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How to Hire Great Senior Remote Developers: Online Recruitment Tips

Posted Dec 10, 2020 Trends

You can hire senior remote developers in any part of the world and feel no difference between remote and local cooperation. 44% of companies are now more likely to use IT outsourcing suppliers than they were just five years ago.

In this article, we’ve collected online recruitment tips and hard-won lessons from our recruiters, tech leads, project managers, Agile coaches, and senior developers to get first-hand insights on hiring great senior remote developers worldwide.


Hiring Senior Remote Developers Worldwide: General Overview

In order to hire highly experienced and skillful senior remote developers, employers can expand their search radius—both on the national and international levels. 

3 main ways to hire senior remote developers:

  1. Hire through an outstaffing service provider,
  2. Outsource the whole project to an offshore vendor,
  3. Hire freelancers.

Challenges in Hiring Senior Remote Developers

Here are 4 challenges you may face while hiring senior remote developers:

1. Hiring strategy

The main challenge in hiring experienced developers, with no regard to the location, is gaining the right mindset before starting headhunting. A key concept to remember is that senior developers are well-versed professionals who know what they want and know they’re worth it. Remember that it is you who have to sell your company to a senior developer. Not them. So the hiring strategy for senior developers means making yourself look as attractive as possible.

2. Talent shortage

In the US alone, the shortage of software engineers will exceed 1.2 million by 2026. Europe, the Nordics, and other countries face a similar problem. 

Hiring remote developers worldwide closes the talent shortage gap and gives access to highly skilled engineers at a moderate cost. 

3. Poor recruitment and evaluation processes

The primary mistake that the hiring side often makes is over-valuing present skills and under-valuing future growth. Companies tend to look for the wrong qualities in their applicants, especially when it comes to senior developers. 

For sure, a senior developer is much of a mix of a deep tech expertise and well-developed leadership/management/mentorship skills. 

However, when hiring seniors, the employer always wants all these skills to be already present, forgetting about the fact that senior professionals can easily acquire and switch between different sets of skills if needed.

4. Security risks

45% of outsourcing businesses have worries that a cloud-based service may not be stable or reliable enough. 35% identify a fear of losing intellectual property as their biggest concern. 

If you hire senior remote developers through an outstaffing service provider, you mitigate your security risks. For example, Daxx has obtained the ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management Certification.

Why Outsource to Ukraine?

Get data on the state of the Ukrainian IT market and discover why Ukraine is one of the top destinations for outsourcing software development in 2021.

ukraine-best-it-outsourcing-destination

How to Hire Senior Remote Developers: Job Description, Skills Evaluation, and Remote Interview Tips

If you cooperate with an outstaffing service provider, no doubt they know how to hire senior remote developers, and much of the job will be done on their side. Still, there are some aspects that need the client to get involved: outlining the job role in as much detail as possible, as well as using remote interview tips for evaluating hard and soft skills needed for a certain position.

 

1. How to Write a Concise Job Description

A job description may seem a run-of-the-mill thing every business person is well-acquainted with. However, a badly written job description — from too generic to too detailed — are the enemies of online recruitment capable of misleading and detering really great candidates from applying.

The first thing  you may want to do (and what does work anyway) is copying the previous job description you used or liked and updating it to fit a new role.

Here are a few hand-picked rules that proved to be working in hiring senior remote developers:

  • Write YOU-centric job descriptions

What we often see is that 70–80% of the entire job posting are generic descriptions of the company and their processes which in most cases are quite similar. 

If you want to hire an experienced developer, remember that it’s the candidate who is choosing a company. Hence, job descriptions should be more about what a company can offer a candidate rather than what the company wants.

Tip: instead of writing another generic description of your company, try customizing it and speak from the future senior developer’s standpoint. Instead of “We do this and that,” try “Your mission will be…”

  • Give the full picture

Nothing irritates more than well-worn phrases like “we need digital transformation,” “bring cutting-edge technology,” — you know the type.

Describe the situation with the current project: what has been already done, what you expect to achieve in a year, how many team members there are, what other teams are involved, etc.

