No surprise, the majority of the top ten billionaires have a tech or tech-enabled business.
One of the defining characteristics of these companies is their core team, specifically their tech team. Companies that have built their entire business around technology would want to hire only the most talented developers to leverage the power of the technology trends of 2023.
‘People are not your most important asset. The right people are’, said Jim Collins.
Finding a good developer is a difficult task; there are many seeking the role, but spotting a good one requires a lot of experience and an eye for a talent that is not often mentioned in books.
Steve Jobs once said,‘The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.’
The majority of companies hire developers incorrectly because they base their decision on a candidate’s years of experience, salary range, and theoretical knowledge. However, hiring a developer is a science in and of itself and requires careful consideration.
HackerRank, Hackerearth, GeeksforGeeks, CareerCup and other such skills assessment platforms for developers help employers screen 50% more candidates while spending 45% less time on phone interviews.
This blog thus aims to provide readers with a basic understanding of what role a developer plays for a business, potential challenges in the process of hiring a developer in 2023, and expert tips for hiring top developers in 2023!
Developers are the creative geniuses behind the software and apps that we use every day to make our operations easier. From designing, and creating to implementing software, either designed from the scratch or modified or updated the existing one, a developer does it all with great finesse.
The year 2023 would experience a further boom in technology trends. More and more industries would rely on some type of tech program to function smoothly and grow. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects in one of its reports that software developer jobs will increase by 31% between 2016 and 2026.
On the other hand, by 2030, the global talent shortage is expected to reach 85.2 million.
In fact, data analytics, IT, mobile, and/or web design industries faced disruptions from the skills gap and the IT talent shortage.
For instance, the software developer shortage in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland) posed a problem back in 2021 and 2022.
Israel, despite being amongst the top three fastest-developing tech startup countries, experienced a 15% software developer shortage in 2022.
The gap between the demand and supply of software developers has also significantly increased in the past few years. Amidst this roaring demand and deficit supply, securing the best candidates that fit your business needs, could be an uphill battle in 2023.
The problem doesn’t end here. While hiring the best developers is becoming a daunting task for businesses, frequent upskilling is a constant issue faced by developers.
New libraries, frameworks, programming languages, and technologies are added almost every day for the tech industry. Therefore, while learning in the tech domain has no end, developers quite often feel overwhelmed with so many resources available online and might not even find the time to upskill so often.
However, there are some points for businesses to keep in mind while hiring a developer in order to get optimal results. Read through the next section to know these tips and tricks!
The focus of hiring is never about finding the ideal candidate for the position.
Employers should identify a candidate who has the potential to be trained and who fits well in your company’s culture. Thus, hire a developer who possesses good analytical skills, decent practical knowledge of tech stack with the right attitude, willingness to learn and grow and be receptive to feedback.
It’s not unusual for developers to run into multiple analytical issues while creating any kind of product or solution. As a result, a good developer needs to have strong analytical or problem-solving skills in order to find thoughtful and original solutions to any difficulties they may encounter.
As a result, employers should evaluate applicants’ analytical abilities through curated screening tests that include Analytical objective-type questions that are difficult to find on the internet.
Both Algorithms and Data structures are the building blocks of Software development. The majority of MAANG companies prioritize screening candidates who have a strong understanding of data structures.
In fact, 99% of the top Product-based companies screen their coding interview candidates through Data Structures & Algorithm assessments.
The most common and appropriate way to assess a developer’s analytical prowess, mental clarity, and intelligence is through their use of data structures.
To evaluate a developer’s approach to data structures, companies set up low-level design tests where they present data structure issues like Reverse in a linked List, Implement History functionality of a browser, and so on.
A developer should be knowledgeable about the tech stack needed for the position for which he or she has applied, both conceptually and practically.
Candidate should have used these concepts in previous projects and should be able to explain why, when, and how they are used in practice as opposed to simply understanding them theoretically.
Furthermore, with the shift to online classes and ed-tech companies training employees to crack interviews, it is more important than ever to conduct appropriate interview rounds that evaluate a candidate’s practical knowledge by conducting tests based on use cases to avoid candidates being inspired by online answers.
Candidates should be required to pass high-level design interviews, such as designing a reel feature of Instagram, ER diagrams for a restaurant review system, and so on.
Any candidate becomes a potential employee only when he/she has both, the required skills as well as the right attitude. Knowledge and skills can be built upon, but having the right attitude and intentions to deliver are important parameters.
A person with a great skill set but a bad attitude is never a potential employee. However, a candidate with basic skills and ability to learn and a great attitude is always the best to hire!
While hiring a developer, companies thus should run psychometric tests in order to make an informed decision.
Hire a developer who is up-to-date with all the latest tools and technologies as per the job role requirements.
A good developer should not only be active during office hours but also should spend some hours of downtime keeping himself/herself updated with what’s happening in the tech industry and just enhancing skills and knowledge.
Jeff Bezos once said in a CNBC interview, ‘If you ever get lucky enough to be hiring people, make sure you’re hiring people that not only you can teach, but make sure you’re hiring people who are also going to teach you things.’
A developer hence should be aware of tech trends that will rule 2023 such as evolution of computing power, AI and ML boom, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AR/VR, etc, and gather skills as needed. This would broaden a his/her knowledge and skill set, allowing him/her to be diverse and lead discussions, discourses and innovations.
A developer should follow informative and insightful GitHub accounts and write codes to further better his/her skills.
A good candidate for the developer’s role should be aware of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) principles. He/she should follow the ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’ (DRY) and SOLID design principles. The former helps developers avoid redundancy in their work. While the latter helps developers to create software designs that are understandable, easier to maintain, and convenient to extend or scale.
