5 steps to building a successful global team

By recruiting and hiring internationally, companies can hire from a larger and more diverse talent pool, and have access to more specialized knowledge and skill sets. Financially, it could save money on development and engineering costs, as well as overhead costs like office space. Plus, having staff in different time zones allows companies to provide a more comprehensive customer service experience and attract even more business in new markets, keeping you ahead of the curve.

Retention, too, becomes easier with a distributed workforce: One 2022 study found that employees who are able to work remotely report higher levels of happiness and stronger commitments to their organizations.

Of course, recruiting top talent abroad requires a unique approach. Here’s how to build a successful global team:

1. Identify your needs

Companies and hiring managers should consider these types of questions before putting out a job description: What projects or teams need support? Or, what new project is upcoming that needs a new or different skill set? Is this a permanent position, or can a contractor fulfill it?

Make a list of projects, the skills required, the estimated timeline, and any other key points. It’s important to get concrete about the gap that needs to be filled to better understand the type of developer and their expertise. 

2. Put remote software and processes in place

Candidates are likely going to wonder how the company collaborates across time zones and regions efficiently and effectively. They’re also going to be looking for a team that has a strong remote culture. Investing in software and putting it into place before you start recruiting shows you’re on top of all of this. Online tools can also create transparency and reduce silos when your workforce is distributed, as well as replace more expensive alternatives — such as hiring a full-time staffer to run point on projects or manage the employee experience.

Consider what each team and division needs to be productive. Project-management software like Trello or Jira may be useful for product development and engineering, while design tools like Figma or Miro may be better for user-interface and user-experience work. Apps like Slack or Loom can help with both synchronous and asynchronous communication in lieu of popping over to someone’s desk in an office. And HR software is crucial no matter the type of company to ensure employees have easy access to benefits, legal documents, paystubs, and other important information from afar.

3. Start with a short technical assessment

Frontloading the technical portion of your hiring process can save time and set expectations with candidates from the get-go, and you’ll be able to quickly weed out the applicants who are serious about the role and have the chops to do it well. Starting out with a skills test also ensures there’s no human bias turning great potential hires away. Andela talent is assessed using Andela Qualified, so hiring managers know the developers they hire are in fact skilled, offering reassurance and a better match. 

Once you’ve identified the applicants who are up for the job, then you can take the time via phone or video to vet for relevant soft skills and culture fit, such as how they stay organized or meet deadlines, or what they look for in a team dynamic.

4. Align on a checklist of requirements

If you’re planning to use a hiring committee to evaluate candidates, make sure everyone involved is aligned on what skills or qualities you’re vetting for to avoid bias. For example, you could require each interviewer to ask the same behavioral questions, or create a rubric or checklist for everyone to follow and fill out during or after each interview. You should also make your hiring committee as diverse and inclusive as possible — not just in terms of demographics but also experience level, department, and expertise — if you want to appeal to a larger pool of candidates.

5. Pay attention to candidates’ questions

The kinds of questions candidates ask can say as much about how they’ll fit into a team as the answers they provide to your questions. 

A good candidate should show a genuine curiosity not just for the role itself but general processes, other teams they might interact with, and the company’s goals. If their questions feel generic or focus solely on benefits or salary, that could be a sign they’re not excited about the product or building a long-term career at your company.

While building a successful global team takes time and effort, the benefits can extend across the company. Not only does a global team come with diversity of thought and experiences, but allows organizations to hire the exact skill set required to complete a key project. These five steps will put you well on your way to hiring a global team of talented developers. 

Looking to expand your global footprint and hire skilled developers? Discover how Andela can help.

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