Crack the Code: How to Hire the Right Developer?

  • Raghu Naidu 04-16-2020 Read time (4 min)

Crack the Code: How to Hire the Right Developer?

How many times has your recruitment program for developers been nothing but a disappointment?

 

The answer is one too many!

You might have hired a developer that knew how to code but couldn’t keep up with the pressure.

Or you may have found a genuinely nice fellow who knew the theory but didn’t know how to apply it.

Then there is the fact that there are almost 19 types of developers.

Does that mean you need to hire 19 new developers? Or can a single developer fit all these traits in their portfolio?

It looks like you’ve got too many questions and no concrete answer to this situation.

Lucky for you we’ve got some tricks and tips―for hiring a developer―up our sleeves! However, before we get down to the nitty-gritty details of the situation let’s consider:

The Flaw in the Plan

We admit that hiring a developer is not a piece of cake!

Your frustrations and misdirected pursuit might have turned them into a rare breed of professionals that seem almost mythical in nature. Like the beauty of a unicorn, you’ve heard about their genius-like qualities. However, you have yet to see a glimpse of that brilliance in your pool of candidates. Not to forget the fact that the expert developers who step into your premises almost always come with a list of conditions and a hefty price tag.

But is this all true? Not really!

We think that the search for a worthy candidate might face a few glitches. Yet, when you set your mind to it, you can definitely find a gem. The only problem is that sometimes your search isn’t focusing on the best qualities of a developer but on the missing elements. Moreover, sometimes your ‘we’re hiring’ ads might be the reason why all the wrong candidates walk into your office.

Therefore, we suggest that you change your hiring strategies and devise a new plan to recruit the best person for this job. To help you out, we’ve created a checklist of sorts to nudge you in the right direction.

Let’s look at a list of do’s and don’ts for your next recruitment cycle:

1. Do Have a Hiring Plan

 

First of all, reaching out to prospective employees should never be a gamble. This isn’t the lottery nor is it a game. That’s why we suggest that you initiate each hiring cycle with a proper action plan. This includes everything from a budget to the skill set you want them to have.

Trust us a proper protocol is like a security blanket. It helps clarify issues that might crop up during the interview. Moreover, a set standard will ensure that you know what kind of software developer you’re looking for.

Here are a few things you should include in the plan:

  • Specific Skill Set: Instead of listing every possible trait a developer possess you should narrow down your search. Be selective in your hunt by choosing a skill set you really need for the new member of the team.
  • Q & As: Instruct your tech team to construct a questionnaire and a practical assessment test that helps analyze the candidate’s coding and software capabilities
  • Salary Package: Interviewees are always interested in the pay scale. It’ll be better for you to set a salary range to ensure that everyone knows what they’re getting into from the start. You may mention the perks they’ll get after their probation.
  • Cultural Fit: Ask questions that check if they’re a match for your company culture. You should hire a person who can be a team player.
  • Prospective Plans: Chart a growth plan and make a planner that draws an expected work graph. This will give them an idea of what you expect from them.

Pro tip: Always keep your hiring goals realistic and attainable.

On the whole, develop a hiring format that automatically weeds out the unqualified players.

2. Don’t Settle for Generalists (or Specialists)

 

In this day and age, most companies are dead set on hiring specialist developers. You know that guys who know their way around a Java program and the ones who are proficient in nailing the front-end development programs for your side.

On the other hand, it’s an undeniable fact that these specialists might prove to be a ‘one trick pony’. And stereotypically speaking, they do have a hard time teaming up with other developers.

So does that mean you should hire a generalist? After all, they do have a broader range of information about coding and programming. However, their basic expertise might be a drawback for scenarios where you’re stuck with a complex task.

In this case, we believe that the age-old debate between generalist vs. specialists shouldn’t stump you. Both categories of developers have their own pros and cons. That’s why the effective strategy for your Agile team would be to ‘build a combined team of generalists and specialists’. In this way, you’ll get the best of both worlds without facing their limitations. Plus, they’ll be able to balance the situation when things get tricky.

3. Do Consider Communication Skills
Communication is the key to good teamwork. When you’ve got a bunch of developers working on specific areas of a project― you expect them to synchronize their progress in order to present a program that comes together. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at a jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t seem to fit.

Thus, it goes without saying that you need to hire a developer that knows the value of communication.

Do you need a developer who:

  • Promptly responds to emails and tries to be available on-call
  • Is open to discussions and brainstorming sessions
  • Supports the other team members with advice and inputs
  • Discusses plans and progress charts during an on-going project
  • Makes sure to follow-up with managers

All in all, you should make sure that the new employee is a team player. It’s because an employee’s aloofness and disregard for other team members can cost you a lot of hours and money in the long run.

4. Don’t Only Focus on Coding Skills
Never ever, hire a developer based on just their coding skills. We know that getting a coder that knows the ins and outs of complex coding is like a dream come true. But this should always be a part of their package. Like we mentioned earlier, communication is an integral part of development teams. The lack of it hinders plans and impedes progress.

Similarly, there are other traits that are just as important. You may think that these characteristics are for the lack of a better word more ‘humane’. Yet, when you dig deeper, you’ll realize that they do play a role in a developers skill set.

That’s why we suggest that you hire a developer who is:

  • Passionate about software development and the kind of work your company will do.
  • Responsive during the interview and the assessment tests. This shows that they’re eager to learn from you.
  • Flexible when it comes to modifying codes and accommodating the client’s needs. You may test their adaptability during the test.

Apart from that, you should hire someone who can handle the pressure that comes with this job. And possibly learn the ropes of your business and its projects in a short span of time.

In short, try to think beyond the coding skills and software expertise when you review a resume.

5. Do Get Someone Who’s Right for Your Team
By now you’ve got a long list of traits that you need to cross-off when you’re hiring a new developer. However, this doesn’t mean that you lose your focus. At the end of the day, it is you need to prioritize on your company’s needs. Choose someone who fills the requirements of a new project and has the skills that your current tech team might lack.

 

Plus, it is also important to understand that your new employee should gel well with the rest of the development crew. One way to figure that out is by conducting a second interview with a few members of the team on board. Or having an orientation/meet and greet of sorts prior to the final interview. These social situations will allow you to observe whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the company culture.

The key here is to be selective and practical about your pick.

Let’s Sum It Up…

In the end, all we’re trying to say is this: the best qualities in a developer aren’t only confined to their portfolio. Rather you should hire a developer who is also passionate about their work, understand the value of communication and doesn’t cross time/budget constraints. All in all, someone you and the team can depend on during crunch time.

We guarantee that once you put the myth of a great developer behind you– the right developer will automatically reveal themselves. All you have to do is be patient, intuitive and alert when you’re conducting interviews.

So what are you waiting for?

Let’s restart that hiring process!

Happy Hiring!

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