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Claire Snook

5 steps to build a remote engineering team

Dec 9, 2020 10:45:04 PM hiring remotely

Getting the right remote team in place can make or break a business. Many companies successfully run 100% remote companies such as Buffer and Zapier, and planning your team can save a lot of time, money and energy in the long run.

Consider why you want to build a remote team - maybe you’re starting out and want to create a great company from the off, you’ve won new projects and now need the right people in place to do the work, or your business is expanding and your team needs to grow with it. 

Whatever the reason, it can take some time to build out a successful remote team, and work often comes in faster than you can employ people to do it. It can take at least two or three months to hire a developer, and if you need to create an entire team then that timeline is much longer. 

Here’s a five-step guide to build your remote team. 


Remote hiring the right people

Start with forecasting - what does your incoming workload look like for the next three months, six months and year? Where will be the peaks and troughs? Can you team cope with the current and incoming workload?

Delve into what’s needed for the work and match the skill requirements against your team’s strengths and weaknesses. You might need to create new jobs for projects and revisit your hiring best practices. 

Once you’ve identified the work required and the new job roles, then look at how your team is structured. Your current team structure might need adjusting to work efficiently. Do you require people doing the bulk of the work, or people who can think strategically?

Planning how you want your team and your business to grow means you can design the jobs you need to recruit tech talent for. Recruit sensitively to make sure you get the right people in place.


Talk, talk, talk

Building a good remote team means having a team that feels connected despite being in remote locations. Feeling part of a team can increase productivity and reduce stress as the employee will feel supported and connected. It’s easier to create this when everyone is in the same room or even the same building together, but it’s much harder to foster when the team is scattered across the globe.   

Having a structure will really help create connections between people and ensure everyone feels they are part of the team:

  • Weekly meetings with everyone involved to go through the critical projects and tasks
  • Daily catch up meetings to go over tasks and problems 
  • Monthly meetings where the team can kick back, grab a beer and shoot the breeze with each other

The organic aspect of working in-office has to be planned and replicated with the team. It’s harder to do but it’s absolutely essential. 


Hire with software

There have been leaps and bounds in the recruitment process in the past few years and recruiting tech talent is much easier to do today. Using a platform such as Nixa.io means that you have access to thousands of pre-qualified candidates who have been tested to check their abilities and had a preliminary interview. All you need to do is check their scores, see how they fared in the interview and choose the ones you’d like to speak to at a final interview. 

This takes the stress and worry out of finding and sourcing outstanding candidates. It’s a lot of work to bring in applicants, go through CVs, test them and then interview them; it disrupts the team and is time-consuming. 


Creating culture with a remote team

Start creating the company culture from the day the doors open to your business. Your team should know what the values are and which direction the company is heading in so they can become part of it. 

If there’s no culture within the company, then you’ll find employees will feel lonely and become stressed. Culture is more than fancy offices, unlimited holidays, cocktail Fridays and breakfast on tap, culture is

  • company vision
  • values
  • norms
  • systems 
  • symbols
  • language
  • assumptions
  • beliefs
  • habits

In-office companies can allow processes and culture to develop organically to a certain size of a company. This has to be planned and constructed with a remote team and larger companies to reinforce values and strengthen processes.


Invest in your people

Your team is a valuable asset for your company. It takes time to get employees up to speed following employment, and then you want them to stay for as long as possible. So invest in them. What do they want to do with their work? This job could be a stepping stone for them to grow and try new things. Will they make a good manager? Do they want to learn another programming language? Empowering and up-skilling your employees brings significant benefits. Your company can reap the rewards of a company that invests in its staff. It also ensures that your team is operating at the optimal level with the best knowledge available.  

If you’re looking for help to build and scale your remote team, get in touch and see how we can help you with attracting talent for your roles.