Five Trend In Tech Recruitment
Now that we are halfway through 2021 and a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring trends aren’t just predictions, but apparent consequences of the major change the world economy is going through. But how can you use the existing trends to better hire tech professionals? In this article, we will outline five main trends in technical hiring and give you practical tips on how to incorporate them into your recruitment strategy.
Trend #1: Remote Hiring
Trends show: remote work is here to stay. While some criticize it, the companies that value this opportunity, change their rules. While the kind of remote work that mirrors the way people used to work in offices exhausts employees with extensive Zoom meetings and a bad work-life balance, companies that revolutionize their approach to working remotely profit. Making your company remote means you get to hire from a larger talent pool. You also get exclusive access to candidates who only want to work remotely. So making remote work an option at your organization will also be an advantage going forward, as it will attract top tech talent from all over the world. Be innovative when building your remote work practice. As seen in the following trend, employee experience matters even more in the reality of working from home.
Trend #2: Importance of Employee & Candidate Experience
COVID-19-induced remote work period has shown everyone how much employee experience affects the company’s overall performance. Burnout, zoom fatigue, inability to balance work and personal life – all these conditions reached their peak during the pandemic. Many employees saw the pandemic as a chance to change direction which caused what some called “The Great Resignation”. While some leaders blamed the remote work model for it, others took responsibility for their employees’ job satisfaction and provided intentional support: socializing, flexible schedules, fewer Zoom calls. A company culture that prioritizes employee experience attracts more qualified candidates. Employer branding is one of the ways to express your company’s values to potential hires. For example, you can do it through your social media and website content by featuring your existing employees’ stories, highlighting how the company supported and helped them grow in their role.
Trend #3: Offshore Hiring
Remote recruitment allows companies to explore options beyond traditional direct hiring: freelance, outsourcing, and outstaffing. If you’re only starting to take advantage of remote work, the differences between these options might seem confusing. Let’s briefly sum up the work models behind each of these offshore recruitment methods and the different benefits and disadvantages they might have.
Working with freelance developers requires a lot of flexibility and trust from the company. It usually means hiring someone through a website such as Upwork for a certain project, and either paying it per project or per hour. It is considered a cheap way to get coding projects done. However, there are many pitfalls of such collaboration. First of all, as the hiring process is much briefer than the traditional one, it is difficult to evaluate the developer’s exact qualifications and just how good they are at particular languages and frameworks. Moreover, the developer’s commitment to your company is weak, so the time they actually need might be above your expectations because they usually work on multiple projects at the same time. One way or the other, freelance proves to be an unreliable recruitment method. So unless you value its low cost over the risks it comes with, we wouldn’t recommend relying on this method.
Outsourcing implies delegating a project to an outsourcing agency, which has an army of developers who complete the client’s assignment. This is a more reliable method than freelance thanks to stricter documentation and processes. Nonetheless, it is similar to freelance in that you will have to trust the job to be done outside of your direct supervision. Outsourcing companies have their own project manager who will communicate the task given by you to the developers. Like freelance developers, programmers at the outsourcing agency work on multiple projects simultaneously and don’t have any long-term commitment to a single organization. This might, in turn, lead to problems with the application in the future, once it is out of the programmers’ hands. Thus, just like freelance, outsourcing offers short-term collaboration for lower costs than hiring a developer directly but lacks reliability and commitment.
Outstaffing is an offshoring hiring option closest to direct hiring. The way it saves your company money is by putting a middle man – an outstaffing agency, between you and a developer from abroad. These developers’ salaries are normally lower and that’s how you can save 30-60% on each hire. The outstaffing agency provides you with the best fit for your tech needs and deals with the legal paperwork, legally employing the developer. The collaboration model incentives the agency to work with the clients long-term since the agency takes a monthly commission as long as the developer works for you. To prove that our interests are aligned with our client’s interests, at Coder Staffing, we even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. The result: you have a full-time, fully committed developer who works remotely long-term, exclusively for you. To find out more about how outstaffing gets such outstanding results, read our article: The Ultimate Guide to Outstaffing.
Trend #4: Focus on Diverse Skills + Learning
While continuous learning is beneficial in many professional spheres, in Software development it is basically required. Indeed, new languages and frameworks, the corresponding updates, and new usages are what make this professional path an endless journey of learning. Companies also realize how more valuable a developer with diverse skills and desire to learn is to their goals. As projects require the use of new tech all the time, companies look for developers with a diverse coding profiles. Simultaneously, developers look for companies that support their growth and further skilling.
Trend #5: Video Interview
For both parties, the hiring manager and the developer, video interviews save resources – money, time, and energy. While the video format is the obvious choice for remote hiring, its advantages also work for the companies that hire for office-based or hybrid work. First of all, consider the resources video interviews save. The candidate doesn’t have to commute to the office and can tune in right from their home. If you’re hunting down experienced developers, offering them a short concise chat over Zoom would always beat the request to come to the office in order to meet the managers. Likewise, the managers can schedule more interviews and speed up the hiring process by using Calendly and Zoom/ Google Meet to efficiently schedule the interviews.
