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Tech-Talent Hub   | 12 Min Read

An Ultimate Guide to Hire a Programmer/Coder

Written By Surbhi Sharma

Introduction

The recruitment of bad hires can cost exuberantly to the business growth. It is essential for organizations to craft a strong recruitment plan to hire the best technical resource.  

We have divided the Technical recruitment drive in 3 chapters:

Strategies_to_improve_technical_recruitment

How_to_hire_best_technical_resource

Challenges_that_come_with_being_a_technical_recruiter

Why Is There a Need for a Better Technical Recruitment Strategy?

One of the challenging yet important tasks of an organization is recruitment. Everyone aims to hire the best candidate but employing them is not an easy task. 

A better and improvised technical recruitment plan would help organizations to hire promising and potential candidates. In addition, it saves your time and money in recruiting the candidates. 

There is a huge demand for technical recruits in the competitive marketplace. Talent acquisition firms are playing safe by investing in cost-effective assessment tools and technologies.They are now focusing  on the competency framework of employees to prevent recruiting the ineffective hire.

Chapter 1: Let’s Discuss the Best Strategies to Improve Technical Recruitment:

0_Get in Touch with Developers-Programmers-Coders with job-specific information

 

1) Get in Touch with Developers/programmers/coders with Job-Specific Information

Recruiters should approach the tech candidates with proper details of the prospective job at the sourcing stage. This is how you should address developer expectations in your first email to the proposing candidate. Information such as an estimate of the compensation range is the most essential part of an email from a recruiter.

Hiring experts can also share details such as information about the company (21%), telling the candidate why they are a good fit for the position (19.9%), technologies they will be working upon and the projects they will be handling, etc.

Sharing these details with the prospecting candidate gives them a clear picture of the job role and helps them in making a final decision before joining the organization.

As per the survey data of “Stack Overflow”, IT experts such as developers, programmers, coders, etc. would like to be emailed to their private email ids – 63.9%. Rest – 13.7% prefer to be telephoned.

0_Contact developers outside your geographical borders

 

2) Contact Developers Outside Your Geographical Borders

Recruiters can now look for best developers outside India as well. The domestic recruitment of IT experts is although easy and affordable. However, hiring an IT expert overseas would give you an idea of what candidates out of India have expectations from the client in taking up a developer/coding and programming job.

These days large-scale organizations are conducting various amounts of international tech recruiting either via outsourcing or employing people at work remotely. It’s an excellent method to improve save time and improve employee turnover rate. 

According to the Global Technical Hiring and Skills Report, the average coding score for all candidates globally is 40.71%. The average coding score for New Zealand developers is 54.66% followed by Netherlands 53.58% and followed by Russia – 50.14%.

By looking at the statistics above, it would be worth for the recruiters to hire developers/programmers/coders abroad.

0_Communicate tech stack in your company profiles and job ads

 

3) Communicate Tech Stack in Your Company Profiles and Job Ads

It’s a well-known fact that developers are interested in knowing which technologies they would be working with. Recruiters should ask this detail to the proposing candidate as early as possible to attract their attention.

Gone are the days when proposing candidates were concerned about the pay and about the company. However, now, the recruitment scenario in the IT space has evolved to a great extent. IT experts are going beyond higher salaries as organizations are ready to pay the maximum to the candidate. 

Indeed, there is an unusually high demand of developers/programmers/coders in the small, medium and large-scale organizations.

Here’s how a developed job ad look like from “Stack Overflow”

When you click on the job ad, it will show more information about the tech stack:

Source: https://harver.com/blog/tech-recruiting-strategy/

0_Focus on best practices of Sourcing

 

4) Focus on Best Practices of SourcingGOTOTOP-1

With the advancement in technology, HR leaders are shifting to other alternatives to hire candidates. Linkedin, Indeed and other job portals have always been the first choice for HR leaders but they are experimenting with novel sources to recruit potential candidates. 

