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Hiring Tips & Insights: How Better Equipment Management Can Help Attract and Retain Remote Developers
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How Better Equipment Management Can Help Attract and Retain Remote Developers

22 September 2023, by Marcelle van Niekerk

To attract and retain developers in a competitive global tech hiring market, how you manage remote equipment for your team needs to be efficient: from onboarding all the way through to offboarding. We spoke to Hofy’s Jordan Macauley about the steps involved to ensure a great experience for both your team and your new joiner.

How Equipment Management Can Help Attract and Retain Remote Developers

Remote equipment forms part of the candidate experience

Despite the slowdown of the tech hiring market from its historic highs in 2021, hiring top developers is still challenging as cross-border remote hiring becomes commonplace: You’re not only competing for software developers with other local tech companies and Big Tech, but with companies all over the world.

To ensure your offer stands out, you need a great overall package of benefits, leadership and company culture. Benefits should include equipment for a remote setup.

Remote work options have become the norm among developers: nine out of ten software developers in South Africa and the Netherlands are working in some kind of remote setup.

Receiving a budget for a remote setup is part of the top eight monetary benefits software developers in South Africa, and the Netherlands care about. This not only attracts new developers to your team but also affects your candidate experience.

How? The candidate experience stretches beyond just making a good offer. How you interact with candidates right up until their start date can impact how long they stay with you, or if they even arrive at all. Also keep in mind that one in three developers are looking to change jobs within the next year, according to OfferZen’s latest hiring reports for South Africa and the Netherlands.

If you’re providing equipment to team members worldwide, ensuring a good experience means taking the entire lifecycle of remote equipment into account. This includes onboarding, maintenance of equipment, as well as offboarding.

Here’s more about what these steps involve, and what to consider.

The steps to an efficient equipment lifecycle

1. Have a company policy in place

First, you need to have a company policy about the remote equipment you’ll be providing. This will create consistency within your offering, which adds to the candidate experience when onboarding new team members:

“You want someone in India to be treated just the same as someone who starts in Madrid, that uniform experience is really important,” explains Hofy’s Sales Team Lead Jordan Macauley. That’s why it’s worthwhile understanding your policies and your stance on everything beforehand so you know it applies universally.

Keep in mind that developers are especially opinionated about the tech that they work with, and it could form an important aspect of your offer.

“Our data tells us that engineers and developers order more items per person than any other role,” adds Jordan.

Depending on your available budget, your ability to equip the team can cover the basics, or be very broad.

Accordingly, your policy should include exactly what you’ll provide:

  • The range of equipment (including devices, furniture and peripherals)
  • The specs and make of the devices (eg. Mac, Lenovo or Dell)
  • The calibre of the equipment (i.e. earphones vs. noise-cancelling headphones)


Always ensure your chosen equipment complies with the health and safety regulations of the country where it’ll be used. Most importantly, this prevents injury to your team, and also means you’ll avoid fines if your company were to be audited:

“There can be some severe penalties if you don’t meet the standards for a specific country,” says Jordan. “The downtime and cost of your team member being injured because they’re not working on compliant equipment severely outweighs the cost to get that person an ergonomic chair.”

2. Procure and deliver the remote equipment

Once you’ve decided what your equipment offering looks like, it’s time to procure and deliver it to your new remote joiner. According to Jordan, these are your most important considerations when delivering to multiple locations:

Your payment infrastructure

Early in the process, you should test whether the payment method you use works in a different country since payment infrastructure and options can differ significantly between countries.

If your company card doesn’t work in a certain country, you might need to set up an alternative payment method such as PayPal. It can take weeks to arrange as a business, so make sure you test ahead of time whether it’s needed.

Availability and time of delivery

The time it takes to deliver equipment can vary widely between countries. For example, depending on the vendor or service you use, it might take a week to deliver your equipment kit to the United Kingdom or the United States, but three weeks to deliver to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions — this is also affected by the time it takes the kit to clear customs in a specific country. As a result, companies have to prepare earlier for new hires. At the minimum, allow two weeks to deliver equipment to new hires and use trusted suppliers.


In 2021, stretching into early 2022, there were major global supply chain issues due to a shortage of computer chips, which meant equipment delivery could be delayed by several months.

You should take all these factors into account when calculating how long it might take your equipment to reach a new joiner in time for their start date, according to Jordan.

