Technology, CTO Insights

How Do You Hire Tech Resources?

December 10, 2020

At Atom CTO, we are often asked by clients to help them to hire tech teams so here are some tips that we have found make it easier to find the right tech team for you: 

Set Strict Criteria 

You will receive a lot of applications. It is rare that we post job openings and have only a handful of people applying so this makes it critical that you have clear criteria for people entering your recruitment funnel. Ensure that you are clear on what competencies, skills and values you are looking for in a candidate and be honest, if that person doesn’t meet those criteria then you will have to reject them. It can be tempting to interview people if they come close to your criteria but if the candidate is good, they’ll have read your posting and will tailor their application to your wishes.

A Good CV is Hard to Find 

Tech CVs have become very formulaic, many applicants are writing their CVs for algorithms that will pick up keywords so a lot of times you’ll see CVs with a large number of acronyms. IT and tech developers are notoriously bad at selling themselves and often focus too much on their qualifications, which will be fairly similar between all the candidates, and not enough on their real-life experience and achievements. As such, any CV that does explain what projects a candidate has actually worked on and how their contributions were valuable to the project will likely catch your attention and stand out more.  

Review Their Code

We like providing technical challenges to candidates, however this is a controversial topic among developers. Many feel that they should be paid for their time doing a test or feel that tests are not a good way of assessing skill. We disagree, however we do understand that you don’t want to give a technical challenge that will take days to complete. You can use a number of online tools such as ‘testdome’ or ‘coderbyte’ that provide technical challenges that are time boxed but we give candidates a choice, either provide us with access to some code you’ve developed for a personal project or take the technical challenge, spend 2 hours on it and if necessary create a short presentation that outlines your thought processes in tackling the problem which can be walked through during the technical interview. No one can object to this and if they do, then they don’t want the job badly enough. 

Balancing Cost and Quality 

As a business, you want value for money and this can be tough, especially since the tech sector is running hot – even during covid. Our attitude is that yes, you do need to get value for money but investing in tech is a must and so you have to invest for the future. Tech teams and developers should be considered as much of an investment in your company as marketing, sales etc; buying the cheapest tech may work in the short term but there is a greater likelihood of problems in the long term.  Also, don’t forget, one person cannot do it all (usually) and even if they can, people go on holiday and fall sick. It may not be possible for you to hire more than one developer but do be aware that you may need some backup so try to save some budget for either a junior resource or a company that can provide consultants as a cover.

Be Flexible Where You Can 

After months in lockdown or under restrictions with the pandemic, many companies are seeing that not all employees’ productivity stems from being in the office and that working remotely can still be effective. A lot of developers want to work virtually and remotely, and this should not be a reason to think they would not be hard-working or highly productive if given that option, in the same way that outsourced teams and developers are not physically in an office with you but still highly capable of completing any projects you set them.  

Communication is Key 

When it comes to it, there is no shortcut to hiring efficient tech resources and the key to finding the best fit for your company and goals, is clear and open communication throughout the hiring process about what you are looking for. Investing time and research into candidates and being somewhat flexible with working styles is very important, but communication is a crucial aspect that needs to be encouraged at every step. 

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