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Recruitment | 12 Min Read

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Coder/ Programmer/ Developer

Hiring Challenges for a Coder

Do you know that Java and Javascript are unrelated? And that python is a high-level programming language? 

If you are from a non-technical background, deciphering such intricacies when hiring a developer, a coder, or even a programmer is a daunting task. The IT world is an exhaustive landscape and evolves continually. It is challenging to be well-versed with the entire paradigm despite a robust technical background, which makes hiring the right person an overwhelming proposition. 

An insightful survey conducted by Harris Allied Tech Hiring and Retention showed that 50% of executives were concerned about hiring the right technical talent. 

Two questions that several hiring managers often ask are about how to employ a programmer when coding or programming is not one’s strongest skills and why it is a challenge to hire a developer/coder/ programmer even when one uses a typical hiring strategy. Conventional hiring strategies do not work when hiring a developer. Recruiting technical talent is particularly challenging in today’s disruptive market. You can’t merely be briefed by the team and scout job sites or follow up with consultants. A thorough search for the right programmer is time-consuming and involves diverse parameters. 

Let’s deep-dive into some hiring challenges and elaborate on hiring managers’ common mistakes when finding the right fit:

The Lack of Understanding of the Company’s Context for Hiring:

Before hiring a coder, a common mistake made by recruiters is not having an understanding of the job description. While hiring a programmer may seem a manageable undertaking, but you need to understand the precise role sought by your company. You must know the kind of software that the company intends to develop. Do they need someone for the front-end or a database administrator? Will a back-end programmer suffice, or is a full-stack developer a better fit? Each of these roles has a specific skill set, technology, design aspect, and language. Therefore, not charting out the exact requirement of your company is an obvious hiring challenge. You must ensure not letting your non-technical background reflect in your decision-making.

The Lack of Knowledge About Candidate Assessment:

Are you looking for experienced candidates? Are you interested in proficiency in a specific programming language? Or is it the education that piques your attention? What exactly is your priority when you hire a developer? Filtration can only occur when you strike a delicate balance between the right education, experience, and knowledge needed by the candidate to successfully undertake the job. However, recruiters often forego a few steps and believe the resume as following them is a time-consuming process. Hence, finding a developer with the right skills is another bottleneck.

A Minimal Job Description:

A job description profoundly impacts the quality of talent attracted by you. When you create a detailed job profile highlighting your requirements and skills set, only interested candidates would prefer to approach. You must underline the exact role and the tech stack with which your company works to further improve the filtration process. However, this is often overlooked and a generic profile is created, which does not attract the best talent.

No Technical Assessment of Skills:

Another primary concern faced by hiring managers is the inability to verify candidates’ assertions on their resume. Does your prospective developer have deep expertise in your areas of requirement?  If you have an inadequate understanding of coding, it’s implausible that you would know whether your candidate’s self-certified skills set would materialize. And if you hire a coder without testing their skills, the coder is unlikely to contribute to your organization’s success.

A Limited Candidate Pool and Intense Competition:

There is intense competition to acquire the best tech talent. Therefore, missing on a valuable candidate negatively impacts technical recruiters. Consequently, it is critical to assess the candidates that you believe are probables to join your organization.

How to Identify and Hire the Best Programmer

Hiring programmers or developers based on excellent resumes and instincts in a digitally evolving world is a smart strategy. They may be brilliant communicators and thoroughly engage you in-person, but it does not guarantee they’ll meet your expectations while creating cutting-edge software. As a hiring manager, you must assess the probable programmer’s potential correctly. There must be a comprehensive approach with a focus on various factors and considerations. These factors include the role for which you are hiring, what questions to ask and what variety of skills is a must for a programmer to do the job efficiently. Further, how well does the coder fit into your business and what are the strong success predictors of the coder or developer.  

Hiring the right programmer tends to transform the outlook towards business performance positively, but challenges increase with the rise in demand for talent. This makes it challenging for recruitment managers and employers to hire programmers who are qualified industry experts. Here are some excellent and proven tips to successfully hire a programmer for your organization and fulfill your corporate needs:

Examine If the Coder/programmer/ Developer Has the Desired Skills:

While there are many potentially excellent candidates for the programmer’s role, you must ascertain who has the requisite expertise and competency. You must assess the requirements and qualifications necessary for the position and determine who exactly is an excellent match for the skill set desired by your company. For example, take note of your database server and the experience or qualification needed to operate it. You must check to know the versions of programming languages in which the programmer is experienced and skilled. They must also know the recent upgrades that can be integrated into the organization’s system.

