This post was updated in December 2017 with new information.
It’s becoming more and more obvious that offering remote working options will help companies meet their hiring goals in 2017 and beyond. In fact, the developers who responded to our survey this year said that the flexibility to work from home is one of their biggest job priorities. However, it takes much more than simply making the decision to hire remote developers to attract the types of candidates you need. To help you stand out in a crowded market, here are a few tips to help you build trust with your top candidates.
Of course, you should make a habit of giving all candidates a fairly thorough idea of what to expect as the interview process begins. But it’s important to identify the specific details that remote developers could be concerned about. These might seem like nitpicky things to you, but giving them a heads up about the people they’re scheduled to meet with and even your company’s preferred video conferencing software can go a long way in gaining their trust during the interview process. If you’re ever in doubt about how to create a positive candidate experience for an applicant, don’t be afraid to ask them if there are any additional questions you can answer.
Even if you have a strict “video-only” policy when you recruit and hire remote developers, the fact remains that these candidates won’t get the opportunity to meet you in person. And while you can reassure them that you’ll stay in touch, it’s only natural for them to feel as if you’ve vanished if you don’t hold yourself to a certain timeline. In many cases, it might seem like a better option to go silent than to reach out to them without an update. But a simple email to say that you’re still waiting on more information goes a long way in gaining their trust throughout the interview process.
Tom Harvey, a tech recruiter here at Stack Overflow, recently wrote that one of the biggest recruiting lessons he learned was that you should never assume a developer will drop everything to focus on your opportunity. When it comes to remote developers in particular, it’s all too easy to assume that they can simply shift their schedules to accommodate yours. As important as it is to ensure that your current employees don’t feel like outsiders, it’s just as important not to make sweeping generalizations about a candidate’s calendar. If you’re more rigid about interview times with a remote candidate just because of their perceived “flexibility,” you run the risk of damaging all the work you’ve done to build a relationship with that person up to this point.