Remote Hiring Guide: How to Recruit, Interview, and Hire Engineers Remotely

By Jonathan Francis

The rapid spread of Covid-19 across the globe is bringing about unprecedented change in the way we work and live. Business leaders more than ever are taking important steps to become remote-first. Remote working is no longer the future, it is right now and it’s here to stay.

The Guide Contents

In this guide, we share why hiring remote software engineers is beneficial to your business and provide a step-by-step method for attracting and hiring remote engineers. You’ll find out: 

  • The Benefits of Hiring Remote Engineers
  • How to Hire Remote Engineers
  • Tools and Resources for Remote Hiring
  • Tips for Conducting Remote Interviews
  • How to get started with remote Engineers

The Benefits of Hiring Remote Engineers

During challenging times you need your core software development team to be delivering vital services in the most resourceful way. Here are 3 major benefits of hiring remote engineer.

  • Access a broad pool of talent – Location is no longer a factor. You can access a broader pool of talent across the globe that suits your tech stack.
  • Faster time to hire  – With a larger pool of talent, finding the right talent can be faster than sourcing locally. 
  • High cost/ benefit ratio – With relatively faster time to hire, access to larger talent pools and lower administrative and retention costs mean a greater cost/benefit ratio.

How to Hire Remote Engineers

Behind every successful tech business is a team of talented engineers. Hence, recruitment plays a major role in hiring the right engineering talent. However, hiring remote engineers can be less straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide to hiring remote employees:

  1. Determine the requirements you expect from successful candidates

Clearly set out the expectations you seek from your remote engineers. You want engineers that match your organization’s DNA and values. Go beyond just technical aspects, because you want engineers that you can work alongside.

Consider the skill set required to excel at remote working. Here are a few remote working skills you’d want from your candidates:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong collaborative skills
  • Disciplined and good at time management
  • Responsible and accountable 
  • Good organizational skills
  1. Formalize a job description 

Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the job role and expectations. Include elements within that answers questions such as:

  • What is the purpose of the company (Vision)
  • How the company values/ practices are relevant to the role
  • What is expected from them
  • What their day-to-day activities include
  • How the role contributes to company goals
  • What are the benefits 
  1. Pre-screen candidates 

Perform an initial phone screen on candidates to get to know if they are a good fit for the position before proceeding to the interview process. Share key information to set the expectations upfront, such as the interview process, how long it takes and the next steps. Build a rapport with the candidate and answer key questions.

  1. Use online assessments to shortlist candidates

Tech assessment can be helpful to measure technical skills. Yet, if it’s too complicated and long, it can deter even the most enthusiastic developers from going ahead, so make sure it’s to the point.

With a pre-employment assessment solution, you can test your candidates for all the skills they need to succeed in their remote roles. These pre-interview assessment tests might look deceptively simple, but they can unlock invaluable insights to help you make shortlisting decisions

  1. Finally! consider the final interview to be conducted face-to-face 

While selected remote engineers will be expected to communicate via the internet, the best move is to invest in some real face time at the start of your cooperation.

Early face-time will help you get to know your new developers better, and give you the opportunity to personally assess and build an effective business relationship for the future. 

Tools and Resources for Remote Hiring

Project Management Tools

Use project management tools for interview planning, and keeping track of remote job candidates.

Recruiting Software

Using a recruiting software helps you share your job posting with remote job candidates. Many tools also offer applicant tracking systems and allow you to screen applicants.

At Gapstars, we use Recruitee as our go-to talent acquisition platform. which enables swift applicant tracking. It’s a shared tool that provides complete transparency across the board.

Video Conferencing Software

Find the right video conferencing software to host remote interviews.

Tips for Conducting Remote Interviews

Consider the following tips to ensure candidates have a smooth experience during video interviews. You want candidates to be as confident as being in-person during interviews.

  1. Assess the best way to connect

Check on your applicant’s location and time zone when scheduling the interview. Use simple video conferencing software that candidates are experienced and comfortable with.

  1. Test the setup before the interview

Make sure your interview location and surrounding is clutter-free and quiet. Test the video conferencing software, your internet connection and hardware before the interview.

  1. Keep the interview panel briefed

Ensure that the interview panel is well briefed on each candidate. Set out the goals for the video interview and the next steps.

  1. Become an effective listener

Provide candidates with greater opportunities to express themselves. In-person interviews offer plenty of opportunities for elaborate discussions while video interviews can be expected to be brief. Ensure that the candidate feels listened to and given the time to answer properly.

How to get started with remote Engineers

With remote benefits such as flexibility and continuous connectivity come new challenges, such as different offices and time zones. So in reality, remote working requires a little more than just the technical ability to launch an office on the other side of the world.

Here are 3 best practices from our own experience with ‘going remote’.

  1. Create the Right Environment

The success of a good synergy between a company’s HQ and its remote development team starts with the conditions in which employees operate. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the following aspects.

  • Commitment
  • Responsibility
  • Infrastructure
  • Good Vibes
  1. Establish a Culture of High Performance

Setting the tone from early on is essential. Teams tend to have certain activities, processes or things that they repeat – culture. Creating these traditions with your team members helps keep the team cohesive and trusted. Here’s a few key areas for building culture:

  • Agile Methods
  • Encourage collaboration: sharing is caring
  • Frequent feedback
  1. Continued learning

Offering your remote engineers learning and development opportunities, as well as informal ways to connect with peers, is a great way to foster employee engagement. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Leading by example – Senior Developers take time to update team on emerging tech developments
  • Trainers – Every offshore development team needs its Master Yoda so to speak.
  • Knowledge Transfers – Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. It’s important to share as much knowledge, information and expertise as possible between the different offices.
  • Business Communication  – Courses are arranged by our in-house Learning and Development Trainer based on each employees’ individual development plan.
  • E-learning Tools – Part of being a developer is working with smart, online tools.



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