of HR professionals agree that offering employees hybrid working options is an effective recruitment tool.

Qualities to Look For in Remote Tech Workers

Qualities to Look For in Remote Tech Workers

Educational qualifications, certifications and work experience are vital for technical roles, but when working remotely, you need responsible employees with soft skills. A LinkedIn report states 92% of hiring managers agree that soft skills are essential and that 89% of ‘bad hires’ have poor soft skills.   

Here are some qualities and soft skills you should look for when you hire remote tech talent: 

1. Communication skills:

Business leaders report a 15% YoY decline in productivity due to poor communication. A well-defined communication flow is vital to ensure all team members are well-connected despite being remotely placed. 

A candidate should be able to communicate clearly and effectively about their expectations, problems and challenges. Being set up in different locations and time zones with little or no face-to-face interactions, being connected virtually is essential. 

2. Independent thinking:

Remote working relies on trust between team members and managers. Individuals who show a strong work ethic and responsibility towards work completion are essential to drive the success of any project. 

When you hire remote employees, you can pose some of these questions to gauge their independent thinking: 

  • How would you handle a situation where you must decide quickly and your supervisor is offline? 
  • How would you solve a disagreement between your team members on a particular project? 

3. Collaborative mindset:

A candidate should be able to work in cohesion with other team members. Remote team members are geographically separated but need to operate as one unit. 

85% of employers focus on using  collaboration tools for their company’s digital transformation. Your remote workers should exhibit a positive attitude towards it. 

4. Time Management:

While remote work may offer flexibility in work hours, the candidate should be able to complete their tasks within deadlines. 

Here are some questions that will help you understand a candidate's time management skills: 

  • How will you manage your schedule if you have multiple tasks with similar deadlines? 
  • Have you ever missed a deadline? How did you feel about it? 
  • Tell us a situation which shows you are an organised person. 

Strategies to Find The Best Remote Talent

Once you are willing to look for remote talent, the main question is how to hire employees. We give you some effective strategies to recruit remote workers.

Identify Your Needs

As an employer, you must have a clear understanding of how and what exactly you are looking for when you start remote hiring. 

  1. Expertise: Are you seeking an entry-level position or an experienced team member? How many years of experience are you looking at? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before opening a new vacancy. 
  1. Budget: The average cost of recruiting a new employee is $4700 per employee. These costs can vary based on position, experience, qualifications etc. But companies have a recruiting budget to track these costs. Decide the salary range you are willing to offer to your remote employees.
  1. Independent contractor or full-time employee: Decide if you want to hire a contractor on a freelance basis or want to fill a position for the long term. It will help you avoid employee misclassifications. 
  • A freelancer or independent contractor is a self-employed individual who works on particular projects and is not bound to one organisation. They are not your employee(s). 
  • A full-time remote worker is a company's internal staff hired on a fixed wage from a company's payroll. 

Frame A Job Description

A good job description should have all the expectations, skills required and, most importantly, compensation details. Research indicates a salary range in a job posting influences the decision to apply for 91% of candidates. 

For hiring remote workers, always highlight it is a remote role and the level of flexibility offered. 

A good job description for remote tech talent must include the following:  

  1. Job role 
  2. Educational qualifications
  3. Coding certifications (if any)
  4. Programming skill set
  5. Highlight if the position is part-time or full-time, remote or work from home
  6. Qualities expected of a candidate (soft skills)
  7. Work goals and expectations 
  8. Days and number of hours working per week
  9. Accurate salary range 
  10. A small section about the company 

The figure below will help you understand what matters the most to employees in a job description.

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Sourcing The Candidates 

After framing a good job description, the next stage is to make it live and source potential candidates. 

1. Job Boards for Tech Roles:

For remote workers, research the areas you are trying to focus on and find out the popular job boards in those regions. There are dedicated job boards that put out vacancies for tech roles. 

If you are looking to hire tech talent from India, the popular job boards include: 

  • Naukri
  • Hirist
  • Cutshort 
  • Google Jobs 
  • Gun.io

2. Seek Referrals From Current Employees:

A report states that 33% of IT professionals were more likely to switch roles than 24% of people who would switch companies. You can use this to your advantage by asking for referrals from current employees if they know someone who can fill their shoes while they switch to a newer position. Asking for employee referrals reduces the hiring time compared to  traditional job boards. And about 84% of companies agree that employee referrals are cost-effective for finding new employees. 