Here are some best sourcing practices through which technical professionals can be hired:

  • You can establish a strong employer brand and leverage digital media. Apart from this, you can create a tech blog for your company to engage the tech community

  • Explore websites that are primarily used by the tech community such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, etc. and use them as brand building channels

  • You can attract and source tech talent by conducting hackathons as well

  • A referral program can be launched to focus on the tech community and leverage it when the need arises. It encourage recommendation for the overall success of the tech hiring process

0_Making way for Digital Transformation in Pre-screening

 

5) Making Way for Digital Transformation in Pre-Screening

Earlier, technical recruiters used to filter hundreds of CVs to shortlist the suitable candidate and later invite them for interview. The practice was time-consuming and did not guarantee scientific and thorough research.  In the era of digital revolution, most of the large organizations use modern tools such as AI-based chatbots for resume sorting.

Other than that, advanced Application Tracking systems (ATS) have already forayed into the hiring process. It has made the job of tech recruiters much easier. It is incorporated with machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate the process further. These technologies are trained to screen resumes like a human recruiter. It is based on a pool of data with post-hire statistics and pre-decided consideration factors.

0_Use of Competency framework and Technology in Screening

 

6) Use of Competency Framework and Technology in Screening

Two companies can’t have a similar screening process, however, for effective screening of candidates, it is significant for the businesses to have a proper competency framework in place. The competency framework helps interviewers and evaluators in carefully designing questions and activities, and helps in assessing a specific set of skills and traits.

Organizations are focusing on Artificial Intelligence tools to recruit candidates. Recruiters find it easy to sort resumes through AI-enabled ATS using the right keywords and manipulate interviews. However, assessment tests enable recruiters to understand the candidate's ability to perform the job effectively.

0_Modernizing the Selection Process

 

7) Modernizing the Selection Process

Most employers prefer in-person interviews than virtual video interviews although the concept of remote working is slowly picking up the pace in high-tech companies. As per the recruitment statistics, 58% of organizations prefer to conduct face-to-face interviews.

The widespread acceptance of the gig economy and steady globalization of teams enable organizations to slowly adopt Virtual video interviews. It promotes real-time collaboration for all parties involved and solves time and location constraints apart from being cost-effective.

0_Understand Who You Are Looking For

 

8) Understand Who You Are Looking For

According to a study by Stack Overflow, there are five jobs for every one developer, which means you need to stand out as a recruiter and as a model employer. You also need an efficient, streamlined hiring process to ensure your best candidates don’t disengage at a crucial time.

The kinds of candidates you’ll find are

  • Passive Candidates – those who are not looking for a job change but can be open to one

  • Active Candidates – those who are actively looking for a job or a job change

0-12

With both kinds of candidates, you’ll notice one thing in common – all candidates worth their salt are spoilt for choices. This can also be backed up by the fact that there is an acute shortage of technical hires in respect to the available jobs.

Chapter 2: How to Hire the Best Technical Resource?

IntroductionGOTOTOP

Now that you have defined your requirements, narrowed down on the right sources and found candidates who could be potential candidates based on their experience and education, you need to assess the right candidate with the cultural fitment, motivation to work, and alignment with the mission and vision of your company.

You’d necessarily want three questions answered at the end of the selection process:

  • Does the candidate satisfy the skill-requirements, also known as job-fitment?

  • Does the candidate align with the team requirements, also known as team fitment?

  • Does the candidate resonate with the company mission and vision, also known as organizational fitment?

While team fitment and organizational fitment can be measured with the help of interviews or psychometric assessment, the job fitment is exclusively dependent on the technical evaluation of the candidate.

Nowadays more than 97% of job seekers search for career opportunities online. Headhunting became popular and 2003 saw the launch of LinkedIn which enabled people to search for candidates on the site.

Using social media is now a popular and effective way of recruiting with 73% of companies successfully hiring candidates in this way.

It’s a constantly changing industry but one which has shown itself to be more than capable of moving with the times.

How Does a Modern Selection Process Look Like?

