Hiring Remote Developers Vs. Developer Relocation – What To Choose in 2023?
Imagine that you need a first-class specialist with wide or, on the contrary, super-niche experience, and your HR has already lost their footing while looking for suitable candidates.
The deadlines are looming, and the hiring budget is getting tight, but there is no suitable specialist in your region. You decide to start looking elsewhere…
Great, now you’ve found the perfect candidate, but they are on the other side of the earth. Your discussions are already moving towards an offer, but the question arises: relocate them to your office or trust them to work remotely?
As you may have noticed, the rise in remote work over the past few years has brought about a significant shift in the way companies hire and manage their employees. As a result, many organizations are faced with a choice between hiring remote developers or relocating in-person developers.
In this article, we will look at both options, explore their pros and cons, and provide insights into what companies should consider when making their decision in 2023. Whether you're a startup or an established enterprise, this article will help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each hiring strategy and determine which one aligns best with your goals and values.
Why does the percentage of remote workers around the world keep growing?
There were several prerequisites that led to the increase in the percentage of remote workers across the world over the past few years. Some of these include:
- Advancements in technology — The widespread availability of high-speed technologies and improved collaboration tools has made it easier for people to work remotely.
- Changes in company culture — Many organizations have become more accepting of remote work, recognizing the benefits it can bring in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity.
- The global pandemic — The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards remote work, as companies have had to adapt their hiring processes to quickly adjust to the new reality of remote work.
- The gig economy — The rise of the gig economy has also contributed to the growth of working remotely, as more people seek flexible and independent work arrangements.
- Cost savings — Hiring remote workers can often be more cost-effective for companies, as they can tap into a wider pool of talent and avoid the costs associated with relocating employees.
These prerequisites have contributed to a significant increase in the number of remote workers in recent years, and it is likely that this trend will continue into the future.
How to Decide if You Should Hire a Remote or Onsite Software Engineer
When deciding whether to hire remote or bring in an onsite software engineer, there are several factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Company culture — Does your company have a culture that supports remote work?
- Team collaboration — Do you have a team that is already remote or partially remote?
- Job requirements — Are the technical requirements of the job suited for remote work?
- Cost — Is the cost of relocating an onsite engineer or setting up a remote work infrastructure for a remote engineer feasible for your company?
- Availability of talent — Is the pool of qualified candidates for the position global and remote? Typically, the more competent and high-level the specialist is, the more difficult it is to find them in your city or even country.
Ultimately, the decision will depend on your company's specific needs and priorities. It's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider the factors that are most important to your company and your team.
On our side, we analyzed both the pros and cons of hiring remote software engineers and onsite.
What are the cons of developer relocation?
Here are some of the key drawbacks of relocating in-person developers:
- Difficult to find local talent — Requiring developers to live in a specific location can limit the hiring pool, making it harder to find the right candidate for the job.
- Higher costs associated with relocation and office space — Relocating developers can be expensive, as companies will need to cover the costs of moving, housing, and setting up a physical office space.
- Difficulty attracting top talent to a specific location — Relocation to a specific area can make it harder to attract top talent, especially if the location is not seen as a desirable place to work or live.
- Work-life balance issues for employees who are relocated — Relocating can be disruptive for employees, especially if they are moving to a new city or country. This can lead to work-life balance issues, which can impact job satisfaction and productivity.
- Dependence on physical office space — Relocating developers requires a physical office space, which can be a drawback if the company needs to scale up or down quickly.
What are the pros of programmer relocation?
Here are some of the key benefits of relocating in-person developers:
- Stronger in-person collaboration — In-house teams have the advantage of being able to work together more closely.
- Improved team building and company culture — Bringing developers together in the same physical location can help foster a strong company culture and improve team bonding.
- Hands-on training and mentorship opportunities — Relocating onsite developers can provide opportunities for hands-on training and mentorship, which can be particularly valuable for newer or less experienced developers.
- Focus on specific location — By relocating developers to a specific location, companies can focus on developing a strong presence in that area, which can help attract top talent and grow the business.
- Reduced reliance on technology — One of the advantages of hiring an onsite software engineer is that it reduces the reliance on technology and internet connections, making it easier to work on complex projects and ensure project success.
Cons of hiring remote developers
Here are some of the key drawbacks of hiring remote developers:
- Lack of face-to-face interaction — One of the main disadvantages of a remote development team is the lack of face-to-face interaction. However, there are a lot of online tools that can facilitate those interactions and even make them fun.
- Difficulty building a strong company culture — Building a strong company culture can be challenging when employees are working remotely, as it's harder to foster a sense of teamwork and collaboration. But many companies (including ours) organize offline meetups and conferences for their employees, which generates a sense of a “family” for the team members.
- Dependence on technology — Remote work relies heavily on technology, including video conferencing, instant messaging, and collaboration tools. Thankfully, in modern times, there are a lot of online tools that make this easier.
- Potential for isolation — One of the barriers of remote work is that it can lead to feelings of isolation, which can impact job satisfaction. This is why it is very important to supply developers with tools and practices that can help them maintain a work-life balance.
Pros of hiring remote developers
Here are some of the key benefits of recruiting remote developers:
- Access to a larger pool of talent — Hiring remote developers allows companies to tap into a global pool of talent, rather than being limited to the local area.
- Lower costs associated with relocation and office space — Hiring remote developers eliminates the need for a physical office space and reduces the costs associated with relocation, which can be significant. It also makes it easier for companies to scale up or down quickly and respond to changes in the market.