Moreover, it allows the hiring manager to record the meeting so the candidate’s answers can be revisited later. This will ensure a more thorough analysis of the conversation and might eliminate the biases of the first impression. If you plan to record the meeting, make sure you ask the candidate for consent.
Another pro tip: the behavior of the candidate during the video interviews can also reveal their level of comfort with video conferences. This is especially important for remote and hybrid teams, as online meetings and messaging are the main communication channels. Thus, the candidate’s comfort and proficiency in online communication are essential for a smooth workflow.
Work Smarter Not Harder: Remote Work Edition
The most commonly reported issue employees have with remote work is a lack of discipline. In turn, this leads to an unhealthy work-life balance. For many of us whose schedules became more flexible than back at the office, and the daily productivity is estimated in tasks, keeping track of how much we actually work proved difficult. However, remote work is here to stay and it is time we learned how to be successful without burning out. If you feel like you work more hours but still don’t get enough done, we have several tips to peak your remote work productivity and return a good work-life balance.
Define Your Peak Productivity Window and Stick to It
First of all, if your hours became flexible, at home you might find yourself procrastinating or being distracted half of the time, making your workday 12 to 14 hours long instead of eight. while working from home is supposed to give you more freedom to invest time and energy into your hobbies, family, and pets, it might also end up being way too flexible for some of us. Indeed, the only way to combat this lack of regimen is to create a schedule for yourself.
How to Define Your Productivity Window
The great advantage of remote work is that you can construct your own schedule according to your peak productivity hours. Obviously, for most companies, there are meetings you need to attend. But when it comes to the work you do autonomously you have the freedom to choose your hours. Here, you will need to tap into your natural rhythm by reflecting on your energy levels and ability to concentrate in different parts of a day. You can take a week or two, experimenting with different work hours. For example, if you are a content writer, try doing the same task – writing an article within 9 am – 12 pm, 12 – 3 pm, 3 – 6 pm, and 6 – 9 pm windows. While doing this, try to be very conscious of the periods when you feel especially inclined to get distracted. Write down your findings so you can assess them at the end of this experiment.
Take into consideration other factors that can influence your productivity on any given day and don’t make your conclusions based on three days. Investing time into this experiment will pay off in the long term, giving you a clearer idea of your energy levels fluctuation. Based on your discovery, choose the hours to do your work tasks, and really stick to them. Separate the work time from your free time, by closing the browser tabs, putting your laptop away, and muting your work chats and emails after a certain time.
List Tasks and Their Execution Time for Each Day
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. If you work on a number of tasks independently from the team, it helps to list them at the beginning of the day and set an approximate time limit for each task. You could set a time and that way, be able to see how long each task actually takes. Alternatively, you can try the Pomodoro technique for tasks that take longer than one or two hours. Splitting the work time into 25-minute sessions with short breaks in between. Listing the tasks and setting timers for their execution will not only allow you to keep focused on the current task but also track your productivity at the end of the workday.
Take Quality Breaks
Taking breaks is an essential way to keep your energy levels stable as well as recharge your focus. However, it is not only how often you take breaks or how long they are, but also their quality that matters. We are often tempted to scroll our social media feed as a way to rest. But choosing a more healthy approach to breaks can turn them into much more than a pause from working. Taking a walk or meditating, playing with your pets, or talking on the phone with your parent might benefit your mood, mental state and clear your head of cluttering thoughts.
Rethink Productivity & Take Advantage of Tech
What is work productivity? Truth is, we are conditioned to see it in the traditional way that emerged in the office-dominated world. Applying the same ideas and assessment techniques to remote work as we used to do at the office is deeply flawed. While bigger decisions, like switching to asynchronous communication are up to the executives in your company, individual action is also possible. Try talking to your team about implementing more practices that remote-first companies advocate for, such as documentation and fewer meetings. As a result of redefining what is important for your team now that you work remotely, you can cooperate in a smoother way, more suitable for your new goals.
Read up and promote the idea of innovative working instead of clinging to the old ways. Fully remote companies like GitLab are constantly putting out new insightful information on working remotely – guides, articles, tips. Being advocates of hiring remote talent, we at Coder Staffing also frequently put out tips for hiring and working as a distributes team. For example, check out our article on the best apps for remote work here. We listed collaborative tools (beyond Zoom and Slack) that will allow your team to collaborate and reach results without holding lengthy Zoom meetings, which end up draining the employees.
5 Practices For Managing Remote Development Teams
If you are used to on-site work it might be difficult to figure out how to manage remote development teams. But it is no secret that the future of work is rapidly changing, embracing remote and hybrid models. What are the most important tips for managing remote developers? Let’s take a closer look:
1. Hire Well
Ultimately, quality employee management begins with hiring a good fit for your company – not only the technical requirements for the job, but the general vision, values, and work practices. To learn more about how to define your organization’s culture and hire in accordance with it, read our article Culture Fit & Remote Hiring: How We Do It.
