No surprise, the majority of the top ten billionaires have a tech or tech-enabled business. Additionally, these companies hire a developer through a detailed hiring process that involves multiple skills screening steps.
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.
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 the potential challenges in the process of hiring a developer in 2023, and expert tips to hire a developer in 2023!
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Challenges Faced While Hiring a Developer in 2023
Owing to the increasing reliance of businesses on technology in coming years, 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, the software developer shortage in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland) posed a problem back in 2021 and 2022. Furthermore, 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 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 when they look out to hire a developer in order to get optimal results. Read through the next section to know these tips and tricks!
Tips to Hire a Developer in 2023
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 is receptive to feedback.
Look out for the following skills in a developer:
1. Highly Analytical
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.
2. Great in Algorithms and Data Structure
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.
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.
3. Good in Concepts & Practical Knowledge
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.
4. Right attitude
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!
Companies thus should run psychometric tests in order to make an informed decision when looking to hire a developer.
5. Familiar with the latest technology trends and versions updates
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.
6. Follow OOP’s principles (DRY, SOLID) and Design Patterns
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.
7. Open to challenges
Andrew Carnegie, a 19th-century industrialist once said that ‘You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb.’
To hire 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.
8. Industry Experience
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.
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.”
Let’s look at some points that companies should keep in mind as they approach the hiring process:
1. Define and differentiate by project
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.
2. Broden your hiring process
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.
3. Soft Skills
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.
4. Cultural fit
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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Q1. What are the most important qualities to look for when hiring a developer?
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.
Q2. What are the latest trends and best practices in developer recruitment?
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
Q3. What are some creative ways to source and attract top developers to your company?
a. Hire top rank candidates from HackerRank, HackerEarth; check their score sheets b. Headhunting from companies in the same industry; one with a similar pay bracket, geography and tech stack c. Look for candidates in top Institutes in your field d. Hire candidates participating or holding positions in Development Hackathon and other similar competitions e. Hire developers with top badges in Stack Overflow and ones with featured blogs on Medium
Q4. How can companies evaluate a developer’s technical skills and fit with the team?
A company can evaluate a developer’s skills by undertaking technical and skills tests available on platforms like HackerRank, HackerEarth, Coderbyte, etc.
Q5. What are some common mistakes to avoid during the developer hiring process?
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