Hire a Developer Who Can Be Outsourced from Different Channels:

While there are easy targets for outsourcing platforms, you can find a diverse pool of talent and skilled programmers if you post at different job sites and even on your social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook groups. Your opportunity to hire good quality talent increases proportionally with greater outreach.

Assess Developers Through Role-Based Assessments When You Hire a Coder:

You must simplify your technical hiring and training with automated and holistic role-based assessments. It is relatively easier to find and hire the perfect candidate for their role-specific skills and other needful parameters through various coding tests. When there are many probables, you can check to ascertain who delivers the most accurate results in the shortest possible time. It’s not just a language on which you need to evaluate hiring a developer. Instead, it’s the knowledge of tools, frameworks, libraries, and the hands-on experience on required skill or technology that makes a perfect fit.

Ensure They Are a Good Fit in the Company Culture When You Hire a Programmer:

It is a generally established maxim that cultural fit is the strongest predictor of organizational success. Apart from being team players and collaborative, coders must be mindful of the company’s policies. If they are not a good match for the company culture, it can impact the company’s working environment. You should try to hire from within the community to assure that potential candidates are familiar with the company’s culture and wouldn’t have much difficulty in aligning with the team and the organization. You can also check on their accuracy and compatibility with your organization with personality and psychometric tests from Mercer | Mettl.

Hire a Developer Who Has Unmatched Experience with Languages, New Frameworks, and Libraries:

Experienced developers are versatile and have extensive experience in working with different programming languages and frameworks. Specific languages, such as java and python, are advancing with their updated versions, useful features, or new frameworks. Despite being around for 25 and 29 years, respectively, they are still preferred to get the work done. You can check the candidates’ experience with Ruby on Rails, Node js, Spring, or Django. You must ensure they are also certified in these languages. You can check on coding certifications and other assessment tools for new hires with Mercer |  Mettl. You save more time and resources by working with expert and experienced programmers who are well-versed in different programming languages.

How Mercer | Mettl Helps Hire the Best

The most significant filter in your recruitment process is a hands-on programming assessment test. Therefore, Mercer | Mettl’s automated online role-based assessment tests simplify your technical hiring process. Each test identifies potential candidates, evaluates them on various skills set and provides a comprehensive summary of their knowledge. It is in tandem with the company’s vision and expectations of a developer. 

We also provide diverse testing tools and test cases, such as question types, including MCQs, case study simulators, coding simulators, etc. You can recruit the best coder, whether through campus drives or resumes, within the stipulated timelines using a data-driven evaluation methodology, intuitive user interface and customized reports.

In case you are looking for something specific, our team of experts builds customized assessments that can’t be found anywhere. These tailor-made pre-hiring assessments are an ideal filtration process to explore candidates’ desired skills set without bias, for IQ skills and coding skills. Tailored solutions, matching organizational objectives with features and applications, are offered at every level to assist you in hiring the ideal candidate. 

A Repository of Technical Questions

The quality and coverage of our technical questions are unmatched as we cover a vast array of roles and skills. A rich repository of 100,000+ technical questions for 300+ skills helps test a coder’s competency at every level comprehensively. You can choose from a set of readily-available standardized tests from our vast library of programming assessments. With a ready-to-use, pre-build test set, instantaneously assessing a coder’s skill helps save time.

An Extensive List of Simulators 

Mercer | Mettl offers an extensive list of simulators to evaluate a coder’s hands-on experience and the ability for the desired role. These simulators enable hirers to give a real project to a coder from a specific domain of software development. They also evaluate their experience and ability to solve a problem in any desired programming language. These real-world challenges provide a real sense of a student or fresher’s project building abilities.

This comprehensive simulator environment is available for: 

  • Codelysis: Back-end Simulator

It evaluates candidates’ experience and ability to solve a problem in any desired programming language. 

  • DBLysis: Database Simulator

It evaluates the candidates’ ability to write correct and optimized SQL queries. 

  • FES: Front-end Simulator

It evaluates candidates’ capability to implement web designs and solve problems using front-end technologies. 

  • R: Data Science Simulator

It evaluates candidates’ analytical and statistical acumen for data analytics roles.

