It's a seller's market for software developers today. The goal of any product owner or other person responsible for delivering products on time is to increase sprint completion percentages, produce more high-quality code, or reduce the time it takes for a product to reach the market.
But how do you overcome these recruitment obstacles, weed through a growing pile of applications, and find the right developer for your team when faced with a complex vet developer process?
With tech-based roles, you'll have additional recruitment challenges due to inexperience with highly-specialized, technical skill sets. You might need to familiarize yourself with programming languages and identify brilliant lines of code. How can you tell the difference between a good and a great line of code?
Success depends on many factors, but it all comes down to having the right people doing the right stuff.
Our developer vetting process has allowed us to vet thousands of tech candidates and narrow that number down to clients worldwide. Remotebase's well-designed, comprehensive testing process continues to evolve to find the best candidates from only the most qualified applicants.
How to vet developers? Here is everything you need to know.
Challenges of Vetting Tech Candidates
1. High recruitment costs
It takes a great deal of patience, time, skill, and money to vet tech candidates. Most businesses and individuals need to pay more attention to the complexity of recruitment, especially when hiring software developers.
Recruiting costs are one of the most crucial factors a business considers when hiring. The average American company spends $4,000 to hire a new employee, taking up to 52 days to do so, according to Glassdoor.
Furthermore, according to Entrepreneur, business owners spend 40% of their working hours performing non-income-generating tasks, including recruiting.
The hiring process for software developers is time-consuming and extremely expensive. To solve these issues, many companies hire third-party outsourcing providers to cut hiring costs.
2. Competitors with better offers
Recruiters need help finding vet tech candidates remotely because of stiff competition in the industry. Every company needs developers, and every company provides different perks to attract talented candidates.
Companies in CareerBuilder's 2018 Midyear Job Forecast highlight the following office perks in their job offers to engage potential candidates and ultimately hire new developers.
The benefits listed here are just a few that companies offer to attract new tech talent. In addition to competitive salaries, job seekers, including IT professionals, are considering other factors, including benefits, perks, company culture, and career development opportunities.
3. High costs of hiring software engineers
Engineers are expensive to hire, not only because of their wages and benefits but because of the entire recruitment and hiring process. According to a human capital report from SHRM, the cost of hiring an employee exceeds $4,000. The process typically takes more than a month.
Moreover, if you're hiring for a software company, you're likely to need an entire team since these figures refer to hiring just one person.
The longer the recruiting process, the more resources you're draining, regardless of whether you form an internal team or try your luck with freelancers. However, rushing to fill a position only leads to additional problems, such as quick churn, loss of quality, and revenue loss.
Planning the hiring process in advance, defining evaluation criteria, and avoiding common mistakes when hiring developers will ensure you get the most from your recruitment funds.
4. Limited talent pool
The software engineering market is saturated with job opportunities. However, finding the right engineer for your company can take time due to the limited talent pool for the technology or skills you require.
You are in luck if you need to fill a position in Internet development, Android development, or iOS development. These technologies have been around for a long time, so there are plenty of resources available. If you don't find candidates in your area, you can rely on vetting tech candidates remotely since more people are mastering the technologies mentioned above.
If, however, you need an engineer to handle more exclusive technologies, such as IoT, artificial intelligence, or augmented reality, how do you vet out a developer? Employers often recognize and reward top-level engineers who work with niche technologies, incentivizing them to remain with bonuses and other retention measures.
Although hiring remotely may help you in this regard, you should keep in mind that searching for a suitable candidate will take longer than looking for developers who deal with more standard technologies. Even so, your company's potential should not be limited by the limited pool of local talent.
Steps for Vetting a Developer
You can count on great software developers to bring home the bacon, just like you can count on the best players for your team. As you need high-quality results in a fast-paced technology-driven field like software development, you need highly skilled IT talent who work more efficiently and are a cost-effective investment.
It's not easy to find them, though. A wide variety of business models are turning to digital acceleration to reach a wider audience, whether they're long-time or new. Organizations seeking great software developers' services are few and far between.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for IT talent will grow exponentially to 21% by 2028. Other jobs are expected to have a demand of just 5%.
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Over the next few years, there will be greater growth in the employment market for software developers than in other occupations.
Choosing the right developer candidate will be easier if you have a solid system. Conversely, knowing the right approach will help you connect with the best software developers, resulting in well-designed software, and give you a significant competitive edge.
1. Attract the pool
Businesses cannot afford to leave any stone unturned when finding and keeping technical talent. However, they have been slow to diversify their talent pools to recruit technical professionals. The reasons are often complex but surprisingly simple.
