May 22, 2019
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Hiring for technical roles is always a bit of a different story compared to other positions. The trends in the tech community constantly evolve and new programming languages and frameworks show up much more often nowadays than they used to. The need for qualified developers working with the newest technologies is increasing. At the same time, companies are multiplying actions to attract Software Developers with perks such as salaries above the market standards, full relocation packages, events, hackathons, fully remote roles, unlimited holidays, etc. As a startup, you will constantly compete with the unicorns and well-established tech leaders of the markets having more resources to attract their Software Engineers, especially in tech-hubs like Berlin.
With more and more tech startups on the market, developers are in great need. How do you prepare yourself to face the challenge of hiring them? We want to share some learnings based on years’ of experience in recruiting developers for companies such as solarisBank, Contentful, quantilope, and many others. In the Technical Recruitment series, we will answer the most asked questions on how to hire the best engineering talent.
We are starting with kicking-off the role itself. Hiring great tech teams starts with alignment on the process of hiring them itself.
Before you will start looking for the right people to join your company, it’s important that you will have clear expectations and an outline of the whole interviewing process. Here a few steps that will guide you through the role kick-off:
Kicking-off a role starts with choosing people who will be involved in the recruitment process.
The next step is to clearly define your expectation regarding the person you want to hire. This may include things such as:
To clearly define the role, sit with the Software Developers from your company and get their opinions and insights. They will know which skills are mandatory for the role and which can be acquired on the go. You will also get precious information about the biggest challenges of the role, the reasons why they joined the company, what the team workflow is, and so on. This will later help you with writing a great job description and shape your reach-out messages.
Here, you can also identify flexibility points. Decide what your priorities are and where you can make some compromises. Usually, you won’t get a Senior Engineer for a low price and as-soon-as-possible. You will have to make some trade-offs regarding budget, timing, and/or skills.
To help yourself a bit, you can use a scope triangle:
For example, a startup with a limited budget wants to hire a tech team and they need developers starting in 3 months. The budget is set and I need three developers to work on the product. A solution is to make compromises on the candidates’ skills. How? You can’t compromise on the tech stack but you can use the knowledge of two senior-level developers that are already on board to train the new-joiners. Instead of hiring people with multiple years of experience, you can recruit talented Junior Software Developers who just finished a bootcamp (top hands-on knowledge!) and are eager to learn.
In this step, you will define the details of every step of the interviewing process For example:
The next step is to create a job description that you will use on job listing platforms, such as LinkedIn, Xing, AngelList, etc. Here are some things worth listing, along with some tips to keep in mind:
Make sure to have a basic template that you can reuse for future tech roles.
The last step of the kick-off meeting is to decide where and how are you going to source for potential candidates:
We are going to go back to sourcing in the next part of the Technical Recruitment series, so stay tuned!
To make the whole process easier, you can use a template that we have created. It’s going to walk you through the whole process so that you won’t miss any step:
It’s also worth setting up a weekly stand-up meeting to sync with the recruitment team. In case something doesn’t go as expected, you will give your team an opportunity to share concerns and adapt your hiring strategy accordingly.
Some data to be shared during the meeting:
Last but not least, a couple more tips:
We hope that your kick-off meeting goes well!