  • Code Project: Back-end+DB Simulator

It evaluates candidates’ ability to develop console-based applications. 

  • MEAN Simulator

It evaluates candidates’ ability to develop front-end, back-end and database applications using JavaScript.

These simulators are highly-scalable, auto-graded and designed to test students’ and working professionals’ coding skills. Our simulators support all popular technologies and enable creating language-agnostic questions. A complete auto-graded evaluation report provides a detailed code journey with a plagiarism detector. 

Hackathon Platform

The most efficient means to reach out and engage with sizable talent is through Hackathon platforms when hiring a coder or developer from campuses. By conducting coding hackathons and case study competitions, companies can identify and hire problem solvers and best coders. This not only increases their onboarding rate but offers them the best minds with new ideas. 

Coding Interview Platform 

Allowing candidates to write their test cases during the interview process is another way of assessing their development skills. With a live coding analysis on the interview platform, the recruiter gets a real picture of the candidate’s abilities and accomplishments during the interview phase. This saves significant time for all concerned while ensuring that the company remains a step ahead in hiring the best talent. 

Mercer | Mettl I/O 

We bring you the first-of-its-kind, all-in-one coding assessment platform in ‘Mercer | Mettl I/O.’ It helps in demystifying and improving your lateral hiring processes, both at a large and small scale. This unique tool assesses candidates’ preparedness to take on challenges by evaluating them on project-based, real-world tasks using a variety of tools. 

In four easy steps, hiring managers can optimize the hiring process and evaluate candidates using data-driven insights.

This highly sophisticated and customizable tool with real-time, insightful reports and auto-evaluation of the code provides best-in-class integrated development environments (IDE), and programming tools to help evaluate a coder/developer/programmer’s proficiency levels. It caters to all major programming roles and supports the most diverse set of technologies. Mercer | Mettl I/O is exceptionally efficient in measuring the real ability of candidates.

How Mettl I/O Is a Class Apart

Universal Coverage of Technical Skills:

Built from scratch, with the most extensive set of technologies and the best-in-class IDE’s and tools, Mercer | Mettl I/O is the industry’s leading platform, supporting all major programming roles conceptualized. Whether the front-end, back-end, Database, Data Science, Quality Assurance, or any other ever-expanding roster of coding roles, the Mercer | Mettl I/O is equipped to provide a flexible, redesign-ready, customizable solution to assess any skill. 

Fully Auto-Graded

The Mercer | Mettl I/O  evaluates candidates instantaneously using fully auto-graded test-cases. It eliminates human effort, factoring in competitive deadlines. The highly informative feature and immediacy of the digitized data ensure unmatched auto-grading functionality.

Robust Architecture

Mercer | Mettl I/O is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly secure cloud platform for storage and computation. This makes our dynamic cloud-based platform an agile, robust and scalable partner for role assessment. The platform is not only location-agnostic and is ubiquitously available. Our systems are also continuously refined to make the most of new opportunities and fast track various needs.

Detailed Reporting

The Mercer | Mettl I/O provides in-depth code analytics with wide parameters customized to individual needs. It swiftly identifies areas of strength to highlight actionable insights. The level of detail shared by every granular insight empowers hiring managers to make the right decision about a candidate. It also helps optimize the workforce, projects, operations, and the team’s satisfaction levels.

Code Completion

The ability to track the overall performance of the code created by a candidate is extremely futuristic. Mercer | Mettl I/O’s code completion feature does the same. From inspecting the code’s performance to giving high-quality suggestions based on the parameter information, code completion detects real problems with the code that would otherwise be time-consuming to trace. It enables developing better software by suggesting superior concepts.

Security

We understand that data breach, security hazards, and privacy risk are global concerns. Such issues prompt a sharper focus on regulations, such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ISO certification, to strengthen data privacy. Mercer | Mettl follows a stringent security protocol to safeguard data. We use HTTPS (256 bit SSL encryption) for secure data transmission. Our management ensures safety and encryption of all the data available with us.

Hiring Kits for Various Roles

How to Hire a Coder for Front-end Development? 

A front-end developer is responsible for the visual appeal and aesthetics of the layout, a user-friendly design, responsiveness, interactive sections, efficiency, speed, and advanced functionality of the page. 