This is especially true for remote teams, as you might find it harder to pass those values onto the new employees in a distributed work model. Therefore, make sure the developers you hire not only have the skills to accomplish the tasks but also understand and support the values and ways of your team. You want them to be able to communicate their problems well and are not afraid to ask for help or guidance. Moreover, it is important to look at the programmer’s CV and see if they stayed with other companies for a long time – this shows their ability to commit. Otherwise, you might find yourself trying to micromanage their every step, which is a definite sign of bad management.
Choose The Right Kind of Remote Recruitment
First of all, it matters which recruitment model you choose – outsourcing, freelance, or outstaffing. All three imply remote work, but the degree of management varies greatly. Outsourcing companies have their own project managers who oversee the execution of the task that a member of your team passed on. Thus, outsourcing does not actually imply managing remote developers directly. Freelance software engineers need to be managed, but not in the same way you manage your own employees. The obstacle with freelancers that many tech managers face is their individualist spirit, a tendency to do everything in their own way which sometimes ends up requiring a higher budget or a longer time of implementation. All in all, freelance coders require a lot of your trust in how they will execute the task because managing them might prove to be difficult. Outstaffing, on the other hand, resembles traditional recruitment the most, as it allows you to fully manage the employee. To find out more about how you can hire an experienced full-time programmer on a limited budget, read our recent article The Ultimate Guide to Outstaffing.
2. Make Sure Everyone Is On The Same Page
Choose systems of communication, documentation of decisions, and task management, and stick to them. There are plenty of options for each of these functions. However, the objective here is to make sure everyone uses the same apps and understands the importance of checking with one another through the same channel. If different members of the team use different communication channels, some document their decisions, while others don’t, you are destined to run into a mess of miscommunication and miscoordination that is more difficult to untangle in the remote work model than it might have been if the team was colocated. All in all, simple and clear use of applications (like Trello, Notion, Slack) will free up everyone’s time for more productive task execution. Some apps could even allow the team if not work asynchronously then at least minimize the number of virtual meetings that are shown to be draining.
3. Share the Vision
First, we need to differentiate between the company’s culture and the vision for a single project. Your company’s culture is a set of values and practices. The vision is however created for each project or product your company works on. While corporate culture alignment is important to find the right people, the vision must be communicated clearly for each project.
You might think developers don’t need to know every step of the product’s lifecycle, but in reality, it allows every department to maintain the same picture in mind. This, in turn, helps avoid miscommunication and over-communication. When you keep every employee in the loop of the main factors of the product’s development with short meetings or even emails, you won’t have to answer each of their questions individually or deal with a misalignment of visions.
4. Invest in Your Developers’ Growth and Well-being
The well-being of your employees directly influences the results of their work. Therefore, instead of pushing for the quickest results of every single project, invest in the growth and comfort of your developers.
It starts with simple check-ups: give your team a chance to speak up about the changes that would like to make. It can be anything from the equipment they use at work to their emotional well-being. Outside of discussing the ongoing project, create opportunities specifically to discuss other matters. The atmosphere of open communication will help the programmers feel valued not solely for their skills but as individuals and members of a team. Furthermore, it will allow them to be more vocal in projects-related meetings which, in turn, will drive innovation across other work processes.
Remote workers frequently face feelings of loneliness and isolation. In order to keep the team spirits up, managers ought to create special times and/or spaces for their employees to communicate informally. Whether it’s a Slack channel, a Discord server, or allocated hangout meetings, make sure your devs know each other! Using the previous tip, ask them how they want to communicate and allow them to choose the method that suits them best.
Support Education & Growth.
Developers often are caught up on the trends of their field and know before you do which skills (languages, frameworks) they need to learn next. Allocate company resources to support your engineers’ further growth. That will show them that you value them and invest in their future in your company.
5. Don’t Micromanage
Micromanaging is a common mistake of the managers who transition to remote work. Being unable to see the work process in real life, many are inclined to be more controlling of their employee’s work. Find that fine line between leading, pointing out mistakes, advising, and taking over the task, solving the problem. Allow your coders to come up with solutions to emerging problems, new better ways to arrive at the desired result – this will allow them to grow and become better. You are there to make sure the workflow of the whole team runs smoothly. You can guide, provide your experience to learn from, but once you start solving the problem they came to you with instead of giving them ready answers.
The Ultimate Guide to Outstaffing
You’ve seen the term “Outstaffing” here and there but never really got a concise explanation of what it is? We got you! In this article, we explain what outstaffing is, using our own company’s process as an example.
What Is Outstaffing?
Outstaffing is an innovative recruitment model that allows a company to hire remote full-time employees through an outstaffing agency. The employee joins the existing team as a full-time member. The only difference is that legally they are employed by the outstaffing company, which takes care of all the legal paperwork.
