The current reality of widespread remote work is becoming the new normal for many industries, especially IT and tech. In fact, The New York Times reported that in 2017 only the transportation industry had a higher proportion of remote to in-office workers than the information systems industry.
However vital this trend is today, things aren’t always easy when it comes to remote hiring. There are a few categories of frustration among remote workers: under-performing tools and software, collaboration and communication issues, poor network connectivity, restrictive security and compliance, and slow and dated devices. Despite the tech orientation of these challenges, HR professionals can play a crucial role to ensure a smooth remote tech recruitment process:
1. Understand the developer landscape
Understanding the developer landscape is the first step to hiring remote tech employees. When HR professionals make the effort, they can start unlocking insights – like how to keep developers engaged throughout the recruitment process – and help pave the way to skill-based hiring.
Consider the following:
- What’s the first thing a developer looks at when learning a new programming language, API or framework?
- How do they upskill themselves?
- What matters most to developers – a great career path or hefty remuneration?
Recruiters should also stay up to date on the latest surveys and reports on the developer landscape. Some of our HackerEarth team’s favorites include:
- Women in Technology
- 2020 Developer Learning Survey Report | DevelopIntelligence
- Stack Overflow Developer Survey
2. Source the right tech candidates
HR professionals need a killer sourcing strategy in place to thrive in today’s market. As businesses expand their strategies to include remote employees, hiring managers are faced with the difficult task of creating and improving processes for search and recruitment when local professional networks and face-to-face interviews are no longer as useful or feasible. However, once they master the process of sourcing the right tech talent, a star-studded remote team is sure to follow.
Consider former candidates and employee referrals:
Now’s the time to be reconsidering candidates who didn’t make the cut the first time around. And every time you’re looking to close a position, make sure you’re checking internally for referrals first.
Rope in talent from developer communities: Tech communities are full of potential hires just waiting to be discovered. Our favorite communities to source developers from include GitHub, StackOverflow and HackerNews.
Conduct virtual hackathons and virtual job fairs: Built around the concept of competitive programming, virtual hackathons offer HR professionals the opportunity to see what programmers around the world are capable of as they battle for the top spot on the competition leaderboard. Another fantastic idea for meeting great developers is hosting virtual job fairs.
Build a solid developer brand: This is one of the most effective ways to bring in great talent. Your tech team is first-hand proof of what you stand for as a developer brand, so it’s very important that they’re your strongest advocates. Encourage your in-house developers to share their experiences working at your organization on social media.
3. Use the right technological tools
With the right recruiting tools, HR professionals can save time by streamlining the entire remote recruitment workflow. According to SourceCon’s 2017 State Of Sourcing Survey, increased hiring volume coupled with stagnant recruiter headcount means the most important trend for HR professionals to learn and understand are tools and technology.
There are many types of recruitment tools available in the market, which can get a bit confusing. With that in mind, we’d like to share some advice for you to consider – before you invest in a new recruitment tool.
Define challenges: Before buying any recruitment software, lay out your recruitment challenges and goals. Do you spend too much time creating job advertisements? Are your recruitment strategies outdated?
Identify needs: Now that you’ve defined your biggest recruitment challenges, identify the features offered by different recruitment software that can help you overcome those challenges.
There’s no shortage of recruiting tools in the market. We’ve outlined a few key tools that can help you improve your remote hiring processes.
Applicant tracking system (ATS): According to Jobscan, around 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS. Top tech organizations receive thousands of resumes for a given job position and have many open roles at once. Applicant tracking systems like Greenhouse allow users to track resume data in one place, helping HR professionals stay organized as well as EEOC compliant. An ATS also saves time by automatically highlighting and surfacing top developers so HR professionals can narrow their applicant pool.
Tech assessment tools: Tech assessment tools enable HR professionals to create tests for programming skills, ranging from basic ones for C and C++ to more advanced topics like Big Data. With these tools, HR professionals can effectively screen a significant number of applicants remotely, eliminate bias and hire the right tech talent with the perfect skill sets.
Video interviewing tools: When interviewing for remote tech positions, it may be challenging to get a full sense of a candidate’s fit for the role. Through video interviews, HR professionals can pick up the non-verbal cues that candidates express while answering questions. Using live video interview software, combined with tech assessment tools, is ideal for remotely evaluating skills in real time.
4. Collaborate with hiring managers
In the highly competitive tech industry is highly competitive, top talent needs to be placed in the right roles. Hiring managers can make sure this happens by being more closely involved in the recruitment process.
The challenge? Hiring managers don’t always have recruitment expertise. Throw remote hiring into the mix and there are even more challenges to consider. Here’s what HR professionals can do to ensure effective and smooth collaboration with hiring managers:
- Understand their requirements when building the job description
- Inform them about the tech recruitment process and time-to-hire
- Involve them when interviewing developers
- Identify potential deal breakers up front
5. Learn different communication styles
When hiring developers from different countries and backgrounds, HR professionals must be ready to invest extra time and resources into understanding where they come from, their approach to work and, most importantly, their preferred style of communication.
Diverse teams are more equipped to come up with more creative solutions and are often more profitable, benefitting both employees and the companies they work with.
Pro-tip – Understand different personalities in the workplace: Every developer is different and has a unique approach to work. Be sure to ask the developer what kind of communication they prefer, rather than making assumptions. Hiring developers remotely requires effective collaboration, so you may need to go the extra mile to gauge the nuances of communicating with highly talented developers.
6. Enable strategic leadership
The world of human resources in tech is growing. HR representatives in tech play a vital role as strategic partners, shaping an organization’s policies and values. In this way, HR helps to develop an organization’s culture, advance innovation and improve business performance. HR professionals can make a direct impact on an organization’s growth and meet the needs of the company’s long-term plans, by following the advice below.
Develop an understanding of team objectives: By developing a thorough understanding of your organization’s goals, HR professionals can formulate a more effective resource management strategy.
Undertake a skills inventory for every developer: Evaluating the skills of your developers will enable you to understand them and how they can contribute to fulfilling your goals and objectives. Skills inventories help you discover which developer is an expert in a specific field. It also helps you to identify those who have an interest in being trained in a particular aspect of your company. That, in turn, enables HR personnel to work with senior leadership members to identify ways to better equip developers and serve the needs of your organization.
Project future requirements of your organization: This includes estimating the number of developers your organization has to achieve strategic goals as well as the number of developers that will be required in the future.
Conduct a strategic HR management review: Strategic HR management reviews can help track the progress you’ve made and identify areas of improvement.
We hope this helps HR professionals understand how they can help employees reduce the challenges that come with remote work and improve the candidate and employee experience for all.
Looking for more guidance on how to best hire remotely? Download this eBook from Greenhouse.