Once the candidates have been sourced, the next step is to select the right candidates. Usually, the process consists of 3 steps:

0_How Does A Modern Selection Process Look Like-

0_Screening Interview

 

Step 1: Screening Interview

Before moving further into the selection process, many organizations prefer to do a screening interview of those applicants that are qualified based on the information submitted on their résumé and application.

0_Selection Assessments

 

Step 2: Selection Assessments

The organization uses various methods to determine if an applicant has the potential to be successful on the job. Selection tests are generally conducted by employers to identify the applicant’s skills that cannot be defined in an interview process.

Applicants are rated on aptitude, personality, abilities, honesty, and motivation by using a variety of testing methods

Adequately designed selection tests are: 

StandardizedReliable and Valid in forecasting an applicant’s success on the job.

Standardization: It refers to the consistency of procedures and conditions related to administering tests

To fairly compare the performance of several applicants, the methods used for testing those applicants must be as identical as possible. The content of the test, the instructions and the time allowed must be the same for all candidates.

Reliability: It refers to the extent to which a selection test provides reliable results.

A test’s reliability should be examined if it does not generate consistent results each time it is used.

For example, if a person scores 125 on an intelligence test in one week and scores only 80 on the same test in the following week, you should assume the testing instrument is not reliable.

Validity: The extent to which a test measures what it claims to measure

Do higher test scores relate to higher success on the job?

The skills that are examined in a selection instrument should be the same skills used on the job. Therefore, we can assume that higher test scores will result in the higher success of job performance.

If a particular test cannot assess the ability to perform the job, it has no usefulness in the selection process.

Assessment Tools to Evaluate Candidates

0_Coding Simulators

 

1. Coding Simulators

This is a coding simulator-based assessment where candidates are asked to write codes from scratch and then the code is evaluated on various parameters. These tests not only check common coding techniques but also analytical, interpersonal and holistic thinking skills.

Besides that, these assessment tests give recruiters an insight into the candidate’s skills and their program-solving abilities

0_Coding Interview

 

2. Coding Interview

This is a type of interview that focuses on a candidate’s technical skills, problem-solving skills, coding ability, and algorithm knowledge. A candidate needs to write the code in an interview or maybe given a situation where the candidate would be asked to explain the logic about how you would proceed to solve the problem. 

The developer/programmer/coder can also expect some verbal technical questions in an interview.

Hackathon

 

3. Hackathon

Around 80% of the Fortune 100 companies Hackathons to pool in best developers, programmers, and coders from the best companies spread across India.

Organizations conduct Hackathons to gather the best talent at cost-effective prices. They are quite popular among graduates as they give rise to the perfect opportunity for technical and creative minds. They come together to build something new and exciting. Besides that, these events attract the new-age millennial who is looking for a chance to work with a dynamic organization

It saves on time and delivers skilled and quality resources to the organizations. It is one of the best methods to drive innovation internally by engaging with your employees.

0_Online Coding-Programming Test

 

4. Online Coding/Programming TestGOTOTOP-1

An online coding test enables the recruiters to measure the time taken by the candidates in resolving the problem. These logical problems are complex and can easily be measured based on the results and performance of the assessments.

Besides that, it gives recruiters an insight into the candidate’s skills and core competencies.

Things to Look for

Based on how they solve a problem, recruiters should look for -

1) Correctness - does it resolve the problem?

2) Readability - can another developer read and understand the algorithm from the code

3) Error Handling - does it handle errors correctly (throwing exceptions on bad input etc.)

4) Efficiency / Performance – are things are done efficiently, e.g. hash table lookups are more efficient than list searches

How is a Technical Assessment Designed?

0-21-1Due to the nature of the assessments, the rigorous and process-based approach is followed in constructing technical assessments as per the requirements of the job role. The steps followed are:

Knowledge Creation of Questions Following the Blooms Taxonomy

The questions that refer to the skillset are created by subject matter experts with experience of over 15 years. The questions are created basis Bloom’s taxonomy which includes questions catering to

  • Concept

  • Application

  • Analysis

This ensures that the assessment encompasses the idea of understanding the basic concepts in the specified skill, followed by knowledge and in-depth understanding of the skill.