For instance, a lack of familiarity with interviewing techniques and poorly worded job descriptions can play a big role. Even the most well-intentioned efforts can be crippled by more familiar yet still intractable management problems, such as accountability and goal specificity.
Any company with serious technology ambitions needs to incorporate diversity into its talent strategy, including socioeconomic, educational, and neurodiversity. In fact, highly sought-after technical talent often refuses job offers or does not even apply to companies they perceive as non-inclusive.
Companies that employ diverse senior leadership outperform their competitors and attract top talent more effectively.
Rather than going out of your way to find clients and employees, use a 'pull' appeal. Essentially, you draw them to you by creating your company as a place people worldwide want to work for and are drawn to.
In essence, create your brand by highlighting your talent and inclusion, discussing how your business can change the world, and describing how your operations reach worldwide.
A company that is employee-centric and provides a wide range of benefits to its employees is more likely to attract incredible employees if it can position itself as one.
Did you know with Remotebase's AI Job Description Generator, your tech talent search can be instantly improved by 52%. With advanced AI automation, the tool will generate high-quality target-based job descriptions based on your requirements. You don't need to install anything; just enter your requirements and let the tool do its magic.
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2. Candidate’s portfolio
Almost all top candidates have an impressive portfolio. A well-crafted portfolio might include open-source contributions, contributions to Github or Stackoverflow, and links to personal projects.
Stackoverflow and Github are excellent starting points for analyzing candidates' programming language preferences, repositories, and open-source contributions.
As a recruiter, Stackoverflow is an excellent source of information about a candidate that is available to the public. All developers visit programmer Q&A sites like StackOverflow for technology-related questions.
Developers' Stackoverflow reputations are based on accepted answers, bounty hunting, and upvotes to answers. These are peer-reviewed and strictly anti-spam, so they are always objective.
3. Technical interview
Here's where the magic happens. Many candidates claim to have experience with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. However, when solving a simple task, like putting a dot every third digit and making a thousand separators, they sit on that task for 30 minutes. You'd want to spot that as soon as possible.
There is one general rule that brings the best recruitment results, regardless of the company, role, or seniority: make the verification process as similar as possible to everyday project routines.
4. Coding assessment
CVs are only sometimes accurate. That's why Coding Assessments are useful in gauging the potential candidate's skill set.
Coding assessment has become an important part of the tech hiring process for entry-level candidates or candidates without a solid portfolio. These coding skill tests can combine hands-on coding challenges with conceptual multi-choice questions. Developers can be assessed on the following topics by an industry-validated coding skill test:
- Algorithmic and data structure challenges
- Challenges specific to a language or framework
- Challenges associated with open-ended system design
During the assessment test, candidates are screened based on their ability to perform tasks related to the job. If the candidate cannot answer fundamental questions about the job, it would raise a red flag.
To maximize the chance of landing a job, recruiters should administer coding assessments before interviews. Coding skill assessment software allows recruiters to send out online tests and automatically generate a performance report for each candidate.
As a result of coding assessment platforms, recruiters can standardize and benchmark their applicants in a bias-free manner during the tech hiring process. In addition, the hiring manager saves time and only looks at qualified candidates, so all candidates receive a fair and meritocratic experience.
These one-day events can provide hiring managers insight into an individual's collaborative skills and work processes when held as part of a community event.
As a result, hackathons are particularly useful for hiring niche skills, such as security or database specialists. Online hackathons also provide a great opportunity to acquire overseas talent.
Alternatively, a company may want to conduct an offline interview at the company's headquarters, which will provide insight into an individual's soft skills. The event needs to be tailored to your specific hiring goals. Create a team-based hackathon challenge, for example, if you want to hire people to work on a large team.
6. Pair programming
A pair programming session is used by companies to develop software. It can also be used to vet candidates for tech skills. In pair programming, one person writes the code, and another checks it for completeness.
An expert can test your potential hire on their real-time programming skills. An expert can sit alongside your candidate and assess coding skills in real-time. Recruiters can also evaluate ancillary skills such as problem-solving, paradigm shifts, and rapid improvisation.
Employers that use the process internally may find pair programming a natural choice because it also provides an opportunity to evaluate communication and soft skills, such as time management fundamentals.
7. Interpersonal interviews
- Communication skills
In this case, what you are looking for is comprehension and clarity of the message. Are developers and architects capable of communicating concepts succinctly and clearly, or do you have to ask them for clarifications frequently? A development team should be able to communicate clearly with you and keep you informed if a bug occurs or a delay occurs during development.
