The digital skills gap is widening at an alarming rate, with research from Deloitte stating that 75% of hiring executives are finding recruitment tricky given the existing landscape.
Furthermore, only 12% believe that graduates are equipped with the necessary digital skills to succeed in their business.
Considering the dearth of software development talent, one solution could be to change the way that you hire software developers. Here we outline some of the ways to revolutionise your recruitment process both in terms of how you evaluate interviewees and how you source candidates in the first place.
Key Attributes To Look For In Potential Recruits
Anyone looking to hire new talent will need to identify the following attributes in possible candidates:
- Basic Technical Skills
- Commercial Skills
- Behavioural Profile and Soft Skills
Part of what being great at recruitment is about is being able to discern differing requirements in the last two categories. While there may be many candidates with the technical proficiency to join your team, getting the one who will understand your work culture and perform well within it is vitally important. But it can be very difficult.
During an interview, candidates put on their nicest clothes, prepare their smartest answers and ensure they put across the best possible version of themselves. This doesn’t always reflect who they are on a day-to-day basis.
Finding an objective measure isn’t easy, and commercial and interpersonal skills aren’t baked into traditional methods of education in the way that technical skills are. So most of the time, it’s impossible to know for sure how a person will work within your team.
That’s why we’ve made teaching these skills a key part of our Master courses. We promote team-work, empathy and mindfulness to promote strong interpersonal skills within our students, and give them hands-on experience of the agile methodology and common tools such as kanban boards.
This helps solve two of the key issues, but what about those all-important technical skills?
The Interview Process
With tech being such a skills-focused career path, it can be tempting to include a development task as a part of the interview. However, without being able to mitigate external factors, this can often be unwise and give you a false impression of the candidate.
If said task is to be completed in the interview, it will need to be done under severe time pressure. While specific sprints will inevitably have to be completed in a timely fashion, working under such strenuous conditions is unlikely to reflect how your candidate usually performs.
Furthermore, it will either be done with the interviewer looming over the candidate or without anyone there to support them. Having somehow who’ll potentially be your new boss watching your every move will hardly be conducive to good work, and similarly, although you’ll want your new recruit to work autonomously to a certain degree, you wouldn’t expect them to work completely independently.
Another means of giving your interviewees a test of their skills is to ask them to complete a short task in their own time. Such a task can also help determine positive personality attributes. The theory of self-efficacy evaluation states that completion of an interview task is indicative of strong self-belief rather than technical proficiency, an important point to consider when designing the task.
Alternatively, aim to understand if your candidates have hands-on, practical experience of development tasks. Many universities focus primarily on theory, so while graduates understand software development, they may not have a thorough grasp on practical application.
This is why coding schools have become so popular in recent years and why they have such a high rate of employment in the students who attend them. There’s a hands-on approach that promotes learning by doing.
Cost of Hiring a Software Developer
If it’s considered that hiring candidates directly from university can leave you with employees who are still learning on the job, your only other option is to go through a recruiter or agency.
At present, contingency fees for using a recruiter in the UK tend to start at about 15% of the candidate’s salary for junior positions. This means that hiring a junior developer on a salary of £20,000 will cost you an additional £3,000. Given that recruiters also have a vested interest in you taking their candidate, it can mean that you don’t get the time needed to get to know the person you want to hire.
Fortunately, there are better ways of finding software developers. Companies who work with Code Nation pay no fees whatsoever and get access to the top talent from our coding courses. Having worked with the likes of Sky, BBC and AO, some of the biggest names in the North West have already decided to come to us for their recruitment needs.
All we ask in return is that you pledge to interview at least three of our students, and there’s no obligation to hire if you decide to go in another direction. What’s more, you’ll also have the opportunity to work with the students as they learn so you can get to know them a little better before offering any interviews.
Lastly, if there are any skills you’d like your new employees to know, we can work with you to find a means of getting it into our curriculum.
Recruitment can be a tricky process between deciding how to interview a candidate and choosing where to source them. However, by working with us at Code Nation, you can streamline your entire recruitment process and find recruits ready to take your business to the next level.
Interested in becoming one of our business partners and getting early access to tech talent? Get in touch with us today!
Call: 0333 050 4570