alphalist Blog

4 Tips on How to Recruit a Remote Workforce


“If you want to hire exceptional people, don't expect them to be in your 10-kilometer radius“ said Dominik Angerer (co-founder and CEO of Storyblok) on a recent alphalist CTO podcast. “Expect them to sit somewhere at the bottom of the Himalayas and have the best life there and you just employ them from employer of record.” Storyblok is run by a team of 235 people across 47 countries and as the CEO, Dominik has learned a thing or two along the way. Here is what he shared on the podcast about recruiting a remote workforce in blogpost form.

Table of Contents
  • Use location-based strengths to find the ideal candidate for type of role
  • Adapt sourcing channel to role type 
  • Motivation and cultural fit are most important in a remote role
  • Hire more senior candidates for remote roles 

Use location-based strengths to find the ideal candidate for type of role

The beauty of a remote is that you can hire from anywhere. Due to the nature of the culture they were raised in, some places are more likely to be able to offer candidates skilled in certain areas. For example, if you are searching for amazing finance people, you might want to look into Switzerland, because that's where all the money of the world basically sits. If you want someone multilingual for a sales role, I highly recommend Barcelona because they speak so many languages. But developers can be from everywhere. For example, we found our DevOps genius in Brazil. He runs the infrastructure behind Storyblok and what he does with Terraform and Kubernetes in like two weeks or something I would not be able to do in a year. It's just mind-blowing.

Adapt Sourcing Channel to Role Type 

The best sourcing channel and platform really depend on the role that you're searching for. If you're searching for developers, you might want to actually sponsor an event in that area or the technology that you are looking for. You would not just post random posts on LinkedIn. Sponsoring an event is a great way to brand yourself - we actually had a great candidate from sponsoring OMR.  For developers, it could be as simple as going into the community and talking to them. For example, the first developer that joined us was found through Alex (Storyblok’s CTO) creating a GitHub issue for a Vue.JS conference in Brazil saying that we are searching for developers.  Right now, we use SmartRecruiter which allows you to select which channels to use based on the role.

Motivation and cultural fit are most important in a remote role

I find that in remote work, it's important that a candidate is a good fit for the remote culture and is motivated. It's way more important than the skill tests. So what we do is a 2 stage kind of process:

  • A recruiter or talent acquisition team member interviews the candidate for about 30 minutes, together with the hiring manager.
  • The candidate gets a ‘take-home’ task. It would be something they would do on a day-to-day basis. The output is not used by us in any way but it helps both the candidate get an idea of what the role entails as well as gives the hiring company the ability to validate whether the candidate knows what they are talking about. 

Other than that take-home task, our main focus is on motivation and cultural fit. We are actually planning on having a job fair for the first time on the 23rd of February,2023. . Everybody can just come in and talk with us. It will help us assess cultural fit.

Hire more senior candidates for remote roles 

I highly recommend hiring a more senior person because you would need people that know how they work -  not necessarily how they work with your team, but know how they themselves work.  Do they work in the morning or in the afternoon? Do they know how to do time management?  Do they know that they won't have a companion for a coffee chat since it isn't in an office? So it's easier to hire more experienced candidates for remote roles.

Conclusion: In the world of remote work, it's important you know how to maximize the advantage of having a global workforce through great recruiting practices. You should take advantage of how certain locations lend themselves to certain professions and market the position to them through strategic channels. Not everyone is a good fit for a remote role. You should pay attention to cultural fit and motivation in the interviewing process. It should be noted that general people with more experience fare better in a remote setup.

Dominik Angerer

Dominik Angerer

CEO @ Storyblok

Dominik Angerer is CEO and co-founder of Headless CMS Storyblok. He is also a web performance specialist and perfectionist. After working for big agencies as a full stack developer he founded Storyblok in 2017. He is also an active contributor to the open-source community and one of the organizers of Stahlstadt.js.