To find and hire a cool web-developer is a real problem. During our 12-years work experience we held about 100 job interviews. Only a few of them were great luck for our company. Why?
Well, great web-developers, like the best people indeed are hard to be found. They don’t look for a job. During their entire career they can change a maximum four places of work. But there is a way how to discover a cool web-developer with a great potential. Anyway we believe that even a start-up project has a chance to find a qualified proficient. We want to share with you 5 important tips, so you Know-How to Hire a Cool Web Developer.
#1. Pay attention to personality fit first, then check work experience.
Wile hiring most companies make a choice based on how well the candidate is experienced. We followed the same way until we realized that their innate DNA are more important success factors. Try to think carefully what significant characteristics make up your company culture and how would-be web-developer will fit in. Are risk-taking, versatility and adaptability, drive and curiosity vital to progress in your project? Vice verse is your culture determination based on persistence, stability and specific skills? Maybe you need great team players? Anyway come up with a list of ten essential requirements and check if candidate matches at least five of them.
Hiring for personality fit helped to define a company culture and support it. Now we see the result of it – an ideal working environment, without irritating factors or missed deadlines. It ensures that our team will work well together.
#2. Arrange a mini test-drive for a new developer.
Yes, we know very well how it is difficult to hire a new person on full-time job without being ensured of his or her aptitude. That is why we recommend you involve the applicant in a small, non-critical project to work on it in his free time. It is a much better choice for you and the company than fast hiring based on first impression and words.
That’s exactly what we do before we hire web-developers. We give them a mini-projects for the trial of their aptitude. And after we watch how they cope with it, how they interact with others members of team, how they behave themselves, etc. You very quickly realize how successful work flows.
Of course the mini test-project can not give you one hundred percent guarantee of somebody’s great potential. However, joint work for 20-40 hours is far better than nothing. It will be enough to see the certain level of applicant’s involving and enthusiasm.
#3. Give preference to a developer with aptitude, not with a particular skill set.
We believe it’s better to hire a specialist who can learn new technologies and who is opened to a new skills one comes along rather than someone who knows a specific technology and hasn’t love for constantly learning.
It is very easy check whether someone will adapt well to change. First of all ask what does person do well and what are his skills?
Randy Nelson from Pixar studio is convinced that success in one area is a good sign of future success in other areas. So look if your future web-developer is a wonderful cook? Is he a real ace in mountain biking or has any other outstanding skills? This is a predictor that he or she is extremely effective at work. If such person, for example, can easily get to the top of the mountain, most likely he achieves high results in developing. Conversely, there is very little chance that anyone will be excellent in work, if before hasn’t succeeded in anything.
#4. Avoid asking standard and boring questions about programming.
Who created the Java programming language? What is IEEE 1394 refers to? A nibble is how many bits?
All these smart questions only seem to be useful. In fact they turn into bad way to determine if someone is smart or has a good memory.
Instead of wasting time ask interviewee about something that shows his way of thinking and arguing his own opinion. For a simple example you may ask what is better Ruby or Pyton? The response and reaction you get shows you a lot about a person in front of you. Is he or she passionate, intelligent, arrogant, indifferent?
What we look for is how much passion candidates have, how well they understanding the process and terms, how good they communicate. It’s always pleasure to talk to someone who has a clear position on certain issues and moreover who can well argue it.
So try to focus on open-ended questions.
#5. Hire slow, fire fast
This rule never fails. It works again and again. We know how it may be sometimes difficult to follow it. Especially when deadlines are so extremely close to the end and there is no appropriate stand-in for an ineffective web developer. But don’t delay the required decision. Otherwise it can be disruptive to the entire team.
At the same time don’t rush with hiring. We strongly convinced through own experience that good people come to those who can wait and they always come on time.