How To Advance Your Hiring Process For Senior Developers

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As expected, it is more difficult to hire strong senior developers than other types. They can be more difficult to find and naturally, they will cost more. More people are likely to be involved in the process and more demanding technical assessments will be required. With all that in mind, senior developers can take your company to a whole new level and it is well worth creating a workflow that is consistent and tailored.

Apart from their superior knowledge and skills that a senior developer can bring to the table, they also play a crucial role in the development of junior developers. Regardless of the age and size of your tech business, it is time to improve your recruitment knowledge in order to hire the ideal, talented senior developer.

The 3 Benefits of A Standardized Workflow

Objectivity

A standardized process for hiring each role you may have is the fairest way to judge the abilities off all candidates. As each candidate has to perform the same task, the results are unbiased and you can evaluate them with more objectivity.

Speed

Speed is of the essence when recruiting senior developers. There is no time for your team to not know or understand the hiring process. A standardized workflow allows everyone to be on the same page when it comes to recruitment. With less doubt and confusion, you won’t create delays in recruitment.

Candidate experience

It is important to ensure each candidate has a professional, positive experience with your company. A standardized workflow is one of the simplest ways to achieve this.

As you consider a standardized workflow for each position you have, remember that you will need to adjust your process depending on the level of the developer. As senior developers are harder to recruit, you may want to bring in other significant members of your company, head engineers or team leaders.

What does this Workflow look like?

Whether you are a small company or a large organisation, the first step is to decide how many people you want to involve in the process. A rough guide would be a team of ten engineers might involve 3 stakeholders in the process: the recruiter, the lead engineer and the hiring manager). Larger companies may prefer a key stakeholder coupled with each engineering team leader.

Each person in your process should have a particular role.

Hiring Manager

A hiring manager is your main stakeholder. Their role is to make sure all other stakeholders are sticking to their roles. The hiring manager has to be more involved in every aspect than other stakeholders.

Head of engineering

The head/CTO or VP of engineering needs to at least meet the candidates in order to get a feel of how a candidate will work with the other leaders in a company. As a senior developer, there will be more to the role than just engineering.

Other lead engineers

The main reason for other lead engineers’ involvement is to check how well the candidate will get on with other team members and the office culture.

Once you are sure of the people involved and the part that each of them plays, it is time to begin designing the workflow. There are five key steps to follow:

1st– Passive candidates or referrals

It could be from social media sites like LinkedIn, job boards or Internet referrals. But the first step for candidates to respond to your outreach.

2nd– Tech recruiter carries out phone screening.

At this point, it is making sure that things line up. Making sure they understand the role of the position and that they have the right skill sets, to see that you are both working with the same time frame. It gives the recruiter a chance to learn what the candidate is looking for and what their other commitments are.

3rd– The phone interview

This is normally performed by either the hiring manager or the lead engineer. The phone call is normally quite extensive and may even take two calls to complete. It is a chance to discuss the team’s developmental philosophies, comparing what the team uses to what the candidate is familiar with. It is definitely an opportunity to get to know the candidate more, and vice versa.

4th– Non-technical assessment

Obviously, a senior developer must have extensive knowledge of programming, coding, frameworks, etc. But they will need various other skills, how they go about solving problems, what is their thought process, or even how they handle leading a team.  There are two subcategories of questions; behavioural and problem-solving.

Behavioural questions: Behavioural questions assess the way a person handles situations. Some questions you might want to ask are:

  • What was the last major challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
  • How would you go about explaining a tricky programming problem to someone with no experience in IT?

Problem-solving questions: Here you would provide brain-teasers to gain a deeper understanding of a person’s thought process, watching them break down a problem into smaller pieces before solving it:

  • What is the angle between the hour-hand and the minute-hand of a clock at 3.30pm?
  • How would you find a particular food in a supermarket without signs or assistants?

5th– Technical assessment

It is time to bring the candidate into the office to test their actual coding skills.  But how can you do this without offending your candidate? As a senior developer, it may have been a while since they have been tested on their skills. It is all about the timing. You need to have developed a good rapport with the candidate. Once the date of the one-site interview gets closer you can explain that technical assessment is a part of your standardized workflow process that every candidate goes through.

The Summary

The principal of a standardized workflow process is to provide a level of professionalism to your hiring process. Considering how important the recruitment process is, it will be incredibly beneficial to implement such a process in your company, regardless of its size or experience.

While we have outlined the main structure, it is easy to adapt it to meet your needs. You can change the number of stakeholders or the role they have. As you are planning your workflow, ask for the opinions of those who will play a part in it. This way you are guaranteeing you have covered all areas.

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