Tips for Hiring Top Talent in Software Development in 2019

Software developers are now more valuable to companies than money.
— Will Gaybrick, Stripe CFO and a member of the CNBC Global CFO Council

According to Will Gaybrick's highly-circulated article featured on CNBC, "A majority of companies say lack of access to software developers is a bigger threat to success than lack of access to capital."

I agree with Will. As the CEO of an IT staffing agency with a specific focus on helping organizations find and retain talented software engineers, it is a significant problem that is just impossible to ignore.

Understandably, many companies realize how important it is to find software developers who are talented and fit their company culture. However, with such a massive shortage of software engineers in the market, I see companies settling for people with subpar skills. Many times, these hires are not the best fit for the company culture and lack the necessary skills to get the job done.

 If you want to be the company with a strategic technology advantage, you must make an effort to screen a software engineer from both a technical and a personal standpoint. Recruiting developers is a very time-consuming process, even Glassdoor reported last year that it could take almost 120 interviews with candidates before one is selected and hired.

Here are ten strategies that I focus on; On how you can find, screen, and select great software developers for your team:

  1.  When you are hiring someone, consider not only their technical skills but how they are as a person. Consider their personality and how they will adjust with you your team and your company culture.

  2. Consider hiring someone who has the skills necessary to hit the ground running DAY 1 --someone who can complete projects and contribute to your team now. Hire someone that brings new and better approaches to get things done efficiently and as a result raise the productivity level of your team.

  3. Make sure your software developers can write code in a well-organized manner. Many different people read a script of code within a team. Writing messy code does a disservice to the team by having to spend extra time deciphering it.

  4. During the interview process, test the skills with real-world scenarios, ask questions of their knowledge. You want to do this to see if they can solve complex problems like what you and your teams have to deal with.

  5. Assess the candidate on how they approach a problem, not only their coding skills. You want a candidate that has a strong ability to solve problems not just someone who can write code.

  6. Another great strategy is to have another person interview the candidate. The person interviewing should be at the caliber in coding skills and technical knowledge that you are seeking to hire. This way you get a second set of eyes and ears to assess the candidate's abilities. If the second interviewer confirms your initial thoughts on a candidate, then proceed with making an offer. If not, then take some time to understand why you and the other interviewer disagree on your initial impressions. A second interview may be necessary before deciding on a candidate. Be selective in the hiring process because it will save you time and money in the long run.

  7. Set Expectations Before Making the Offer. Defining expectations early in the hiring process is the key to a healthy and long-lasting business relationship. Expectations can mean everything from working from home to unexpected deadlines that require 24/7 attention. Do not hire a software engineer without setting formal expectations. Some of the best software engineers are very particular, and they will resent deviations from your original agreement.

  8. Avoid Putting Too Much Value on The Resume. Resumes can sometimes be Fluffed up and can sometimes make the candidate look better than they are. Resumes may or may not truly reflect the skills of the candidate. I suggest focusing on the in-person interview and their problem-solving ability.

  9. It is essential to ask about work experience and favorite projects. When talking about their favorite projects, look to see enthusiasm and passion for what they do. Hiring an unenthusiastic person is a great way to drain the energy of your entire team.

  10. I suggest you ask the Candidates: "What are you doing to increase your skill-set?" The best candidate will be a lifelong learner. A software developer who truly loves what they do will continue to improve themselves by self-education and development. Do they have favorite blogs, forums, or podcasts that they refer TO expand their knowledge?

 IT recruiting is both an art and a science. You want skilled, experienced candidates with enthusiasm and passion for what they do. Also, they should be the right personality fit for YOUR team and your company. Finally, they should be able to handle the workload and contribute to the project’s day.


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Happy hunting.

- Azeem Marediya

IT Staffing Agency