If they have suggestions on how you can improve your user interface and user experience (UI/UX), you need to make sure they can explain them clearly so you can take their advice. After all, they are the experts that you are hiring.
How fast does your development team respond to questions? Do they adhere to your Service Level Agreement? How does their tone seem when they respond to normal inquiries?
As a result, your prospective development team needs to be extremely responsive and always have a positive/excited attitude during initial engagement.
Imagine what the relationship will be when you hit a bump in the road if the developers don't meet your expectations of responsiveness or have a disposition that lacks excitement during the beginning of a project when everything is cheery and energy is high. The status quo may not be satisfactory for you if you don't maintain it when things get tough.
- Listening skills
The importance of listening skills is always emphasized. When you work with offshore developers, it can feel existential.
If it is a complex topic, you might need to repeat yourself multiple times to ensure understanding. This is true whether you are working with on-shore or offshore developers. For simple requests and day-to-day tasks, you want to ensure that you are heard and recognized.
At first, you may not see why repeating yourself a few times here, and there is such a big deal, but as the work picks up, you will realize how important this is.
The key waking hours that overlap between time zones are when you want your developers to concentrate on their work. When considering both time zones and availability, it's vital to have your developers' full attention during those key waking hours.
- Critical thinking
If you're hiring a team of developers, you want to hire them based on their skills and feedback. You're hiring professionals, so you should value their opinions and listen to them. To move in the right direction, a developer must express critical thinking by asking questions about the scope of work and offering suggestions and alternatives.
When you hear blanket objections without any substance to back them up, it's clear the relationship isn't right. Or if you get silence or a one-word response, they're not actively listening to you.
However, if your potential development partner demonstrates genuine interest in your product's look, feel, and functionality, then you've found a winning match.
8. Online vetting tools
To evaluate developers' technical skills, you can use a range of online tools that are useful both for remote and onsite interviews.
With Codility, recruiters can conduct online coding tests to evaluate candidates. This platform allows you to screen thousands of developers 2.5 times faster and increase the quality of candidates.
You can choose from several screening methods with the tool, including:
CodeCheck: This tool allows employers to create remote skills assessments tailored to specific job positions and can be used to assess candidates' basic technical skills.
CodeLive: Using this platform, you can conduct virtual interviews with remote developers. It provides several features, such as whiteboards and templates, for a smooth hiring process.
CodeChallenge: Codility helps recruiters conduct online coding challenges with candidates, providing all technical resources. Companies like PayPal, Microsoft, and Amazon use Codility to hire tech talent.
With HackerRank, remote hiring can be done efficiently and in less time. From finding developers to conducting interviews, this tool helps in the entire hiring process.
Employers can use several methods to screen candidates, including:
CodeScreen: You can create online coding tests for candidates according to their experience and skill level.
CodePair: Potential developers can be tested for collaborative and problem-solving skills with online pair programming.
Projects: Using mock projects helps employers determine a developer's real-life skills.
Insights: This helps you hire the best candidates based on their performances.
It also helps businesses hire qualified software engineers by connecting them with leading employers worldwide.
ChallengeRocket is an online job board and developer screening tool. Employers can post jobs and create challenges to screen candidates.
Recruiters can use ChallengeRocket to:
Code challenges: These challenges can be automated to generate accurate results and identify the best candidates.
Creative challenges: With advanced code challenges, recruiters can test candidates' out-of-the-box thinking.
Organize hackathons: Technical and collaborative skills can be evaluated by employers using hackathons to engage candidates.
The platform helps you hire seamlessly by serving a ready base of potential developers, as Samsung, JP Morgan, Ericsson, and Bosch also use ChallengeRocket to find top tech talent.
Hiring the top 1% of talent globally can be challenging due to cultural, regional, and organizational differences. Many of the traditional hiring elements disappear when you hire remotely.
The benefits of remote hiring are enormous, but the challenge remains in filtering out hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants. With Remotebase, you can turbocharge your sprints in 24 hours.
Developers are tested on their skills rather than their self-reported experience from traditional resumes or job interviews at Remotebase. The rigorous vetting process is designed to select only the top 1% of remote developers.
5 Ways to Retain More Tech Talent
A recent Gartner survey suggests that the most significant obstacle to the success of CIOs worldwide is talent. Information, including big data, analytics, and information management, are among the talent gaps.
The best way to win the IT talent war is to build an IT talent brand, says Dan Roberts, CEO of Ouellette & Associates Consulting and author of Unleashing the Power of IT: Bringing People, Business, and Technology Together. According to Roberts, all companies have a brand, whether they are aware of it or not, and if that brand is strong, you will attract, develop, and retain top talent.
