How to Source, Screen, and Onboard Remote Developers for Digital Agencies: With remote work becoming increasingly popular, it’s important for digital agencies to develop an effective onboarding process for remote developers. According to a Gallup Survey, only 12% of respondents stated their company does a great job with onboarding.
To help digital agencies get started in the right direction, here are some best practices for successful remote onboarding:
- Source: Develop a strategy for sourcing and recruiting remote workers.
- Screen: Make sure to conduct an extensive background check early on in the process and review applicants’ portfolios.
- Onboard: Establish an onboarding program tailored specifically to remote developers, addressing not only their technical skills but also their soft skills.
Source Remote Developers: Strategy
- Develop Clear Job Descriptions and Qualifications: Draft job descriptions that clearly outline the duties and expected qualifications. This will help to ensure that you are only reviewing applicants who have the skills and abilities to complete the job.
- Utilize Online Job Boards: Look for remote employees on popular job boards like Indeed, FlexJobs and LinkedIn. Post the job descriptions clearly and be sure to list the remote job status.
- Use Your Network: Check with your current employees who may have friends or peers with the right qualifications. Ask them to refer people to the position, and build your candidate pool.
- Get Involved in Online Communities: Join online communities like Reddit, Quora and other relevant forums related to your industry. Connect with people there to find potential applicants and build your network.
- Utilize Social Media: Use social media to attract candidates. Post a job advertisement on your company’s social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Pre-Screen Candidates: Create a pre-screening questionnaire with questions about the candidate’s availability and skills. This will help narrow the list of candidates and make it easier to identify qualified ones.
- Check References: Before signing any contracts or making any offers, make sure to check the candidate’s references. You want to know from past employers or clients that the candidate is qualified and dependable.
- Offer Competitive Compensation: Remote workers often have more flexibility and freedom than traditional employees. Offer competitive rates and benefits to attract the best workers.
How to screen remote developers
- Ask for their CV and/or portfolio – Ask for a detailed CV and portfolio of past work to ensure the remote developer has the necessary skills and experience for the job. Have them provide references too.
- Interview – Hold an in-depth interview to determine how well the remote developer communicates and presents their ideas. Make sure their availability fits your needs and that the rate they’re asking is within your budget.
- Test their technical skills – Assign a small project or test to gauge their technical ability. Alternatively, you can ask them to pair with an in-house developer on a short task.
- Review their attitude – Observe how the remote developer communicates, their attitude to feedback, and how they conduct themselves throughout the process. Any red flags should be addressed.
- Ask for a contract – Request that the remote developer sign a contract outlining payment terms, liability waivers, and any other pertinent information. This will help safeguard both parties.
How to onboard remote developers
- Prepare Early: Before onboarding, a remote developer, be sure to establish a secure and collaborative work environment. Ensure that the required tools, platforms, and resources are already in place for the remote developer, so they can start work with minimal disruptions.
- Establish a Communication & Collaboration Platform: Establishing a secure and reliable communication platform is key for successful remote developer onboarding. Make sure to find the best communication platform that suits your needs, such as Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, Trello, or Zoom.
- Create and Share Resources: Establishing a shared repository for all the relevant documents, tools, and resources for onboarding is essential for remote developers. This repository should include all the necessary information regarding the development process, how to access resources, and how to handle tasks and issues.
- Introduce the Team: Before the remote developer starts working, create a space where everyone on the team is able to introduce themselves and get to know each other. This will go a long way towards establishing collaboration and trust right away.
- Get the Developer Familiar With the Process: Once the team has been established, offer a guided tour of the development process and introduce any specific rules or guidelines that they need to be aware of. Consider hosting a webinar or video interview to help the remote developer better understand the project and the team’s expectations.
- Host a Welcome Meeting: After the remote developer has familiarized themselves with the project and the team, host a welcome meeting so the remote developer can actually meet the team members and ask any questions they may have.
- Check-in Periodically: Make sure to check in periodically with the remote developer to see how their onboarding is going. Ask for feedback about the process and support their growth through professional development.
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Benefits of Sourcing, Screening, and Onboarding Remote Developers
- The data shows that remote employees are more committed and dedicated to their employers than their office counterparts. In fact, 53% of those working from home plan to stay with the company for at least a year, compared to much lower figures for those in-office. This suggests that higher employee retention can be achieved through working remotely.
- Small business owners must be judicious about where they put their money. Hiring remote employees is an advantageous investment that can help reduce future expenses. With remote work, there is no need to rent office space, pay for electricity and workplace perks, or purchase office management technology.
- In order to tap into wider talent pools, business owners need to look into renting office space in downtown locations. Although it may not be easy to find such a space, and rent can be expensive, it is essential to remaining competitive.
- Keeping the team at the office is no longer necessary to optimally monitor an employee’s productivity and reach business targets. Remote teams tend to be much more productive than in-house teams. Additionally, research shows that individuals are more likely to put in extra hours when they are not in the office.
- Remote work creates a unique environment that allows teams to operate more mindfully and efficiently. The focus on written communication makes it easier to keep track of reports and changes, while demands for discipline and responsibility promote positive work habits and self-motivation among workers. This in turn leads to greater interdependency, lower managerial workloads, and increased efficiency overall.