This post was updated in October 2017 with new information.
With the number of companies embracing the remote workplace increasing each year, it’s becoming more common for employees to work remotely or seek out remote jobs specifically. In the technology space, this is even more common, with developers and engineers preferring the remote route due to its flexible hours and limited interruptions. Allowing your developers to work remotely allows you to hire the best talent out there – not just those who live near your office.
With developers citing the opportunity to work from home as one of their biggest job evaluation criteria, it’s more important than ever to consider allowing remote workers to apply for your positions. If your job listing doesn't allow for remote workers, you could be cutting your possible applicant pool in half! Additionally, approximately 1 in 5 developers within in the Stack Overflow database strictly prefer remote work, so if you dismiss this group entirely, you may be eliminating the most qualified developers from consideration. Is it more important to hire a developer who lives in your city or a developer who will be the best at their job?
If your company is not located in a technology hub or large city, offering remote work is a great way to maintain a larger candidate pool. Stack’s VP of Engineering, David Fullerton, puts this into perspective, saying, “Hiring remote workers opens you up to an enormous pool of people who can’t move. I can’t stress this enough: for every one person who is in your location or is happy to move there, there are 100 more who are not. They’re tied down by a spouse with a job, a kid in school, a visa they can’t get, or a mortgage they can’t get out of.”
If you can support remote workers, don't be shy about advertising it! The number of companies that employ remote developers is rising, but it's still a huge advantage that you shouldn't take lightly.
When crafting job listings for your open technology roles, be sure to explicitly write in the copy that the position can be remote. On average, a tech job listing that allows for remote work gets 3.5 times the views and 6 times the applications than a non-remote listing.
Still, you may need to do some convincing to get everyone on board with the benefits of hiring remote workers, so educating your staff on the facts is a great first step to acceptance. Data always tells a compelling story and is a good place to start. But if that doesn't do the trick, look closely at your network. If you know someone who's currently employed by a company that supports remote work, ask them if they'd be open to sharing their thoughts with your team.
After you’ve hired your first batch of remote workers, it should become part of your employer brand (a.k.a. what makes your company stand out to potential candidates). Candidates will begin to recognize you as a great place for remote developers, and you could see your applications skyrocket.