How to Find and Recruit the Best Developers
Developers are the builders of the 21st century, but recruiting them poses an interesting challenge..
If you’re sitting on the next million dollar business idea or are already managing a team and looking to bring on some exceptional coding talent, then you’re on a mission to find the best developers possible. Of course, given the globalized market we live in, businesses are no longer strapped to search for developers in local talent pools- they can peruse talent from all over the planet, often finding candidates at a fraction of the cost that they would locally. Aside from any eco-political connotations this has, finding global talent opens the door to a lot of opportunity for established employers, as well as even the smallest startups.
Below, I’m going to outline several key points when it comes to recruiting and hiring developers from around the world, specifically focusing on how to objectively evaluate their skill, how to maintain consistent review notes, how to create panel interviews (remotely) and of course, where you can start looking, today, to find your talent. I’ll be also discussing key features of the Intervue platform, which creates a real-time code editor that can be viewed and engaged by both an interviewer and interviewee, simultaneously!
Where to find developers online
Let me just start by saying there is no shortage of talent available to you, online. Platforms like Fiverr and UpWork have created a standardized system (a marketplace) for talent acquisition. All you need to do to find someone who meets your criteria is check a couple of boxes, enter a keyword, and you’ll be presented hundreds, if not thousands of “qualified” candidates. In fact, for many use cases, this spray and pray tactic of discovery might be exactly what you need. However if you want to find developers that are well versed in the evolving trends of development, you need to go where they are.
Depending on which type of developer you need (which language you're using, size of business, etc), you have a few options. For the beginning startup, I suggest engaging community forums of developers that are actively discussing the frameworks and use cases that your business is working with. A quick list of suggested communities:
- AWS Forums.
- Reddit (search for specific subs).
- Twitter (there is a bustling developer community on there).
Don’t roll your eyes at me- these community forums are full of people who are actively engaged in development work, meaning they are likely on the most cutting edge frameworks and languages. Not to mention, they’re current and active. Many of the developer listings found on sites like Fiverr are outdated, and you’ll waste your time trying to contact people that gave up development work years ago and just never closed their account.
If you’re managing a team for a larger company and want to stick to a traditional job board approach, check out WeApply for job listings. Many developers are eager to work remotely, so platforms like this are helpful in finding the right candidates.
How to objectively evaluate a developers skill
Now that you have a potential list of developers, you need to start the tedious process of interviewing them for their technical capabilities. Until recently, any form of remote interview has typically involved a series of zoom calls, white boards, back-and-forth screenshares, and (typically) a lot of time delay. For a more serious technical role, there are just so many conditions and aspects to test. The most common types of tests for developers range from a thorough understanding of the OSI Model (for beginners) to more hands-on, theoretical RPA developers and those with high levels of certifications (both cloud and language proficiency).
The exact criteria depends on which language/skills you’re looking for. You likely already have an idea, if you manage a dev team or work with a mid-large size business. For those just starting out though, you may wish to explore documentation about what it takes to build certain softwares, or mobile apps.
One great platform for evaluating developer skill- the Intervue platform allows you to conduct real-time coding interviews with applicants, giving both the interviewer and interviewee a live dev environment where applicants can write code on the fly. This is especially impactful for the interviewer, as you can see in real time, how long it takes someone to solve a problem, and their approach to finding a solution. For anyone looking to hire developers seriously, I definitely recommend checking out their website.
Check out a demonstration video of how this interview process could look:
Is tracking developer interview notes important?
Depending on the number of interviews you plan to conduct, note taking can be vital to saving time and preventing an administrative error from causing a bad hiring decision. By note taking, I’m referring to tracking the important aspects that differ between applicants, that are relevant to the position you’re interviewing them for. These could include:
- How long it takes applicant to solve a problem with code?
- Which approach applicant took, to solve a problem?
- Number of errors and severity of errors that applicant made?
- Did applicant present multiple solutions to the problem?
At a fundamental level, you want to feel confident that your developer knows how to solve a given problem in multiple ways, as quickly as possible. Most tenured dev teams have a list of tasks they impose on applicants, but for the startups and small business owners, I suggest creating a thorough list of what your developer needs to be able to do (hint: research!) and keep track of each application, thoroughly.
What about team/panel interviews?
If you’re hiring on behalf of a team, it might be beneficial to have more than one interviewer present- to ensure quality assessment but also to put a little bit of pressure on the applicant. If they’re going to be managing a complex system on your behalf, they should be able to remain focused under pressure- that’s kind of a prerequisite for any job these days. The traditional, remote method for conducting panel interviews is through video conferencing tools like Zoom, but there are others that leverage both a live code editor and group video/audio calls, to make panel interviews a piece of cake.
Panel interviews allow for different personality types to evaluate a single applicant, and it can be an effective way to disseminate the interview questions effectively. This way, multiple panelists can critique different aspects of the applicants performance, and then together make an educated decision of if they’re a fit or not.
Developers are the builders of the future. As more and more companies understand the necessity of being digital, and as technology continues to provide new ways to create experiences, developers will be the harbingers of a company's success (or lack thereof). Finding and hiring a quality developer means sifting through a sea of applicants, but there are tools like Intervue that make the interview process much more thorough, comprehensive, and time efficient.
If you enjoyed this Mod, you might like to read more about how to increase lead generation on Linkedin! Please share this Mod using the social links below. Any questions or comments? Let us know on Twitter!