In 2015, more than 1,100,000 developers were making, on average, more than $100,000 each in one of the fastest growing industries in the country. It’s no secret that software development is one of today’s most sought after job markets. Companies like Microsoft are going to great lengths to attract top software developer talent, offering their employees everything from dodge ball club memberships to unlimited snacks and on-campus Xbox hubs. But don’t let this high market demand keep you from making the most informed decision when recruiting prospective talent.
In today’s competitive hiring environment, it’s easy for a company to make compromises when hiring a developer for a temporary project. In extreme cases, companies may end up vetting temporary software developer candidates based solely upon their availability.
Short-term compromises are common when hiring temporary staff, but in the long-run, these compromises can make it difficult to build a truly quality product. If you’re hiring for a temporary IT project, you’ll want to keep the following considerations in mind.
Permanent vs. Temporary IT Staff
On a permanent team, you want a blend of experienced IT staff and younger developers that can be molded into ideal, loyal senior developers. What you don’t want is to recruit temporary staff members that you will only need for a short time. Many companies hire temporary developers simply to mine the specific skills required to complete a single project. While temporary staff members offer a perspective that is broader than that held by your company’s permanent employees, they are not invested in the long term success of your company’s initiatives.
If you’re hiring for a one-time IT project (for example, an app) and need to hire temporary staff, you may lack the technical expertise required to effectively evaluate your candidates’ relevant capabilities. However, you should still be able to rely on a candidate’s portfolio. Any temporary developer worth their salt has a portfolio that accurately reflects their ability.
When evaluating a temporary candidate, skip the theory. Skip bulleted skills sections. And skip the Famo.us-style coding tests. Instead, ask to see and use an app (or two) that your candidate has built. This allows you to immediately gauge the candidate’s skills and expertise or lack thereof. Was using the app intuitive and easy? How fast did it load? Was the touch screen user-friendly and easy to navigate? Were the statements, wording, and messages simple and clearly communicated? Did the developer look at the interface in terms of accessibility and usability for all users?
The Value of Communication Skills in Developers
Most software developers aren’t known for their excellent people skills, however, while a permanent staff member doesn’t need to be particularly gregarious or charismatic in order to fit in at the company, they do need to be able to build rapport reasonably well in order to collaborate on the project. If a company doesn’t have dedicated IT staff on hand to liaise between the temporary developer and the rest of the company, then it should put extra emphasis on finding a temporary software developer with excellent communication skills.
Temporary developers must be active communicators and active listeners. It’s likely that these individuals will work more independently than many others at the company, so they must have the ability to keep fellow employees in the loop. Also, as experts, they need to know how to translate that knowledge in a simple, direct way, to communicate with less technical members of your company.
Most importantly, according to a study done in 2013 on soft skills and software development, 88% of job postings for software developers required excellent communication skills as part of their criteria. It’s commonly known that in order to be a good software developer, you need to understand the end user, and the human element of design. (At iTech, we understand this in other words we hire people who get people.)
Hiring a Temporary Software Development Team vs. Individual Developers
Effective development teams are shown to be more creative and more productive, but, when you are dealing with temporary projects and short-term relationships, the bond between team members may not be as strong. Despite your best efforts to build camaraderie, team chemistry is not something that can be developed in a short time.
You can, however, hire established teams instead of hiring multiple individual developers. A team that already works together already knows how to get along, how to delegate tasks, share input, and maximize productivity. Teams require less management and the refined team dynamics result in fewer interpersonal conflicts. This immediately translates into fewer headaches from a project management perspective. At iTech, we coordinate business and technical teams, in addition to fulfilling your needs for individual developers.
Don’t be intimidated by the current market demand for software developers. You don’t want to hire just any temporary software developer, you want to hire an excellent temporary software developer. Just as you don’t want to create just any product or mobile app; you want to create an excellent one. At iTech, we hire the best, work with the best, and retain the best employees from across the globe. Contact iTech to find out how we can help insource the top talent you need to build your next excellent product.