Is hiring remote developers good decision? 6 CTOs / cofounders Explain How They Dominate Remote Hiring.

Forget about remote developers, even just hiring local developers is already a big headache. You have to post a job to hire and source the resumes, screen the resumes, interview candidates, etc. Imagine the amount of headache you have to go through when hiring remote IT professionals like developers, DevOps and cybersecurity experts.

On one hand it feels great when hiring remote developers because they can cost 50% or lower than your local developers in Canada or the US. But can it really lower your cost that much? And is hiring remote workers really reliable?

We went out for advice to six established technical leaders as well as cofounders and asked them what they do to help hire the right candidates.

6 Cofounders Talk About Their Experience Hiring Remote Developers

Allen Kaplun, Co-Founder at Greendropship, green products’ drop shipping business, explains how he does it.

We’ve been hiring developers for several years and went through a ton of trial and error. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Hire slow, fire fast.
  2. Do not have a bias towards any developer. Being from a certain country doesn’t make them more or less talented. They must be scrutinized on a case by case basis.
  3. Get them on a video call – when interviewing them it best to test their knowledge on a live call to see if they actually know the material or if they are stalling you and looking it up as they go along.
  4. Most of them may have 10 years of experience, for example, but only be at a 4th year level. Its important to not infer that years of experience means highly skilled.
  5. Go beyond the platforms: some of the worst developers I hired came from freelancing platforms and some of the best developers I’ve hired came from social media groups.

Sam Richards, Cofounder at Trivia Games, trivia games website, has a different spin on hiring remote IT employees. Sam had successfully hired remote employees through LinkedIn and would definitely do it again.

1 .We’ve hired remote developers to work on various web projects, and below are some of our takes on hiring remote. Yes, we’re based in the US and have brought on developers working remotely over the past couple years. We’ve definitely saved money on development costs, it’s allowed us to get more work done, especially in the early days of our business when we were on a shoestring budget.

2. We’ve found developers in a couple of key sources:

LinkedIn – we’ve had our internal recruiter research developers based on various skillsets listed in their profile. We’d perform virtual interviews via Zoom and provided a full skill assessment test to ensure the developers had the technical ability to complete the jobs we were hiring for.

Guru – we’ve hired project based developers on Guru and even brought one on board as a full time team member.

3. Management of the developers isn’t too different from other members of our staff. We have regularly check-ins, typically on a weekly basis. There are some time zone challenges but we try to meet in the middle so neither party is working too late or too early.

Michael Alexis, CEO at teambuilding.com, team building events company, says Upwork is the place to be when hiring remote IT workers.

We hired on Upwork” 💰: We have hired remote developers via Upwork.

The contractor was based in Russia and charged $40 per hour. The developer works on a per project basis, so we just assign work when ready. Usually we outline these projects in Google Docs that include bullet point descriptions, goals and screen shots. In this way, we’ve been able to work with skilled developers, at a fraction of the cost of full-time employment.

Alan MacLachlan, Founder at https://improves.co/, Personal Tennis Coaching, seconds Upwork but with a tip of his own.

Unusual way to get the best remote developers: We have hired some good remote developers from UpWork. The best tip I can give you is when you write your job posting, somewhere in the project description ask bidders to include a certain phrase at the top of their introduction or bid.

For example, ‘When replying to this project please write the word ‘sunshine’ at the top of your reply’ 99% of replies you receive won’t do it because they don’t read it fully or just use templated answers.

Straight away you can eliminate providers who don’t have attention to detail and didn’t read or fully understand your requirements. It allows you to see straight away the providers who took the time to read and understood what need.

From there you can go through your normal hiring process. Personally we always start off with a small task and see how they perform before working on more complex projects.

Hiral Atha, CEO at Moveo Apps, web agency, recommends using Linkedin for its ease of use.

LinkedIn has definitely been the primary source for scouting talent. After a preliminary resume screening and portfolio evaluation round, we set up a few rounds of remote interviews, starting with phone interviews that gives the candidate a chance to get comfortable, following up with video sessions.

There’s obviously the stage where we gave the candidates a small project to work on which immensely helped us assess key technical skills. Apart from that, equally important to us is assessing non-technical aspects such as the candidate’s ability to collaborate remotely and self-accountability. More than saving money, this gave us access to highly talented developers as we weren’t limited geographically.

Last but not least, Eric Mintz , CEO at EM Squared, End-to-End Business Automation | IoT Development and Integration firm, warns against hiring remote employees. He advises to spend more money on good local developers and save money on your project.

I’ve hired remote developers, both years ago as a manager in a large corporation, and just a few years back as the CEO of my own software development firm. I’ve paid local software developers rates from $45/hr to $125/hr, based on levels of expertise. I’ve hired remote developers for very low rates of only $25/hr, give or take a few dollars.

There were problems.

The remote developers are typically full-time employees of an offshore company. The locally-based representatives are there to guide you through getting a quote for a project. In most every case, the quotes were jaw-dropping. The local representative packed the quote with mountains of unneeded hours. It felt like being sold undercoating at a new-car dealership. If you aren’t technical enough to know what you’re doing, you will easily spend 100% to 300% more with an off-shore company than you would spend for the same project with more expensive, more experienced, more honest local freelance developers.

The projects I did offshore didn’t go well. The technical team leads who were my points of contact for the projects, rarely did much of the work themselves. They delegated to junior-level developers who were quite inexperienced. Communication was often difficult, hampered sometimes by strong speaking accents, but hampered always by distant time zones and poor phone/voice connections.