- Increased flexibility for employees — Allowing employees to work from home or remotely increases flexibility, which can improve job satisfaction and increase employee retention.
- Improved work-life balance for employees — By allowing employees to work from home, companies can help to reduce the stress and costs associated with commuting, and improve work-life balance.
- Increased productivity — Research has shown that remote workers tend to be more productive and take fewer breaks, which can greatly benefit companies.
Quality of Talent
Hiring remote developers gives companies access to a global pool of talent, which means that no matter how niche their requirements are, they are likely to find a developer with the right skills and experience. With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, there is a growing pool of highly skilled, ready-to-start remote developers who are open to working on projects from anywhere in the world. This means that companies can find the right talent, regardless of location or time zone.
During the hiring process, companies can use online platforms and tools to connect with potential candidates and assess their skills and experience. For example, many companies use online portfolios, code repositories, and skills assessments to evaluate the skills of remote developers before making a hiring decision.
Engagement and Communication
Communication does not have to be a concern when it comes to hiring remote developers, as there are now many secure and reliable communication channels and collaboration tools available. These tools make it easy for remote teams to work together in real-time, regardless of location. For example, video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Meet, and Microsoft Teams allow remote teams to participate in virtual meetings, share screens, and collaborate on projects in real-time.
Instant messaging platforms, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, also provide an easy and secure way for remote teams to communicate and share information. These platforms allow remote workers to quickly ask questions and receive answers, which can help to minimize delays and ensure that projects are completed on time. In addition, collaboration tools like Google Drive and Dropbox allow remote teams to work on shared documents and projects in real-time, which can improve collaboration and productivity. And the GIT system allows them to keep track of code releases online. Overall, the wide range of secure and reliable communication channels and collaboration tools available make it easy to form productive Agile teams, regardless of location.
There are many challenges of relocation, and it can be a costly and complex process, as it involves a range of expenses including visa applications, family relocation, setting up a new workplace, and HR costs. The process of obtaining visas and relocating a family can be time-consuming and expensive, and it can also be difficult to ensure that the developer is able to settle into their new environment and be productive. Additionally, if the developer does not work out, the process of firing them can be more complex and expensive than with a remote worker, as the company may need to pay for the return of the worker and their family to their original location. Additionally, HR-related expenses, such as training and benefits, can also be significantly higher for relocated workers.
Hiring a remote developer can be a cost-effective solution for companies, as it eliminates the need for expensive relocation costs and provides greater flexibility in terms of team size and composition. When you hire a remote developer, you do not need to provide housing or cover other relocation expenses, which can save your company significant amounts of money. Additionally, if your company needs a specialist for a short period of time, you can easily expand your team by hiring a remote worker on a contract basis. This allows you to quickly bring in additional talent when you need it, without having to worry about long-term commitments. And once the project is complete, you can simply end the contract without the costs and complexities associated with firing a relocated worker. Overall, hiring a remote developer is a low-cost and flexible solution for companies looking to expand their team and achieve their business goals.
Relocated developers often require a significant amount of time to get settled into a new environment and become fully productive. The process of relocating can be stressful and disruptive, and it can take time for the developer to become comfortable in their new surroundings and resolve any everyday problems that may arise. This can result in a period of reduced productivity, as the developer may need to focus on adapting to their new environment rather than working. Additionally, the stress of relocating can have a negative impact on the developer's overall well-being and mental health, further impacting their ability to perform at a high level. These factors can make it challenging for relocated developers to quickly contribute to a company's goals and provide quality work in a short amount of time.
But one of the benefits of hiring remote team members is that remote workers tend to be more productive than on-site workers. A Stanford University study found that remote workers completed 13.5% more calls than their in-office counterparts. Another study by Global Workplace Analytics found that remote workers put in an additional day's worth of work each week compared to their in-office counterparts. This increased productivity can be attributed to a variety of factors, including reduced distractions, the ability to work in a comfortable and familiar environment, and the elimination of commute time. Additionally, remote workers have been found to have higher levels of job satisfaction, which can also contribute to increased productivity. These facts demonstrate that employees who are allowed to work from home can be highly productive and can provide significant benefits to their employers.
Building a strong team spirit and company culture in a remote team of developers is achievable through intentional efforts and the use of modern technology. For example, regularly scheduled virtual team meetings and video calls can help remote team members stay connected and build personal relationships. Additionally, the use of collaboration tools such as Slack, Asana, or Microsoft Teams can facilitate open communication and foster a sense of community. Virtual team-building activities, like online games or workshops, can also help build strong bonds and a positive company culture. Furthermore, encouraging remote team members to share their work and accomplishments through virtual showcases or presentations can also help create a sense of camaraderie and pride in the team's collective success.
We have considered all the factors associated with relocation or hiring a remote team, and each case has its strengths and weaknesses. Yes, remote often means that, most of the time, you and your team members will be in different timezones. But it also gives you access to a global marketplace of companies and developers, and you can hire “geniuses” that you will never find within your state or country and who will not accept any offer with relocation, no matter what benefits you promise them.
If you have any doubts that you will be able to recognize a real pro who knows how to and wants to work remotely and, at the same time, will be able to fully integrate into your project — feel free to contact us! We have always had distributed Agile teams, and we know how to do it right. Just send us a message using the form below, and we’ll be in touch to show you how to work with a remote development team.