7 Effective Tips on Hiring Remote Software Developers

Getting more for less – these four words describe the main reason why companies opt for hiring remote developers. But since you’re here, you don’t need convincing – you’ve already made up your mind.

Now, it’s time for the tricky part: choosing the right people to get the work done. And it is tricky, so don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

First of all, in-person meetings are off the table. You’ll have to rely on video conferencing – both for the screening process and day-to-day management later on. Plus, there’s a bunch of other widespread concerns: cultural differences, legal protection, etc.

So, how do you hire dedicated development team you won’t regret working with down the road? Here are seven time-tested tips to help you make the right decision.

7 Effective Tips on Hiring Remote Software Developers

Know What You Need in Perfect Detail

In the absolute majority of cases, not knowing (or misunderstanding) what you need at the recruitment stage is what causes the later-on dissatisfaction with the dedicated development team.

If you aren’t 100% certain about your needs and requirements, you’re guaranteed to overspend or make a bad hire (or both).

The good news is, the solution is relatively simple – assess your needs in detail and put your requirements into writing.

Easier said than done, right? Yes, it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers. But it’s not impossible, either. Here are nine questions that can be your roadmap at this stage:

  1. What is your product vision?
  2. What are the tech specifications, deliverables, and goals?
  3. What’s your timeline? Is it realistic?
  4. What are your budget constraints? Is it realistic?
  5. How many (and what kind of) specialists would it take to get this project done?
  6. What skills, both hard and soft ones, should they possess?
  7. How are you going to communicate with your dedicated developers?
  8. How would you like your project to be managed (in terms of tools, methodology, etc.)?
  9. What are your company’s values and corporate culture?

Prioritize Quality Over the Price Tag

As mentioned in the introduction, cutting costs is the main reason why companies hire remote dedicated developers. And while the financial gain is important, let it take a backseat for a while. Instead, focus on quality and talent – and factor in the costs later on.

Yes, you can opt for the cheapest option available (compared to the local market’s average). But software development is the industry where cheaper almost always means:

  1. Bad code that’s impossible to maintain.
  2. Missed deadlines and overlooked goals.
  3. Poor communication – or lack of it altogether.

Don’t Rush It

Of course, sometimes, you need something to be done now – or even yesterday. Then, you don’t have time to shop around for the best dedicated developers possible. Or so you think.

Even if it’s urgent-urgent-very-urgent, don’t make rash decisions. You know what’s on the table, right? You’ll be paying twice if you choose poorly – someone will have to rewrite the bad code and fix all the bugs eventually. No one will do that for free – leave alone the time you’ll lose in the process.

Plus, most likely, you’re looking for a long-term partnership. In this case, rushing the process means you risk ending up stuck with a signed contract even though you’re not satisfied with the results.

Check Out Their Experience, Portfolio & Reviews

This tip isn’t exactly unheard of, but it’s still worth mentioning. Portfolio and reviews are key to understanding whether the developer:

  1. has had experience working with other businesses in your industry;
  2. specializes in your kind of projects;
  3. has a history of problematic cooperation in the past or any red flags worth considering.

If you’re looking for a development company, go to platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms to read trustworthy reviews. Don’t rely that much on the reviews posted right on the company’s website.

Assess Both Tech Expertise & Soft Skills

Knowing what kind of tech expertise you need is a must. But to assess it right, you’ll need someone who has the relevant background. Find that someone to give you a second opinion.

As for the soft skills, they’re sometimes even more important than the tech expertise. That’s because they determine how well the dedicated developers collaborate between themselves, use their tech skills in a real-world setting, and communicate with clients.

Here’s a list of the five most essential soft skills you should pay attention to:

  • communication and interpersonal skills;
  • collaboration and teamwork;
  • out-of-the-box thinking;
  • problem-solving;
  • research and critical thinking.

Bonus tip. Ask about the most common challenges of remote work your candidates encounter – and how they overcome them.

Consider Your Compatibility in Terms of Culture & Values

This selection criterion is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. If you and your development partner have different corporate cultures and values, you’re more likely to run into misunderstandings. And misunderstandings can turn into financial losses.

But how do you check if you’re compatible or not? It’s not like there’s a certification process, after all.

The best way to do it is by asking how they would act in a hypothetical situation during the interview. The reaction, the thinking process behind the answer, and the answer itself will give you an idea of what kind of partner you’d be dealing with.

By the way. If you’ve decided to outsource to another country where English isn’t natively spoken, take note of any signs of the language barrier, too.

Discuss the Contract, NDA, and IP Head-On

Unscrupulous developers stealing their client’s intellectual property isn’t just a hypothetical scenario. Unfortunately, it can happen if you don’t cover your back before your cooperation takes off.

Here are four legal things you should discuss beforehand:

  1. Contract. Make sure the payment details, responsibilities and obligations of each party, and penalties are clear. It’s also a good idea to include grounds for terminating the contract before it runs out.
  2. Non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Signing an NDA (also known as the confidentiality agreement) is a must. It’ll legally bind your development partner(s) not to share any sensitive data with any third parties.
  3. Non-compete agreement. In essence, it obliges your partner not to compete with you for a fixed period of time. Be careful, though: signing it with individuals will make you liable for employment taxes and benefits.
  4. Intellectual property rights. You should be the sole owner of the final product – and of all the code and designs, too. Make sure that it’s explicitly stated in the contract you sign.

7 Effective Tips on Hiring Remote Software Developers

Final Piece of Advice: Getting the Hire Done Is Just the Beginning

Making the right choice is crucial, but keeping your hand on the pulse is no less important, either. If you just go with the flow and leave the team dedicated to your project on their own, it’s a sure recipe for a disaster.

That’s not to say that you have to micromanage developers’ every step, of course. Yet, there are several things you’ll have to invest your time into to make sure the cooperation goes smoothly:

  • Check in on their progress regularly. Whether you communicate only with the team lead or have decided to keep project management in-house, regular communication is key.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer. Once the NDA is signed, make sure the developers know everything you do. Provide access to the market research you’ve done, any wireframes if you have them, and so on.
  • Prioritize video calls over messengers. Nothing beats face-to-face interaction, even online. That’s because you’ll be able to read the non-verbal cues, too.

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