How to Attract and Retain Top Engineers Around the World: 2 Industry Experts Share Their Thoughts

It is well-known that finding qualified engineers in large cities such as San Francisco and New York can be a costly and challenging endeavour. Hiring domestic workers from a distance can improve accessibility, for example if your headquarters is in New York City, but you have a worker located in Madison, Wisconsin. However, it is important to note that this does not eliminate the need to adhere to tax and legal obligations. For example, you would still need to establish a legal business in Madison in order for the remote employee to work.

Furthermore, the range of job opportunities that are accessible through even the most comprehensive national databases is limited. Despite the fact that there are more than 25 million software developers employed worldwide, only 4 million of them are based in the United States. Consequently, in order to create the highest quality product, one must take advantage of the most talented personnel available.

The emergence of a global pandemic has significantly increased the possibility of staffing remote or branch offices across international borders. However, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both options before making a decision. What benefits and drawbacks should be taken into account?

Recently, in a webinar hosted by Fastly’s Vice President of Customer Solutions Engineering, Dave Marks, and Works’ Chief Technology Officer, we had the opportunity to address a range of issues related to the development of distributed engineering teams in remote offices and other off-site locations. Both Dave and CTO had extensive experience in this area, making the webinar a valuable resource for anyone looking to expand their engineering team’s capabilities.

Learn from their comments below:

  1. Do you think it would be a good idea to set up a branch office?

    Establishing a satellite office may be an effective solution for managers who seek to maintain a work environment that is similar to their conventional workplace while still interacting with their overseas personnel. This strategy allows them to benefit from the advantages of both scenarios, allowing them to oversee their remote workers more effectively and thereby maximise their productivity.

    Investing in the necessary infrastructure to support an international remote workforce may be more expensive than either hiring domestic remote staff or creating a fully distributed global team, and the potential advantages may not be worth the expenditure.

    Two instances when a satellite office might be useful are:

    To Provide a Homegrown Example, Consider the Case of a Satellite Office Opening in Austin, Texas.

    As Vice President of Technology at Fastly, Dave Marks contemplated the possibility of establishing a second office location in the Southeast in order to better serve Bleacher Report’s expanding engineering staff. The Southeast was an attractive option due to its relative lack of saturation in comparison to the Northeast and Southwestern regions. The added advantage of covering a different time zone and broadening the business’s reach into a new region were both appealing prospects.

    Despite the potential benefits, the drawbacks ultimately prevailed and the project was ultimately discarded. Establishing a satellite office within the same country necessitates a substantial investment in both time and funds and presents similar problems to the main sites, like difficulty in finding personnel with the necessary qualifications in the region.

    Opening a Branch in Cairo, Egypt, Is an International Example.

    Opening a second store abroad involves a considerable amount of complexity. It is essential to consider the various permits and authorizations your business may need in order to operate successfully. Furthermore, it is important to understand the applicable tax regulations and how to calculate and pay the necessary taxes. Additionally, it is essential to decide whether to locate the shop here, there, or somewhere in between. Finally, it is important to consider where to advertise job openings, and the reasons behind the decision.

    Despite the advantages of having a physical presence in another nation (such as enhanced communication among personnel and providing foreign clients with a local point of contact), the process of doing so can be laborious and challenging. According to the Chief Technology Officer at Works, the company needed three months to set up a corporate bank account in Asia, owing to the detailed paperwork and assessments necessary.
  2. Should Centrally Managed Objects be Developed?

    An additional possibility to consider is hiring remote workers from various international locations and having them coordinate their schedules such that they report to specific work sites, similar to the approach that Stripe has adopted. This could be a viable option for businesses to explore.

    Despite the similarities between this approach and the “hiring anywhere” strategy, it may not be feasible in certain locations due to various legal and logistical considerations. This could include entire countries, cities, and even some neighbourhoods.

    Regardless, this strategy will not only provide you with a larger pool of potential employees, but it will also offer a wider range of perspectives, a more consistent production timeline, access to local engineers in targeted markets, and more.

    Due to the fact that only meeting state law regulations is necessary, this approach simplifies the procedure for employing domestic remote employees. Nevertheless, the issue of cost and competition remains, even if the business is not situated in a major IT hub.
  3. Can you really simply accept resumes from anyone?

    Disposing of a second location is the most straightforward way to address the complications that can arise when establishing a second site. Opting to create a distributed workforce provides the opportunity to source the most competent personnel at a significantly reduced cost.

    The Chief Technology Officer of the company has revealed that they employ personnel internationally since it is more cost-effective for them. Despite this, employees are still given salaries that are in accordance with market rates. Further, the organisation is more selective in its hiring process, prioritising the skills of its employees over their location.

    Dave Marks acknowledges that developers’ salaries may become inflated if companies only consider applicants from a limited pool of applicants. This was a major factor in his decision to begin conducting remote hiring, initially from the United States and subsequently from various locations around the world.

    It is evident that global recruiting can be advantageous for businesses, but it is essential to recognise that operational and hiring strategies must be altered to manage a remote workforce. Furthermore, the entire recruitment process, ranging from locating prospective candidates to evaluating them, supplying appropriate resources and guaranteeing legal and tax observance, lies with the employer.

    Managers must adapt their management style to ensure successful communication with their staff. Regularly checking in with team members to ensure that messages are properly communicated is vital. It is important to be aware that communication difficulties can arise from various sources, including, but not limited to, language and cultural barriers.

    Dave and the Chief Technology Officer of Works agree that utilising a talent partner like Works is a beneficial option as it eliminates the need for them to gain knowledge of the local labour markets, regulations, payment methods, and people management. It is worth considering the advantages of acquiring global talent with the help of a partner, and in order to illustrate this, here is a helpful flowchart listing the items to consider if they choose not to go with a partner.

The Earth is levelling off.

As the business landscape continues to evolve, technology organisations of all sizes are facing the challenge of recruiting and managing international teams. With the advent of distributed workforces, employees are increasingly seeking to break away from the traditional 9-to-5 workday to pursue their own interests. To remain competitive, businesses must evaluate their existing work environments and compensation plans to ensure they are conducive to fostering a sense of teamwork between remote employees. This endeavour is a difficult yet important task that will help shape the future success of organisations.

Dave and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Works have both come to the conclusion that management needs to take action in order to cultivate an environment of teamwork and diversity. As a way to promote collaboration and a variety of perspectives, why not try something fun and different such as organising a Zoom challenge which involves sending hot sauce to each of your coworkers? This could be an effective and enjoyable way of encouraging employees to come together and work together.

As the importance of values and beliefs in determining the company that a worker chooses to work for increases, the advantages of international recruitment become increasingly evident. By hiring staff from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds, companies can ensure that they are sourcing the highest-quality goods and services, as well as bringing in the most talented individuals to fill all available roles. This diversified approach to recruitment is essential for the long-term success of any business, as it helps to create a more dynamic and productive workforce.

Related Article: How to Manage Through the Shortage of Global Software Engineering Talent

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs