In today’s candidate-driven market, recruiting the best talent comes as a challenge. Software developers are among the most challenging hires. Do you have any idea how to recruit software developers?
Don’t worry; this post will guide you towards the successful hiring of a software engineer.
Whether you are setting up an offshore development center or hiring a full-time in-house developer, technical skills are not just one thing that matters. The candidates should have a good culture fit as well.
You should know that hiring a candidate is a multi-faceted skill that requires technical acumen, process management, and intuition. You have to prepare the stages with extreme precision and scrutiny.
How to Recruit Software Developers?
1. Define Your Objectives
Before posting jobs online, it is important to define your business goals and expectations. Ask yourself a few questions mentioned below:
What Problem you Have to Solve?
The type of software developer you require depends on what problem you have to solve. What are you developing? A web app, mobile app, or database?
Software engineers have different areas of expertise. If you are unsure about the business requirements, discuss it with your CTO or consult a professional.
When will the New Employee Join?
You can’t expect to hire developers and make them join immediately. They have to serve the time of their notice period in their previous organization before they join you.
It takes a good amount of time for the software developer to adjust, acclimate, and be fully productive in your organization. They may require technical training regardless of expertise.
In case you want to hire software developers within a week’s time, then it’s best to work with an offshore software development company.
How Long will you Keep the Post Vacant?
There is no time limit for hiring a candidate. It ranges from one month to 3 months. There should always be a sweet spot. Unless you don’t get the desired candidate, your hiring process should continue.
Don’t Rely on First Impression Only!
Although the first impression of every candidate makes a very good impact. But, relying on the first impression only will not give you the real picture of the candidate.
Aptitude tests, mental ability tests, technical tests, and structured interview process are effective in predicting the nature and performance of the candidate.
Note: Don’t ask too much from a candidate. You can’t expect a software developer to master all jacks. If you hire mobile developers and expect them to work on the web, that’s not right.
The same developer can’t be an all-a front-end developer, back-end developer, system administrator, and quality analyst. If the requirement is more, hire more people and don’t search for a unicorn.
Professional developers may have knowledge about a ton of skills but are the only master of a specific skill set. Big companies follow a unique technique to hire developers.
2. Job Description and Posting
Designation – Firstly, begin the job description with a clear and concise definition of the goals of the position. Define what the candidate will do after being part of your company. Will they develop projects from scratch or maintain the existing ones.
Make sure you include the tasks involved and the expected methods. If there is a certain necessary qualification, make sure you list it in the JD.
Do you want to hire developers with excellent communication skills, written skills, and more? If so, add them to the JD list. If the applicant doesn’t qualify for the basic requirement, it will save you time and effort to identify during the process.
Roles and Responsibilities
Clearly mention the responsibilities of the anticipated developer so he can envision himself in the role and access if he is a qualified candidate.
Make sure you:
- Use present tense in the job description
- Keep the sentences short and concise
- Utilize formatting features like a bullet list
- Keep the layout clean and easy to read
- Avoid vague terms
- Mention skills required
What is the technical requirement of this particular role? Mention the core skills but keep it short and meaningful.
Use Adjectives Wisely
These adjectives set an expectation for the quality of work. well, you can use terms like ‘deadline-driven’ or ‘well-organized.’ This will help candidates evaluate if they will be able to meet the expectations of the company.
Purpose: What is the organization all about? Does it hire an overseas programmer? How will the company fulfill the candidate’s expectations? What does it mean to work for the organization?
Furthermore, create an online form that candidates with fill and submit. Make sure they have the below mentioned basic details:
- Name and contact details
- Professional experiences
- Source code samples (GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, or something similar)
- Updated resume
The structure of your job post should be honest and very simple to understand. Here are the best job portals you can post your job description while looking for programmers:
- Simply Hired
3. Evaluate the Candidates
If you have created a good job description, you will certainly achieve a lot of applications. Sorting and evaluating candidates is time-consuming.
Here is the list of things you have to consider in a curriculum vitiate:
- Total-Experience: This is simple. If you are planning to hire PHP developers, you have to look for someone who has worked on Cakephp, HTML, Laravel, WordPress, and Node.js before. If you require an Android developer, he should have knowledge regarding Java, Xamarian, and similar skills.
- Source Code Sample: Some developers either have open-source personal projects or code samples from their previous project. If you are able to evaluate their code, it will give a plus point before interviewing them. There may be a lot of developers who don’t have public source code, so don’t worry as you can evaluate them during the technical test and interview.