In addition to this, questions are also designed to help you understand the application and analytical abilities of the candidate. 

Creation of Test Blueprint

0_Creation of Test Blueprint

Once the questions are created about the skillset, a test blueprint is created with respect to the requirements of the job description. The test blueprint basically defines the skills, subskills, framework, and languages that are required to be measured through the assessment.

Apart from that Blueprint defines the weight of each section and the combination of easy, medium and difficult questions. It is required to make a test that is a reliable indicator of the candidate’s expertise in the required skillsets.

It also contains data about the type of questions to be included in the assessment, mostly multiple choice-based questions or simulator-based questions.

Creation of Test

After the design and approval of the test blueprint, the actual assessment is generated by combining various kinds of questions that were created in the first step and in the difficulty pattern that was defined in the test blueprint.

This is the final assessment, upon which the benchmarking, reliability and validity exercise is performed to ensure that the test results highlight top scorers = best performers.

What are the best practices while designing an assessment?

Best practices refer to a set of suggestions, which if followed, can result in a lesser drop-off rate, less confusion during the evaluation, better engagement throughout the assessment, and the overall pleasant experience throughout the selection process.

0_What are the best practices while designing an assessment-

0_ Interviews

 

Step 3: Interviews

Selection testing will trim your recruitment pool, but you need to narrow your list of candidates even further to establish a reasonable number of interviews.

The nature of the job and the time you can afford to carry out the interview process will ascertain how many applicants need to be interviewed.

Three or four interviews may be enough, but more may be necessary for you to get a good feel for the candidates’ qualifications.

It is a two-way street. Both the candidate and the interviewer need to make some decisions here. Once you have “ideal candidates” in your clutches, you try to decide if they:

  • Are enthusiastic about what they are doing or excited about what they hope to do

  • Good communication skills

  • Have a good grasp of their area of expertise

  • Would be someone your team will enjoy working with

There are mostly two kinds of interviews

  • Telephonic Interviews

  • Face-to-Face Interviews

0_Telephonic Interview

 

Telephonic Interviews

Telephonic interview is basically an elimination where the recruiters eliminate the enormous list of job seekers. This mode of interview round helps in minimizing the number of prospective job seekers for the face-to-face interview.

Further, it also comes handy when the potential candidate is far from the reach of the employers.

The advantages are:

Convenience

It is accessible for both the interviewer and the applicant. The applicant doesn't have to travel to meet the interviewer or spend time preparing her physical appearance.

Screening

Telephone interviews help the recruiter in the screening process. The interviewer gains a better understanding of the information listed on the applicant's resume through a phone conversation as well as gauge how well the applicant thinks on his feet.

Ideally, a broad selection process should include a thorough review of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position, as well as organizational and cultural fit.

Your organization can create selection practices that best fit the requirements of the position by analyzing your hiring needs in-depth.

Chapter 3 :Challenges That Come with Being A Technical Recruiter

In a rapidly growing software company, the profession of a technical recruiter is a bit of a challenge. The pool of active job seekers is limited, and the best talent can disappear in as little as 10 days. In a dynamic recruitment world, it is mandatory for the recruiter to stand out.

In a startup, it is critical for the tech recruiter to identify and hire the right talent and hiring the right resource not only transforms a startup but also helps organizations to reach their set goals.

Hence, it is essential for a startup to employ self-motivated people to keep the environment charged and energetic.

Let’s Discuss the Challenges Faced by a Startup in Tech Recruitment:

Aggressive Competition in the Market

It’s a well-known fact that the best software developers are in high demand and they don’t stay in the open market for very long. Technical recruiters possessing conventional wisdom might think that technology companies are driving the war for tech talent, but this is not the case. Long-established organizations are also competing with growing tech companies to aggressively recruit software developers.

