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How to Build a Stellar Tech Workforce for 2021 in 5 Simple Steps

Recruitment | 12 Min Read

How to Build a Stellar Tech Workforce for 2021 in 5 Simple Steps (A Practical Guide)

Introduction

Are you looking to build a stellar tech workforce with dextrous and brilliant developers in 2021 to take your company’s innovation to the next level?

You’ve landed on the right page.

The corona-induced ongoing tumult has underlined that people create value in businesses. And technical teams have enabled many companies to create a financially-viable roadmap in these challenging circumstances. Technical teams are the backbone of some of the most successful and agile organizations today. They are the core of any innovation.

Amid massive digital transformation and tech adoption, every company is embracing technology in varying measures to survive and thrive. Hence, having the right set of technically-advanced and savvy developers is making a real difference in driving success for most leading organizations today.

But how does one create a rockstar technology team in 2021? It is a no-brainer. It begins with hiring competent developers, developing them based on transient future requirements, and continually engaging to bring out their best.

However, we agree that it is easier said than done.

It is well-established that building quality tech talent is a daunting task. A 2019 Benchmark Report: Hiring tech talent for CIOs and CTOs states it takes 50% longer to hire for a tech role than all other types of positions. Despite the process extending to months, it is possible that you may not find a high-quality developer. Therefore, scaling tech teams is a challenging proposition. Also, the tech sector and the roles therein evolve at a brisk pace because of digital transformation and automation, mandating a strong grasp on industry trends and challenges. Most organizations, unfortunately, lack such critical attributes.

From hiring the best of the lot to ensuring their morale, productivity and work are in-sync, how does one manage human resources with greater efficacy, and evolve in the new landscape efficaciously, is the question.

What is the comprehensive strategy that technology leaders or hiring managers can adopt to stay ahead of the curve despite various challenges?

The answer lies in Mercer | Mettl’s ‘Developers of the Future’ process.

This unique tech workforce building formula merits a strong talent building strategy that begins with identifying and recruiting top talent, developing them, afterward creating a cohesive culture that drives innovation, performance and engagement among employees. 

The result is a positive and resilient organization with a stellar technical workforce. 

Amid growing competition to acquire more business, every organization wishes to evolve continually, necessitating designing a practical hiring and development process that can enable them to grow and thrive in the future with their workforce’s support.

 


Three Critical Obstacles To Building A Stellar Workforce In 2021

Inefficient Screening Process:

Limited understanding of the right assessment tool for the right role

Hiring managers are often required to find a quality screening and assessment tool to swiftly identify suitable talent for a technical role. To achieve the desired results, HR professionals liaison with business teams to shortlist the most suitable screening tool vendor. Now the HR professionals are significantly adept at and aware of the multiple combinations of screening tools and their nuances available on the market. However, they fail at understanding which tool is the most suitable and when. They miscalculate its cost, time-effectiveness and accuracy in assessing a developer’s potential for a specific role or skill. Hence, without obtaining the proper tools for the right role and purpose, the quality of hire suffers, further impacting the organization’s job, cost, performance and success. For instance, recruiters struggle to find the right mix of coding simulators and multiple-choice questions (MCQs) when approaching campus placements.

Superficial Skilling Techniques:

Barriers to learning and training needs assessment

Imagine teaching the right employee the wrong skills! It is scary, right? But it is a typical organization problem that hinders learning and training needs assessments. Hiring managers often create training programs that are not connected with hiring needs. There is a gap in identifying those who need training and what kind. For instance, if an individual is hired for a front-end development role, the strategy devised for his or her growth is often a one-size-fits-all approach, catering to the entire organization. It doesn’t chart a developer’s learning curve. Secondly, training needs identification is often shortsighted. HR professionals don’t realize that skills necessary today can become redundant tomorrow. Hence, their goals and proposals are fixated on the present and are not analyzed with a futuristic outlook. Lastly, the failure to collect insights about the learning and development process created by them often have companies flying blind. Building a future-ready workforce becomes challenging without an idea about the workable and non-workable aspects of training or scientific insights on evaluating a training program’s efficacy.

