Technical hiring is on the rise, likely increasing 22 percent by 2022, so it is important to seek the best talent. However, it is necessary to not force your hiring into the same parameters as in the past. The technical world prides itself on pushing boundaries, yet hiring managers still get trapped in traditional technical hiring mindsets.
Here are some traditional mindset traps to avoid in this competitive hiring market:
- Credentials = Aptitude: Simply having credentials from a top educational institution does not make one an outstanding developer. There are plenty of tools and tests that will better determine if a developer has the skills required. A high GPA and a brand-name school no longer equates with top developer. Many developers are even self-taught.
- Future developers will mirror current developers: As the industry grows, the make-up of your department isn’t always be consistent. Today, only 20 percent of software developers are women and only 10 percent are African American or Hispanic. The average age is under the age of 30. Look for the person with the skills you want to add to your team, rather than someone who fits your team’s genetic mold. Is it even time to consider a “blind” skills audition to prevent genetic matching?
- Overvaluing experience: Never focus too heavily on the languages or technical skills the candidate currently knows. The field is evolving quickly and developers should be prepared to invest their time into learning new techniques and technologies. Seek developers who are interested in continuing to learn and grow, rather than being stuck on what they know.
- Looking for the “I” in “team”: When hiring a new developer, look not for the best individual, but rather the best addition to your team. Will the new developer’s personality mesh well with your team and fit with the company culture?
- Restricting geographical limits: Talent isn’t limited to a few square miles. When looking for top talent, don’t be concerned with finding a candidate that lives in your geographical confines. Over 81 percent of software developers interact with team members working remotely. As the industry grows, relocation will not be required, but significantly more collaboration will.
What might also set ideal candidates apart from the rest of your search are their non-technical skills. With so many qualified developers in the industry, it takes the right non-technical skills to set candidates apart and advance within your company. Below are four skills to seek when hiring your next software developer:
- Openness: You want a developer who will say yes to new experiences in order to stay relevant and out of a developer’s rut. The ideal candidate is interested in taking risks and learning new techniques. Since the technical industry is constantly moving, it is important to have individuals who will push boundaries.
- Disciplined: Attaining muscle memory is imperative for high efficiency, as coding is much like a sport. Developers, with consistent practice, will build mental-muscle memory to work faster in the future.
- Curiosity: Developers shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions and attack issues from new perspectives. Curiosity drives projects and companies to greater success.
- Empathy: Developers, in order to be successful, should be kind and understanding of others on their team in order to create great work. They must take the time to create clean deliverables to avoid cleaning up messes later. Producing consistent, quality work saves the developer from undesirable difficulties and give them the reputation of being precise.