6 Tips for Hiring Remote Tech Employees

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Assign a Mini-Project

Task him or her with a mini-project during the interview, or prior to it.

If you're looking to hire a UX designer, for example, you'll want to assess their technical skills — layout and design aptitude, etc. — along with how they interact both in the business and with customers ... as well as how they translate customer content into a cohesive package that represents the brand. Sound like a tall order? Sure. So, why not give the candidate a sample task?

Offer a project via email, if that's going to be your primary form of communication, and then assess the following:

  • How well does the candidate take email direction?
  • What sorts of follow-up questions/clarification do they ask?
  • How well does he or she grasp the user sets?
  • How responsively and how quickly does the candidate respond to interpersonal communication throughout the project?
  • How well does the prospective candidate organize the information structure of the project?
  • How well do they organize a schedule that allows you to get your deliverables on time?
  • Finally, how well does the candidate grasp the nuances of the company, and execute that vision into a clean user interface?

In today's culture, the idea of a virtual workplace is incredibly attractive. Employees embrace the work-at-home idea because it fosters the notion of a more flexible work environment and increased work-life balance … all while, theoretically, in pajamas.

And for employers, remote workers save them plenty of overhead. A Stanford study that followed one company's remote workers found that they saved the employer an average of $1,900 per employee for nine months while working from home full time. The same study reported that on the whole, remote employees are also more productive, owing at least in part to a quieter space in which to focus and the lack of commute.

But … working from home is not for everyone. It's imperative that remote employees be extremely independent and self-motivated to maximize their time and maintain work quality.

In 2013, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer banned employees from working remotely. Speaking at an HR conference that same year, Meyer defended her stance stating, "People are more productive when they're alone, but they're more collaborative and innovative when they're together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together."

Himanshu Sareen, CEO of Icreon Tech, however, believes that the very nature of the tech sector makes a strong case for telecommuting. As an employer you:

  • Have a greater talent pool from which to select
  • Are not confined to a job search by geographic location
  • Get a reduction in overhead
  • Are able to easily increase employee satisfaction (A Staples Advantage study reported 63 percent of the happiest employees are able to telecommute, have flex time, or both.)
  • Enjoy elimination or reduction of sick time or commute
  • Experience an increase in productivity

While all of this may sound appealing, if you're a tech company of any size there are some crucial factors Sareen thinks you should consider when hiring remote tech talent.

 

Related Topics : A Big Market for Big Data Jobs, Midmarket CIO, IT Management Automation, SharePoint, Technology Markets

 
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