3. Social Media:

To hire remote tech talent, consider using social media. Post the ad on relevant social media platforms and the company website to get more visibility about your brand. 92% of employers use social and professional networks to recruit new talent.  

One must also consider the right choice of platform to post the job openings. The 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey lists down the social media channels used most for recruiting: 

  • LinkedIn (72%)
  • Facebook (60%)
  • Twitter (38%)
  • Instagram (37%)
  • Glassdoor (36%)
  • YouTube (27%)

Conducting Interviews 

Once the job opening has been made public, you will receive applications from interested candidates. The recruiting process begins with examining these applications and then setting up virtual interviews with the selected profiles. 

While there is no clear rule around how many rounds of interview you should conduct, there must be at least two sets of interviews when hiring remote tech talent.

The virtual interview process can be as follows:

1. Basic and Technical Test Rounds: The first round of interviews usually focus on cross-checking the details provided in a candidate’s CV. 

It can also include a test to assess an applicant's technical expertise. Technical assessments aid in evaluating candidates so you can select the most qualified and skilled individual among all applications.

Moreover, they help identify candidates who will need minimal training. The tests should cover various areas, such as programming, coding and problem-solving abilities in real-time situations.  

2. Video Interview With Team Lead/Manager: Post-pandemic, 93% of employers are open to continuing to conduct virtual interviews in the future, citing several benefits. 

The second round of interviews can be a virtual video interview with the team manager under whom the candidate will work. 

A face-to-face video interview will allow the senior to examine a candidate's body language and reactions during the Q&A process. 

This two-way live video interview also helps to interact and solve any doubts the candidate may have about their future job role. 

Communicating Feedback 

Regardless of how the interview process goes, it is imperative to communicate feedback to the candidates. Candidate sourcing stats highlight that a candidate is four times more likely to consider your company in the future if you offer constructive feedback. Inform them how the interview went and how they can improve in other interviews, even if they don’t get the position in your company. 

Onboarding

After finalising a candidate, focus on a positive onboarding experience as it translates into workplace commitment and retention. Survey finds employees who had effective onboarding feel up to 18x more loyalty to their workplace. When hiring remote employees, go one step further to eliminate their feelings of being away and disconnected from other team members. 

Challenges in Hiring Remote Workers

If you want to recruit remote workers, consider some of these challenges as well: 

1. Employee Compensation:

Deciding employee compensation is an integral part of remote hiring, as 80% of job seekers would not even apply for a job if there is no information about the pay scale.

The salaries and benefits should align with the local labour laws and minimum wage standards. Calculating this can be challenging if you recruit remote workers from multiple countries. You need to consider your hiring budget as well as ensure the salaries are attractive with other perks to get more qualified candidates. 

2. Managing Payroll:

64% of employees are reported to live paycheck to paycheck, highlighting the importance of making timely payments. Making offshore payments can be challenging when disbursing them in local currencies. Any slight error in data entry can affect your employee's compensation. 

Close to 50% of employees start looking for newer job opportunities after two payroll errors. So it is important to process accurate payments to keep your staff intact. 

3. Different Local Laws and Compliance:

When hiring across borders, you must know the local laws and regulations regarding employee wages, benefits, and tax implications. 
In a country like India, the laws differ from one state to another, so it becomes necessary to have local legal expertise to ensure compliance. 

Use Employer of Record to Smoothly Hire Remote Talent

An Employer of Record (EOR) service can help you navigate all the challenges with hiring remote talent. Companies who hire remote employees without establishing their own entity can effortlessly do so with the expertise of EORs in hiring and payroll management. 

To hire remote tech talent in India, consider Rapid, a trusted EOR with deep local expertise. You can easily set up your team of remote workers in India while adhering to local compliance requirements with their expert guidance. They also offer customised employee benefits and accurate tax implications from region to region. 

Rapid's integrated HR platform handles smooth onboarding and payroll processing across multiple locations. Their service marketplace can help you with leasing workspaces, procuring IT assets, visa processing and other remote workforce needs. 

Ease your remote hiring with Rapid. Click here to get a demo. 

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