Wrong Engagement Ideas:

Employers often lament the struggle in retaining talented employees as not all hiring managers pursue engagement as a regular practice. But disengagement is infectious, and a disengaged employee is a problem. Hence, every employee must be made to feel important, incentivized to work diligently, remain productive and add value. Concurrently, you must have often noticed that companies offer impressive perks and benefits to keep employees engaged. They vary from exclusive club memberships to access to places of distinct health services at discounted prices. While these incentives offer additional benefits to the employees, they are not enough to ensure employee engagement and retention in the long-term. The idea of real motivation and job fulfillment does not come only with materialistic perks. It emerges from understanding what makes employees feel interested and engaged and how they intend to go about them. After all, the right kind of skill development concerning personal and professional growth is far more valuable than coupons and rewards.

Industry leaders invest billions of dollars in assessing and assembling high-performing tech teams. They go the extra mile to cultivate a world-class multigenerational tech workforce with the requisite support, resources and tools and sustain and retain them by ensuring high engagement levels. 

If only they had the ‘Developers of the Future’ process, life would have been simple.

Mercer | Mettl’s ‘Developers of the Future’ process is not a magic potion. It is a structured, all-inclusive virtual tech discovery and development process that empowers the hiring managers to build a workforce that is a class apart.

In case you are wondering why this name? It is because hiring a tech employee should always be undertaken considering the future. Your hiring decisions should revolve around the organization’s future-focussed mission. The skilling plan should be focussed on the industry’s broader vision and engagement activities and consider the employees’ future aspirations. Then only will this approach adequately enable hiring managers to balance the combination of prospective needs and upcoming realities and deliver on expectations.

Divided into simple and easy to follow five steps, the ‘Developers of the Future’ process provides organizations detailed insights to become future-ready and future-proof. It includes discussing the crux of a highly efficient process required to filter coders, the various ways of contributing to their professional development and elucidating the concept of continuously engaging them.

 


How To Build A Future Ready Workforce Using The ‘developers Of The Future’ Process: 5 Simple Steps

The ‘Developers of the Future’ process works perfectly for most businesses as it takes you beyond the polished résumés, pre-screening inefficiencies, biased references and predictable answers.

5 Simple Steps to Build a Future-Ready Workforce using ‘Developers of the Future’

 

Let us now discuss each step in greater detail:

 

Step 1 –  Plan your assessments as per the role and skills needed


The path to hiring right begins with planning right. You won’t be able to assess and employ a quality coder if you don’t know which tool is best suited to hire for a specific role.
 

A hiring plan sets the hiring cycle in motion, making it one of the most significant decisions made by a hiring manager. However, it is often given the least time, thought and attention. You must give your hiring plan a much-needed amendment to improve your organization’s overall hiring health and direction. 

  • Streamline and strengthen the recruitment process by clarifying your staffing objectives. It is vital to first understand the role and level for which you’re hiring and develop the right job description to attract an ideal fit. Whether you are hiring for a fresher profile or lateral hire, greater clarity in the initial selection proportionally enhances your chances of shortlisting, interviewing and hiring worthy fits. 
  • Afterward, use the right tool customized to the role to ensure you hire the right candidate. With various tools available on the market, there are no one-size-fits-all tools that you can enable for tech hiring. 
  • Depending on the role, level and scale for which you are hiring, you can shortlist the required tool accordingly. You can leverage:

 

tools

 

Example 1:

 

Infographics 4

 

Example 2:

 

Infographics 5

Tip: Ensure the tech recruitment software you shortlist has the much-needed state-of-the-art features, such as:

  • Expansive Topic Coverage: An ideal coding assessment tool offers numerous programming languages and frameworks for all significant coding job roles. It is diverse and covers every existing and new-age language, framework, technology, topics and skills requirements. It is also proficient and provides accurate coding test questions for micro-skills and concepts within coding software and development.
  • Plagiarism Checker: It detects partially similar as well as copied codes from the Internet, ensuring better decision-making.
  • Intellisense: It is an auto-complete feature that automatically recommends language-specific, context-driven suggestions at specific syntax points. It can be activated if required.
  • If you seek to understand the candidates' thought process and how they executed the entire program, a full video of code recorded at each keystroke is available using Code Playback. This feature shows the video of the code's evolution at each compilation to assess on-the-spot proficiency and coders' ability to code in the desired language.