We live in a disruptive era where talent wars are real and will get even crazier in the coming years. Businesses that take proactive measures and do something different will win, because the better talent will win this game.
To help you build a stronger talent brand and solidify your developer vetting process, here are four tips.
There is always a need for employees to be more clear about their role and their future at work.
According to a survey from TinyPulse, 36% of tech workers believe they have a clear career path, compared with 50% of people in marketing, finance, and other fields.
Deloitte researcher Josh Bersin reported that high-potential young employees need regular feedback and career progression advice rather than just one-time reviews. They need to be spoken to at least once a month.
A lack of strong employee data makes it difficult for organizations to make better workforce decisions.
CIOs can better tailor development opportunities by creating heat maps that show each employee's core competencies, strengths, and weaknesses. That way, they can track talent. You need to be laser-focused on training and mentoring because most companies do not have the time to address every possible issue.
3. Employee wellness
Companies must create a learning culture where employees take more ownership of their development and don't wait for managers to tell them what to do. Otherwise, they risk falling behind the competition.
Choosing a core competency, such as business acumen, communication skills, or project management, and working with your team on that skill over time makes the process easier.
According to TinyPulse's survey, 92% of businesses with a strong learning culture develop novel products and processes, are more productive, and have a high level of employee engagement.
Gallup's latest poll shows employee engagement is at its highest level—30%. That means 70% are disengaged.
Considering that the war for talent is becoming more challenging every year, this is an important factor for CIOs to take into account. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, disengagement costs US organizations $450 billion to $550 billion annually.
Setting up regular one-on-one conversations with managers about career, personal development, and professional development drives employee engagement within the organization.
4. Navigating internal mobility
Employees who remain in the same place for an extended period of time may become flight risks. Therefore, it is important to move them into different roles that will enable them to develop and learn.
To adapt to the needs of the younger workforce, CIOs need to change their leadership styles. Millennials won't be with the same company, or in the same career, for 30 years, but you can give them multiple career paths within your company.
Considering younger employees as flight risks after a year is pertinent to help them find their next job. People who can move into new opportunities are more engaged in organizations that foster internal mobility.
Curb the Hiring Pain with Remotebase
According to a survey conducted by the Chicago-based business and technology firm West Monroe, 77% of senior executives plan to hire in the near future, with 51 percent saying it is hard to hire employees with the right skills and 16 percent saying competition is the biggest obstacle. According to the same report, a large portion of investment dollars will go toward digital technologies and digital transformation, which will increase the demand for software developers.
The hiring process for tech talent takes 50 percent longer, resulting in an eight-week delay, including software engineers, compared to other roles. CIOs will almost unanimously agree that this shortage limits their ability to innovate and compete effectively.
Besides talent scarcity, there is also the scarcity of in-demand skills, which is not directly related to talent. New technological developments are prompting the development of new skills in related software, contributing to a shortage of in-demand skills.
Blockchain, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity are transformational technologies that require new skill sets that only some tech professionals have, creating many hard-to-fill positions.
With such alarming numbers rotating in the industry, you need fast recruitment with faster and even greater results.
Hire remote pre-vetted developers tailor-matched to you with Remotebase. Every step of the way, from onboarding engineers to regularly reviewing their performance, we ensure that our clients have an exceptional experience.
Here’s what you get from Remotebase:
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is candidate screening important?
When your team reviews and assesses job applications, it is called candidate screening. By this point in the hiring process, you are beyond talent sourcing. As a hirer, your job is to determine who has the skills, experience, and qualities required for the position and who does not. To keep the best talent from slipping away, candidate screening is time and resource-intensive.
Why is candidate screening particularly important for tech positions?
When you screen and evaluate candidates early in the hiring process, your organization saves valuable time and money. This recruitment technique improves efficiency and gives your company insight into potential employees. There is a widening skills gap between top talent and inexperienced individuals in IT roles (including developers, architects, designers, project managers, and quality assurance testers). If you're looking for a seasoned IT professional, you'll need to move fast because demand far exceeds supply.
What are the most common methods for screening and evaluating tech candidates?
Several strategies can be used to screen your tech candidates for a good fit. You can conduct skill tests and job-specific assessments to screen for the right fit. You can also conduct résumé and cover letter screenings, use an applicant tracking system, request phone, and video pre-interviews, conduct a background check (including a review of a candidate's online presence), and check references. Choosing the best fit for your team takes time, but these methods bring you closer to that goal.
Looking for remote developers?
If you’re on the hunt to build your own engineering team without going through the hiring hassle, reach out to Remotebase and hire top-tier developers in a day.