With an estimated 20 million software developers worldwide (as of 2017) and over 250 programming languages and countless specialties, it’s easy to see how difficult it could be for a hiring manager to find the right person for the job.
IT hiring is not easy. When you hire a commercial electrician, you know that they have what it takes to get the job done. But this is not necessarily the case for a developer. There are numerous software developer types, and if you hire one at random, there’s a good chance they may lack the skills required to get the job done.
One developer’s specialty may be quite different from another’s, which presents big challenges to hiring the right developer for your exact needs. Even hiring managers who are extremely well-versed on the types of software developers and their skill sets may encounter struggles during the hiring process. So what are the most common mistakes involved in hiring software developers, and how can you avoid or overcome them?
Mistake: Failing to Identify the Best Approach for the Project
There are many strategies for approaching a software development project. If you fail to properly identify the best development strategy before you begin the hiring process, you may end up with a less-than-ideal end result.
Let’s say your company needs to develop a new, custom-tailored inventory tracking system. There are many choices involved in developing this sort of interface, including the platform and operating system, programming languages, hardware and beyond. And not all platforms, hardware and programming languages are created equally. What’s possible and practical with one programming language may not be viable with another. Each language has its own unique set of capabilities, weaknesses and advantages; as such, you should choose the right one for your platform and needs.
Given the many approaches to success (or the potential for failure, depending on your perspective), it’s essential that your project managers establish their approach for the project before hiring developers. In some instances, your company may benefit from an IT consulting firm for insight into the best software development strategy to reach your goals.
Mistake: Failing to Draft Comprehensive (And Accurate) Project Specs
The project specs sit at the very heart of the hiring process, and are the largest variables when developing an accurate job description. If you fail to articulate your project’s scope and approach, finding the right talent becomes far more challenging. [bctt tweet=”The project specs sit at the very heart of the hiring process, and are the largest variables when developing an accurate job description.” via=”no”]
Problems arise because many companies recycle project specs, using similar specifications as a starting point and altering them slightly to suit the new project. But this can cause some major problems, as you may have project specs that lack the necessary level of detail and accuracy. If you use such specs to build your job descriptions and use those descriptions as the basis of your developer search, you could end up hiring developers who just aren’t right for the project.
Therefore, it’s critical that hiring managers work with their development team leaders to ensure that the appropriate time and effort is invested into crafting detailed, accurate development project specs. Only then can you proceed by hiring developers with the experience and skills required to get the job done on time and within budget.
Mistake: Failing to Consider the Rest of the Development Team
Software development is often a team effort, with the best and most efficient software development teams operating in a highly efficient and productive manner. However, if you fail to consider the team properly—including how individuals will fit in with the rest of the team—you could end up with mismatches. Team dynamics matter. Soft skills and other non-technical skills can have a tremendous impact on the quality of the work and the end result. Dynamics aside, there’s also the matter of coordinating expertise in your software development team to ensure consistent and smooth workflow.
Asking the following questions upfront will help ensure effective team composition:
- Does a candidate’s experience complement the team, ideally both creating much-needed redundancy and expanding the team’s collective abilities?
- Does the individual have experience working within a team of a similar size that has used your preferred development methodology?
- Are you hiring for cultural fit? This is a major consideration, as a strong match between the company/team and the individual can go a long way toward promoting productivity and success.
Addressing these points will increase your chances of finding the right person for the job. If you’re seeking help with the software developer hiring process, consider turning to a team of professionals. At iTech, we specialize in IT consulting and temporary IT staffing. We invite you to contact us to learn more about how we can help you find IT staff that will suit your company and its needs.