 



Let’s take a use case
: Considering you are bulk-hiring freshers through campus placements, how do you identify quality coders? Also, how do you figure the right tool for the process?

Here’s a three-step approach to filter out the best from the rest in no time.

a) Quick Filtration: Round 1 

Candidates often exaggerate their abilities and proficiencies in resumes to create a pleasing impression. When recruiters hire in bulk, they are hard-pressed for time to validate such claims. Hence, an all-inclusive virtual tech recruiting platform, offering a vast repository of coding aptitude questions, addresses such concerns. You can choose from a set of readily available standardized tests from its enormous library of programming assessments. Or you can choose to tailor-make pre-hiring assessments matching organizational objectives to explore candidates’ desired skillsets without bias. 

b) In-depth Analysis: Round 2

Coding aptitude aside, it is equally relevant to possess knowledge and expertise in a language or technology. Hence, the second step entails utilizing role-based coding simulators. This online programming test assesses a candidates’ coding proficiency in general programming languages. Mercer | Mettl’s simulator offers recruiters the liberty to test real coding skills in any number of programming languages. With real-world challenges at play, the simulators provide a real sense of a student’s or a fresher’s project building abilities. 

c) Online Interviews: Round 3 

Leveraging the best online coding interview tool will lend unparalleled ease to the recruitment process, regardless of the number of candidates. With a shared live development environment, amplified by audio, video and chat functionalities, hiring managers can enable online coding tools for interviews, such as pair programming interviews, to assess skills in real-time and make quality decisions on tech candidates.


Did you know?
One of the world’s largest companies, Google, analyzed five years’ interviewing data to reduce its time-to-hire.

 


 

Step 2 – Screen your applicants comprehensively


The output of Step 1 has outlined a complete hiring plan with details of the role for which you’re hiring and the assessments and tools you will administer for the position. Now you need to implement that plan in Step 2. You must put Step 2 into perspective by choosing a seamless tech hiring platform to administer your screening tools effectively and virtually. 

An efficient online programming platform is a comprehensive and user-friendly technical recruitment platform that offers an easy-to-use interface for the candidate and the assessor alike. This efficient platform establishes which tech candidates have the right skills and the ability to perform the desired job. It minimizes hiring time and maximizes value for the next round.

Here’s how:

  • Schedule an online test with the applicants on the coding assessment platform.
  • Indulge in assessing a candidate's higher and future levels of thinking by initiating a code-pair scenario to calibrate the skills and knowledge they claim. Candidates can be asked to either create code from scratch, work on test cases, fix a bug, or create an algorithm.
  • Concurrently, the hiring managers can observe the candidate’s problem-solving skills live.

 

The screening round, with the right tool, can help you ascertain the following traits. They include and are not restricted to:

 

The screening round, with the right tool

 

 

  • If the hiring team is focused elsewhere, then proctoring applicants with AI-powered tools saves time and negates possibilities of dishonesty or misconduct. The transparency eliminates any negative impact during the shortlisting round. 
  • Once the candidates complete coding, the platform’s in-built coding tools online auto-grade the candidates almost instantaneously based on several parameters: code quality, efficiency, correctness and scalability. This provides direct and detailed insights into their coding aptitude and on-the-job potential.  
  • Based on detailed automated reports and using features such as code completion, plagiarism checker and code playback, etc. hiring managers can thoroughly evaluate each applicant’s technical abilities and optimize the shortlisting decision. Detailed insights ensure there are no biases in the process. 
  • With a comprehensive and in-depth assessment of the candidate’s potential, roll out online interviews seamlessly, with a clear oversight on progress and performance.

 

TIP:
Pick the best programming platform online based on provisions, such as customization, hands-on skill support, swift auto-evaluation, scalability, a suite of anti-cheating solutions, result validation and proficient tracking of the tech hiring funnel. The best coding platform online should seamlessly integrate and be location-agnostic for all. Consistency and support promptness throughout the platform’s usage are critical for assessing the best coding platform online. You’ll be amazed at the remarkable number of candidates your screening round will weed out.

