How to Hire an International Software Developer

If you’re looking for a new software developer but you’re having trouble finding a domestic candidate, you may consider looking at candidates in other countries. But before you get too deep in the recruiting process, there are some important considerations you’ll need to bear in mind.

The Benefits of Hiring an International Software Developer

First, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of hiring software developers internationally:

·         Reduced costs. Oftentimes, it’s less expensive to hire someone in another country. Many countries around the world have a much lower cost of living, so a $40,000 per year salary allows a person to live a life of luxury, and $15,000 may be perfectly livable. Of course, you’ll have some extra costs and expenses to deal with when hiring international developers; for example, you may have to pay extra transaction fees and account for travel. But overall, the lower employment costs outweigh these.

·         Cultural diversity. Adding people from other countries to your team will improve your cultural diversity. People from different cultures tend to think about problems differently. They have different backgrounds, different values, and different levels of education. Putting diverse minds together on a common problem can often lead to much more creative, innovative solutions.

·         A bigger talent pool. It goes without saying that once you open the pool of candidates to an international level, you’ll instantly increase the number of potential hires you can make. Instead of choosing between 10,000 qualified candidates in the U.S., you can choose between 50,000 qualified candidates all over the world. This can often make it more likely that you’ll find a “perfect” fit.

·         Easy travel. Thanks to the electronic system for travel authorization (ESTA) and other systems, it’s easier than ever for people to travel internationally. If you want to bring the team together physically, even if it’s a temporary move, you can do it quickly, conveniently, and inexpensively.

·         Links to a new country. Hiring someone in another country gives you a new link to that country. If you’re interested in expanding internationally or reaching new associates, your employee could help you navigate the culture, communicate freely, or possibly even make introductions.

Tips for Hiring an International Software Developer

Ready to start looking for your star candidate?

Make sure you follow these tips:

·         Start the process early. Hiring internationally can be a long and complicated process. It’s not something you want to do while under pressure or while dealing with a tight deadline. Start the hiring process as early as possible, and be prepared for weeks, if not months, of effort.

·         Familiarize yourself with the culture. Before hiring someone from another culture, spend some time familiarizing yourself with that culture. People in different countries often have different business cultures; they may have different norms, including social cues, power dynamics, and expectations for how work should be carried out. If you aren’t aware of these differences in advance, it could lead to conflict.  

·         Review tax laws and currency systems. Different countries have different employment laws and different regulations related to pay. Most countries also have an independent currency system. You’ll need to review these potential challenges to overcome before hiring. For example, how much is it going to cost to convert American dollars into this foreign currency? Will you pay a transaction fee? Are you bound by tax laws or employment laws in other countries? Are you required to give this person a fixed number of vacation days?

·         Nail down your availability and communication requirements. If your prospective employee is going to be in another time zone, or if they speak a different language, you’re probably going to run into some dissonance when it comes to availability and communication. It’s best to manage expectations proactively here; when is this employee going to be expected to work? How are you going to overcome the language barrier?

·         Meet in person. Even if you feel confident holding job interviews over the phone, over Skype, or just over email, it’s a good idea to meet in person before finalizing the hire – especially if this is a team member you expect to be on board for an extended period of time.

·         Be prepared for adjustments. No matter how well you plan or how much you strategize in advance, there are going to be growing pains. Be prepared to make adjustments to your plans and policies as you adapt to having people from other cultures as part of your team.

Working with a software developer in another country isn’t always easy. But it’s almost always beneficial, at least in some ways. Expand your team and get exposed to new cultures along the way; your company will be in a much better position because of it.