- Job Stability: When you are planning to hire programmers for your startup, then it is important to consider this factor. Developers have a habit of switching their job very frequently. They keep searching for a better one. Changing jobs every 2-3 years is common but not 6-9 months. This is too little time to be of value. In this case, either the candidate is incompetent or is not willing to commit to the company for a reasonable amount of time.
- Dedication and Zeal: Developers that have a curiosity to dive into different technologies should be preferred. This is because they genuinely enjoy coding. Candidates having a zeal emerge as the best developers having a lot of innovativeness.
What you Should not Consider in a CV?
- Name of the School, College or University: There are few companies that only hire developers from prestigious schools, colleges, and universities. Don’t fall into this trap. You can find talent anywhere irrespective of the name of universities or location. Formal basic information is important, but remember that dedicated offshore developers are those who keep themselves updated regarding the latest technology.
- Score: Scores are only numbers assigned to the students. The scores don’t define someone’s knowledge and intelligence. The formal knowledge only guarantees that the candidate has the fundamental knowledge, but it can’t tell the problem-solving ability.
4. Phone Call Screening
A preliminary phone interview is the best tool that helps in streamlining the hiring process. The phone screening is about making a decision about the developer you are going to hire. It ensures that the face to face interview will be conducted only if the applicant qualifies this phase.
The more thought is put into this screening, the better it is. So, you not only have to plan these screening calls effectively but also take help from the recruitment metrics.
Also, ask them questions that get directly down to business and offer a useful answer. Not sure, how to recruit top software developers? These must-ask questions will help you find the best:
What is your Total Experience?
Make sure there are no gaps in their career. If you find any, ask them the reason and where did they utilize that time.
What Expectations Do You Have from our Company?
Make sure they do not have any unrealistic expectations. A good answer includes that the company creates an environment that helps in personality growth. In addition to this, the company should be open to my contribution that might help in making a significant change.
What is your Current CTC?
Make sure they are not lying. Ask them for their salary slips if there are any doubts.
What are your Salary Expectations?
A talented candidate would say he would like to understand his roles and responsibilities first and later settle for a certain figure. He would be more interested in achieving a milestone with the new position offered to him.
They might want to know the exact figure, but you have to act smart. Give them a ballpark salary range. Also, tell them that you are open to negotiation. Moreover, you can lure them with incentives and other perks that your company provides.
However, if you want to cut down the development cost, then hiring the top offshore developers in India is your option.
Why are you Leaving your Current Job?
Everyone will have a common answer: for growth and better opportunities. You should judge the attitude and tone of their voice. See if their response is positive and upbeat.
What were your Responsibilities in your Last Job?
Keenly gauge their eligibility and qualification criteria. Look for all the possible evidence that shows their previous experience performing the task. See how many responsibilities are relevant to the current position, and his body language will give you an idea of whether he has actually performed his duties.
Which was your Most Successful Project, and Why?
This question is just to check how well they can manage a situation. It is good if they are talking about one of their recent projects. Make sure they are specific.
What do you Know About your Company?
It is important that they research about your company, but if they don’t, it’s okay. Make sure they are telling you some facts and figures. There must be something that motivates them, and if it doesn’t, they are not a good fit.
What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer?
Access if the developer is flexible in adopting any kind of environment or not. He should be happy working in a place where he gets new ideas and opportunities.
What Did you Learn From your Failed Project?
Next is you want to see if they learn from their mistakes or continue repeating the same errors. They should tell you a clear, concise story about the project. Make sure they are accepting their mistake and not making someone else responsible for it completely.
What Type of Management Style Do You Prefer?
The management style of the applicant is to know to check if he can fit in with the work culture and the supervisor who will be managing you.
How Soon Can You Join?
The worst answer will be right away. Although most of the candidates have put down their paper and have mailed their resignations, they must be serving a notice period. Even when you know, you want them to join as soon as possible, but they don’t expect that answer.
Minimum 15 days and maximum 1/2 months as per the notice period. This will give a good impression as they will complete their notice period in their previous organization as a part of the norm. This helps ensure a smooth transition to the new role.
Of course, you want to fill the vacant position as soon as possible but the candidate may be serving his notice period. Ask him his last working day, and then you can plan accordingly.
Do You Have any Questions for Me?
Many won’t have any questions, and ‘No’ is a very passive response. The ones who do are smart. Finally, a candidate who is genuinely interested in your company and the job profile is likely to ask relevant questions throughout your interview.