Let’s look at Coder Staffing as an example and briefly describe the process. Our team has a large database of vetted developers. We carefully find a perfect fit for each client. Since we pair a company with Russian developers, the costs are significantly lower than those of North American and European programmers. The developer then joins the client’s team. Coder Staffing helps with communication when needed and if after 30 days the client decides the programmer is not the right fit, we return the money. In an absolute majority of cases, our clients are happy with the programmers we found for them and keep working with them and, thus, us for years.
You probably already grasp some differences between outstaffing and outsourcing. However, since outsourcing is a popular way to meet the tech needs of an organization on a budget, many imagine outstaffing to be something similar. Yet, there are many significant advantages outstaffing has when compared to outsourcing. Let’s look at how the two differ.
Outstaffing Vs. Outsourcing
Both outsourcing and outstaffing save you money on hiring tech talent. However, that is about all the similarity there is between these two models. What are the differences?
The main difference between these two recruitment models comes down to management. When you hire through an outstaffing company, your company manages the employee fully. In contrast, when you outsource, you delegate the responsibility to the project manager from the outsourcing company. No one joins your team, the whole project is done outside of your company. Thus, outsourcing can be a solution for each individual project, but it is not meant for long-term, committed cooperation. This can create a lack of transparency and a disturbance in the feedback loop. Moreover, the team that works on your project most likely simultaneously works on other tasks as well.
In contrast, outstaffing agencies provide you with an employee as good as your own. The only difference is the paperwork that positions the agency as a middleman, and the remote status of the team member. You can be sure the new employee works exclusively for you. Moreover, you have a direct communication channel, instead of addressing them through a project manager.
What are the benefits of Outstaffing?
Outstaffing is the closest you can come to traditional recruiting on a limited budget. With developers’ salaries constantly rising, you might feel like outsourcing is your only way to get tech tasks done. But outsourcing cannot be the long-term solution. After all, outsourcing teams never work exclusively for you. However, outstaffing offers you a rare opportunity to scale your team and hire internationally recognized talent even if your budget doesn’t allow you to employ programmers in your country.
Outstaffing companies aren’t looking for a one-time collaboration. Instead, they focus on building lasting work relationships. For instance, most of our clients ask Coder Staffing to help scale their tech team after hiring one developer. Commitment and transparency are important values of outstaffing agencies that pay off in the long run.
Yes, you heard that right! The outstaffing company legally employs the person who fully works for you. Your company has a contract with the outstaffing agency and you just pay one invoice per month. The rest – legal filings, overseas taxes, health insurance, and more – is taken care of by the outstaffing agency. Coder Staffing, for instance, is a registered US company, which makes it easier for a lot of our clients to cooperate. Outstaffing ends up being a great deal – you get a talented developer, no paperwork on your hands, and it saves you money.
To trust the outstaffing process, you need to understand what the business model behind it is. An outstaffing agency is interested in finding you an employee who will fit your technical needs and corporate culture. In fact, at Coder Staffing we don’t charge anything for the hire itself, only a commission off their salary every month. Thus, we optimized the recruitment process to deliver quality results fast. We then give our clients time to assess the fit in a workflow situation – a 30-day trial period. After 30 days, you can still choose not to employ the developer and you won’t lose any money. Therefore, our objective is to invest energy and time to find someone with who our client can build a stable, long-lasting working relationship. Indeed, our revenue directly depends on how good the fit it, and thus, how long the working relationship between the client and the developer will last. It becomes evident that the interests of Coder Staffing are aligned with those of our clients, which adds to the transparency and smoothness of the work process.
How to Retain Developers
These days almost every company needs developers. Whether it’s a global tech giant that is always looking for new talent to join its team or a local startup that needs to program an app for their town’s upcoming event. One thing stays true – the demand for software engineers is growing and the shortage of talent becomes evident. Many experienced developers claim that they constantly get job offers in their LinkedIn messages and emails promising to pay more than their current job does. So even if you were lucky to find a coder who matches your company’s needs and values it will take effort to make them stay. We often talk about recruitment on this blog, but today we are going to outline some tips to help you retain tech talent.
- Make Remote Work an Option
If your developer is based in the same location as the rest of the team allowing them the flexibility of choice will be appreciated. Especially if your developer works fairly independently from the rest of the team, giving them an opportunity to work from home and during the hours that fit them most shows trust in their coding process and results. You don’t want to make them feel too much pressure once they have proved they can deliver results and fix issues in time. The lack of trust and flexibility can easily become the reason they would think of leaving for another position, especially now that so many companies have fully remote teams.
- Know and Respect Their Value
Once you’ve hired a programmer it can be easy to take them for granted. Not to say you should always be scared of them leaving, but you need to have a healthy understanding of the demand for tech talent out there. Keep in mind that your software engineer is getting offers from companies all the time. Respect their value by giving them a fair wage, asking for their technical advice instead of just passing down tasks.
- Support Learning
Always support software engineers who are willing to learn a new language or try a new framework. First of all, your programmer probably knows what skills they will need in the future better than you do because they tend to stay in tune with the latest news in software development. So even if you do not understand why they would need to learn something there is no need for it in the current project, trust them in wanting to become a more skilled developer for your company’s future tech development. In order to endorse the developer’s desire to improve their skills, offer to sponsor their education and let them take some of the work time – after all their professional growth is integral for the organization’s technological advancement.
