If you take a
closer look at the current job market you can notice that the IT sector is one
of the most dominant sectors and this is not going to change in the future. On
the contrary, it will increase even more. Hiring a great “IT Developer” can
become quite of a challenge for a company, particularly if the company is not
very tech-savvy. In that case approaching an IT Recruitment Specialist might be
the best solution in order to find the right talent. They will be able to tell
you what role your company needs to look for. The choice is not small: Front
End Developers, Back End Developers, Interactive Developers, Mobile Developers
(Android, ioS, Blackberry, Windows Phone), Flash Developers, SAP Developer, Web
Developers, Oracle Developers, Share Point Developers, OSX-Apple Developers,
.NET Developers, Linux/Unix Developers – it’s a real jungle out there. However,
there are several requirements and skills that a developer needs to have
(regardless of the IT speciality) in order to perform well.
need to test a candidate’s in-depth technical skills and here you have two
options: 1) Use a skills assessment software such as Skillmeter which will help
you to save considerable time as well as money. 2) Involve your technical staff
in the interview and let them test the candidate’s coding skills and at the
same time find out if the candidate makes a good cultural fit.
Some other non-technical
skills you should watch out for are the following:
- Problem solving skills. Software
development is all about compartmentalisation (taking the big problem and
dividing it into small little pieces and solving each piece separately). Thus,
completing the objective of solving the big problem. A great problem solver
doesn’t always have to solve all the problems by themselves as long as the
person knows who else can be approached in order to sort out the issue. It is
important that the candidate perceives problems as a challenge rather than a
- Being a quick, motivated learner and adapter of new technologies. As we all know technology is changing rapidly. Therefore, knowing
how to learn (teaching yourself or attending courses) and adapt quickly to new
programs is of paramount importance. Knowing how to keep up-to-date in this
sector and being intrinsically curious is of high relevance.
- Attention to detail. The candidate needs
to be a perfectionist paying attention to every detail in order to get a
software 100 % right. There is no tolerance for mistakes in order to make it
work at the end.
- People skills. Often people think that
interpersonal skills, also known as soft skills, are not relevant for several
IT roles. Fact is, that sometimes a person who develops software is not limited
to the technical execution of a task only. Interacting with other developers or
clients might in many cases also be part of the job. Having good team-working,
listening, communication, presentation and influencing skills does matter.
Often the best software is not created by one individual but by many others
too. Being able to work in a team can therefore give an applicant the edge.
In a technical
interview you should ask lots of open-ended questions, some examples are as
- What approach do you have when
- Are you on GitHub (open source
- What operating systems are you
- What programming languages do
- What was the most recent
programming language that you learnt?
- What is the project in which
you were involved that made you most proud of? What went particularly well and
what not and why?
- What is the project you were
least proud of and why?
- What projects are you working
on in your free time?
- What resources (online or
off-line) do you use to keep yourself up-to-date?
- What IT-related conferences do
- Do you participate in technical
discussion forums? What was your experience with it so far?
- Which technologies would you
use for our company considering our budget and scope of work? (Look out for
examples in which the candidate talks about the pros and cons of various
options and why the suggested ones seem to be the most suitable for the company.
How knowledgeable and enthusiastic does the candidate sound?).
- Do you have a personal website
or a blog? (The insights of the person’s blog might be much more revealing than
the CV in itself).
the candidate will provide you with will reveal many things: what they know,
what they value, what role they were playing in different companies, how they
solved problems, what their thought process is, how well they explain
IT-related terms and how they communicate to other people.
Two things you
should do without hesitation: 1) Ask candidates to provide some links with
examples of their work or show a portfolio of work samples. This will give you
an additional insight into the candidate’s performance. 2) Contact previous
clients or companies they were working for. They can share their personal
experience regarding the applicant’s proactivity, reliability, attention to
detail and results-orientation.