The world has gone remote. With what seemed like a distant reality is now the new normal. The IT industry, like others, took a hit at the start of the pandemic but as the months went by businesses started to transition to a remote world; many failed and some succeeded. One key element of many businesses is their development or engineering teams. Traditionally, when businesses hire someone it’s usually in a one-on-one setting but with the onset of remote teams, remote interviews have become a common occurrence.
There are companies that have built their entire models on vetting engineers remotely because they enjoy the freedom it gives of hiring without boundaries. However, a larger percentage of businesses are still learning to hire remotely. When it comes to looking for remote developers or remote engineers, here are 4 things you should be vary off
The right technical skills – Does the developer have the specific programming skills you need?
This obviously starts with putting out the right details in the job posting. One of the biggest red flags is people not reading the details given in a job posting and aimlessly applying. This shows their lack of attention to detail and their ability to overlook important pointers.
A good way to test out technical skills is by preparing a test so to speak. You could also have the candidate do a test project and see how their skills apply given your work dynamics. Most recruiters generally conduct technical interviews to assess how a candidate tackles a challenge. This could answer an array of questions from assessing if the candidate dives head first into the problem at hand or slows down to map out things? Does the candidate pay attention to the little details given in the instructions? Does the candidate carry the ability to de-bug a given code? So on and so forth.
The ability to work remotely – Is the candidate familiar with any remote working tools?
If you are reading this article then you are definitely someone who has worked with remote teams or is someone who is transitioning their team to a remote environment. Either way it’s imperative to know that communication is key to the success of remote teams.
Either your candidate is already familiar with tools like Trello, Asana, Slack etc or you will have to spend hours training them from scratch. It’s important that the candidate is able to manage their workload and track their progress. Remote developers often work in one of the two scenarios; solo on a singular project or with a team working either on a single or multiple projects. In both cases it’s crucial that they manage their tasks and keep a track of them for any project manager’s team leads to evaluate.
Again, the best way to observe this is to send them the test project./task using the project management tools you generally use and see how they navigate it.
Communication skills – How well can they communicate their point verbally
If you ever ask remote team managers or team leads what their biggest challenge is, you will most probably find them saying the communication skills of their team members. Most resources have excellent written communication skills but when it comes to articulating their thoughts and conveying them verbally, they fall short.
Why is this important you may ask? Picture this. You assign a team member the important task of discussing a project with a client. They are unable to communicate exactly what they are doing for the said project, the client gets confused and that is the start of chaos that will lead to a lot of unnecessary friction.
So, when you’re interviewing remote developers, pay attention to how well they listen. Do they ever come in and disrupt you? Do they have any follow-up conversation subjects that you might respond to with insightful comments or questions? Etc.
Interpersonal Skills – Do they align well with the rest of your team?
Interpersonal skills are trickier to discover, but not impossible. They could be the deciding factor in hiring and retaining the best fit for your team. Basically, during your interview, you can talk more about your company culture and what your team enjoys to see if your applicants have anything in common.
As though you were meeting a possible new buddy or network link, try to discover more about their personality. Finding popular TV series, sports teams, hobbies, favourite memes, and so on can help.
You can also extend the personality test by sending out a questionnaire or survey ahead of time. You can ask questions about their ideals, causes they support, or unique personality qualities to elicit responses.
This might seem like a lot of effort but with remote teams there is a possibility of greater friction between team members compared to teams working in an office. Development projects are time-sensitive to begin with so it’s always a plus if your team members get along with each other to begin with
These are only a few characteristics of a great remote developer. These characteristics will make working as and recruiting a remote employee a little less stressful for everyone, whether you want someone like this on your team or are a developer yourself.What Skills are necessary to observe when hiring a remote developer