- Provide Quality Gear
Something you don’t want to start saving money on is good gear. These are the instruments with which your technology is built. We all know that outdated, slow, and laggy computers and applications are extremely frustrating. Now imagine how much the quality of gear influences a programmer’s experience at work. Even if they work from home, make sure to provide them with the best tech you can and pay attention to their requirements and comments – it is not always about getting the most expensive PC, but buying the tech the developers need most.
- Keep Them Involved
The objectives of the company must stay the main direction for everyone – from a customer service worker to your coder. This ensures everyone has a clear vision and realizes their role in the collective success. In turn, this sentiment brings a sense of accountability and togetherness. Furthermore, ensure everyone’s equal participation in social events as developers frequently are stereotyped as “different” – introverted, socially awkward. Try to fight such biases within your company and include everyone. The resulting feeling of belonging will keep the employer from thinking about it as just a job and will make it harder to abandon if something better comes along. The new offer would have to not only beat the wage but the feelings of involvement with your company.
11 Qualities to Look Out For When Hiring a Programmer
Say you need to hire a developer for your company’s new project. You found candidates whose CVs fit your technical requirements. What’s next? What else should you consider when hiring a developer? We asked our top recruiter about the pitfalls of tech recruitment. Here are the tips she provided for anyone new to the Tech HR world:
Look out for someone who:
One of the first things you should look out for already on the level of CV reading is jumping. It means a developer is changing positions and companies very quickly. It speaks to their lack of commitment to a team, a company, a goal. Recruiters claim that most employees who have proven to switch companies in a short time leave their company just as quickly. Therefore, if you are looking for a long-term, committed employee, it is better to avoid hiring people with this mindset.
2. Has Bad Communication Skills
Some recruiters wrongly focus exclusively on a developer’s technical skills, forgetting that soft skills are also significant. Sometimes it happens because of a language barrier, and other times a person doesn’t know how to glue words together. If your developer can’t communicate clearly and effectively work of the whole team takes a hit.
3. Is Hard To Catch For a Quick Chat
This kind of behavior includes: missed calls, cancels meetings last minute, left your messages “on read.” First of all, it shows you they don’t care about your company enough to at least show respect in the process of hiring. Secondly, this quality will become an issue in the future and likely disrupt the workflow. Especially if your company hires remote employees, their ability to respond in time and be reliable is crucial for the whole team to stay on track.
4. Has Unrealistic Expectations
Unrealistic expectations, such as high salary expectations despite the candidate’s scarce experience, show a lack of judgment and perhaps even an inflated ego. Given the constantly growing salaries in software development and the shortage of programmers, some candidates will try their luck and ask for more than they are worth based on their skills, hoping that a desperate recruiter will still hire them. Stay in tune with the current trends in tech HR to always know how much developers get paid.
5. Speaks Badly About Former Managers & Colleagues
One can respectfully criticize their former employers, but there is a line between criticizing and bashing someone. For instance, the developer could say: “There was bad management” or “They did not pay on time.” These are valid arguments because the former company did not fulfill the candidate’s expectations. But saying something like “My CTO was stupid and knew nothing about web development” spiteful and simply unprofessional. This kind of behavior is more appropriate for a night out with friends than a job interview, and every professional must understand it.
6. Is Not Collaborative
The “I prefer to work alone” statement can be tricky. Some companies only need one developer, but any company relies on the teamwork of the professionals involved. It is hard to rely on such an independent worker to be responsive to the rest of the team and report about issues that come up in their work. Thus, even if you don’t have a tech team, an ideal hire is always a team player
7. Is Money-Focused
Hearing a lot of questions about money from a candidate is always a bad sign. Not that a programmer shouldn’t be interested in the amount and kind of compensation for their work. Although, when the questions about money significantly outweigh all other inquiries, for example, about the technical tasks or the future team, you should take it as a red flag
8. Shows Zero Knowledge About the Company
If the candidate does not mention your company’s previous projects or cannot say why they want to work for your company, it shows a lack of interest in your organization. They don’t have to be a long-term fan of your every service and product to apply for the job, of course, but researching before showing up to an interview is the bare minimum you want to see in a candidate if you expect them to care about what you do.