 


 

Step 3- Undertake online coding test interviews


Once you’ve sieved through the candidate pool and gauged specific insights using technical screening, empower your technical hiring using
real-time coding interviews. HR professionals can use a purpose-built, all-in-one unique online coding interview platform that lets recruiters build various pair coding interview questions and scenarios without having to toggle back and forth between different platforms. 

This efficient interview approach provides the interviewer with an accurate understanding of a candidate’s thoughts, collaboration, utilization of various languages, frameworks, library or APIs when writing code. It highlights multiple facets of a technical candidate that is otherwise missed. It is as natural as a physical interview.

  • In a shared and live development environment, online coding interviews are enhanced by audio, video and chat functionalities. Hiring managers can mirror a real-life scenario, using the same resources one has on the job. This is an extremely targeted and streamlined process and does not compromise on quality. 
  • With modern code interview tools, employers can be well-informed about a coder’s unique skill set, collaboration levels, robust problem-solving ability and analytical thinking. 
  • A modern online coding tool for interviews will also evaluate coders’ ability to manage ambiguity. It also highlights their attitude toward the challenge and their aptitude for learning.
  • The hiring manager can access the candidates’ assessment results and data from multiple interview modes, all on one dashboard for better data-driven hiring decisions. They can check their core strengths and weaknesses and accordingly ask relevant questions. 
  • Digital communication and ideation are easy using an in-built interactive whiteboard and notepad. 
  • With data-backed insights, the hiring managers can also create in-depth reports that ensure proficient tracking of the tech hiring funnel with better talent measurement based on behavior, cognition and technical skills. A coding interview tool mapped with exact role requirements ensures swift auto-evaluation and result validation. 

 

Automate Your Coding Interviews With a Seamless Coding Interview Platform

 

Hire quality candidates with a tech hiring platform


A combination of Step1, Step 2 and Step 3 can be employed by hiring managers to easily pin-point the right tool applicable for the right role, the right qualities and skills needed to be distinct, and the right candidate that makes them ideal. You must use this three-step filter and assess your candidate comprehensively, concerning broad knowledge and niche applications. Additionally, it will also probe candidates’ weaknesses in any particular topic to further bolster the organization’s decision-making. They are also time-efficient, cost-effective and progressive with each round. 

But the perfect action plan doesn’t end here. The process continues. 

How is it that companies often vaunt their high-performing teams? How does one create a team that is better than the most?

 


 

Step 4 – Invest in Upskilling and Reskilling opportunities for your employees


Once the candidate has been hired, enabling the right
learning and development opportunities is the key to your organization’s longevity and success. As we already mentioned, technology is dynamic and evolves ever so frequently. Hence, organizations must ensure their fresh tech talent is updated on tools, techniques, trends, industry developments and technology at the earliest. Thus, either by adding new next-generational skills and technical knowledge or updating their existing core skills, organizations need to invest in enhancing their recruits’ abilities and work quality as soon as they are onboarded.

Companies can easily undertake upskilling or reskilling in the following way:

  • Understand and address the specific skill gaps within the team from an organization strategy perspective.
  • Identify who needs to be trained by spotting agile learners to train on specific skill sets.
  • Acquire insights from the hiring drive and match them with the organization’s future needs to remain competitive.
  • Lastly, improve your people and business outcomes by building targeted reskilling plans for each employee and measuring your training effectiveness - the greater the focus and customization on the effort and solution, the more gratified and motivated employees are to continue with the company.

Upskilling with the right technical hiring platform


There is a
suite of tools available today that help creates a powerful skilling strategy. They are easy to employ to uncover skills gaps and enable making a future-proof workforce.

