How to Find, Hire and Retain Top-Level Remote Talents?
According to McKinsey, finding and retaining talent is one of the greatest challenges faced by today’s company leaders.
The primary reason for this is the globalized labor market. Remote careers are becoming the new normal, so top-tier talents are free to choose from a much wider spectrum of job offers. It causes severe competition among employers who’d battle against each other to win the best candidates.
Yet, the remote job tendency is great news for both sides. Companies can build teams of specialists from all over the world without taking care of their relocation. Meanwhile, talents are open to almost any career opportunities whenever they live.
But with tempting benefits come great challenges. If you can't help but wonder what it takes to build and retain a cohesive team of remote talents, this guideline is for you.
The full process can be divided into 2 major stages:
- Talent Search & Hiring
- Talent Retention
Stage 1: Talent Search & Hiring
The art of talent acquisition goes far beyond just a couple of posted vacancies on job search websites. If you strive to find brilliant tech minds, first and foremost, you must be a place where those talents would want to work. Only then, it makes sense to maximize the recruitment process with extra tools & resources.
Let’s go through 6 tips on how to bring your talent acquisition strategy to the next level:
1. Create a Strong Company Brand
The employer brand is a critical milestone in building a successful talent acquisition strategy. In the 2017 Talent Trends Survey by LinkedIn, 80% of leaders expressed their belief in the significant impact of the employer brand when recruiting top candidates.
As it was easier for companies to build a stronger reputation among local candidates (”word of mouth”, offline event networking, etc), hunting for global employees requires a solid online brand.
Talents will likely prioritize companies with the best values, culture, and work-life balance. Use your digital presence (website, social media, search) to tell about your mission, demonstrate the company’s corporate life, and finally, then, reinforce those statements through employee feedback. Remember to share thoughts on your perfect candidate and which qualities are important for your team.
With a strong brand built around your company, candidates can visualize themselves as members of your team. They will look for information regarding the work schedule, the job entails, obligations, and how flexible your company is in those expectations.
2. Try Alternative Ways of Hiring
Do not expect top talents to scroll through traditional job postings. In the progressive IT world, you are likely to find specialists via alternative hiring sources like:
- Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn);
- Referral programs;
- Offline networking (events, conferences).
The more resources you use — the faster you’ll find the best match. The easiest way to start is by engaging candidates through social media. The world’s largest network - LinkedIn - is a godsend for potential talents with either passive or active job search status.
Want to stay ahead in hiring devs for your team? Try global talent communities.
They brought in a new approach to sourcing talents in the IT sector. In general, talent networks unite pre-vetted remote specialists from over the world. Not only will they find you the best match under your request — but also, take over the administrative work: payments, compliance docs, and other communication processes.
Companies working with Spark X will be able to access exclusive talents with a broad knowledge range and a 3-year experience at minimum. Spark X stands for long-term connections, that’s why a quality match is our #1 priority!
With referral programs, you can find remote candidates through people who know talents personally. Referring to someone works as “word by mouth” in the world of remote job search when both parties get a reward.
The last and yet, effective way of offline networking at different events, meetups, etc. Nobody will deny the effectiveness of offline meetups like hackathons, conferences, or fairs made exclusively for personal networking.
3. Think of ALL Hiring Aspects
As soon as you establish your brand and find potential candidates through multiple channels, it’s time to organize your hiring procedure.
Start by outlining your expectations as an employer. Who is your perfect candidate? What values does your corporate culture stand for?
When dealing with global talents, consider the next questions:
- Do they need to communicate in your local language? Or is it okay for them to speak English?
- Do they need to adhere to a specific schedule of your local zone?
- Would you use time trackers to track employees’ activity?
- How do you organize international payments?
- Would you compensate for the employee's equipment & internet?
Sooner or later, your candidates will ask for the details of your company’s corporate life, so you better stay prepared.
Get ready for an online interview by standardizing your questions list for each candidate. Be flexible with candidates living in a different time zone. Use any convenient tool for a call, whether it’s Google Meets, Zoom, or Skype.
As mentioned earlier, agencies like Spark X will assist you with all the recruitment stages, screening, and interviewing included.
4. Offer Competitive Benefits
Talents in big demand have high standards toward the applying companies, so good compensation is just half of it. Increasing the benefits you provide will help you attract and retain the best talent. Big companies like Netflix and Google provide spa treatments, gym sessions, and paternity leave for their employees, among other things.
Expanding your benefits package with extra perks (healthcare insurance coverage, free lunches, gym coverage, etc,) makes your job posting more attractive to tech talent. Also, it makes existing employees feel more engaged in the place they work by demonstrating the level of the company’s care.
