All tech recruiters have one thing in common: They work with a lot of different people. As a result, making hiring decisions can be incredibly difficult. You want to give your hiring managers the autonomy to choose the right people for your team. But you also know that it shouldn't be up to just one person to make the final call.
The most obvious solution is to implement a more collaborative developer hiring process. But how can you do this—and why should you? Let's walk through some of the best reasons for working with your engineering managers, instead of against them.
You probably have some talented engineering managers with strong opinions about hiring developers. And because you’ve done such a good job of identifying the right people to manage your developers, it would be tempting to rely on them to make the final call on every candidate you meet.
Our CEO Joel Spolsky says that leaving each hiring decision to one person will ultimately lead to bad hiring decisions. “It’s too easy to fake out one interview,” he adds, “especially when a non-programmer interviews a programmer.” To combat this, he suggests that each developer you interview should meet at least six people, including five who would be the candidate’s peers.
It’s worth reiterating the fact that while you were hired to recruit talented developers, it’s not your job to know every technical detail about what your engineering team does. Sure, you should be able to speak to the overall team dynamic. But when it comes to talking to candidates about your company’s tech stack or its upcoming projects,leave it to your developers.
For some companies, that might mean having each candidate meet with several developers in a formal interview setting. For others, it might only require informal lunch meetings to determine whether or not the candidate would be an addition to the company’s culture. Whatever the case may be for your business, take advantage of the fact that your engineers are often the ideal people to sell candidates on joining the team.
Let's say it again: Your developers are smart, talented, and have strong opinions. This is especially the case when you're interviewing people who could become their teammates—and you'd be making a huge mistake by ignoring them.
The easiest way to empower them to speak up is to include your developers in the hiring process. Not only does this give them the opportunity to meet potential candidates, but it will also go a long way in making your programmers feel like valued members of your organization—which will ultimately pay dividends in retaining them down the road.
A more collaborative developer hiring process is beneficial to you and the candidate. Because developers are in such high demand, the fact remains that they typically have a lot of options whenever they’re searching for a new job. Developers also tend to avoid jumping at the first opportunity they receive, and they take great care to evaluate every single facet about the companies they’re considering before they make a decision.
As John Sullivan told ERE, a collaborative hiring process gives candidates the opportunity to interact with future teammates and get a realistic idea of what it would be like to jump aboard. This level of engagement could ultimately set your opportunity apart from the rest, especially if the candidate hasn’t had the same degree of exposure to development teams at other companies.