CHAPTER #13

5 Rules of Hiring Developers When You Don’t Have Technical Knowledge

How to hire IT specialists if you're not up to date with the newest tech? Here's an outline of things that are crucial for identifying the right developer and key points to achieve productive cooperation.

Last Update

31 Mar, 2021

Reading Time

6 Min

Authors
Marcin DrykaCTO
Github LinkLinkedin Link
Matt WarcholinskiCOO & Co-Founder
Linkedin Link
Bianka PluszczewskaEditor
Linkedin Link

Introduction

You’re a dedicated manager planning to build the best IT team ever and unfortunately, you’re not an expert. Is technical stuff, code, JavaScript, programming like black magic for you? Hiring developers has always been a hard nut to crack, but now as the market is growing, it is as difficult as ever.

Read some insights about hiring below and learn how to find professionals (eg. Node JS developers) even if you’re not particularly fluent in the newest tech. Don’t be afraid of it! Here we outline things that are crucial for identifying the right developer and key points to achieve productive cooperation.

We’ve written about hiring a developing company and developers a couple of times. We have shared the knowledge and experience that we gained through recruiting many developers during our activity.

In one of the texts, we enumerated the pros and cons of hiring a software development company. There, you can find information about things to take into consideration, differences between types of outsourcing and some hard facts about it.

Rule 1: Be attractive and have expectations

Do you know what you want your developers to deliver? When you don’t know how the job is done, you have to understand what benefits and values the developer brings to your company. Always hire knowing what to expect from a new employee. For example, do you expect your developers to have a computer science degree?

Also, remember about self-presentation and the company’s image! Developers are expected to have specific skills and behaviors.

What about YOU? Attract your future team! Firstly, show that you’re earning money. A very convincing thing is business revenue. The developer feels safe when you’re able to ensure his salary and plan future outcomes.

You can also give your employees benefits, guarantee insurance, etc. This will boost your image and also be helpful in hiring the right, skillful person to work for you.

Rule 2: Look for the right people to hire

…and treat them well. Poor hiring decisions can be very costly in the long run. Certain skills can be learned while character and attitude cannot. Culture is the most undeniable asset of every company and startup.

Find developers who fit your culture and show that you care about them. It pays off because they’ll be motivated and eager to support you and your business objectives. It’s perfect when their passions match your goals.

Great leaders show others how individual roles can have impact on the whole organization’s success. Show people that they’re able to make a difference and achieve a lot.

An approach like that helps to check future employee’s personal and professional goals and ambitions. That way you’ll be able to see if a particular person fits in with your vision and job requirements.

REMEMBER:In many cases, at the beginning, businesses can experience problems with a competitive hiring process or job offers in other companies. Some offer higher salaries, a lot more benefits or even free video games. In case you can’t beat those offers, look for PASSION.

A passionate employee will be driven by his eagerness to develop and won’t be persuaded easily! Express that you’re passionate about your company and work by showing your engagement in the business.

Rule 3: Ask for help in interviewing

If you’re inexperienced in interviewing IT developers, look for someone whom you can trust. This consultant should be experienced and competent enough to assist you and lead half of the interview. He or she should test the recruit and check hard skills.

Be open and ask your candidates about ideas to solve your problems. Be interested in their opinions and ways of approaching certain tasks. Challenge them to think out of the box and ask them to explain complex, technical subjects in a clear and understandable way (it’ll help you to check if they are good communicators).

Learn how we approach this topic at Brainhub. We’ve built our recruitment process and called it the hiring funnel. It has 5 steps:

1. Candidate screening
2. Test task
3. Technical test
4. Interview
5. Hired/Not-hired

Explore the hiring funnel to learn more about rules of hiring developers.

Rule 4: Reading References

Well, we all know the truth behind referencing. People tend to show just a few positive and warm references to their future bosses. Be different and before the meeting, look for other references wherever you can! Always try to connect with at least one past employer and ask about the candidate’s performance.

Also, look for their colleagues’ opinions and whoever they worked for or with. They may provide valuable insight into the candidate. Also, try to look for the developer’s past clients – were they satisfied with the job?

Each person’s opinion and insight will give you a fuller picture of a person you’re about to hire. And one more – be strict while talking to those people – ask for facts and make clear that you’re interested in the person’s true image.

What questions should you ask during a reference talk?

1. Why did X (candidate’s name) leave their job?
2. Would you want to work with X again? Why? Why not?
3. What are X’s strong and weak points?
4. Is X an individual worker or a team player?

Rule 5: Will your developer be unique?

Presumably, your answer is “yes!” The potential candidate should have top-notch skills. Going deeper into the term “skills”, we can distinguish 3 main terms:

●  Experience
●  Knowledge
●  Abilities

These, besides intelligence, are the skills you should seek in every developer. Ask and look for a person who will bring experience and/or knowledge and/or abilities to your team.

Think and ask yourself: What skills are your developers lacking right now and how can the new employee support them.

Whatever you answered, time to search for this uniqueness (relevant skills)! During the interview, ask about the candidate’s approach to specific tasks in his/her previous job.

Did they experiment? Are they spontaneous? What did they learn and support? What problems did they solve? How?

Often, particularly in startups and IT companies, people mention stress resistance and the level of risk tolerance. Take these factors into consideration. Does uniqueness mean responsibility, independence, creativity, communicativeness or something else for you? You can surely think about many other questions relevant to your team’s way of working.

Final word

Choosing the developer will be one of the most important decisions and investments. This is a very popular issue among many leaders. Think about it like investing in your capital – here you’re just dealing with people (thus the phrase Human Capital).

The process of hiring can be enjoyable for a person who doesn’t have technical knowledge in an IT company – it’s also an opportunity to broaden your horizons, learn new approaches, and get to know interesting, young people.

Write to us if you would like to add something or give us feedback on our tips and insights. We’d be happy to discuss it with you!

Liked this chapter?

Awesome! We’ll be adding new content on this topic soon. Want to be notified?

Building a Software Development Team: From Hiring to Talent Development

Follow handbook