The Evaluation Criteria:

  • The ability to design web pages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 
  • The ability to use CSS libraries, such as BootStrap and preprocessors, such as Sass, LESS and Stylus. 
  • The ability to work with JavaScript frameworks, such as Angular, React and Vue. 
  • The ability to implement responsive design
  • The ability to use RESTful Services/APIs
  • The ability to test and debug front-end code

Mercer | Mettl I/O assesses a front-end developer on the following technologies:

CSS, HTML, JavaScript, VueJS, Angular JS, React Js.  

How to Hire a Developer for Back-end Development?

The back-end is a critical component of both your website and the company’s success. Hence, a back-end developer has multiple responsibilities, ranging from creating, maintaining, testing, to debugging the entire back-end. 

The Evaluation Criteria: 

  • The ability to develop and code back-end business logic
  • The ability to create functional APIs
  • The ability to implement and use different algorithms and data structures
  • The ability to design and optimize database queries
  • The ability to implement different programming paradigms
  • The ability to work with advanced language-based frameworks

Mercer | Mettl I/O assesses a back-end developer on the following technologies:

Java, Express, Spring, PHP, C#, Ruby, .NET, Laravel, Python, Django, Ruby on Rails

How to Hire a Full-Stack Developer? 

Full-stack engineers are multi-skilled developers who understand front-end and back-end languages, frameworks, database servers, Version Control System, network, and hosting environments. Their adequate familiarity with the entire development cycle makes them the most important resource in a software development company. 

The Evaluation Criteria: 

  • The ability to combine front-end and back-end code
  • The ability to work on both client as well as server applications
  • The ability to create and consume APIs
  • The ability to work with SQL/NoSQL databases
  • The ability to implement various architectures such as MVC
  • The ability to write a unit test for all tiers of applications

Mercer | Mettl I/O assesses a full-stack developer on the following technologies:

Java, Python, Angular, C#, React, Javascript, MySQL

How to Hire a Programmer For DevOps?

A DevOps engineer is a hybrid with both technical and non-technical skills in equal measure. It is either a team or an individual, seamlessly managing/liaising with the entire application development lifecycle.

The Evaluation Criteria: 

  • The ability to work with Linux systems and perform Linux scripting
  • The ability to automate infrastructure using configuration management tools
  • The ability to manage and maintain source codes
  • The ability to perform continuous integration and testing
  • The ability to virtualize and work with containers

Mercer | Mettl I/O assesses a DevOps developer on the following technologies: 

BASH, ChEF, ubuntu, puppet

How to Hire a Programmer for Data Science?

Data Scientists are multi-talented professionals with core knowledge of programming, statistics, prediction analytics, algorithms. They mold a combination of their skills into a suitable data story that aids decision-making in real-time and sets the future course.

The Evaluation Criteria: 

  • The ability to extract, clean, transform and load data sets
  • The ability to wrangle and explore data
  • The ability to identify the underlying relationships or dependencies
  • The ability to visualize data for easier understanding
  • The ability to predict a future trend or forecast a drift based on the previous data trends
  • The ability to determine patterns or motive of the data
  • The ability to uncover anomalies in data

Mercer | Mettl I/O assesses a Data Scientist on the following technologies: 

Apache Spark, Python, R, Scala, MYSQL 

Mercer | Mettl I/O can assess these most sought-after skills. However, you can also rely on our subject matter expert teams that customize solutions as per your required skill catalog. 

Conclusion

While there are no magic formulae in hiring programmers, you can utilize the right programmer to strengthen your team of experts by using the right tips.

Hiring is complicated and challenging, but finding the right programmer can be even more difficult

You must not take everything at face value and assess factors that are currently undecipherable. You must adhere to the advice that works for your organization and discards those that don’t. 

You must emulate a certain rigor throughout the hiring process. A poorly-designed interview process leaves a sour impression for the candidate and the company. Therefore the goal should not just be to hire a programmer but to create a connection between the employee and the organization.

Originally published December 21 2018, Updated August 4 2020

Shirisha Jain

Written by

Shirisha has been helping countless brands gain traction with her content. Her deep understanding of the education sector and sound knowledge of technical skills have helped her structure the most creative solutions for key stakeholders. Shirisha has also ghosted pieces for several industry honcho’s successfully published both online and offline. When she's not keeping up with the world, you're sure to find her catching up on bollywood stories or gramming for fun.

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