Evaluating an IT professional is often a challenge for average recruiters, and those who have been in the hiring position are well aware of the difficulty of evaluating candidates for technology positions. Most of the time this is because the distinctive qualities of software engineering candidates are considerably difficult to evaluate.
Hiring developers is indeed an art. However, there are approaches and methodologies to evaluate the subtler dimensions of skills and, at the same time, the essential skills of a developer. When used together, these basic recruiting techniques have very good outcomes. In this article, we list some essential steps in interviewing and evaluating an IT professional…
The first step in conducting substantial evaluations is to create a pipeline with the best candidates. That is to say, having a funnel process to limit the number of candidates going on to the interview phase, which will allow you to focus on viable candidates and not waste time on those who do not match the needs of the company or do not have the skills required. Currently, the best source of qualified candidates is personal networking, as qualified people tend to associate with more qualified people. Personal references are key to successful recruitment.
Review the job description. When you are ready to start your selection process, start with the basics and verify that the job description accurately reflects the needs of the company. See if it needs any updates, take note of the most important aspects and compile a list of required competencies. It is time to ask yourself questions like “what do I expect from a potential candidate?” and “what skill should I value the most?” to be prepared for the interview and focus on what you want to determine. Ideally, use the structured interview format.
Demonstrate that you have read the CV. Once the interview phase has begun, showing the candidate that you have researched them is a good detail because it is a sign of treating someone seriously. The interview is not the time to familiarize yourself with the curriculum, but showing interest in the candidate’s work and experience is crucial. However, neither should you make the mistake of just focusing on the candidate’s resume and spending the whole process throwing questions about past projects.
Set a technical challenge. Present a problem to the candidate and ask them to describe a solution. The problem should be similar to those they might encounter during work and they have to indicate how they would solve it, what processes they would use, what technologies they would consider solving the problem. For example, you can ask things like “If we need to improve the security of a web application, what strategy would you use to achieve it?”. These kinds of questions fit well in the structured interview format.
Avoid random questions. A common mistake that many recruiters make when conducting this type of interview is asking random questions. When it comes to technology, this type of question has no place, since most of the time the candidate has no idea what to answer as they depend a lot on the context, which can be very inconvenient in terms of the time factor and the development of the interview. Long interviews are often tedious for both the interviewee and the interviewer.
Offer online coding evaluations. Conducting an online assessment without having to invite candidates to an on-site interview is also an option, especially important in the technology industry, where relocation is common. Online programming tests are an excellent way to reduce the number of candidates going through the interview, which makes the selection process much more efficient. Online programming tests should:
– Include practical and not solely theoretical questions where the candidate must write a program.
– Be part of an automated process of sending and monitoring the evaluation process.
– Fit the level of difficulty of the position.
Implementing the techniques listed above can help you recruit and select software developers who fit the company and have the knowledge and skills the job requires. However, it is important to know that effective recruitment is not a destination, it is a process, and each company’s process is different; the key is to learn from it.