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Tech-Talent Hub   | 12 Min Read

An Ultimate Guide to Hire a Programmer/Coder

Written By Surbhi Sharma

Introduction

A bad performing employee can adversely affect the spirits of others in the team and cost exuberantly to the business. A systematic recruitment strategy is what helps you hire the right person with the right skills.

We have divided the Technical recruitment drive into three 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 most challenging yet essential tasks of an organization is recruitment. Everyone aims to hire the best candidate, but employing them is not an easy task.

Between the high demand of technical candidates and the reduced supply, between the significant competition and drop-offs, it can be challenging to not only find a suitable candidate but to find the perfect fit.

There could also be a structured approach to improve the chances of hiring the right person. We might not be investing enough in the thought and, hence suffering.

How Does This Guide Help?

 Do you ever find yourself caught in hours of scanning job boards and LinkedIn with no luck?”

Do you fear early attrition and changing skills?”

Do you think you need a robust sourcing process?”

If any of these are your concerns, then this guide is the right place for you. It is a 3-guide journey that tells you everything you need to know. You might be curious to get a defined list of challenges you face, sometimes penning down your thoughts isn’t easy, but we do that for you in our first segment of the guide.

After making you well versed with the various challenges faced by startups and companies, don’t think we will keep you hanging, we have the solutions for you. In the next segment, we help you understand what you are looking for. We aid in building a relationship that enables you to connect with your coder.

Lastly, get a sneak-peek at the creation of a technical recruitment assessment, how should interviews be conducted, and a complimentary mention of the Competency Framework.

Target the right sources and get the right candidate with the perfect competencies.

How Much of This Guide Shall I Read?

If you are serious about hiring the best coder and the thought of another challenge conquered relaxes you, then we recommend a thorough read of the guide. Each chapter has its essence and carries a takeaway, don’t miss it, read carefully because if you don’t get it right then, a bad hire will cost you exuberantly.

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

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

 

i) 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 e-mail to the proposing candidate. Information such as an estimate of the compensation range is an 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 help 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

 

ii) Contact Developers Outside Your Geographical Borders

Recruiters can now look for best developers outside India as well. 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 developer/coding and programming job.

These days large-scale organizations are conducting various amounts of international tech recruiting either via outsourcing or employ people at work remotely. It’s an excellent method to 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

 

iii) 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 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 for developers/programmers/coders in the small, medium, and large-scale organizations.

Here’s how a developed job ad looks 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

 

iv) Focus on Best Practices of SourcingGOTOTOP-1

Technical recruitment is like a sales role where sourcing often requires tech recruiters to sell the brand name along with the position, benefits, and culture of the organization to the candidate.

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

  • You can start your research by establishing a strong employer brand and leveraging digital media. You can publicize the work culture, quality of problems, learning opportunities, and engagement activities. 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.

  • You can launch a lucrative referral program to tap into the close-knit tech community and leverage it when the need arises. Referral programs not only encourage recommendations for the overall success of the tech hiring process.

0_Making way for Digital Transformation in Pre-screening

 

v) Making Way for Digital Transformation in Pre-Screening

Traditionally, tech recruiters had to filter through hundreds of CVs to shortlist candidates and invite them for an interview. This exercise was not only time-consuming but also didn’t guarantee a thorough and scientific search. Now, in the era of digital transformation, 33% of the large organizations are using AI-based tools such as Rita 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. You have to incorporate your ATS with machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate the process further. These technologies can be trained to screen resume just like a human recruiter, based on a pool of data with pre-decided consideration factors and post-hire statistics.

0_Use of Competency framework and Technology in Screening

 

vi) 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 assessing a specific set of skills and traits.

Organizations are also relying on Artificial Intelligence tools to recruit candidates. Recruiters may find it easy to sort resumes through AI-enabled ATS using the right keywords and manipulate interviews. Still, assessment tests provide proof that potential tech candidate can perform the job he/she is being hired for. It also offers candidates a closer look at the kind of work they will be doing daily.

Apart from that, screening assessments reduce human bias in the hiring process as the candidate is hired solely on his/her education and skillset.

29% of the participating organizations use a combination of MCQs and coding simulators to assess candidates on their knowledge as well as hands-on skills.

0_Modernizing the Selection Process

 

vii) Modernizing the Selection Process

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

Due to a growing acceptance of the gig economy and steady globalization of teams, organizations are adopting Virtual video interviews. It promotes real-time collaboration for all parties that are involved and solve time and location constraints apart from being cost-effective.

0_Understand Who You Are Looking For

 

viii) 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

After having defined your requirements, narrow them down on the right sources and find 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 continually 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 the employer 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 check not only 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 expertise, problem-solving skills, coding expertise, and algorithm knowledge. A candidate needs to write the code in a meeting 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 wrong 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

Subject matter experts create the questions that refer to the skillset with experience of over 15 years. The questions are designed 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.

Besides, questions are 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 on the job description. The test blueprint 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 lower 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 needs 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 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 full 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 problem. The pool of active job seekers is limited, and the best talent can disappear in as little as ten days. In a dynamic recruitment world, the recruiter must stand out.

In a startup, the tech recruiter must 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 recruit software developers aggressively.

The Need for Employer BrandingGOTOTOP-1

Although the most critical evaluation criteria for any technical recruiter are salary 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 a meaningful relationship 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 the 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 good 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 unfeasible 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 cant 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

Rapid 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 each year to replace those employees.

The cost increases dramatically when new employees leave after one 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 skilled 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 skillsets 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 skillset. You need to go the extra mile in shortlisting the suitable programmer/developer/coder for the 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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