Examples: We want to release two new apps till the end of the year. The team consists of ten people in the back end, eight in the front end, and a project manager.

  • Be meticulous about the required technical skills

Be specific

Outline each technical skill separately and be sure to mention all of them. Nothing is more frustrating for a candidate than to be rejected because they don’t possess a required skill that was not mentioned in the job description. Write down all required skills under a “Required” section name.

Example: You will be leading a team of React developers. In this case, a candidate will understand the scope of their responsibilities and have a pretty clear idea of the knowledge they will need to possess.

Be realistic

Of course, you want the future senior developer to be a programming god, however, think carefully about what is really needed for everyday workload. Instead of requiring a wide range of technologies, mention the most essential only. 

If eventually it turns out that some other skills are also necessary, senior developers are senior enough to customize their skillsets on the go, so switching from Angular to React won’t take enormous effort.

Tip: Seek to have your job description reviewed by a technical person in-house or ask an outstaffing vendor to assist you.

  • Be careful with “nice to have” skills

If a candidate possesses a required set of skills, there is no point in mentioning too many desired skills as this can cut off some really good candidates. If you plan some additional job functions, just say this role also includes dealing with certain fields and that you will provide training if needed.

  • Soft skills do matter

You probably want to hire a senior developer not just because of their strong technical skills. Leadership and ability to mentor juniors, leverage industry trends, and articulate their point of view both to the team mates and to the client without ruffling feathers make the essential skillset as well.

It makes sense to indicate whether the position will have the developer work solo. Likewise, if you are looking for a team player, say it boldly. Want a mentor? Make it clear.

How to Evaluate Technical Skills

Senior developers solve complicated problems on a daily basis.  So the best assessment for senior developers is the one that closely resembles the real work environment. Choose a case that reflects the challenges that a senior developer might have to solve every day. 

You will see how comfortable the candidate is in using frameworks and libraries that are already being used in your team. It also helps a candidate to experience the coding practices of the company. 

Here are 3 ways to evaluate technical skills:

1. Time-boxed online coding assignment 

This is a proven and time-efficient way to evaluate technical knowledge in real time. 

There are hundreds of online coding challenge websites with thousands of simple problems. You can try CollabeditCodesandbox or Codility if you want to use frameworks and libraries.

You can ask a candidate to share their screen while coding and comment on what they're doing in voice. Make it feel more like you are working on a challenge together rather than it being a test of their skills.

The disadvantage of online coding tests is that they may not always represent the type of day-to-day work needed in the role.

2. Technical interview 

A conversation about technical interests and recent projects conducted by existing senior team members can give a deep insight into the technical knowledge of a senior engineer. In some cases, it might actually not even be necessary to do a further formal skill assessment. 

3. A take-home assignment

This evaluation method is time-consuming and requires dedication on both sides. 
A candidate gets a task to make a simple app or refactor some code and a deadline (usually up to a week). 

You may want to conduct a take-home assignment to ensure that a candidate can write code in the exact style that corresponds to the code quality gates used in your team. However, a really good senior will be able to adapt to the needed style when joining the team, so it is not always necessary to check this before hiring.

What you have to consider in a take-home assignment is that asking a senior developer to spend hours (try to make it not more than 2-4 hours) writing a test on top of their current job responsibilities can be an extra mile. In addition, leaving a candidate for a week on their own can result in losing the candidate as they can accept an offer from someone else in the meantime.

Make your assessments as quick and painless as possible for the candidate. Don’t waste people’s time, they will appreciate it.

3. How to Evaluate Soft Skills

Being a senior developer means you’re 50% about hard skills and another 50% about soft skills. So you may want to see if a candidate’s communication style will be a good fit for your team.

Tip: If you need a strong communicator, a) evaluate their previous experience, b) ask a candidate to describe their actions in a given imaginary situation, e.g. a pitch to a client. 

If you know the exact soft skills required for this role, outline them clearly and be specific.

Example: If you want a fluent English speaker, avoid saying “Perfect English” in the requirements. Take an extra 5 minutes and identify the level that will be enough, say “B2 level of English.”

