This post was updated in December 2017 with new information.
I bet you can think of a few times when you wanted to make a developer a job offer, but needed the executive team needs to sign off first. How frustrating is it when that happens? Still, the reality is that C-level executives should be involved in the hiring process, especially when it comes to selecting the right developers. The challenge for you is understanding how much of their input is appropriate. After all, it would be ill-advised to ignore their wisdom just for the sake of filling open technical roles.
But how do you figure out how to effectively involve your C-suite in technical hiring decisions—and how do you manage everyone’s expectations?
Short resume review meetings aren't enough to keep your executives in the loop. In addition to forwarding a few resumes over to executives, take it upon yourself to schedule time dedicated to giving the entire team updates on your entire technical hiring process. Be prepared to share details about each role you’re working on, which staff members are involved in interviews, and the level of interview training they had received before you included them in the process. The feedback they have during these meetings will prove to be helpful down the road and will give you more freedom to execute your hiring process without constantly waiting for a directive from above.
The developers we surveyed said that company’s mission is important when considering new jobs. Although you shouldn’t discount your own ability to craft a compelling story about the things that make your opportunity unique, mission statements resonate more with developer candidates when they come directly from your leadership team. When it comes to managing executives who want to be heavily involved in your developer hiring process, this is a win-win. Not only do tech candidates get the opportunity to hear from the people who built your company from the ground-up, but this creates a new way for your leaders to make an impact on your hiring process.
In some cases, the hiring manager might send an offer letter as soon as he or she feels comfortable making a hire. But in others, one executive might want to meet with the candidate before moving forward. You can avoid a lot of potential pitfalls by establishing whether or not an interview with an executive is necessary for a role before you go live with your search. You might not agree that a candidate should have to go through this additional round, but you’ll be able to make sound decisions about developers during the tech hiring process without uncertainty around what might be next.