The Need for Employer BrandingGOTOTOP-1

Although the most important evaluation criteria for any technical recruiter is salary. However, now software developers are looking beyond higher pay packages. If you want to stand out from the competition, tech recruiters need to slow their hiring process and develop meaningful relationships with the candidates and understand what they are looking for in new jobs.

As the recruitment process is a fast-paced and result-oriented job, the skill to build rapport with software developers is one of the biggest challenges for tech recruiters.

Drop-Offs Pre-Interview and Post-Selection

As the demand for software developers/ programmers/coders is high in the technical recruitment sphere, IT candidates have many options to consider. In such a scenario, it is difficult for the technical recruiters to get a candidate’s attention especially when it comes to passive candidates.

The prospective candidates are often seen choosing between multiple offers, each one attractive as the next. IT workers just quote their market value to the HR and are incredibly choosy about companies.

Organizations need to think out of the box to recruit ideal IT candidates. They have to go beyond competitive salaries and get creative about what they offer. Components such as company culture, benefits, perks, and future growth opportunities play a vital role in attracting tech talent today.

0-28-1

Let’s Discuss the Challenges Faced by Large Companies During Tech Recruitment:

Robust Sourcing Process

Maintaining a healthy sourcing process has increasingly become a challenge as hiring expert’s requirements start expanding. It happens as all job descriptions give way to extensive requirements while retaining the same cost and quality of hire. So, sources that would have worked for small-scale recruitment drive becomes infeasible and impractical when hiring in large numbers.

Assessments at Large-Scale

When the IT candidates apply for the job in large numbers, it is difficult for technical recruiters to manage the interviews. It is manageable for the recruiter to conduct F2F interviews of 30-50 candidates, but the same can't be said about 300-500 candidates. In such a scenario, the technical recruiters may miss on various aspects such as the right skillset, assessment of coding tests and other such factors in selecting the final candidate.

Early Attrition– After Training

Early attrition can radically affect an organization’s bottom line. The voluntary turnover for many companies is around 16.6% per year. At this rate, companies with 2,500 employees lose 415 employees per year and end up spending more than $2 million dollars each year to replace those employees.

The cost increases dramatically when new employees leave after 1 year. It becomes a significant problem when the average young employee doesn’t feel to stay in the organization in the long run unless things are ideal. Hence, employers should look at what exactly is driving those new employees away.

A strong Candidate Pipeline

With the increasing demand for qualified resources in organizations, it has become necessary for companies to build a strong candidate pipeline or a talent pool. It refers to the inventory of qualified individuals who could swiftly move into future job openings. 

A recruiting talent pipeline is generally designed to give recruiters a continuous supply of high-quality and interested external recruiting prospects to choose from.

Candidate pipelines are now an integral part of the technical hiring process, especially for large employers that have high turnover rates.

Finding the right candidate is often an ongoing process to help grow a company. Nowadays, almost every major corporation is investing heavily in building their employer brand and it is quite rare to have a high-performing external recruiting talent pipeline.

Rapidly Changing Skillsets

The world of developers is changing at a faster pace and therefore, it becomes essential for the recruiter to either keep up or will need to catch up. 

Keeping up with the changing skill sets of IT candidates means recruiting developers who are agile learners and can process and pick up new skills, concepts, and languages with ease. In such a case, recruiters need to be extra vigilant in assessing the right candidate as per the required skill set. You need to go the extra mile in shortlisting the suitable programmer/developer/coder for the required job opportunity.

ConclusionGOTOTOP-1

According to a survey conducted by Dice earlier this year, the unemployment rate for IT workers is only about 3 percent. That’s great news if you’re looking for an IT position, but bad news for the recruiters who have more jobs to fill than people with the skills and experience needed to fill them.

Software and Web developers are in unusually high demand. Other recruiters are having a particularly difficult time finding a candidate with big data and analytics experience, those with security knowledge, and those who have worked on legacy systems.

With the advent of new technologies in the recruitment world, organizations are opting for modern and cost-effective practices to maximize their employee turnover, employee engagement, and employee motivation.

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