9. Has Only Freelance Experience
When someone who mostly did freelance software development in the past applies for a full-time position, you want to ask them more about their mindset. Can you trust that the candidate left the freelance practice behind? Or will you always have to wonder whether the developer works exclusively for you? There is no easy way to answer these questions. However, throughout the conversation with the candidate, you should try to find out why they want to switch from freelance to a stable job and how serious they are about dedicating their time to a single project for months or years to come
10. Wants to Grow Fast
Unless the position you are hiring for is a role that implies quick promotion to the next step, it makes sense to avoid people with a strong aspiration to become a lead engineer in the nearest future. You can spot them by questions such as “How quickly could I become a lead developer?” That kind of candidate could leave in a few months if they find a relevant job position as a lead
11. Is a Switcher
They are the type of people who applied for the position merely to switch from their previous job. Similar to “jumping” employees, “switchers” have a habit that might cost you time and money when they eventually decide to “switch” positions again.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Developer
In today’s world, almost every company will at some point face the need for a developer – whether for a short project or long-term cooperation. However, when it comes to recruiting programmers, many organizations make strategic mistakes. Avoid these five common mistakes by understanding the issues behind them:
1: Only Hiring Locally
Remote and hybrid work models are proving to be the future of work. Multiple reports on remote work during the one year of the COVID-19 pandemic show the increase in productivity and a more flexible work-life balance. Thus, many companies consider transitioning to a hybrid workplace or even working fully remotely. Therefore, the companies that exclusively hire coders in the area where their offices are located, automatically limit their talent pool. This, in turn, means losing to the companies that are open to remote hires. Recruiting programmers remotely doesn’t only allow you to find the one with the right qualifications for your project in a shorter time but also helps save money because of the market’s salary differences. For example, by hiring with the services of Coder Staffing you can save up to two-thirds of a usual American developer’s salary as the programmers from our database are based in Russia where the salary levels are lower. Don’t stay behind and try hiring remotely. If you don’t have a clue where to start, at Coder Staffing we carefully pick the best programmers for your company’s specific needs and ensure lasting cooperation.
2: Outsourcing & Freelance
Outsourcing and hiring freelance developers are viable options for some projects. However, you need to have a clear understanding of how this kind of work is performed in order to make an informed decision. Both of these approaches can save you some money but ultimately the programmers aren’t working for your company directly but for either the outsourcing company or themselves. That means that while they will probably deliver the minimum required results it is not in their interest to invest more time and energy in your projects or supply their ideas on, for instance, increasing security or optimizing the program’s runtime. For the program you are creating to reach its maximum potential you want someone who is invested to create it. In case you think hiring a full-time fully remote coder on a budget is an unachievable dream – check out the services of Coder Staffing, because we make this dream come true.
3: Choosing Short Term Relationships
This point follows the previous one as it constitutes one of the problems with hiring freelancers and outsourcing agencies – the working relationship is usually limited by the time of the project’s launch. Hiring developers to launch a single project might seem like an effective way to minimize the expenses. Indeed, why would you continue to pay the programmer once the job is done? Unfortunately, many companies’ experience shows that most software development products require maintenance. Recruiting a new developer once you realize the application needs revisiting is costly and ineffective. For one, you will have to spend time, money, and energy on finding another developer just to end up paying them the same salary. Moreover, ask any developer, and they will tell you they would much rather prefer to maintain the program they wrote themselves. In addition to the usual struggles of the onboarding, the new coder will need time to understand the existing code before they can fix the bugs and consistently maintain the application in its best shape. Thus, to avoid these issues, depending on the project and your budget. consider hiring either a full-time developer to permanently join your team or finding a freelancer who will cooperate with you part-time but on a long-term basis.
4: Not Paying Attention to The Culture Fit
Many recruiters consider programmers based solely on their technical talents. While those are extremely important for the execution of given tasks you don’t want to undermine the significance of culture fit for the tech hire either. No matter what role someone takes in your company, their alignment with your corporate values and rituals will not only ensure a smooth workflow between all the parties involved but also help avoid conflict around the objectives of the company. Tech or not, every person is a part of the collective success! To find out more about why culture fit is important and how to hire for it, read our article: Culture Fit & Remote Hiring: How We Do It.
5: Skipping The Trial Periods
Trial periods give the team management and the new programmer to figure out how to work together. It doesn’t mean the developer doesn’t get a fair wage – the best way is to pay them in full for the hours they are promised to work, and once the agreed-upon trial period passes, the team can assess the new member’s fit. When you are transparent about this condition in the interviewing process it can be beneficial for both the programmer and the team as it gives both parties a chance to try this relationship out before sealing the deal. Trial periods are especially comforting when you trust somebody else to hire team members for you. When you put your company’s staffing needs into our hands, we take it seriously. That’s why at Coder Staffing we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. It gives you enough time to get a sense of how the programmer fits your team and what they bring to the table. Schedule your call now to start your hiring process!
Documentation: Key to Successful Remote Work
Whether you work for a startup of 5-10 people or in a big remote company with 1000+ employees across continents, experts describe documentation to as one of the essential instruments of remote work organization. So why isn’t it ubiquitously implemented by remote teams? One of the main reasons is the old-fashioned approach to the workflow that requires meetings, emails, and Slack messages to communicate issues, decisions, and updates within the team. Documentation might be seen as boring, time-consuming, and simply useless by some. However, when done correctly, documentation can save the team a lot of time, prevent miscommunication, allow for more flexibility, and decrease the level of perceived chaos. In this article, we will discuss how to do documentation to improve your remote work processes.
What is Documentation and why does your team need it?
