As a tech recruiter, you don’t need to have extensive coding experience to do your job well. But to hit your hiring goals, you do need a basic understanding of the each role you’re hiring for—and more importantly, you can’t assume that all developers have the same skillsets, interests, and career goals. Whether you’re in the initial stages of the recruitment process or on the verge of extending an offer, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you hire a developer.
The career trajectory of a developer isn’t always straightforward. Some candidates want to follow a traditional arc that takes them from an individual contributor’s level to engineering manager, VP of Engineering, or a CTO role. But many others really love coding—and often times, they just aren’t interested in any type of promotion that would take them away from it.
This question is particularly important to answer in the early stages of your developer hiring process. If you know that a senior-level developer wants to grow into a management role, there’s a good chance that he or she will be excited to receive a recruitment email from you. But if that person has no interest in stepping away from full-time programming, he or she probably won’t respond to your message about a leadership position.
Every programmer has his or her own unique set of challenges, and knowing what they are is critical when you need to hire a developer. For example, mobile developers think about how to create world-class software for users on smaller devices. But if you’re looking for someone to focus on backend data security, candidates won’t be particularly worried about the user experience on a mobile app.
Taking the time to unpack the problems each developer type handles at work will enable you to tailor your recruiting message and address their biggest concerns. Additionally, these insights will help you evaluate how candidates tackle these challenges, making it much easier to choose the right one for your team.
A list of programming languages on a developer’s CV will give you some insight into what they’re capable of doing, but take a closer look at some of the the projects they’ve completed in the past. More importantly, ask yourself whether their past successes are indicative of future wins as part of your engineering team.
Some developer roles you recruit for might require a person who’s specialized in a small handful of key technologies. Other positions might be cross-functional and be best suited for someone who’s more of a jack-of-all-trades. Understanding how each developer’s previous work translates to your team’s needs not only keeps you laser focused on finding the right candidates, but it also helps you avoid reaching out to anyone who you know isn’t a fit for the job.