On Schrodinger’s Cat and the Remote Hiring Dilemma
We have all heard of Erwin Schrodinger’s famous cat in a box experiment. The one in which a cat is either dead or alive or both until the box is opened. Turns out, the analogy kind of explains the problem of hiring remote developers (or any other person for that matter) pretty well, too.
Unlike hiring someone in house, you don’t have the luxury of reading the person’s body language. Nor can you be sure about their background when they’re from another country. And, you may only hope that the applicant’s references you’re calling up aren’t their uncles and college buddies. So, until you hire a remote developer and try them out, they are great, terrible and both.
The Hidden Conundrum of Hiring Remote Developers
While remote work certainly does help companies save a lot of money, the truth is you may spend far more simply testing and hiring developers to find a good fit. Even if you do manage to get that unicorn employee, there’s no guarantee they will stick around.
The cost of a bad hire can be, well, quite bad. A remote team can cost you anywhere between $6,000-$12,000 per month. Now, this may seem paltry when we consider you don’t have to bother with stuff like office rent, employee benefits, social security etc.
But, imagine if you paid 12 grand a month for 3 months only to realize your remote developers just can’t deliver, and that you need to find someone else. How many times will you be willing to repeat this process?
Suddenly, the all too low cost of going remote begins to seem a tad too large. Maybe just sticking with an in-house team will be better, you think. At least that way you can keep a keen eye on the team’s performance. But, <insert company name> is making remote work work, so why can’t we, you also wonder?
And therein lies the hiring manager’s challenge vis-a-vis remote development teams — how can you reduce probation attrition rate while getting the best possible fit on the first try? We might have a few ideas that may help you out here.
Hire Remote Software Developers the Smart Way
The old ways of hiring remote workers simply don’t work anymore. They leave too many stones unturned. Instead, enterprising new companies are finding awesome, engaging new ways to seek out talent.
Turn Your Job Profile into a Riddle
If you’re going to upload a regular fresh off-the-template application, you’re going to get template responses. Instead, how about you gate the job behind a riddle like Google did?
In 2004, the search giant had posted a billboard right in the middle of Silicon Valley with a math riddle assuming if the person could solve them, they would be a good fit for the job. Answering the riddle correctly led the person to a site with another challenge which revealed Google’s hiring page.
You can try something similar. Gamification has long been used in recruitment and onboarding to make the process more fun and efficient. Creating coding puzzles that only those who have the skills and patience for is a sure shot way of finding great talent, especially if you’re trying to hire remote software developers.
Announce a Contest
The winner of which gets the job! Another hiring inspiration from Google is their now famous Code Jam which started as a coding competition in 2003. Code Jam is a major annual international coding tournament attracting coders from all over the world.
Coding tests are common practice these days, but they’re usually done as a routine procedure which seems more like a school test. Turning your recruitment drive into a massive event will not only attract the best and the brightest, but build your brand as well.
Use Static Code Analysis for Real-Time Testing
Not every recruitment drive needs to be a grand event. You can also evaluate promising candidates with simple Static Code Analysis (SCA) backed tests. While each developer has his/her own style of writing code, a SCA can tell you how clean and error-free their writing really is.
SCA can either be done through a tool or manually. There are plenty of options for running these tests in virtually every language out there.
Let Us Help You Find the Best Remote Developers
As industry leaders in creating remote teams, we at Muoro know what to look for. Our developers are carefully screened, onboarded and trained to ensure maximum productivity through our Engineer-as-a-Service model.
But, don’t take our word for it. We offer a free two week full feature trial through which you can get a good look into how we do what we do.