Different approaches to documentation present diverse methods, platforms, and levels of documentation. Simply put, documentation is the practice of putting the company’s rules, values, practices, and, importantly, decisions and actions, in writing. For remote teams, this means sharing a document or several documents with a detailed record of problems, implemented decisions, and other workflow processes. Some teams, like GitLab’s 1200+ employees all-remote workforce, have an approach that demands the remote worker to put an update into writing that is accessible to everyone (their famous “handbook“) before they share it with teammates via Slack, email, or another form of communication. Then, of course, some teams’ documentation strategy is writing down the decisions and actions after they already happened, e.g. right after the meeting. The exact method can be discussed and altered as the company grows. However, if you think that your company can go without documentation while working remotely because it isn’t that big and the current communication strategy suffices, we might have bad news for you. As GitLab’s Darren Murph and Jessica Reeder put it: “Implementing a documentation strategy becomes more difficult — yet more vital — as a company ages and matures.” Therefore, the earlier you establish a documentation practice the easier it will be for your company to scale.
So why is it key for a remote team’s success? First of all, even for teams that rely on synchronous communication, i.e. Zoom meetings and Slack messages, the structure and clarity that the documentation routine brings are invaluable. It teaches everyone discipline and respect by requiring each team member to share their actions without exception or delay. Furthermore, the opportunity to go back and review the decisions that the team took some time ago also allows for reverse engineering that is crucial if something goes wrong, and we all know that it inevitably will one day. Moreover, documentation requires an individual to sit down and write down the problem, the data given, and the possible solutions. Therefore, teammates can be more prepared for the meetings and spend less time discussing the issue and the solution because they will have worked on it beforehand. For some companies, the application of a detailed documentation approach can lead to adopting asynchronous communication which we talk about in the next section of the article.
Documentation for Asynchronous Communication
One of the most advantageous effects of implementing documentation is the chance to switch to an asynchronous communication model. To take advantage of working remotely, you might want to hire from the international talent pool. However, the fixation on meetings as the only way to communicate within the remote team limits hiring opportunities to a few time zones. Effective use of documentation can help you expand your team across countries and continents without decreasing productivity. It allows team members to work on flexible schedules without being chained to specific meetings or fearing to miss Slack messages. When everything is documented, the employees can easily check on the updates whenever their day starts.
How to start your documentation practice
First and foremost, choose a platform that is efficient and easy to use. It can be any document-sharing app, like Notion or Almanac. Such apps allow your whole team to create, share, edit, and comment on documents, tables, and databases. Then, you will need to spend some time writing down the rules, policies, and values. But once you’ve spent time on this you won’t have to go back, unless you need to make a couple of corrections. However, it will help immensely with helping your new employees understand and adapt to your company’s practices in the process of virtual onboarding.
Next, how exactly you document decisions will depend on your existing communication practices, as well as the size of the company, number of departments, etc. You might want to try different approaches and see what works best. One tip is assigning a “decision-maker” to each issue who will be responsible for documenting the decision. It doesn’t mean that person is solely responsible for making the decision but rather that they will be accountable for making sure the team achieves a clear, documentable solution. Additionally, everyone must understand the utmost importance of documentation because if some team members don’t pay attention to this practice, it becomes pointless. Imagine somebody sharing their decisions exclusively via Slack. This immediately makes the documentation insufficient and, therefore, unreliable. The whole point of keeping records in one place is to provide the employees with one source of information they can always come back to and check. All in all, although it might sound like a lot of work, as long as every decision is documented in one way or another within a single source, you’ve started your documentation routine. From there, you can continuously improve and refine it until you find it effective and easy to use.
Virtual Onboarding: 3 Success Components
Let’s assume: you’ve figured out how to manage your existing team remotely. Hopefully, you’ve even trained your HR team to hire employees through a series of online interviews. However, what happens after the contract is signed? How do you welcome your new employee into the team and ensure a smooth adjustment to its routines? Today we’re providing you with three main components of your new member’s successful onboarding along with some simple but useful tips that will help you along the way!
The first step in the new person’s acclimatization to the company is to understand its structure. The main goal here is to avoid the new member feeling lost and not knowing who to reach out to. Of course, if the company is big, getting accustomed to the structure of one’s team is of immediate importance, while the rest of it can be left for later. This means understanding exactly who will be doing what in their team in addition to who can the employee contact for a specific question. However, the crucial part of remote onboarding is documentation: make sure your new employee always has a document to come back to in case they forget what you told them. A second main point is clarifying the daily routines and communication practices. Does your team prefer to discuss issues in zoom meetings or do you opt for asynchronous communication? Would you rather the employees wait until the meeting to ask each other questions or do it immediately on Slack? All of these questions are not difficult to answer if you simply observe how your team already operates but it could potentially help the new member immensely.