The projects were poorly designed, and often, not designed – much like carpenters nailing up boards haphazardly to build a house without the benefit of an architect’s blueprint. As a result, the applications were brittle and ongoing maintenance was particularly costly.

Canadian Darling WattPad Sold To South Korean Company

South Korean company Naver Corp., an internet giant, has bought Canadian technology company, Wattpad, website and app for writers to publish new user-generated stories, for stunning $660m USD.

When we started Wattpad in 2006, we understood that technology would democratize storytelling and that stories are the atomic unit of every type of entertainment.

In 2021, when every form of entertainment is being transformed, we’ve built a platform that can fuel hits on screen and bookshelves, empowering and rewarding a new generation of diverse creators all over the world.

Today’s news is about continuing Wattpad’s journey and taking our business to the next level. We’re thrilled about the prospect of joining the amazing teams at Naver and WEBTOON to continue our growth, help more writers make money, and bring new voices to screens and bookstores everywhere.

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Allen Lau

CEO & co-founder, Wattpad

Wattpad lets users publish their stories, and has more than 90 million monthly users. Famous Canadian author Margaret Atwood was one of the first customers.

For a long time, Wattpad took on traditional book publishers, as Wattpad website promoted best stories on their website which were read by millions of users.

Another thing Wattpad is known for is its movie scripts. It allows its users to publish stories, and the best ones are greenlighted for movie studies in Hollywood to use by licensing them. So far, they had more than 90 scripts’ adaptation in the making.

Wattpad helps users to secure deals with book publishers as well as movie studios. They have also recently became a publisher themselves.

Naver is a very famous search engine and messaging app in South Korea.

Co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, and the entire team at Wattpad, have created something special, and we are grateful to have Allen and Ivan continue to lead this fantastic company for us post-acquisition.

Wattpad’s vision to entertain and connect the world through stories fits perfectly with our vision for WEBTOON and Naver’s content brand. We’re thrilled to have them join the Naver family.

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Seong-Sook Han

CEO of Naver

Earlier this year, Wattpad had entered into discussion with multiple bidders as they were looking to sell the company.

The sale price of $660m is pretty impressive considering they only generate about $30m annually. That puts their value at 20x the revenue.

It is sad to see another Canadian grown company to be sold to a foreign entity before realizing its full potential. Much talked about artificial company in Montreal, Element AI, has also been sold just last year before hitting it big in Canada .

$400 WFH Tax Break From CRA – How To Qualify

2020 was a rollercoaster of a year where Covid19 pandemic has pushed most of us working in tech to work from home.

The good thing is that your commute got much shorter, the bad news? The expenses started piling up – you had to upgrade your internet, get a bigger computer screen and get that ergonomic chair.

Canadian government was great to help out with emergency subsidies but here is another subsidy that not many people know about.

$400 Tax Benefit

The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) has introduced this year a $400 tax benefit if you have been working from home. You can claim it on your 2020 income tax return. Please note, this is NOT $400 free cash, but $400 you can apply against your total income to reduce your taxes.

The good thing about this tax break, you do not need to provide any paperwork for this deduction you just need to claim that you have worked from home to be eligible.

To simplify the process for both taxpayers and businesses, the CRA will allow employees working from home in 2020 due to COVID-19 with modest expenses to claim up to $400, based on the amount of time working from home, without the need to track detailed expenses, and will generally not request that people provide a signed form from their employers.

CRA

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How To Qualify

There are 4 things you need to pass to qualify for this $400 tax deduction:

  • You have worked more than 50% at home in 2020
  • You had to work at home because of Covid19 pandemic
  • You are only claiming home office expenses and nothing else
  • Company where you work at did not reimburse you for the expenses

Your employer does not need to provide you with any forms. If you have more than $400 in your home office expenses, you can opt to ask your employer for a T2200 form. You can expense more that way but will need to fill out some paperwork.

6 Canadian Tech Companies Looking to Go IPO in 2021

Stock market has been on the rise in 2020 even despite Covid19 pandemic. Stocks like Apple, Amazon and Tesla have risen 61%, 65% and 705% respectively in the last year.

Canadian software companies do not want to miss out on the hot stock market and are eying to go public in the next few months.

According to Globe and Mail the following 6 tech companies are going IPO in the next few months or sometime this year 2021: Farmers Edge Inc., Auvik Networks Inc., Vendasta Technologies Inc., Magnet Forensics Inc., Thinkific Inc., Cymax Group Inc.

Let’s take a look at what they do:

  • Farmers Edge is a global leader in digital agriculture delivering cutting-edge solutions powered by a unique combination of field-centric data, artificial intelligence, and complete integration.
  • Auvik Network’s cloud-based network management software keeps IT networks around the world running optimally. Own the network.
  • Vendasta is the leading end-to-end ecommerce platform for companies selling digital solutions to local businesses. Start for free. Get up and selling in minutes. Generate recurring revenue.
  • Magnet Forensics – global leader in digital investigative technology with a mission to seek justice and protect the innocent.
  • Thinkific makes it easy for thousands of independent experts and companies to quickly create and deliver stunning online courses on their own sites.
  • Cymax Group builds the tech that runs eCommerce. we function as a powerful supply chain management solution for organizations of all sizes.

Canadian companies had great success launching IPOs last year in 2020. Companies like Nuvei launched at $26 USD and their share price went all the way up to $56 USD +. Companies like Dye & Durham launched at $7.50 and now worth more than $42.

With low interest rate, people have nowhere to put their money except for stock market and real estate. Both have been on the crazy rise lately.

Hype or not, it is good to be a software company in Canada seeking to go IPO now.