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From Hiring to Managing: How to Build a Solid Remote Tech Team

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If you’re hiring for a remote position or managing a remote team you know that building a remote tech team comes with its own unique challenges, from sourcing and hiring to onboarding and managing. Here’s how to ensure you’re hiring and retaining the most talented employees, even from a great distance.

Going all-in on remote work:

COVID-19 punched fast and hard. Most of us had to hit the ground running to adapt our attitudes and work habits as we started working remotely. The tech industry had been making headway into remote work before the vast majority of industries. 

Engineering managers had to adapt and integrate new technologies and practices to drive their team to success. However, some of them say that software services have been enabling remote work and communications since before the lockdown, thus making the transition very natural. 

We are just seeing the advantages and disadvantages of remote work, but the pandemic we are currently facing has shown many disbelievers that remote work is possible and effective, plus the cost savings implied by doing so will have a positive impact on remote work. 

Javier Coca, a General Manager for a tech company, sees that all companies, especially tech companies will have between 20 to 50% of their workforce working remotely in the near future.

Transforming sticks to roads with better management practices:

Not only does the way we work is changing, but the role of a manager has changed or at least is in the transition to change. The old books of management are getting obsolete as they teach the “reward and punishment” leadership style to manage teams. But since nowadays, managers are dealing with creatives the carrots and sticks approach doesn’t work.

In fact, the best approach to drive success in a team today is the servant-leadership style.

José Delgado, software engineer manager at Olo describes that this leadership style transforms the role of the leader into an enabler for the team, where leaders remove roadblocks, coach, and provide autonomy, mastery, and purpose to the team.

Building an engineering team best practices:

The secret sauce of building an engineering team from zero to hero is understanding and learning.

Do you truly understand the company founders’ vision? Could you pitch it to a new candidate the way that they pitched it to you?

Those are some questions you can ask yourself before bringing anyone to the team because building a successful team will cost you a year of money and time, and remember your fists hires are the most important ones.

Here are three key takeaways from Javier Coca’s interview; what he does to build and maintain effective development teams for a large and complex product:

  • First, by really understanding and learning the product and technologies that are used. Put together a presentation or technical demo and invite a small group of known Tech Leaders to talk about the product. 
  • Second, while hosting these more controlled, smaller meetings, start putting together bigger, more massive events, where all types of Tech enthusiasts are welcome. 
  • Third. Educate the support team and reach out. Big impact emails usually come from C-Level positions.

Hiring and firing remotely:

Be creative! Hiring candidates remotely shouldn’t be any different than onsite, you have a new “blue ocean” of opportunity here. 

There are so many different tools you can use to qualify your candidates and interview them remotely, use them creatively to improve your candidate experience, and keeping your remote processes consistent.

You need to be ok with kids in the background, noises understanding that the interview is at their homes. So, all the “office rules” sort of going away. So, don’t punish people for little things in the interviews. Keep that remote mindset when you’re interviewing.

Look for soft skills that will improve your remote relationship:

  • Humility 
  • Communication
  • Team players
  • Proactivity
  • Confidence

Don’t know when you need to hire new engineers? 

Hector Reyes, an Agile Coach / Scrum Master Project Manager, said that if you’re able to show that you have your team getting priorities done, you can predict what your engineers are capable of. Still, you find yourself in a position where your customers aren’t entirely happy; that’s an indicator that you need more people in the team.

If you are looking to build a remote team of qualified software engineers check out this ebook with tools and checklists:

Software Engineer Onboarding Handbook
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We are experts at CodersLink. Contact us or leave us a comment with all of your questions. We know how to help you.

One more thing... listen to The Hiring Brief where we talk about stats, trends, and ways to improve your sourcing strategies.

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