Technical assistance is incredibly important for remote teams because of both the pace and effectiveness of the whole workflow being dependant on technical performance. The goal here is not only to provide access to the tools but to make sure the new member learns how to use them effectively and with confidence. Going hand in hand with organizational acclimatization, technical assistance includes whatever communication, planning, reporting, and documentation tools your team uses. In the training process, it’s best to give hierarchical tasks by explaining what tools are more important to learn in the first week, and which can wait until the fourth. There is no need to overwhelm the newly arrived staff member by introducing them to a bunch of new systems without clarifying what part of those systems are actually used by the team daily and, thus, have to be understood first.
Last but not least, successful remote onboarding cannot be achieved without positive human connection. It is normal to be nervous in a new setting; however, while in the office a certain level of personal communication could be almost guaranteed, this is not always the case remotely, and facilitating informal communication has to be intentional. This means as a manager you are responsible for allocating time to introduce the new person to the team and come up with an activity for them to get to know each other. Regularly check in on the employee so that they don’t feel isolated and lost in their onboarding process and assign a peer who is not in a management position. This could be helpful as it will reduce the formality of this communication. While it might not seem pressing in the moment, ensuring regular positive social interactions will go a long way in helping the new member to feel comfortable and welcomed. This, in turn, will eliminate some of the newcomer’s anxiety and ensure smooth workflow within the entire team.
- Always reach out before the employee’s first day to welcome the employee and answer their questions.
- Do not overwhelm the new employee with all the information at once. Make sure to spread the information over weeks or even months, depending on the role.
- Prepare a comprehensive document that will simply explain the structure of the team and the organization and answer the plausible questions of the new employee.
- Build balanced communication. Instead of simply unloading the information on the new member, ask questions about their expectations, preferences, and experiences in your company so far.
5 Apps for Remote Teams
It’s 2021 and remote work isn’t just a trend, it’s the new normal. Many remote workers express their desire to continue working from home even after the health regulations loosen and allow offices to reopen. So, really, after one year of working from home, what new apps can you discover? While Slack and Zoom became a stable part of our lives, there are still other apps you can explore to connect and work effectively as a remote team. Here are our top 5 suggestions:
Canva brings design to a new level, allowing beginners to create fresh designs for a variety of purposes, from Instagram stories or LinkedIn posts to company logos. While Canva offers a great number of free features, we’re going to talk about their Pro Plan here. Starting at $11/month, the Pro Plan allows you to create your company’s Brand Kit, which includes the colors, fonts, and logos of your organization. Moreover, your team can design together in real-time and then schedule posts to be published on your social media channels. Canva’s intuitive design and abundant assistance (built-in hints and more extensive explanations on their blog) make it possible for virtually anyone to use the app, unlike many other more professional tools that require experience in design. Canva really is a versatile and flexible tool that combines everything a content marketing team needs to start creating designs from scratch.
Miro is another creative team collaboration application. It can act as a whiteboard for brainstorming ideas for your business, as well as a tool for creating schedules, mindmaps, tables, charts, and much more. With its infinite canvas and real-time collaboration option, Miro serves as space for creativity, ideation, and connection of unique thoughts of your team members. A unique function of this app is meeting facilitation. While most conference apps only have a simple whiteboard and presentation options, Miro brings it all together, enabling smooth, flow-like meetings, workshops, and presentations that easily engage several participants.
One of the most common complaints people have about working remotely is feelings of isolation and loneliness. Not being able to have a short chat with a colleague over a coffee makes it more difficult to get to know people you work with on a more personal level. New employees have it even harder. Without previous connections, it takes courage to reach out to someone new on Slack. For the benefit of their employees’ wellness and productivity, remote work managers need to take the responsibility for bringing people together, now that it doesn’t happen organically. Thankfully, Donut takes that burden off your shoulders. All you need to do to facilitate informal communication within your remote team is to add Donut to Slack. It will do the job of introducing remote workers to each other and facilitate a video call where people can meet and have a virtual coffee.
Notion is a sleek document-sharing app that unites a variety of tools in its intuitive app. A truly versatile tool, Notion allows your team to share and edit documents, assign tasks, create calendars, team wikis, and so much more. Notion is effectively used by teams of all sizes – from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. In addition to its addictive design and endless way of personalizing the pages you create, the app’s team consistently rolls out new functions. It can be used as a Desktop or phone app as well as in your browser, giving you the freedom to see, edit and share pages from anywhere. In case you become overwhelmed by the possibilities, Notion offers a series of videos explaining its features and how to get the most of them. In fact, the application became so popular in the last couple of years that many YouTubers who focus on productivity release their own videos exploring the bountiful features of Notion. So if you haven’t tried Notion yet, prepare yourself for a satisfying work experience!
Clockify is an easy-to-use time tracking tool for teams. It allows the whole remote team to track the time each individual spends completing a task. Apart from its main function, Clockify also lets your team share a calendar, report on their activities, and see what others are doing. This app creates the sense of accountability and solidarity that exists in the office because while a remote worker might be physically alone in their home office they can still “see” their colleagues working. Moreover, it gives teams’ managers a great way to track productivity, notice issues quickly, and address them at the next meeting.