Tips for Hiring Remote Engineers

Considering hiring a remote developer, or building out a distributed engineering team? Here are a few things to know before starting the process, from putting the right tools and technology in place to tips for interviewing and communicating with your remote hire.

1. Have clearly defined deliverables

It’s important to make sure the project is described clearly, with deliverables and deadlines agreed upon to avoid any misunderstandings or delays. Writing a great job post will ensure you’ve established all of these points up front, and cut down on confusion down the line.

2. Know your resource needs

Depending on project size, timing and complexity, you may benefit from engaging with a larger agency instead of an individual developer. You may also want to engage multiple developers, a dedicated project manager, or look towards more experienced developers.

3. Be ready to work remotely (tools)

Make sure you and the team are clear on what tools and technology will be used for communicating about the project and delivering completed work. This can include code repositories, task assignment systems, and communication platforms, among other discussions.

4. Have an interview/screening process

Just like anyone else you might work with, it is important to utilize a screening process when engaging with remote talent. This can include technical questions as well as more general behavioral interaction questions to ensure everyone will work well together and can communicate and solve problems effectively.

5. Communication is key (be clear)

Due to elements such as different time zones or work schedules, as well as potential language barriers, it is important to be clear with all communications and confirm everyone understands each other. Avoid idioms and other expressions that may not be understood by all parties.

6. Set a reasonable timeline and stick to it

Project scoping and timing is an important exercise and will ensure all team members can plan their time accordingly. Be mindful of introducing any delays and avoid setting unrealistic timelines for a project. It can also be useful to confirm whether there are any upcoming vacations or holidays for remote team members.

7. Clear potential blockers to maximize freelancers’ efficiency

Maximize the effectiveness of remote team members by providing resources and answering questions expediently. Make sure members of the team are available and responsive to questions as they come up.

8. Outline how remote talent can communicate with any existing team

Determine roles and primary responsibilities at the onset of the project to avoid confusion. This can also include assigning someone to be the primary point of contact for remote workers with questions.

9. Budget in some time for ramping up and any adjustments that may happen

Be mindful of the need for remote developers to learn your team’s systems and any pre-existing code base when creating timelines. If your team is not used to working with remote talent, it may take some time to work out processes and learn best practices.

10. Preserve some room for flexibility in how the developer completes the project

When engaging with expert remote talent, they can be a valuable resource for bringing new perspectives and approaches to your team.