Recruiting IT Developers

Are you battling to recruit IT developers?  These chaps are difficult to find, and even more difficult to appoint.  Do you want to know why?

The reason is that they are getting calls, often a few calls each week from people trying to recruit them.  So they have the luxury of being extremely picky on the jobs they apply for.

The mistake most companies are making is that they are asking these candidates to spend hours doing tests and assessments before the candidate even knows if he or she wants the job.   These candidates don’t mind doing these assessments – actually often times they enjoy it,  but they are not prepared to spend 3 hours working on a project for free, especially for someone they don’t even know.

So what can you do? 

Firstly, make sure that the person representing your company to these candidates knows what they are talking about.   With all due respect to HR Managers throughout the country – unless they specialise in IT recruitment or come from an IT background they are usually not the right people to make the first approach to these candidates.   Developers want to know about the project and technology used from other developers.  So if at all possible, let your Snr Developer, IT manager or IT Recruiter make the first approach.  By all means, bring HR in at the second interview stage.

Secondly, make the fist interview logistically as easy as possible.  Consider meeting the candidate in a coffee shop – during lunch or after work.  Maybe offer to do a skype or facetime interview to save them having to travel to the venue.  Think out of the box.  This isn’t going to be the one and only interview – so it doesn’t have to be too formal, but it will allow you to find out if you have a possible candidate.

Thirdly - sell them on the job, your company and the technologies used in this first interview.  The old days of making a candidate answer 100 questions is long gone.  This first interview should be a conversation.  Check that the personality is a fit, and find out if you can work with this person, but most importantly, tell them about the company and the job and get them excited to work with you.  Remember that you are going to check their skills at a later time.  This first interview is a chance to get them wanting to spend the time to do that assessment. 

Finally be quick.  If you find a good candidate, don’t mess about.  Check them thoroughly, ask them to do an assessment, do what you need to do to make sure you have the right person – but as soon as you know, make them an offer.  These candidates want to work for companies who are decisive and willing to cut through corporate red tape.  Show them that you can do this if you need to.

There are some fantastic development candidates out there at the moment.  Many are returning to South Africa having gained experience overseas.   You just need to work a little differently to appoint them.

Happy recruiting. J

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