11 Great Practices to Help You Hire Software Developers

Today, everybody needs tech talents. The demand for them is so high, that hiring software developers has become a big challenge for recruiters from both big and small firms and across all industries.

Recruiters often have to face this question: "How do we attract tech talent?" And while there's no single error-free way to hire software developers, here are 11 great practices that will definitely help you attract that elusive talent to join your company.
 

Cast a wide net

Unless you really need to be specific with a certain skill set, try to be flexible as you can with regards to the skills you’re looking for in a candidate.

For example, you can look for substitutable programming experiences rather than strictly limiting yourself to PHP developers. Good software developers are able to pick up related languages and adapt quickly, so tapping into a wider candidate pool can attract more equally-qualified applicants.

Also, update your job ad every 2-3 weeks by improving or updating your job description. These small changes can help keep your posts relevant so you can continuously attract candidates.

Explore external options

The technology today allows instantaneous communication between people from different parts of the world. It has also made outsourcing and remote work possible and even cost-efficient for business and firms.

With this, startups and businesses have been exploring and leveraging the benefits of outsourcing to different parts of the world. Outsourcing has been the popular choice for businesses which are needing to cut costs and tap a wider talent pool.

If you're struggling to fill in important positions, stop limiting yourself geographically. Explore other cost-efficient resources (nationwide and even international), and you'll be surprised with the abundance of options and alternatives you can choose from.

Related article: These are the reasons why you should outsource

Use referrals

The best recruiters you can have could already be working for you—your own software developers.

Aside from your recruiters, your software developers can help you find the right person you need. They are very much familiar with your company culture and they also understand the needs of your team. On top of this, your top performers may also have personal networks of their fellow expert developers or LinkedIn communities that you can tap.

Do not forget, however, to reward referrals. Even a simple pizza party on a Friday night can make referring a positive experience that your developers will want to keep doing.

Avoid ambiguities

Don't waste anybody's time and efforts. In your job description, define right away what you're looking for—the skills you want and those you don’t. In The Importance of Clear Job Descriptions, author Andrea Cook lists down important details that you should include when writing your job descriptions:

  • A descriptive position/title (e.g. Senior Python Developer, Junior Front-End Developer)
  • Who the employee directly reports to
  • Job summary
  • Qualifications needed
  • Education and experience required, if any
  • Certificates, licenses, and registrations required, if any
  • Physical requirements
  • Work environment
  • Include the phrase “and other duties as assigned” in the job description

If possible, add your Requirements and Preferences as well. Requirements are those qualities which are necessary for an applicant to get the job while Preferences are the “nice-to-haves” qualities. All of these together vividly paint a picture of the talent you’re looking for.  

Once you do this, you'll find yourself reviewing more relevant applications and CVs. Save yourself the trouble of going over a heap of candidate profiles just because of a vague and ambiguous job ad.

Ask the right questions

Before meeting your applicant, prepare relevant problems or whiteboard questions that you can ask him to solve on-the-spot. If you have little or no tech background, you can easily google questions you can ask along with their acceptable answers. You can also ask your tech team to help you out as well.

Ask questions about their work ethics, how they handled past conflicts, or how they got through a stressful project. The important thing here is to ask all the relevant questions while you have the chance. This practice gives you a good idea of a candidate's strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they think on their toes.

Related article: 4 interview questions to ask when you hire programmers

Conduct relevant sample tests

Sample tests are very much important in screening candidates, but don’t make the mistake of simply making your candidates answer whatever test there is.

When you conduct sample tests, pick one that is made for a project that is close or related to your product or business.

Doing this gives you an idea of not only how a candidate approaches and solves a problem, but also how that candidate approaches and works on projects related to your business.  

Sell the company

During interviews, it’s not only the candidate selling himself to you; it’s also the other way around. The interview is your chance to sell your company to your candidate, so grab that opportunity to showcase the values and strengths of your company.

Keep this in mind every time an applicant walks into your office for his interview or exam. It’s the candidate’s chance to get a feeling of how it is to work at your office and with the people in it. Sell the good points of your company, but don’t also make sure to never make up false claims for promise benefits that aren’t feasible.

Ensure a cultural fit  

Aside from considering the skills and experience of a candidate, it's also equally important to ensure a cultural fit. Moving forward with software developers who have the skills you need but do not have the traits and attitude aligned with your company's culture is bound to impair your company's growth in one way or another.

Consult your company's culture and values every time you're eyeing a certain candidate. Does he/she have values in tune with the company's standards? Does he/she have the traits you're looking for in a developer?

Add to your list of requirements the soft skills that your ideal software developer prefers.

Related article: Need to hire a programmer? Look for these traits

Move quickly

Among all the tips so far, this proves to be one of the most important.

Decide on each resume, phone interview, or tech exam within a day if possible. Ideally, your application process should not take more than two weeks. Move quickly! Remember that the skilled applicants you want to attract don't stay available for long, too.

Be careful, however, when you try to hasten up your hiring process. Some hiring managers and recruiters make the mistake of brushing past the applications just for the sake of doing it. With poor screening techniques, you're bound to lose invaluable talent.

Present your best offer

Great programmers look beyond competitive salaries. They look for career progression, they look for a healthy work environment, and they look for good benefits.

As mentioned earlier, you also sell your company to the candidate while the candidate sells his/her skills and expertise to you.

Whenever you make an offer or sell the position to a candidate, start with your best offer. What’s it like to be a software developer at your company? What’s in store for a tech talent at your firm? Don’t forget to mention the complete benefits package. Today, the fight for software developers is more than just the digits.  

 

BONUS:

Make your company remarkable

Nothing attracts a software developer more than an office that literally screams: “I’m your place to be!”

You can use unconventional office designs to make your office look comfy yet stylish, or you can add co-working spaces along with private workstations. You can even add ping pong tables, a snack bar, or a zen room.

You can add all of these physical things, but you should also pay attention to your company culture and the state of your current employees. If they look forward to going to work and they love what they do, it easily shows and manifests in your workplace.


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