A group of developers is one of the most critical hires in a firm. This is because it will be these people who will create the online face of your business. You have to ensure that you get someone who has both technical as well as professional skills to do the job, but lots of developers come from college with excellent aptitude but little market experience. Hiring the right talent can be such a worthwhile exercise, though. These are some of the main tips when hiring developers.
I. Hire Attitude First, Experience Second. One of the biggest predictors of competencies and future success is someone’s attitude. Given that most developers still has a lot to learn, you will have an easier time if you hire one who is willing to learn. A positive attitude infuses work with enthusiasm, excellence, and teachability.
Does the person have drive, discipline, passion and hunger for success? The skills needed in a tech startup are different from those required in a large, established tech firm. Traits like adaptability, risk-taking, versatility, and a self-starter personality are very critical to a developer.
II. Test Their Skill-set and Proficiency. Pick a small project in your firm and assign it to the interviewee. This will serve the dual function of testing their skills while also getting real work done. It will enable you to critically monitor how he/she works and what they need to improve on. Ensure that you have a written list of skills and competencies for which you are testing them during this period. That will help you to gauge them and also give critical feedback. Make sure the project is an actual client's work, or as close to actual projects as possible.
III. Prioritize Aptitude. The tech space evolves at a dizzying space. Skills that are valuable right now may fall into obsolescence in a few months. That’s why you’ll need an inventive developer who experiments with new coding ideas all over the place. You can ask them what new programming languages they’ve learned recently. You should also inquire about their favorite technology conferences. A love for continuous learning is a greater priority than a broad skillset. Preferably hire inventiveness and ability to spot trends in seemingly unrelated events.
IV. Avoid Trivia. Trivia has been proven to be a horrible way of gauging an interviewee’s future mode of working. Those who excel in trivia may not necessarily excel in an actual work setting. Being able to give answers to a set of questions could prove harder to translate into actual problem-solving skills. The best way of going about this is to prepare a set of open-ended questions that give critical insight into how he/she think. Use the open ended questions to judge both their hard skills and soft skills. Soft skills include their eye for aesthetics, conflict resolution, and client management.
V. Hire Slow, Fire Fast. Hire slowly making sure that you get the right person for your IT staffing. This includes conducting multiple interviews and tests to ascertain that you have the right person. Even then all these interviews may not point out certain flaws. Ensure that you have at least three interviews including watching them performing their job. However, in the event that the individual you hired turns out to be a slacker then let them go immediately. Manage your expectations but keep in mind what is negotiable and what is not. Through the process ask yourself; is this the kind of person who’ll learn the company culture and provide demonstrable value?
The tech world is always evolving and with it the type of skills and attitudes that make an employee successful. Make sure you continually update your interview models and questions to keep up with a changing corporate world. While at it get a third eye or a professional headhunter who may be able to pick up trends and cues that you could have missed.