Another principle of ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ (KISS) reminds a developer to keep any software or application design and deployment as simple as possible, with the least complexities and easily understandable development procedures.
Andrew Carnegie, a 19th-century industrialist once said that ‘You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.’
Hiring a developer who is willing and has the capabilities to work in a challenging, dynamic working environment, is imperative for the growth of the candidate as well as the company. A candidate who is willing to embrace changes is the one who has the potential to grow as change is the only constant.
A good developer should also have the know-how to use tools like SonarQube, and Linting code in order to self-check and identify the bottlenecks or improvements required. This is an important practice to maintain self-disciple.
Someone has rightly said that employees do not work for employer. To be successful in their work, a potential employee needs to understand employer’s client and client’s customer and for the same. For this reason, industry experience is a good indicator that you are in tune with these needs.
Candidates with similar vertical experience learn terms and tasks faster. Because of their varied exposure to client ideas and products in the sector, they are able to form a variety of perspectives and anticipate dynamic industry trends.
Co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman once said, ‘The person passionate about what he or she is doing will outwork and outlast the guy motivated solely by making money‘
Hire a developer who is proactive outside the office as well. A developer who helps the tech community by providing inputs like solutions, tips, and answers on websites such as Stack Overflow or collaborates on GitHub for open-source projects, would be able to add more value to the profile and your company.
In fact, since 2008, Stack Overflow was able to help developers find solutions to their problems, get insights, etc. more than 45 billion times. GitHub on the other hand, has around 10 million users per month with an active community.
Therefore, engagement on platforms like Stack Overflow, GitHub, GeeksforGeeks, etc. helps a developer get answers to their most recurring, day-to-day queries and help them enhance their skills and grow their abilities.
Therefore, companies should look for candidates with problem-solving skills and attitude, practical, industry experience and zest to learn about latest trends and technologies through platform engagements and collaborations.
In a WIRED interview, Nicholas Lovejoy who was one of the earliest employees at Amazon said, “one of his mottos (Bezos) was that every time we hired someone, he or she should raise the bar for the next hire so that the overall talent pool was always improving.”
Companies thus should be thorough in their hiring process and keep long-term outcomes in mind while making decisions as Alan Kay, a well-known American computer scientist once said, ‘It’s easier to invent the future than to predict it’.
Project needs and requirements vary and so does the type of developer working on it. While some projects may require expertise in a particular programming language; others may require niche skills, like familiarity with artificial intelligence or machine learning.
Therefore, you need to define and differentiate your project and recruit a developer best suited for it.
Besides the usual, conventional interview rounds, one of the best developers hiring practices to add to you hiring process in 2023 is adding technical assessments and tests provided by platforms like HackerRank, HackerEarth, iMocha, Coderyte, etc. to your hiring process.
These platforms help to streamline the hiring process, taking only suitable candidates to subsequent stages.
Along with hard skills, a developer must also possess some soft skills. Some of these skills are communication, time management, flexibility in terms of overtime if required, critical thinking and problem solving, etc.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos posted an ad for amazon. In this ad, he didn’t only seek technically proficient and efficient developers with specific hard skills but also had soft skills as requirements. Excellent communication skills were a must according to that ad.
Therefore, whether it was 1994 or it is 2023, soft skills are important for any job profile.
Lastly, what is important is if the developer is a fit with respect to the organizational culture. Personality, behavior, and culture conflicts could easily hamper the efficiency and effectiveness of your software development project, even with high talent.
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A good developer should have both hard and soft skills. He/she should be capable of understanding the tech stack followed, keep oneself updated about the recent developments and upgrades in the tech industry, and should be willing to accept challenging tasks. Behavioral skills
Some ways a company can attract top developers in 2023 are by checking out platforms like Medium, Quora, Slack channels, GitHub, Stock Overflow, Digital Ocean, Reddit, etc. for a pool of talent, hosting developer meetups, engaging on social media channels, hire through referrals, host a virtual job fair, etc.
Best practices and latest trends in developer recruitment to follow in 2023 are:
1. Define your project
2. Broaden your hiring process to include more technical assessments
3. Look for potential candidates on different, non-traditional platforms
4. Assess soft skills
5. Judge the cultural fitness of the candidate
Following are some creative and offbeat ways to source your developers in 2023:
Hire top rank candidates from HackerRank, HackerEarth; check their score sheets
Headhunting from companies in the same industry; one with a similar pay bracket, geography and tech stack
Hire from top Institutes in your field
Hire candidates participating or holding positions in Development Hackathon and other similar competitions
Hire developers with top badges in Stack Overflow and ones with featured blogs on Medium
A company can evaluate a developer’s skills by undertaking technical and skills tests available on platforms like HackerRank, HackerEarth, Coderbyte, etc.
Some common mistakes to avoid during a developer’s hiring process are as follows:
1. Do not hire someone who only has theoretical knowledge and lacks practical know-how
2. Avoid hiring a candidate who is data structure geek but lacks industry experience at a senior level
3. Bad attitude should not be hired.
4. Do not hire someone who is not trainable
5. Do not hire someone who lacks learning attitude and doesn’t like to take up challenges
Never hire a candidate who is only working for monetary gains however, competitive salaries are a must for attracting top developers with great attitude.
Following are some tips to set competitive salaries:
1. Run competitive analysis among your industry peers and competitors – analyze their salary brackets and range
2. Refer websites such as Glassdoor, Clutch, and Ambition Box that provide you with the information regarding the industry median salaries along with your competitor’s salary range
Any employee would prioritize job security while taking up any role in a company. Thus, attract candidates by ensuring long-term associations and nurturing professional relationships. Stand by an employee in adverse times and he/she will stand by you all the time!
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