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How to Hire for a Developer

August 16, 2018

Hiring a Developer is More About the Right Organizational Fit Than Skill Set

Hiring a developer may take longer than anticipated. One of the main reasons is because finding the right skill set is typically not as challenging as ensuring the right organizational fit. This includes finding a developer who gels well with a team and is agile in handling different projects with time-sensitive deadlines.

Companies should first identify its technology goals. Does it include a switch to a cloud-based system? Are there plans to develop new products or applications? Regardless of the programming needs, it’s important to find candidates who not only have the technical skills but also have the innovative capabilities to help move a company forward.

Developers don’t get the spotlight as much as they should, but the behind-the-scenes efforts of this role are crucial to any technology-based company. In this digital era, it’s tough to name an industry or organization that cannot identify with being grounded in technology. When hiring developers, companies should keep the following considerations in mind.


Team Players Require More Than a Resume

A resume is a snapshot of the technical programs and certifications that help illustrate if a person can meet the job requirements. However, in order to have a smooth running team and process, it’s necessary to look beyond individual accomplishments and ask for examples of how a candidate has worked well in a team environment.

During the interview process, the applicant should meet the individuals they will be working with upon being hired. It’s important for a developer to understand the mindset and personality of the team they will be joining.

A development team workflow requires every person contributing to a larger project. Although certain tasks may require individual ownership, without a team mentality, there can’t be true efficiency or effectiveness. Hire for culture. Train for skills.


Mediocre Technology Talent Hinders Progress

For many companies, hiring a developer requires an immediate need. Perhaps another team member has recently left, which leaves a gap in the progress of a build, or there are new goals that require more team members before moving forward. Timing urgency shouldn’t sway the additional time necessary to find the right, qualified talent. It can save thousands of dollars (many hours and headaches) in the long run.

Although, there are varying estimates of exactly how much employee turnover costs; consider what’s included in finding a new employee once they’re hired: training, possible continuing education, learning curves and adapting to the team. Bottom line: hiring a developer is a significant investment – both financially and with regards to a company’s advancement.


Retention Is Crucial

By taking the time to find the right cultural fit, companies can improve their employee retention rate. A developer wants to join a company with a culture where they will feel challenged. Before jumping into hiring for a role, companies should take extra time to perform exit interviews and find out “why” employees are leaving.

Why did the last employee(s) decide to leave? Were they not challenged enough? Did they move to a larger role? Did they feel like their work was unfulfilling? Rather than attempting to “band-aid” a current situation, a company must have a strong understanding of what they can offer to a developer. Is there an opportunity for the candidate to grow in the role? Is innovation important for the company or is it simply status quo?

It’s ideal to hire a senior-level developer who can mentor and provide leadership to junior level roles. This takes off part of the burden from the CTO but also entices top talent to apply. To hire a developer that works well as a cultural fit and will likely stay on board for the long-term, companies should look for someone who is forward-thinking, innovative and has excellent documentation skills.


How Are Developers Evolving?

What a developer may have learned in school or during their early days of programming serves as a foundation to build upon but doesn’t indicate current skill level or communication style. It’s more important to understand the progression of technology and making researched predictions on what companies can expect in the future.

A developer who only wants to “stick to what he/she knows” is not a person likely to be a good fit. When hiring developers, companies should consider a candidate’s team player mentality, innovative ideas, and a sense of growth and adaptability.

Building a strong technology team is not about quickly putting people into roles. It’s about ensuring there are holistic technology solutions in place that address goals specific to your company.

If you’d like to learn more about how to hire a developer or be connected to talented technology professionals to help your business grow, contact Faith Thomas at 619.908.1407 x103 or faith@peopledriven.co


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