What Is Distributed Hiring?
The job market is changing. In the past, it was common to hire people from within local communities and have them work in the same office building as their colleagues. Today, though, hiring a distributed team means that you'll have employees located all over the world—whether that's because they live far away or because they're working remotely for a specific project.
It can be challenging to recruit these candidates and onboard them successfully into an organization, but there are also huge benefits to employing remote workers: they can save you money on travel expenses and management fees, they often work more efficiently because they don't need much supervision, and many enjoy working independently without being cooped up in an office all day long (or night).
What is Distributed Hiring?
Distributed hiring is a technique for managing candidate pipelines across regions and timezones. The need for distributed hiring has grown substantially as a result of the rapid move towards more remote and remote-friendly workplaces.
Companies hiring a distributed team must ask themselves:
- Is your company ready for this type of change?
- Are you prepared to invest the time and resources needed for success?
- Do the benefits outweigh the challenges of working with people across different geographies and time zones?
How do you know if your company is ready for distributed employees?
One good indicator is looking at the performance, satisfaction, and engagement of existing remote workers on staff.
Ask them what their experiences have been so far:
- What could be improved?
- What communication tools would they like to have or find the most useful?
- What ideas do they have for async communication and cultural changes that would make having a distributed team more effective?
How Can You Recruit For Distributed Teams?
Distributed hiring's stated goal is identical to a standard hiring process. However, the process of distributed hiring often requires significantly different types of tools and communication styles between teams and candidates. Because teams now operate across several cities and timezones, interviewing candidates can be extremely challenging.
But there are a few things you can do to help your recruiting efforts.
First and foremost, you need to become more active in your search for candidates. You should use social media as much as possible to find people who might be interested in working on a distributed team.
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for this purpose; it's also helpful if you're looking for specific skill sets or backgrounds (for example, someone with experience working remotely).
Another tool that can help is Zoom — it allows users from around the world to connect virtually via video conference calls, making it ideal for remote interviews.
Tools that allow for easy schedule coordination and/or easy sharing of interview data such as Chatkick's recorded interviews, also give teams a leg-up in the war for talent.
You should also make a point to refine the candidate experience. Candidates want clarity on what type of work they'll be doing, who their manager will be and how much autonomy they'll have over their projects (and if there are any potential roadblocks). They want transparency about compensation expectations as well as opportunities for growth within their role or company — even as a remote employee.
And lastly, you should try diversifying your candidate sources:
- Niche Job Boards - Publishing the job description is just the first step – the key is to market it like crazy. Make a list of relevant ad networks, job boards like Out in Tech, university platforms like Handshake, and data aggregators. You should also consider posting in the Who is Hiring post on Hacker News (on 1st of every month), Github, and Stack Overflow. The point is to get the word out that you’re hiring every place an engineer would hang out.
- Technical Content - Writing content that sparks engineers’ interest is tricky, but if you can do it well, it’s a great way to attract high-quality candidates. Some of the most respected engineering cultures have built their brand using technical blogs: from Dropbox, to Stripe, to ClickUp. Have your technical leadership work on content that tells the story of how awesome it is to be an engineer at your company. Make use of HackeNews and Reddit to get the word out there when your post is live.
- Hackathons - Putting on hackathons can lure in standout engineers looking for a challenge. Pay close attention to the people excited to learn and get a thrill out of solving complicated problems – they are likely to be excellent hires. If your company is smaller, try sponsoring a hackathon at a local conference.
- Meetups - Hosting after-work happy hours and meetups can expose you to a new set of candidates. Meeting someone in person can give you a sense of their personality and whether or not they would be a culture fit.
- Sourcing platforms - There are so many sourcing platforms, but only a few actually do what they claim to do. We recommend leveraging Human Predictions, a platform that collects and analyzes unique datasets to intelligently uncover potential new candidates and prioritize the ones who have already applied.