4. How to Conduct a Remote Video Interview

Working with an outstaffing service provider eliminates the need for you to bother with most arrangements, such as setting up a call, sending an invitation to a candidate, and more.

That means you can jump straight to these remote interview tips:

  • Have a structure to your interview

The interview process for a senior developer needs to be carefully crafted. During the interview you can evaluate both technical and soft skills. Consider splitting the interview into two calls if you feel like trying to check everything at once may take too long. 

  • Ask about a dream project

This may sound childish. However, by describing their dream project, a candidate shares their visions and aspirations, as well as what motivates them in their job. These thoughts will not only help you evaluate hard/soft skills, but will also show if there is a match in values between the candidate, the team, and the management. 

  • Be ready to explain the details of the position to be filled and answer specific questions of the candidate

Try putting yourself in the candidate’s shoes and look at the role from their standpoint. Get prepared for questions addressing weak sides of your project, team, or company. Being honest is a must, but putting it into the right context is also important. 

  • Be prepared to explain to the candidate how your remote arrangement works

Explain where other employees live, how flexible the hours are, and what pros and cons of remote work you have found according to your company’s experience. You may also take this opportunity to ask questions about how the candidate would deal with the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely.

  • Beware of the Q&A

Pay attention to the questions a candidate asks during a Q&A. Are they truly interested in the company and the project? What is the most appealing thing about the future role? This will help you discover the motivating factors underlying their decision to consider your job opportunity.

And, finally, remember that remote interviews are as much about the candidate measuring the company as they are about the company measuring the candidate.

How to Ensure Smooth Onboarding When Hiring Senior Remote Developers

  • Foster a feeling of belonging from the very first working day. Add your senior remote developer to chat rooms, invite them to sync-up calls, and dedicate time to regular one-to-one meetings to share information on how it all works. The best approach proven by our clients is a complete integration of remote developers into in-house teams.
  • If you opt for partnering with an outstaffing service provider, they will take care of onboarding from the organizational side: supply your remote developers with the necessary infrastructure in their local office, handle payroll, employee records, and other administrative hassles to ensure you can focus on your core competencies and run your remote team without distractions. 
  • As a manager, ensure clearly defined processes and close communication within the entire team, give feedback, and be responsive.
  • If possible, invite your new remote hires to visit your office on-site. This is a win-win decision: remote developers will better grasp the inner workings, the challenges, and the available resources of the project, and you will get your remote team members ready to perform in full swing. The trip can last a week or a month, but the fruitfulness of such close interaction from the very beginning of the cooperation cannot be overestimated. 

How to Recruit and Hire Senior Remote Developers in Ukraine

A great quantity of tech talent, a comfortable location, and a favorable business environment lure foreign company owners to recruit and hire senior remote developers in Ukraine. 

Ukraine is an emerging tech talent hub in Eastern Europe, having 200,000 tech professionals engaged in the IT industry — the second largest number in the region. 

The Ukrainian tech talent pool is versatile: you can hire experienced developers specializing in popular technologies (Java, JavaScript, C#, PHP, etc.) as well as add a rarer stack (Ruby, Go, Scala, C, etc.) to your projects.

Ukraine boasts: 

  • 200,000 tech professionals
  • 4,000 tech companies
  • 110+ R&D centers of international corporations
  • 1,000+ events for IT professionals, investors, and startups yearly
Hire senior remote developers

How to hire senior remote developers in Ukraine

How to Hire Senior Remote Developers in Ukraine: Online Recruitment Insights

1. Availability and tech expertise of senior developers in Ukraine

IT service outsourcing and outstaffing are well-developed in Ukraine. The country boasts a vivid IT community, which ensures your remote development team works in an environment where innovations thrive.

The majority of tech professionals work for IT outsourcing companies, switching from one company to another every 2–3 years. This results in vast experience and deep tech knowledge. 

In Ukraine, there are 20 large IT outsourcing companies with a headcount of over 1,000 people and up to 8,300 people on board. The common path to becoming a senior developer is by joining these large companies at the entry level and then growing into a senior. Apart from hands-on experience, the companies provide continuous education, so a junior developer can become a well-educated and experienced senior in a matter of years.