Make sure your technical head asks them a few questions so that you get insights about the technical background. Red flags to the candidates who:
- Talk too much about salary
- Low on energy
- Change jobs very frequently
- Unsure about their life goals
If you find that the candidate is good and want to ensure that he should turn up for the next face-to-face round tell him right away. There may be chances he is getting calls from other companies so notify the applicant as soon as you finalize him for the next round.
In case you are unable to find a valuable candidate, it is recommended to set up a product engineering team with the help of a technology partner.
5. Face-to-Face Round
The next and one of the most crucial step is to invite the candidate for a face to face round. Out of so many candidates who are interviewed on phone calls, there will only be a few who make it to the final round.
The purpose of this interview is to test their competency and communication skills.
Make them comfortable by asking them to give a small brief about themselves. Ask them more about their family, and how did they land up being a developer. This will certainly make them happy.
Then ask them about their previous companies and work experience. The ice-breaker will give a lot of insights about the candidate. Make sure you hire a responsible professional and not someone who has a habit of taking all the credit. In addition to this, give them a short aptitude and programming test to ensure that you hire the best programmer.
Recommended Read: 3 make-or-break interview questions for developers
6. Technical Assessment Test
The technical interview is always tricky as it requires specialized knowledge having familiarity with the related terminology. When you are hiring the developers, you should:
Coordinate with the hiring team to create interview questions to test if the applicant has the skills required. Ask the managers what to expect. What programming language they are most familiar with?
Obviously, you want to see the candidate’s full potential before hiring them, but this shouldn’t mean that the test assignments you conduct are too long. So, ensure it doesn’t take not more than one hour to complete.
Give them a simple and short programming test and solve the complete problem by explaining the thought process. Also, they should be able to detect the bugs and resolve them.
Finally, ask them what else they could have done if they were given some more time. Ask them if they could improve their code, use a better approach, and think of significant performance improvement.
Do respect the candidate’s time, especially when they have come down for the interview process. Here are a few additional tips you should consider during the interview process:
- Keep providing constructive feedback to the candidate throughout the interview.
- Observe all their reactions.
- Have a non-technical chit chat as well.
- Makes sure the technical assessment is relevant to the respective role
- See how they take criticism.
- What personality do they posses
- Are they optimistic or a pessimist
- Notice their body language
Therefore, all these will help you foster a much stronger and deeper understanding of who the candidate actually is.
Recommended Read: How to Find a Developer for your Startup?
7. The Final Decision
The job posting is published, applications are received, interviews are conducted, technical rounds are completed, now what? Now is the time for the big decision.
You may have 5-6 candidates for the fit. It is difficult to reject the competent candidate, but it always feels good when you have to narrow down to one among the best of best.
When you are confident that the candidate has a stronghold on the technical skills, evaluate if he will fit in the company’s culture.
After all, you have to work with the person every day. It is always good to have a nice and day-to-day interaction.
Extra Tip: Recruiting Offshore Developers
Are you a start-up or an established firm that wants to hire offshore developers?
Although most of your communication with the candidate will take place with the help of an instant messenger or Skype call while hiring, the best way is to invest in face-to-face conversation. This helps in knowing the programmer in a better way while giving you the opportunity to establish an effective business relationship based on trust.
In a startup, there may be chances that developers are unable to come down for a face to face round. In that case, conduct their technical assignment exam and have at least half an hour call to get an overview of their personality and attitude. You will get an idea about their stability and genuine interest in working with your company.
Note: Before sending over a formal written offer letter, see if the developer needs anything else. They can have an additional call with you if they want. Make sure you clear all the doubts so that they have peace of mind.
The process of hiring a programmer is undoubtedly an arduous task. Make it a habit to continuously improve your recruitment funnel over time.
Every company’s journey is different as it has varied cultures and priorities. Last but not least, the hiring team has to be resourceful and strategic in how to search for the best developers.
With the help of this guide, you now have a well-rounded game plan on how to recruit software developers. So leverage networking events and social media to let everyone know about the workplace and developers will contact you.
We have shared with you the top tips to hire highly talented developers. These approaches will work whether you are a start-up or a multinational firm who wishes to scale up quickly.
Your Team in India works on the offshore development business model where it connects entrepreneurs and developers. Just drop a line of requirements at email@example.com and we will provide you the best developers that will walk along with you to achieve your milestones.