Hiring Before and After Remote Work: The Massive After Effect
3 min read

Hiring Before and After Remote Work: The Massive After Effect

Through my years of experience as a CTO, here's how hiring employees transitioned before and after the emergence of remote work.
person engaged in remote work
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As a CTO, my career had a clear Before & After effect.

Before Remote Work:

  • I hired locally in my city
  • Took months to fill a position
  • Non diverse teams

After Remote Work:

  • I hire engineers around the world
  • Short hiring cycles
  • Highly diverse teams

Hiring Globally Massively Expands the Talent Pool

employees working together in an office
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash
  • There are ~200k programmers in NYC
  • There are ~26 million programmers in the world

By hiring locally, I was fishing in a small aquarium. By hiring globally, I'm fishing in the open Ocean. It's a world of difference!

Top Funnel

person engaged in remote work using a keyboard
Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

My experience with local dynamics is that people already know the companies, stacks, ball park salaries, etc.

They know someone who knows someone, and mostly they won't apply.

On the other hand, when hiring locally, I'd be lucky to get a few dozen applicants to my open positions.

When hiring globally, candidates look for more objective factors:

  • Salary range
  • Their experience in the required stack

As such, international companies easily get hundreds of applicants for each open role.

Push vs Pull

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When hiring locally, I had to "hunt" candidates. I'd use recruiters and offer referrals to get great candidates.

But when I'm hiring globally, I have hundreds of applicants organically. Even if I reach out to relevant profiles, most people are very keen to interview.

In addition to this, my interview & technical assessment processes transformed massively:

  • I used to sell a lot in interviews. I had to convince candidates why my company was worth their time.
  • When hiring globally, my process become more like filtering for skills and fit.

Diversity

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It's also important to note the impact on diversity of candidates in my pipeline:

  • When hiring locally, candidates look very much alike. Not just in their physical traits, but also in their range of experiences.
  • When hiring globally, it's a fully diverse bunch.

Results

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There are two key metrics I use to evaluate my hiring processes. One is the time it takes to hire, which is essentially the number of weeks it takes to fill an open position.

The other metric is quality, which considers the number of candidates who stay long term and thrive.

Time to hire has become a fraction of what it used to be:

  • I used to take 2+ months to fill a position, except some happy exceptions.
  • Now I take around a month, except some unhappy exceptions or positions that are too specific or country specific.

Quality isn't as badly impacted as you might imagine:

  • I didn't change my stance of firing fast, whenever the candidate turns out to not be a fit.
  • I fire around 10% of hires within the first month. Not much higher than when I used to hire locally.

A nuance:

  • Hire is now higher and better technical profiles than when I'd hire locally. Mostly because technical assessments are now more difficult to filter such inflow of candidates.
  • The causes to termination are more around culture, ethics, etc. than tech.

An Added Upside To Hiring Remotely

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The best talent in your city is more likely to join your company, since you allow working from home and likely have a more international team

As noted in my recent tweet, many companies are using this as a hiring tactic.

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