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When hiring developers for your company, you’d want to make sure you’re getting the most suitable candidates for the position.

Not only does finding the right candidates for the job help to lower key metrics such as time to hire and cost to hire but it ensures that the candidate will culturally fit into the organization.

If your company uses an Applicant Tracking System, you’re most likely dealing with hundreds of applications for each position. When scaling the hiring process, it’s essential to communicate well with all candidates seamlessly and efficiently to ensure they fully understand how the process works or that they don’t lose interest.  

Putting your candidates through their paces needs to be included in your hiring process; it shouldn’t be unpleasant and when done right, it can help to create a stronger candidate experience. For example, using a prescreening tool to collect data on candidates’ skills prior to the interviewing stage helps to build a candidate profile of their strengths and weaknesses.

Hiring remotely is still in its early stages for many companies, processes need to be adjusted and procedures need to be fine-tuned. 

To help improve your remote hiring capabilities, we’ve put together strategies that can help you assess your candidates for their next position. Furthermore, these tactics can help you create an immersive and seamless candidate experience. 

Variety Is the Spice of Life

For remote hires, it’s a good idea to give the candidate as much exposure as possible to the company, its employees and members of staff from different departments. To accurately assess the communication skills of candidates, have leaders from multiple teams speak to them during the interview. 

When candidates are engaging with members from different teams, it gives them a chance to familiarize themselves with employees that they will be collaborating with if they’re hired. Furthermore, panelists can establish the level of verbal and non-verbal communication that the candidate is capable of and that will play a big part in how well they will align with other teams in the company. 

Preeti Kaur, VP of Engineering, Carta says that “If they’re going to be remote for their entire tenure at a company, it’s so important that what you’re indexing for changes a little; their communication has to be really good.” Preeti states that at Carta, the hiring team is made aware that the candidate will work remotely and they should specifically assess communication in a remote environment.

Asking All the Right Questions

Talent acquisition and hiring teams need to engage candidates with the right questions during the interview process. Firstly, this entails finding out if the candidate has worked in remote teams before and if they enjoy it. A candidate’s response to that is very important as it highlights whether the candidate can communicate across teams virtually and if they’re happy to work in solitude. Some engineers come to the conclusion that they prefer to work in a communal environment like an office and that remote work just isn’t for them. This costs your company time and money because you have to start the interview process again with another new candidate. 

Trial and Error

Hiring based only on skill can be easy if you have the correct processes in place. Create coding challenges or paired programming exercises to analyze the skills of engineers, narrowing down the selection to the top two or three. Creating tailored assessments for the candidates, like you can on Codility’s CodeCheck can help you shortlist the most qualified and talented developers. 

After narrowing down the selection for the top three engineers, invite the candidates to compensated work for one to five days where your company replicates the work environment. Provide your candidates with the tools they will need for their job, along with Zoom and Slack, so they can communicate between themselves and managers while working. 

By recreating the work environment, you’re able to see how candidates communicate, collaborate, and how productive they are within the team. Assessment at this stage is critical as it will help you decide which candidates will be kept on for employment with the company. 

Meet and Greet

Amanda Townsend, Director of People & Culture, FiveTran says that when hiring remotely, it’s good practice for the candidate to come on-site before they work remotely. Amanda says “Sometimes when we hire people at FiveTran, we’ll have them come on-site to the office for a week or two and meet the team in person. Then establish those relationships, really understand people’s working style and then they go back home and start fully remote work.”

Allowing candidates to develop an in-person bond with their team has proven successful in helping to build trust and culture alignment. Leaders know what to expect from the candidate, how they communicate, and what their work style is like prior to having them work remotely from home. Due to COVID, candidates may not be able to work on-site for a week or two, which means that your company will have to alter its induction process. 

For example, creating a day or two where the candidate can have video meetings with other engineers to introduce themselves and speak about what they’re working on. An informal virtual meeting over coffee can help to break the ice and ease candidates in.   

Conclusion

Hiring remote can be time-consuming and selecting the right candidates can be difficult without the correct processes in place. It’s essential to factor in communication as a strong suit for every candidate. Distributed teams rely on seamless communication so remote developers need to be able to relay information and collaborate their teams across geographies. 

Creating an environment to trial your top candidates can also help you decide what their long-term suitability is for the role and the company. Despite the hiring process taking longer, candidates that participate in paid work for a day or even several can give hiring managers a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in order to determine the best candidate for the role.

To learn more about ways to succeed at “Recruiting and Engaging Developers at Work,” watch our webinar with Carta, Fivetran and ITCraftship.

Sally Lee, Senior Lifecycle Marketing Manager at Codility.

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