Hiring the Right Developer for the Right Job

by tmhr consulting

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tips for interviewing contractors There are some interesting things that we have learned these past couple of weeks about hiring the right developer for the right job.

Since we have been in the custom software development business we have worked with many developers.

One thing we have found over and over again is that it is more important to interview and hire the right person than it is to hire the right technical skills.

It is also a lot easier to determine technical skills than it is to determine the right people skills.

Recently we had to hire a number of developers for three different projects we were tasked to complete. As usual our time frames were short and there was not a lot of spare time if we hired the wrong person for each project.

So the first thing we did was find developers who said they could do the job. We were lucky enough to find a group of very strongly skilled developers and it was our job to reduce the large list down to a smaller more manageable size.

One of the things we did was attempt to setup interview times and many of the applicants were nice enough not to respond within a reasonable time frame and therefore were immediately eliminated from our final list of candidates.

Next we interviewed the final list of candidates and completely ignored their technical skills and continually asked non-technical questions about their recent projects, which one was their favourite, why it was their favourite, etc.

The other questions we asked were related to how they dealt with their clients, difficult situations, etc.

We told our candidates that we were looking for developers who were available, responsive and worked well with others. It was surprising to us some of the responses we received from these questions and requirements.

It was surprisingly easy for us to reduce our candidates down to two per position.

Once we did that we were having a real hard time determining which candidate we should choose. So we came up with a simple test that we thought would help us pick the right candidate.

We decided to take a piece of code related to the project that the candidate was going to be developing, give them a copy and ask then in their own words to critique the code and tell us:

  • What was the code designed to do?
  • What was good about it?
  • What were any deficiencies in the code?
  • How well was it documented?
  • How would they improve the code?

I can tell you that we received some absolutely amazing response and those responses allowed us to easily choose and hire the right candidate.

What I can also tell you is that in one aspect we ended up hiring both candidates because both responses were just that good.

So when you are looking to hire a technical resource our suggestion would be to hire the right person first and the technical skills will follow.

Please tell us about your hiring secret. What do you do to ensure you hire the right person for the position?


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