Recruitment, in general, takes a lot of time and effort, but more so when hiring developers in 2021. When going through the process, you need to look beyond resumes. Here are six things to consider when hiring software developers.
Hiring developers in 2021 is a significant undertaking. You not only need to find software developers but to make sure you hire the right ones. Even with a talent shortage, you have to be careful because choosing the wrong developers for the job can be dangerous. It can set you back considerably and cost you more than taking the time to find the right ones.
Many companies focus only on an applicant’s resume, and that is a mistake. Formal training and work experience are essential. However, they are not the only factors to consider. You are looking for a potential member of a bigger team. That takes a bit more digging.
Build a Profile for Hiring Developers
Before you even start the hiring process, have a good understanding of what the job needs. It would help if you did this for any role you want to fill. However, hiring developers is in a league of its own.
For one thing, the title “developer” can mean different things. An applicant can claim to be a developer if they build websites using HTML. However, that is not helpful if you need someone with other skills.
Moreover, the developer skills and experience required tend to change. They depend on the scope and magnitude of the project. Therefore, building the ideal candidate profile can be tricky. Here are some things to write down that can help get you started.
- Nature of the development role, e.g., front-end, back-end, full-stack
- Scope of the project
- Specific software skills required, e.g., Drupal versus Python
- Development tasks involved, e.g., technical support, framework
- Time frame
Filling in these requirements will help you build a technical profile of your ideal candidate. You can now gather and filter resumes for your talent pool. Once you have a list of eligible applicants, it is time to go into the next part of hiring developers.
Traits you want when Hiring Developers
The project itself will provide the work conditions for software developers. These conditions will determine the size of the team and the workflow.
From there, you can develop an aptitude profile of the best candidates in addition to their skills and experience. These are the six things to consider when deciding on the final list of applicants.
While experience and technical skills are essential, you want someone willing to learn new things. You want someone with a growth mindset. For example, your project requires a candidate to have previous experience working on Drupal. However, you can consider someone with experience in other frameworks willing to learn to work on Drupal.
You want flexibility because there is a shortage of developers. You might not be able to find candidates that check all your boxes. Even if you do, you still want someone excited to try new things and thrive on challenges. Why is that?
As your company evolves, that developer will grow with you. As a result, you can develop a long-term relationship with developers even when goals and projects change. Sometimes, it is easier to work with a junior developer willing to learn than an expert who is not.
Outside the box thinking
The main goal of software development is to solve problems. However, because information technology changes so fast, solutions can be moving targets. The developers you choose must have the imagination and creativity to think outside the box.
Developers can use problem-solving techniques to solve specific problems. However, what should look at is how they use these strategies. For example, do they rely solely on conventional solutions, or do they consider novel ways of finding the answers?
Present hypothetical situations to an applicant. Note how the candidate arrived at solutions to problems. Doing this will give you an idea of that person’s approach to problem-solving. Beware of candidates that are quick to offer conventional solutions to problems. They are not very creative in their thinking.
Many companies consider side gigs as a bad sign for applicants. However, when it comes to developers, doing projects on their own can be a good thing. First-rate software developers often take on side projects to hone and broaden their skills sets. They also take on personal projects to manage stress and reboot.
However, you might not see those side projects on a resume because they might not be relevant to the role. For instance, a candidate might moonlight as a keyboardist in a rock band. That will tell you three things about that person: passion, musical skills, and good teamwork.
While a passion for music might not directly affect developer skills, it shows well-roundedness. A person with many interests often works well with others.
On the other hand, a developer might have development “hobbies.” This hobby could be developing an open-source platform to share with others. It could be building an app that bleeps spoilers on social media for new movies.
Whatever the applicant does as personal projects gives you a feel for that person’s interests and capacity for weirdness. You can use this to decide if the candidate fits in with your corporate culture.
No man is an island in software development anymore. You want software developers that play nice with others.
There was a time when developers worked alone, perhaps because they were pioneers. They worked on applications or frameworks that revolutionized the IT sector. However, software development is more of a team effort nowadays. You want developers on your team to lean on each other to get the best results for a project.
Teamwork not only shares the burden of a project but also makes it multifaceted. Developers tend to have individual strengths and weaknesses. Being a team player means knowing the difference and asking for and providing help when needed. This attitude will be apparent even during an interview.
When asked about previous employment, a team player will be diplomatic. They will focus on the good things and not say anything negative about their bosses or teammates. Instead, the applicant will focus on their desire to move forward in their careers or embark on new adventures. This upbeat attitude is a good indication of someone who works well with others under all circumstances.
Software development can be stressful, especially when there is a lot of work to do and not much time. You want someone that can roll with the punches and still come up smiling.
When there is conflict in the workplace, many people will play the blame game. You do not want to see that when hiring developers in 2021. You want someone who demonstrates a positive outlook when faced with challenges in the past.
Look for enthusiasm and self-reflection when the applicant describes such events during the interview. This shows not only a tendency to rise to the challenge but also a sense of accountability. You want developers that own the project and take responsibility for their actions.
You aim to hire the best candidate for the job but watch out for diva behavior. The most experienced software developers are understandably proud of their skills. However, there is always room for improvement. You want developers on your team that acknowledge that.
Humility greases the wheels of cooperation. Each member of a development team should feel they have value. Having someone lording it over them can make the work environment uncomfortable, if not hostile.
When hiring developers in 2021, make sure you weed out those who are overly confident or boastful. Even if they have the skills you want, they are potential sources of conflict for your team. You do not want to have to deal with that. If you already have at least one developer or software engineer on the payroll, include them in the interview to provide you with feedback.
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