– How to recruit the best developers.

9th November 2022
Written by Leigh Rostron

If you want to recruit the best developers, you need to think like a developer yourself. You need to know what makes developers happy, what they're looking for in their employment environment, and how they can showcase their talents.

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Use a developer to screen your potential developers

As a hiring manager, it’s your responsibility to find the best developers. Recruiters can help you screen candidates, but they don’t know what type of developer you need for your organization. A great way to go about this is by using one of your already trusted devs as a tool for finding the right person – after all, they know the skill set and experience needed, and of course, they know who is going to match your requirements as a team.

As a manager who is looking for new hires or even contractors on-site at his or her business location, there may be no better resource than someone who currently works in software development themselves – especially if they’ve been around long enough to know who is going to be the best fit based on factors such as company culture, technology stacks, best practices and importantly, the level of project work you currently work to.

If you’re interviewing someone who has already worked in software development before, either as an employee or contractor, ask them questions related specifically to their previous jobs before hiring them full-time under false pretenses (i.e., not disclosing upfront exactly who their team members, project level and clients will be). This way everyone involved knows what kind of environment awaits them once hired!

Think like a developer yourself

  • Understand the job

While this may seem an obvious one, it’s easy to forget that each developer’s skill set can widely vary, and so to ensure you are hiring the right candidate, it’s important to have an understanding of what your company is specifically looking for and how this will marry up with their experience.

  • Understand the developer and their future plans

Have an understanding of what makes a good dev and at the level you require. It’s important to also get a feel for who you’re hiring and understanding what their future plans are; what’s better than taking on a new hire that you know will be integral to business growth – taking on a new hire who will flourish in their role and will want to stay long term.

Allow developers to showcase their talent as well as their character

When you’re hiring developers, it pays to allow them to showcase their talent as well as their character.

  • Give them a problem to solve. A good way to gauge whether a developer is right for the job is by giving them an opportunity to show off their skills. Not their first rodeo? They’ll have no trouble elaborating the hows and whys in layman’s terms, and if they haven’t done it before, then that should become obvious pretty quickly.
  • Check references. When interviewing candidates for any position, checking references is standard protocol – and for good reason! References provide insight into what kind of person someone is outside of the context of an interview setting or even in front of other people who may not be able to see past social barriers like personality quirks or age differences. References can also help give employers insights into the candidate’s character; if one reference claims “Mike was always on time,” but another says “Mike would often arrive late because of x,y,z,” then there might be cause for concern about how punctual Mike really was at his previous jobs – or whether that lackadaisical attitude extends beyond just being late for meetings because he had his head stuck in code!

Let them pitch you instead

When you’re looking for developers, give them the opportunity to sell themselves. Walking into an interview with the mindset that you want to be sold on this person will help keep things neutral, and if they are good at what they do, chances are they will be more than happy to tell you about it. Asking your candidates about their past projects (and where possible, having them show previous work) should also be an indicator of their skill set, performance, and how they work under pressure. Check the reasons why they want to move on and how they value their current employers, this can sometimes provide an insight into their personality and if their values align with what you are looking for.

Make sure your team dynamic is right

It’s important to know what your company ethos and culture are and with that, who would be the best overall fit for your current team. If you decide to hire on a whim without any real consideration for this, chances are you will come up short in the long run.

While it’s important to seek out the right fit, remember that team dynamic is not just about the people you hire, but how they interact and work together as a team. Using an interview to find out more about the candidate’s past work relationships and letting them speak with your current team members is a good way of finding out more about them and their personality.

To conclude, if you want the best software engineers, it’s best to remember..

  • Use a trusted developer to screen your developers. Let the experts ask about their skill sets so no one is pulling the wool over your eyes.
  • Think like a developer.
  • Encourage them to showcase their talents as well as their character.
  • Let them pitch you.
  • Make sure the team dynamic is right.

If you are currently on a recruitment drive and struggling to get projects out on time and within budget why not speak to us about how we can help and allow you to focus on finding the best people for your team. Get in touch here

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