Stage 2: Talent Retention
Now that you know how to hire top talents for your team, you don’t have much time to relax. Now it’s time to learn how to retain employees from a long-run perspective.
Although each company has its unique work environment, most of them are concentrated around such core values as:
- trust & respect;
- long-run perspective.
Now let’s go through 5 must-have practices of talent retention:
1. Promote a Healthy Work Environment
Creating a comfortable work environment is important for every specialist, and remote tech talents are no exception. It gives extra inspiration to work harder and ultimately, make your products better and more valuable. At the same time, when employees spend time at work, they feel like part of a big family and carry out their duties with passion.
There’s no reason why working remotely should make your employees feel more isolated than in a shared workspace. It might take extra effort to ensure the team interacts on a social level regularly but it’s fairly possible.
Making social (off-duty) calls, arranging social activities (online/offline), and even exchanging memes in group chats are all good ways to get your team bonding. The more social bonds your employees create at work — the less likely they'll be to look for another job.
By the way, having a healthy work environment is good for referrals. People like talking about their feelings at work, and if this experience is positive, it will help to attract potential candidates in the future.
2. Invest in Professional Growth
Top talents have no stop for new knowledge. As education becomes the currency of the modern world and technology is moving forward, specialists must keep up. If you hunt for ambitious talents with a strong will to progress in their career, make sure your company supports this development on all levels.
One of them is to organize in-company training, workshops, and courses for certain teams or people from the same departments. But sadly, such initiatives can be challenging within remote teams.
Luckily, there are more ways to promote professional growth in a remote corporate environment. For example, a company provides coverage for third-party training, courses, and materials. With fresh knowledge and upgraded skills, they’re likely to produce greater results, as well as increase profits & brand awareness.
3. Invest in Technology
To keep remote employees engaged, they have to be connected. Think about how the equipment you would have in a shared workspace differs for your remote employees. They’ll all have different setups and varying abilities to connect remotely.
Setting a standard for equipment — in particular, ensuring they have a laptop, monitor, desk, and chair — will create a level playing field where all your employees can connect. Ensuring everyone has the right tools to communicate (Zoom, Slack, etc) is also a must.
4. Ask for Feedback
If you want to provide exclusive benefits to your employees, you need to understand what they need.
Make it a habit to ask for employees’ feedback. Schedule one-on-one meetings with your remote talents and learn the real experience. Are they fully satisfied with their job? What would they change in their job routine? What is their current level of motivation? Are there any more responsibilities they would like to be a part of? and more…
If there’s no time for personal calls, conduct an online survey. Tools like SurveyMonkey allow your team members to say what's on their minds and stay anonymous. If you use them strategically, surveys can lead you to valuable insights, while drawing attention to the shortcomings you could not spot earlier.
When asking what your employees need, start by asking what skills they like and what skills they would like to develop. The following questions will help you start the investigation process:
Remember: meetings and surveys are tools to better understand your employees but NOT a solution. Once you know what drives your employees, you should use that information to create a solid learning and development strategy.
Cross-training means training your employees in such a way that they can handle different tasks. For example, you can train your marketing team to create images and edit videos instead of leaving it all to a designer.
This type of training is an effective way to engage employees in new job activities as well as protect your organization from loss of knowledge. Cross-training also helps you save money, so that instead of finding new talents, you can hire someone you have trained yourself.
Another benefit of cross-training is that it makes your employees feel more valued in your organization. Since they can now contribute and influence multiple areas of your business, they will feel more motivated to get the job done. Employees who feel valued are less likely to quit their current position.
6. Prioritize IT Security
Cybersecurity concerns have intensified since COVID, with exponentially more workers doing their jobs from home. According to the 2021 Webroot Threat Report, millions of companies are using remote desktop access (RDP) insecurely due to the hasty transition from in-house to remote during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, RDP has since become a major attack vector for cybercriminals.
It’s important to prioritize a clear and enforceable cybersecurity protocol for all remote workers to keep business and employee personal data secure.
- using a company-provided VPN when connecting to the Internet and accessing business systems;
- using corporate devices provided by a company;
- using strong passwords for all business systems and tools;
- storing work data on corporate devices only.
To avoid consequences, your IT team must create a cybersecurity checklist for all remote workers to follow daily. Also, you should hold training to help employees identify threats as early as possible.
If you want qualified tech talents to take your company to the next level, start working for it! Think outside your immediate staffing needs and implement strategies to help you attract and retain brilliant minds from over the world.
Remote employees must be treated on the same level as in-house specialists. Create equal treatment for both teams in regard to resources and benefits. Develop a collaborative and supportive work environment so that every remote employee feels valued and motivated to achieve greater goals.
With the given recommendations, you will maximize the talent hiring & retaining process, while working with the best of the best ones.