How To Hire A Remote Developer – The Ultimate Guide

Everything has a beginning, right?

Let’s say you are, at the moment, a successful entrepreneur. But try to remember that there was that day when you weren’t that confident and successful as you are now, right?

Recall the amount of time you spent hanging out on forums, phone calls, emails or whatever was the equivalent to look for more info and talk to people about your doubts.

As your business is growing, you realize the importance of the people you work with.

Great teams can make great things.

However, it all starts with picking the right people to work with, which is not easy.

Hiring is probably the most difficult part of building a sustainable and creative team, and it’s almost impossible to do it without making any mistake.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to hire a remote developer with success:

Selling your job ad

If hiring is a hard and tricky thing to do, remote hiring is even trickier.

It actually feels like fishing in the ocean and there are thousands of other fishermen around trying to fish in the same place as you are.

Additionally, remote companies do not enjoy the word of mouth local reputation – so it’s crucial to sell your job posting and your company to a future remote developer.

But how do you do that?

If you are not a tech person yourself it’s going to be hard to tackle the right job post for the position you are looking to fill.

There will always be misunderstandings and you risk to sound like a spam by adding up thousands of lines of requirements in your job posting.

It’s logic above all – if you cut the noise and write a meaningful and to-the-point job post, it is going to read exactly like that.

Understanding the position

Before you start sourcing candidates, you want to make sure your expectations are in place.

It’s often the case that people tackle a generic job post for a remote worker, which doesn’t at all help the applicant decide whether they are even interested in the position or not.

To truly understand what the position you are hiring for is about, make sure to fill the position for some time. Even if it’s a once a week thing or once a month.

Take time to understand potential ins and outs of the position.

Now, if you are not a tech person yourself, educate yourself about the position by grasping the bigger picture of it.

Once you had a taste of your own medicine, even if you are not a tech person, it will be easier to crack the code of writing a good job post that will point out all the ins and outs of the position you are outsourcing and cut the noise.

Now you got to be thinking:

But isn’t this going to turn some people away from the company?

And the answer is yes, it is definitely going to turn some people away.

But, look at this as a part of the screening process – you’ll get applicants that are much more interested in being a part of your company.

Salary level

As a young startup or a small business, you cannot afford to compete on salary level with bigger companies.

Even if you get into one of those and win the competition offering your developer a higher salary, there is always a doubt of what happens when a more lucrative offer comes along? 

That remote developer that chose you over the other startup because you offered more, will be the one who leaves because someone else is willing to give even more than you offered.

Pro tip: Screen for a remote developer that is motivated by something greater than money.


Trying to win remote applicants just by offering a higher salary is not affordable in the long term and it’s a game many startups can’t afford to play.

Propose value other than money

Here are some value propositions that will differentiate you from your competitors:


Small startups can afford to make every employee feel special. And not just that – every single thing that is done in such a tiny environment is very impactful on business.

Every little change is bringing you one step closer to what the end result.

This goes for all the individual tasks as well – every line of code and every blog post too.

The feeling of directly impacting the business also builds trust, loyalty and a creative atmosphere in all the team members.

Autonomy and Remote Work

Out of all remote workers in a digital world, developers are the ones that are the least tied up to an office.

If you are lucky enough to survive in the aftermath of the whole chaos of a remote startup kicking off and first hires onboarding, you are going to build a successful distributed team with all the processes in place.

This is the front where you can provide value.

Being a part of the remote puzzle is an extremely appreciated benefit for creative people that don’t like to be tied up to an office chair – and this is usually a remote developer’s profile.

Ideas turn into reality much faster

Due to the lack of hierarchy (not saying that there is none), startups are prone to pushing ideas to production faster simply because they have fewer doors to knock on and ask for approval.

This makes remote startup a dynamic environment your teammates would appreciate.

Job boards are your friends

Sites that you can benefit from are certainly remote job boards.

Hiring remote developers means that you can get the absolute best person for the job, instead of thinking that you can get just one who is willing to live or relocate within your zip code.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that each day more companies are shifting their hiring strategy to include remote candidates.

Test drive

If the masks were to fall off, we would all agree on one point: job seekers have mastered the art of fake it, until you make it employers during interviews.

Interviews tend to result in somewhat meaningless exchanges where you hear what you want to hear.

Getting to know if this was the case with your remote developer – is actually putting your applicant on a test drive.

By actually working for a couple of days (or even hours) on a test, paid project with your remote developer – you are cutting the chances of fake it, until you make it in half!

Ideal Qualities for a Remote Developer


This seems as if it is too obvious to post here, but there’s no better way to emphasize it.

When choosing your remote worker, problem-solving seems to be the fundamental characteristic that needs to be in place from the get-go.

In order to decide if your potential remote developer is problem-solving, delve into their past experiences. Do a role play, ask your candidates to explain how and why would they handle the situation described.

Get your applicants to talk to you about the time when they had to analyze data and make a decision based on that. Get to know what was the hardest part of that process for them and if they felt comfortable in that situation.

More often than not, this is easy to recognize even just from the interview.


Motivation is extremely important in remote endeavors.

Of course, it is almost impossible to determine the self-motivation of the person on an interview but there are certain things that will help you get closer to the right answer:

Talk to your developers about their offline adventures. What motivates them outside of work. Things that they are passionate about.


Because work-private balance is extremely important for the overall success, especially in the remote world where it’s harder to just ‘turn off’.

A motivated employee will be motivated not just about work, but about other things as well. So, when discussing a remote developer position, feel free to go over the work-related motivation questions and get to know about the person.

Worst-case scenario

Of course, in an interview, you will most probably hear the strong points of every candidate.

We’ve already talked about the mastery of remote workers to make you believe they are the right fit for the job but success is related to resiliency.

It will help a remote employee stay focused and positive despite all the obstacles that might come along the way.

A question like What is the weakest point in your career? can help you determine if they are going to be able to handle stressful situations and failures without losing the motivation for work.



  • Craft your job post carefully as if it was a sales proposal
  • Understand the position you are hiring for
  • Let the other companies have a candidate only interested in pay rate
  • Provide value
  • Job boards are your friends
  • Test drive
  • Ideal qualities to look for in a remote developer

Do you have more questions?

We’d love to help you build a winning team! Being a completely remote business, as you already know it, we’ve mastered the art of hiring and screening remote talent.

Check out our Done For You service and get the top-notch developers that meet your criteria – delivered to your inbox.

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Happy hiring!