Although partnering with your current tech team to create your developer hiring strategy sounds straightforward to most recruiters, following through on that best practice isn’t always natural. On the one hand, you feel confident in your abilities and don’t see the need to involve anyone else. But on the other hand, you don’t want to nag your tech team about participating in your interview process, even though you know their input will ultimately help you make sound decisions. To add a little clarity to the way you work cross-functionally with your engineering team, here are a few ways your should collaborate with your software development team.
It would be easy enough to go to your developers and broadly ask them for a list of roles they’d like to add. Before you launch any role, talk to your engineers about why these roles are urgent to their success as a team. Kerri Miller, a Lead Software Engineer at LivingSocial, recently discussed this with our sister company, Fog Creek Software. She says, “[Companies] don’t go into these things with a conscious sense of where they are and what they need, and how the future’s going to change by adding more people.” You could make a few assumptions about why your organization needs more headcount, but learning how (and why) your tech leadership hires developers will keep you from guessing along the way.
When I was a recruiter, I put a lot of pressure on myself to know so much about each of my roles that I could properly evaluate a candidate without having a hiring manager around. The problem I ran into was twofold. For starters, I could have spent days researching my open roles and still would have had knowledge gaps. More importantly, the hiring managers I worked with often repeated the same questions in later interviews, which made us look like we hadn’t prepared at all. This is a completely avoidable issue if you’re intentional about sitting down with your tech team to determine which questions each person is responsible for asking before the interview.
Some companies offer feedback to developers they reject during the interview process, but if you want to take the next step as a recruiter, be bold and ask your current developers for feedback on your performance as an interviewer. It might not be easy to hear at first, but I learned some of the most impactful recruiting lessons of my career by asking hiring managers to give me an honest take. If I hadn’t asked, I would have never learned that I had a bad habit of talking about myself too much during interviews. The best technical recruiters are open to learning in as many forums as possible, even if that means getting some harsh feedback—and your software development team likely sees things that you’re missing during the interview process.