“You need to plan for this: doing it on the fly can be very problematic and time-consuming. Some equipment might only get delivered in two months when that person starts in three weeks. Downtime isn’t something that you want, especially for a new hire.”

Besides downtime, not having the equipment delivered in time means your new team member’s first experience working for you is frustrating. A negative onboarding experience could very well prompt them to look for better options soon after their start date.

3. Maintain the remote equipment

It’s easy to forget about your equipment once a new joiner is set up. However, you should have an action plan for equipment maintenance and support throughout an employee’s time at the company.

“Say someone spills some water on your laptop. It’s a common thing, people make mistakes,” says Jordan. “What happens next? You need to be able to address those issues.”

This means taking the following into account:

  • You need a plan of action if a device is not working and needs to go in for maintenance. There should be easily available vendors or services to collect the device in that country, as well as provide people with a backup device while they wait for it to be fixed.
  • You need the ability to provide ongoing IT support for any other issues that crop up, ideally in a time zone that overlaps with that of your employee.
  • You need a budget for replacing devices if needed.
  1. Offboarding of remote equipment

Once a team member leaves, it’s time to offboard your equipment too. This is especially important to save costs. You could re-use the equipment for another new joiner, or sell it.

The most important considerations for the offboarding phase are:

  • Arranging the collection of the equipment, and factoring in the time it’ll take to ship to a new location — it’s especially important if you need it to arrive in time for another team member’s start date.
  • Having dedicated office storage available for your equipment.
  • Having a dedicated role or service in place for logistics and courier arrangements.

“Your team member’s house is not a storage facility. You want to avoid ad-hoc solutions such as having a device delivered to them, and giving them the task of arranging couriers if it’s not a normal part of their role,” says Jordan. “It’s not only a security risk but can take a significant amount of time away from their normal responsibilities.”

The options to equip your remote workforce

End-to-End Equipment Services

There are multiple services available that handle the equipment lifecycle in its entirety, including procurement, delivery, maintenance, as well as offboarding, like Hofy.


  • It saves time and internal resources.
  • There is consistency in the type of equipment you can offer across your regions, the time it takes to deliver that equipment, and the amount of stock available.
  • It can add to the team and the candidate experience of picking equipment on a dedicated platform, instead of doing so manually.

Quite often, a company gives someone an equipment stipend and reimburses them later. That process then has to go through several teams.

“With something like Hofy, you get sent a link and can pick what you want, and it gets approved by one person. Then the employee has a great experience too. You join a new company, you get sent a link, and then all of a sudden you pick the things you want and they arrive at your door a week before you start a new job.”


  • It’s not a mature industry, and using a new solution typically needs extra buy-in from the stakeholders within a company.
  • You need to factor in that the initial cost per employee will be more expensive than just purchasing a device, for example. This is because the price factors in the entire lifecycle of that piece of equipment.

Independent Vendors

Alternatively, you can use dedicated vendor services for the different parts of the lifecycle. This can consist of the following:

Use a regional retailer to pick and deliver equipment: There are big existing retailers where you can pick a range of equipment, and they deliver it for you. Examples include CDW in the US, and Electric in Europe.

Outsource your maintenance and support: Use a local IT support company for any issues that might crop up. Typically, you’ll sign a regional agreement for them to solve any maintenance problems and troubleshoot problems.

Asset management and inventory management: These are dedicated online services to track all your equipment. These include Setyl and Airtable, for example.

Have vendors for the collection of equipment, and delivery to a new location: This can include setting up a business agreement with UPS or FedEX, for example.


  • You have ownership of the process end-to-end yourself, which can be a benefit if you prefer a close overview of the decision-making in the process.
  • If you have strong working relationships with trusted vendors already, you can maintain that instead of having to replace these services.


  • It is more time-consuming to manage vendors for the different phases of the equipment lifecycle.
  • Depending on the regions you’re servicing, you might need a different set of vendors for each region, which can impact your costs.

Ultimately, whatever solutions you choose, you need to enable your team to work with no disruptions in a remote context:

“People can essentially work anywhere nowadays. One of the hardest parts of that is getting equipment to your employees, no matter where they are,” says Jordan. “A successful organisation needs to have a solution in place that enables global scale. You must give your team the tools to do their jobs effectively wherever they are.”

Read more

Ultimate Developer Hiring Guide

If you’d like to use an end-to-end equipment service for your remote employees, read more about Hofy here.

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