They include:

  • An all-in-one coding assessment platform- This highly sophisticated and customizable programming tool offers a highly advanced, ready-to-use assessment library mapped to pre-defined competencies. This programming tool online provides a comprehensive coding environment for all major programming roles and technologies.
  • Learning agility assessments boost the ROI of L&D programs by identifying individual employees’ learning preferences. It identifies employees who can assimilate newer skills while embracing more challenging roles by measuring a combination of learning agility and orientation.
  • 360View: It is important to get feedback on the newly hired employee’s performance. The employee's superiors, peers, direct reports, even clients can cumulatively evaluate the concerned employee’s performance. With easy-to-understand intuitive insights, 360 feedback highlights an employee’s behavioral dynamics observed on-the-job and suggests developmental steps. Leveraging this information can help the employee develop an improved perspective on their performance, skill levels and behavior as perceived by others and chart his or her developmental curve accordingly.

 


 

Step 5 – Devise real engagement plans


We don’t mean to discourage you, but what if employees still leave the company after a few years? This only means you have not implemented the last and most crucial step of the
‘Developers of the Futures’ process. 

Upskilling and reskilling alone cannot sustain the candidates in the long run. A vital ingredient must be added to enhance the process’s outcome. This is where Step 5 comes into play – engaging with newly hired employees to ensure loyalty, commitment and connection that promotes talent retention. 

It is critical to make employees feel they are contributing to the broader business objectives. Listening to them, giving importance to their ideas and implementing them defines real engagement. Such an activity drives extraordinary performance and helps retain key developers.

  • Companies can engage their tech teams via tech events, social media, ideathons and hackathons. Hackathons involve employees comprising developers, software programmers, or designers coming together to build something incredible. 
  • It is a fun environment that helps ignite innovation and creativity to design a sophisticated software prototype that can later be made into a possible solution. They nurture problem-solving skills, foster cross-team collaboration and promote internal innovation. It also allows organizations to actively seek feedback from coders to understand what is needed for the company to succeed. For instance, Google created an incubator Google Labs with Area 120, to test and publicly demonstrate new projects. 
  • Once you understand their most fundamental engagement requirements and work toward them, the enthusiasm, the drive to perform better, and their involvement and commitment to their work will increase manifold. You must understand that engagement is the key to retention and business growth.

 


Conclusion

Did you know? As per the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2017 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report, the average time-to-fill a position is 36 days. And if you think that’s just about it, LinkedIn’s metric states that only 30% of companies can fill a vacant role within 30 days. The other 70% of companies take anywhere between one to four months to onboard a new hire. 

However, efficiently building your dream stack is no longer a far-fetched process if you follow the Developers of the Future’ process. 

Talented developers are in short supply, which requires being time-sensitive, or you risk losing out on top talent. Hence, the speed, efficiency, and convenience of implementing the ‘Developers of the Future’ process offer unprecedented advantages – the reason why it’s termed as a winning approach. By leveraging this process’s power, backed by a tech recruiting software or a tech recruiting platform, hiring managers can undoubtedly expedite the hiring process, onboard the best talent, close learning and development gaps and maximize employee engagement. 

Hop on, give it a try, and tell us how you plan to implement this process. Do let us know which part of the process is specifically purposeful for your tech teams. 

Do share your thoughts with us. We’d love to know how it worked out for you.

If you seek more insights into our unique tech hiring process, get your answers by interacting LIVE with industry leaders. Register for our Tech Flagship Digital Summit, where we will unveil two of our newest product innovations and uncover specific strategies to help you hire excellent tech talent, train them effectively and keep them engaged to bring out their best.

 


FAQs

What is a recruitment platform?


A tech recruitment platform enables the recruiters to connect and quickly evaluate the coders’ knowledge and skills. Seamlessly scheduling coding tests online, screening candidates and rolling out online interviews, a tech recruitment platform gives organizations an apparent oversight over progress and performance. 

 

What is the best hiring platform? 


The
best technical hiring platform provides expansive coverage of topics for all significant coding job roles. It offers an eclectic mix of expertise and application-based questions for assessments and recruitment with state-of-the-art coding software. Lastly, the online coding test platform is comprehensive and user-friendly for the candidate and the assessor alike. Mercer | Mettl is one of the best tech hiring platforms in India and abroad. 

 

What are the programming platforms?


Programming platforms help hiring managers test the coding proficiency of developers in real-time. The best programming platform software has all the features needed to assess a coder’s potential.

Originally published November 17 2020, Updated November 17 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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