It’s an exciting time indeed! You’re looking to build a tech team, possibly even a remote one. This is an interesting journey that will define the trajectory of your business.
Tech teams handle a variety of issues and exist at the core of a company. Here are the 7 most essential tips for building successful technology teams (and, thus, successful companies).
1. Pick the Right Leader
If you already have a CTO, you can scroll on down to the next point. If not, let’s take a moment to discuss choosing the right tech leader.
First things first, you’ll need to source your CTO. To start, talk with current CTOs or people who’ve hired them in the past. Ask questions such as:
- What questions did you ask (or get asked) during the interview?
- What past experience did you look for (or have)?
- What are the most important traits your new hire (or you) possessed?
- Where did you source candidates (or where were you sourced)?
After getting answers to these questions, it’s time to tap into your network and look for appropriate candidates. Source people from diverse backgrounds; if your network is a bit sparse on potential CTOs, you can ask your colleagues, mentors, friends, and anyone else to open their networks to you.
2. Let the Leader Pick Their Tech Teams
Now that you’ve selected your tech leader, it’s time to let them pick their own tech team (at least to start). If you’re a larger business with multiple technology teams, this may be less relevant. However, for smaller-to-medium size organizations, this is entirely appropriate.
Ultimately, your CTO or CIO knows the types of tech employees they need to get the job done correctly. Depending on your role at the company (CEO? Founder?), you can weigh in on hiring decisions, help source candidates, decide which qualities you want most in new hires, and so on, but let your tech leader guide the process.
3. Nail Down Your Remote Hiring Process
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, vast amounts of hiring (and working) are done entirely remotely. Remote working tools and hiring processes are a must if you want to build successful tech teams.
The good news is there are many benefits to hiring remote workers. Among these are:
- Cost savings. According to a PwC report, remote work saves companies big bucks.
- Increased talent pool. If you’re limited to a finite geographical location, your access to talent is small. Remote work opens up that pool dramatically.
- Boosted productivity. Remote workers are usually more productive and prioritize work more effectively.
When building tech teams, here are aspects of remote hiring you’ll need to figure out:
- Which remote working tools will we need? (see #7)
- Where will we source candidates?
- What interview questions will we ask?
- How many interview phases will there be?
- Who’s on our hiring committee?
- What are our must-have versus nice-to-have skills for new tech hires?
We’ve written a comprehensive guide on hiring remote developers if you’re looking for some more inspiration.
4. Hire People Who Fill Skill Gaps
It’s said that the best leaders hire people who are better than they are, and this is no different for tech teams. You’ll want to bring tech employees on board whose skill sets are complementary and whose knowledge extends beyond your own.
Identify which skills you and your tech leader lack, and search for candidates whose skills fill those gaps. This is how you create the strongest team possible.
Need help finding these types of developers? CodeSubmit’s take-home coding challenges can do just that. Our coding challenges cover over 60 languages and frameworks to help you find the perfect developers for your team. Learn more today!
When selecting new hires, don’t underestimate the importance of diversity within your tech teams. Among the many statistics that stress this point, here’s one from the UN: With appropriate racial and ethnic diversity, the tech sector could generate $300-370 billion more in annual revenue.
Here are some hiring strategies you can implement to boost diversity.
5. Focus on Intellectual Drive & Alignment Above All Else
There’s a debate on whether past experience or raw motivation plus a personality that meshes well accounts for more. My thought is that the latter is far more important. Ultimately, you can hire the most “experienced” candidate for the job, but their usefulness is extremely limited if they aren’t motivated or are incongruent with your team. More likely, you’ll end up letting them go.
The data backs this up, too. 91% of managers in the United States feel that a new hire’s conjunction with company culture is equal to, if not more important, than their experience and skills.
When interviewing candidates, look for those who exuberate enthusiasm and display attributes that align with company culture. While particular relevant experience is necessary, the candidate with more excitement and an appropriate personality can do better than one with more experience.
A cautionary note: as the company, it’s your job to create an appropriate company culture and maintain a new hire’s fuel and excitement for the job. One of the primary reasons new employees quit is because their “emotional momentum” wears off due to companies neglecting to build an excellent company culture (more on that next).
6. Build an Award-Winning Company Culture
According to BuiltIn, 46% of job seekers note that company culture is “very important” when deciding where to apply. Further, 88% of workers feel a “strong company culture” is essential to a successful business.
Some tips on building excellent culture include:
- Establish core values and hire based on them
- Enforce core values
- Focus on diversity
- Lead by example
- Focus on employee development
- Focus on mission and purpose
- Build a trusting environment
- Focus on humanity and understand that people are people
- Reward what goes right, and don’t punish what goes wrong
7. Use Modern Technology
Building successful tech teams means using remote working tools that allow employees to thrive. Here are different app categories you’ll need to fill and some examples of software:
- Meeting scheduling: Calendly, SavvyCal, CalendarHero
- Video calls: Zoom, Google Meet
- Document management and storage: Google Drive, Xtensio
- Project management: Trello, Asana, Airtable, Zoho Projects
- Collaboration and communication: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord
Time to Get Started!
You’ve read the 7 most important tips for building successful (remote) tech teams, and now it’s time to get started. By implementing the points above, you’ll be well on your way to thriving tech employees and a booming organization.
Onwards and upwards!