How do the recruitment process work?
Grzegorz Papaj, 15 October 2019
The recruitment of developers can be a pain in the neck for HR department. Candidates who are available on the labor market have opinions of “spoiled specialists” or “incompetent juniors without experience”. So how exactly do situation with programmers look? And is there any chance to find right developers on labor market. This text begins a series of articles about recruitment process. Let’s start with how the programmer's recruitment process works generally.
Where do job offers come from?
Let’s put ourselves in place of typical recruiter or HR employee who was assigned to find a developer. And not just a regular developer but a specialist in a given subject. Usually, in the first place the series of questions must be asked to make searching for a candidate easier. All of this to know what to put in job description which will be placed on the company website or job boards, as well as to have a list useful during searching in the base or social network. At this stage, the CIO or other technical person usually define that the ideal candidate should know ... And here is a long list of programming languages, frameworks, technologies, methodologies and supporting tools. Recruiters may not have heard of some of them before. They know others, but only by name. But we can't blame them - that's not what their job is all about. And HR employees hire not only programmers. They can't know everything.
When the recruitment process is for a specialist or managerial job position, it becomes important that the candidate not only “knows” the given technology but is good at it. This is always a very important aspect. In the end, probably everyone have already hired someone who did not meet the expectations. Unfortunately the skills cannot be checked at the CV collection stage. In practice, it means approximating them by checking the experience. - to track how many years and in what projects the candidate worked with a given technology.
So finally, a checklist in the job offer contains specific requirements like "at least X years of experience in ABC technology".
If it goes well, the applications will start flowing after the job description is posted.
Job offer should be a first step. On the basis of job description potential candidate should do a self-assessment and if it goes right apply. However, it doesn’t always work like this. Many candidates apply for a job but don’t meet the minimal criteria. What’s more, there are also often situations when it turns out later that candidates vamped resumes up.
The recruiter job is to go through all applications and check them in terms of minimal formal requirements. In practice it means ensuring that candidate listed all known technologies and have long enough experience. Of course other aspects such as experience in our company industry or interesting projects are also taken into account. But the intuition and experience of recruiter have also a quite big value. In the end, the list of candidates is made for further verification by interviewing.
Before first meeting (optional step)
When the recruitment process is carried out in IT company with constant demand for experts, sometimes there is a possibility to verify skills of candidate even before the interview. Many companies use dedicated online tools to examine programming skills (for example Condility). Unfortunately, such platforms just examine specified technologies and only a little part of skills required from developer. But despite this, such online tools are useful things because they help to reject people who vamped up their CVs.
Sometimes the verification takes place also on the first meeting, where various types of competence tests appear, both in electronic and paper version. These tests have one purpose: to reduce the number of people who are going to talk to the projects manager or CIO in person (who should focus on software development or maintenance, not recruitment).
Interview with potential candidate usually ends recruitment process. Of course, there are some kind of deviations from a rule. Sometime there are two interviews (with HR and with future superior) and also the first part of interview is all about skills test (in electronic or paper version). Nevertheless, the conversation with future superior is always held.
This is a stage, when the IT department is involved in the recruitment process. Usually the HR department provided at least a few candidates and from among which manager will choose the one with whom will work well. The conversation during the interview is all about candidate’s experience, sometimes going into the technical details of key technologies. There are also some questions about accomplished projects or about opinions and personal preferences. If everything goes according to plan, this stage ends with the employment of right candidate.
However, it may happen that things are not going so well
What can go wrong?
Unfortunately, above described model doesn’t always work that way. There can be problems at every stage. We will discuss about this in the next article: The most common problems with recruitment of developers.