2. Key drivers to attract senior developers in Ukraine

  • Challenging and not mundane project
  • A service or a product that makes a global impact
  • Professional development
  • Remuneration
  • Perks
  • Strong company brand

3. Ukrainian developers are great, but modest 

What we often hear from recruiters is that even the most experienced software engineers tend to be quite reserved during job interviews and don’t like to toot their own horns. This is why a wise recruiter from a local outstaffing company will never fall into the trap of diminishing the value of a candidate just because he/she is not talkative enough.

Different people cope with interviews in different ways, so remember to be encouraging and supportive.

4. Ukrainian developers are in demand

The competitive environment of the IT outsourcing labor market prompts software developers to continuously upgrade their qualifications, because otherwise they will be out of the game very soon. 

Online recruitment tip: Another aspect of competition in Ukraine is active headhunting. True senior professionals are always approached by multiple companies at once. So if you are already communicating with a decent candidate, don’t delay your positive decision. Otherwise, the candidate will just accept an offer from another company.

5. Channels for recruiting senior remote developers in Ukraine

Ukrainian senior developers are not active job seekers as they have already found their sweet spot.

They most likely have a profile on Linkedin, but they are even more likely to hang out somewhere on local platforms that are run in local languages.

Local recruiters know how to recruit great engineers — they are well-aware of all tips and tricks and have their own candidate databases. The best way that really works is a proactive search by way of contacting people who haven’t even placed their CVs on any job boards, or through referrals from existing employees.

Therefore, recruiting someone directly can be a tough nut to crack if you don’t know all the inside goings-on.

6. Importance of the outsourcing company’s employer brand

Senior professionals fall into that category of workers that know their value well and are able to differentiate the quality of additional corporate perks offered by an employer. 

In the outstaffing model, the vendor takes care of the administrative side of cooperation, covering HR, payroll, insurance, and other aspects. Therefore, a recognized employer brand of an outstaffing company that has proved capable of providing high quality infrastructure and social benefits will be a huge plus in attracting decent candidates.

7. Mitigation of information security risks

Security breach is the most common risk when it comes to working with remote developers. A reputable outstaffing service provider will be sure to use preventive measures against data breaches by using proper network security, mobile device management, endpoint, and physical security systems. 

8. Average hourly rates

Ukraine is a country with moderate hourly developer rates, but the quality of development it offers is exceptionally high. Ukrainian tech vendors charge $26 per hour for a junior developer and $43 per hour for a senior programmer.

How to Hire Senior Remote Developers with Daxx

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Step 1.                                               

Collect Requirements                                                                     

  • Share your business needs, desired team structure, and job descriptions 
  • Set up a list of relevant requirements for the candidates

Step 2. 

Conduct Interviews                         

  • Personally interview the best-fit candidates shortlisted by Daxx
  • Our recruiters find relevant candidates matching the needed job profile, conduct preliminary interviews, and pass the shortlisted candidates to you

Step 3.

Start Working

  • Focus on your core competencies and run your remote team without distractions. 
  • Choose the methodology for managing your remote development team. 70% of our customers follow Agile methodologies.
  • Locate your new remote developers in one of our offices and supply them with technical equipment.
  • We take care of onboarding, payroll, taxes, and other administrative hassles.

Step 4. 

Get Support

  • Build an open and productive relationship with your remote developers with 24/7 support from Daxx.
  • Assign a dedicated HR/Client Manager who is always in contact with you and your remote team, and ready to address any aspect of the cooperation.

If you'd like to learn more about Daxx’s services, don't hesitate to contact us, and our experts will get back to you shortly.

Special thanks to Sergiy Pereverziev, JavaScript Developer at Daxx Kharkiv, and Anna Symonenko, Head of Recruitment at Daxx, for their deep expertise and handy recommendations.

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Natalia Kosenko

Digital Content Writer and Marketer

Natalia is a seasoned professional with 7+ years of hands-on experience in content creation and communication. She's an energetic promoter of Ukraine and Daxx on the global business arena.

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