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How to Find a Talented Remote Team for Your Startup

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If you’re wondering where to find top talent willing to work remotely, you’re not alone. In fact, many companies (startups and established enterprises alike) struggle with this. An Upwork report estimates that a staggering 1 in 4 Americans in the workforce will be working remotely through 2021, and that over 36 million Americans will work remotely by 2025. Additionally, according to Emsi data, the number of remote job opportunities has skyrocketed in 2021: from January through May of 2021, the U.S. had triple the number of remote job postings compared to the same time period in 2019.

With these trending markers in mind, how do you find top talent that’s willing to work remotely, either in a part-time, contract-based, or full-time/traditional capacity? More people are willing to work as a remote employee these days (which is fantastic), but it hasn’t gotten any easier to separate the unqualified from the qualified, or the good from the great.

Whether you’re looking to DIY your hiring or hoping to discover the “shortcut” that lets you spend your time working rather than recruiting, this blog is for you. If you’re looking to hire skilled professionals for a remote position at your startup, what’s the best way to go about doing it?

1. Start Within

Your startup has a hiring manager, right? Whoever’s in charge of finding remote talent needs to be properly trained and given the resources they need to get the job done right. Make sure your current team is prepared for giving remote interviews, understands the process, and is familiar with whichever tools will be used to attract and interview applicants. Your hiring manager(s) will be the face of your company and, consequently, responsible for a candidate’s first impression of the organization. If you want top talent, remember to put your best foot forward and demonstrate to those you’re interviewing that yes, it’s a great place to work and yes, the environment would be a great fit for highly skilled professionals. If they’re highly skilled, you won’t be the only organization vying for their attention, and one study by Glassdoor found that:

  1. Fifty-six percent of workers ranked a strong workplace culture as more important than their salary, and
  2. Three out of every four workers admitted they consider a company’s culture before even submitting an application.

Therefore, even if you find talented individuals, you simply can’t compete with other organizations until you look inward and establish your startup as a good place to work.

Once you’ve prepared your hiring team and positioned your company as a great place to work, now’s the time to go out and find remote talent. If you post job opportunities on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Glassdoor, you can indicate that the position is a remote one, but bear in mind that your audience will be a mixture of traditional office types and remote workers. Posting on sites like FlexJobs, WeWorkRemotely, and other virtual-minded platforms will reach applicants who are specifically looking for remote positions and opportunities. Finally, you can take on a more active role by looking for candidates either on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr (though this will require a lot of careful vetting and sourcing on your end) or by teaming up with a talent network of pre-screened professionals.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Let Technology Take Over (a Little Bit)

We’re preaching to the choir here (especially considering that you’re looking for remote employees) but we’ll say it anyway: technology is your friend. There’s quite literally an app for everything these days, so don’t be afraid to use tools to simplify your talent search and facilitate the hiring process. Even if you skip steps and don’t actively recruit your team (say, you simply wait for applications to pour in rather than seeking out potential talent by posting open positions on LinkedIn, Indeed, FlexJobs, etc.) you’re going to get a lot of resumes. The issue then becomes sifting through the piles of CVs to separate talented candidates from the noise — and here’s where technology comes in.

There are a variety of useful screening tools and platforms you can use to figure out which applicants have the skills and experience you’re looking for (particularly when it comes to assessing tech skills) that can be found with a quick Google search. Similarly, once you have a remote team, there are tools to ensure open communication and seamless collaboration (Zoom, Slack, Google Workspace, Trello, Asana, Monday, Wrike, Outlook…) but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

If you want to do the least amount of work and get the highest quality of talented remote applicants, use a talent network. These platforms are filled with people looking for virtual opportunities. Some talent networks are community-led, but others (like Esteemed) are run by an agency or provider to give the network greater structure, support, and accountability. What we love about these types of talent networks is that they’re so attuned to clients’ needs in finding the right person or people for a particular role. We have a talent network that numbers in the thousands for startups to choose from, and we also offer Screening as a Service for companies looking to fill remote tech positions without the added hassle of sourcing and vetting hundreds of potential candidates.

Final Thoughts

It can seem quite daunting at first to find the right person for a remote role, build a professional relationship virtually, and give a distributed team the right tools to succeed from afar, but by expanding your search to include areas outside of your geographical base you really open your startup up to some incredible talent.

Our Esteemed Colleagues Community includes pre-screened, carefully-vetted tech professionals from around the world. If your team is looking for remote hires, be sure to check us out. And, as we’ve already mentioned, if you’re strapped for time or lack expendable resources for an extensive talent search, try out Esteemed Screening as a Service.