Hiring new talent is a daunting task even for the most experienced recruiters since the onus falls on them to identify, assess and acquire suitable candidates to fill open positions.
However, it becomes an even more significant challenge when you are looking for software development talent. Getting the right candidate for the job is a multi-faceted skill that requires a combination of process management, social networking, intuition, and technical understanding.
Those who have experienced the intense pressure of hiring know well the stress of making the right decisions.
Finding an exceptional software developer with the correct skillset and team playing abilities is easier said than done. Unfortunately, there aren’t any easy ways to know if a candidate will be a good fit for your organization, has the proper ethics, and can handle criticism.
So it’s no wonder that the recruitment process is significantly demanding.
Evaluating these critical yet elusive attributes often involves asking potential employees a series of open-ended questions and hypothetical situations. However, this approach still doesn’t entirely answer the question, “Is this the one we are looking for?”
Are you planning to add software developers to your team?
Read on to find out what an ideal software developer does and how you can find and recruit the right one.
Before posting an ad on job ads sites and going through a pile of resumes and CVs, it is imperative that you learn what a software developer exactly is and what they do.
Of course, if you are a developer yourself, you can move on to the next section. But if you need help, the first thing you need to know is the distinction between related technical roles. Unfortunately, most people confuse technical roles like programmers, developers, and coders.
While these terms are used interchangeably, there are some minor yet essential distinctions between them.
The job of a software developer is to develop and design computer applications and bespoke software. They usually have computer science degrees and certifications in their chosen programming languages, as well as a project catalog that showcases their skills.
In most cases, developers know coding and programming to some extent. That’s why they can work with computer programmers who then make the codes and runs the program or the application.
Experts suggest that an experienced software developer has demonstrable skills in:
Furthermore, developers must also talk to clients to get first-hand knowledge of their requirements and answer their queries.
Therefore, developers should be good listeners to comprehend the clients’ demands and later explain those to other technical staff like programmers, coders, designers, and other developers and engineers.
The recruitment process for software developers and engineers is similar to hiring practices for any other role. So, naturally, it begins well before any job openings are posted online.
For starters, you need to create a thriving organizational culture that attracts and retains employees of all denominations, including the software developers. Then, take the time to build a workplace conducive to employees’ personal and professional growth, empowers them, and facilitates them to fulfill their roles to the best of their abilities.
This will make it easier for you to recruit people who value a culture where they are free to grow and perform independently.
Study what other firms are doing in your industry to attract and retain software development talent. You’ll find that they get flexible hours, work-life balance, a relaxed dress code, up-to-date technology and equipment (you don’t want your developers hitting their head on a slow computer), and most importantly, an environment that’s conducive to learning.
When your organization becomes known for using the latest development tech and high-tech advancements, developers want to associate themselves with your brand. After all, developers are tech fanatics; they’ll be more than happy to work for a firm with the same interests.
Suppose your firm has no direct relevance with technology, and software development isn’t your primary business. In that case, it would be challenging to encourage software developers to join your firm.
That’s why it is high time that you start working on your reputation as a tech-friendly company no matter what industry you operate in. For example, the senior manager of Deloitte Canada, an accounting firm, started attending tech conferences and tech-related seminars to let people know that despite being an accounting firm, Deloitte has a thing for technology and advancements.
These efforts with a combination of social media campaigns built up Deloitte’s reputation as a firm that understands the importance of being tech-savvy and invests heavily in its digital transformation. In no time, developers lined up to join them.
It is that simple. Shorten your recruitment time and get back to applicants as soon as possible so they can move on with their lives.
Some organizations take months to get back to aspiring candidates, which can put people off applying in the first place. In most countries, developers and coders form a tight-knit community where news travels fast. You don’t want to build a reputation for being a business that doesn’t reply to applicants and leaves them waiting.
Besides, you’ll miss out on the top talent if you don’t fix this issue. Developers aren’t patient enough to wait for your call. And the best ones have multiple opportunities, and employers lined up with offer letters to secure their talent. Then, when you are done with all the approvals and formalities, they will sign the contract from another firm. So, if you don’t want your recruitment efforts to go to waste, hire fast.
Recruiters don’t have any clue about the technical aspects of the software development job. They don’t know how to code or perform coding tests, so they aren’t the best option for gauging or testing a developer’s technical abilities.
That’s why to speed up the hiring process fast and make it less time-consuming, it is good to align recruiters with any expert developers who already work for you. Use their expertise to evaluate the right candidate without wasting time on impractical steps during recruitment. This partnership and alignment can reduce the hiring time drastically.
Deloitte Canada did the same and further reduced its incredibly short hiring time of two weeks to 3.9 days on average.
Don’t take too long to introduce the candidates to the real deal. First, design a coding assessment that checks the developers’ ability to perform as required. This test should be of the same difficulty level as the problems that usually occur in your organization.
An even better way is to ask recruiters and technical managers to design the assessment and exercises to test the individual’s soft and hard skills.
As discussed above, software developers can’t judge an applicant only by how good they are at one skill; they must also have good interpersonal skills to excel in their roles.
The recruiters’ job is to assess the developer’s ability to communicate and work in collaborative teams both in-house and outside the firm, as joint projects between two different organizations often happen these days.
While assessing, keep in mind that developers are generally not the life of the party, and considering their line of work, they don’t need to be. However, they must be social enough to work with other people efficiently and effectively.
It’s a good idea to use game-based assessments and behavioral interviews to test skills other than development to speed up the hiring process. HireVue Game-Based Assessment is an excellent option to save valuable time – yours, the firm’s, and the candidate’s.
In combination with other development-related tests, these game-based programs will determine the candidates and pass them through the tunnel quickly without creating any bottlenecks in the process.
Lastly, and perhaps the most crucial tip in this list, is to make the candidate’s experience as positive as possible even when not hiring them.
Get in touch with candidates who weren’t shortlisted because they might not be a good fit today but could be a valuable asset in the future. Create a positive experience for them so they’ll go away with positivity and motivation, ready to apply again when another opportunity arises. It helps you build a strong candidate pipeline.
More than that, candidates who like the experience are likely to refer the firm to their friends and colleagues, who might be more competent and a suitable match for the job.
They can also become brand advocates for you and recommend your company to other people. This saves a lot of hiring time and effort since their referred applicants come to you directly, and you don’t have to go out seeking them.
Therefore, firms should strive to create a recruitment process that is swift, less time-consuming, and utterly positive so that people actually enjoy applying for the job.
You’ll find it challenging to attract qualified software developers, even though you’ll get hundreds of applications for the software developer job.
If you want to take that number from hundreds of thousands, head to online hiring platforms that feature profiles of tens of thousands of professionals from different technical fields. It’s a great way to find and shortlist excellent developers without much hassle. These include:
Upwork is the most in-demand freelance platform these days, with more and more freelancers signing up and providing their services at affordable prices. However, if you are most likely to find remote workers there, you should give it a try if you are ok with that.
TopTal is also a great platform that ensures each developer listed on the platform knows how to get the job done. It has designed a meticulous screening process, and each member has to go through it to prove their credibility and potential.
Businesses spend many resources hiring the best software developers since the right people can help them get an edge over the competition. It also builds momentum for growing with the ever-evolving tech scene.
So, it’s no wonder that the demand for software developers is snowballing. And the fact is that there simply aren’t enough qualified pros to fulfill these openings.
It’s essential that you move fast to hire top software developers who can make a real difference to your bottom line.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.