Every day I read a new article about some company whining about how hard it is to hire technical staff. Invariably it turns out that they’re only looking for people within a commuters distance of their office. I refuse to feel sorry for such companies.
If we were only trying to hire in Chicago, we’d never have the world-class team we have today. 37signals has people from such distinct tech hubs as Fenwick (Canada), Phoenix, Caldwell (Idaho), Romiley (UK), Jefferson Hills (Pensylvania), Ann Arbor (Michigan), Boulder (Colorado), Tampa (Florida).
The technology to successfully run and manage remote teams has never been better. We use Basecamp to keep track of our projects, Campfire as the virtual water cooler, Skype for calls and screensharing, and iChat and email to top it off.
None of it is fancy, expensive, or hard to use. Everything we do to manage a business consisting mainly of remote employees is something anyone else could do too. There’s so much untapped tech talent that does not live near your office, but would work for you if you allowed them to.
So stop whining, spend a day to get up to speed on remote working practices, and hire outside of your commuter zone.