Was your last hire a success?
If you answered “no”, you’re not alone. Sourcing top talent is one of the biggest challenges every tech company faces today, and it’s no surprise given that 1 out of 5 (20%) new tech hires must be replaced and 68% of companies spend one month or more to recruit a single developer. The entire process can be costly, time-consuming and, ultimately, fruitless if the right candidate isn’t found.
But finding the right talent and building your dream team isn’t impossible. It simply drills down to planning and knowing what to look for. Having hired hundreds of employees at every level, I know that developing solid processes is the key to making good hires.
Match Candidates to Your Company’s DNA
While employees and employers may not see eye-to-eye on every issue, conflicting personalities, objectives and priorities in the workplace often become problematic. A recent study revealed that attitude issues were the top reason for being fired. Similarly, 73% of employees have left a job because of a poor cultural fit.
This means behavioural or character-based clashes are costing businesses a great deal. How can this be avoided?
Beyond necessary technical skills, organizations must clearly understand the DNA, essence and underlying goals of their organization to find people who most closely match these attributes. If your company values innovation, candidates should share this passion. Likewise, if collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to your team’s success, these traits should be apparent in candidates too.
Efficient Hiring is Essential for Effective Team Building
Efficient interviewing requires being mindful of the time and resources of all parties involved, so it’s best to avoid scheduling in-person interviews prematurely. Screening calls and other pre-hire assessments can be implemented first to ensure the candidate ticks the right boxes from a technical and personal perspective and can save a great deal of time and effort.
Only after a candidate passes the screening should they be brought in for an interview to see if they are a fit for the DNA underpinning an organization. While the median time to hire an engineer is 48 days, you should avoid stringing along workers while looking for the “perfect candidate.” Doing so can result in job seekers losing patience, and ultimately walking away.
Identify Key Strengths and Necessary Skills
Filling a specific role requires first understanding what exactly is needed – and this begins by brainstorming or conducting an internal audit among the different stakeholders. Get buy-in on a clear and concise list of key skills, traits and experience. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you know if you’ve found it?
By clearly outlining must-have strengths and abilities, hiring managers can quickly sift through candidates and be confident they’re building a successful team.
Know What to Ask
Most interviews should begin with a friendly warmup before diving into the applicant’s personality traits, core drivers and technical skills.
Open-ended questions are best because they give candidates the freedom to speak and tell stories about their experiences: what they’ve done and achieved. Asking a candidate to explain how they’ve innovated in the past, a project they initiated or a creative approach to overcome a challenge can provide clarity into how they work and how they respond to adversity.
And in today’s increasingly global world, employers should also consider how they’ll connect talent and teams from different regions, countries and continents. For many organizations, it’s imperative to determine whether a candidate will thrive in a multicultural environment and whether they’ll flourish in a digital workplace remotely. This is becoming increasingly important, given that 99% of senior technology execs now recognize the benefits of remote teams.
By thinking globally, organizations increase their chances of hiring the best talent that matches their corporate DNA, while gaining the flexibility to operate across different geographies.
Who Should be Involved?
The answer is simple: everyone, including HR, technical teams, leadership and all departments the new hire will impact. Multiple perspectives are invaluable to gaining a 360-degree view of the candidate.
One-on-one interviews in multiple departments are often helpful so that different divisions can form an unbiased assessment, and screen for different attributes, to determine whether the candidate is a fit.
Put Technical Skills to the Test
Don’t just take the candidate’s word – hands-on exercises are the best way to evaluate someone’s technical skills. This can range from asking for a detailed explanation of projects or products a candidate worked on, to on-the-spot technical questions, a coding assignment or simply asking a candidate to solve a hypothetical problem. If the role requires an ability to work in a high-pressure and time-sensitive environment, consider an assignment with a short turnaround.
Developing advanced software, IoT and other complex solutions not only requires knowledge of certain hardware or various coding languages but also an understanding of the bigger picture and architecture needed to design and deliver new technologies on time and on budget. Therefore, it’s important to assess a candidate’s critical thinking and broader technological knowledge to see if they understand just the individual task at hand, or if they will comprehend how everything fits together.
This is where having the right tools, such as job-related assessments and role-based problem-solving exercises, are invaluable.
Bringing It All Together
Finding the right culture, essence and people to succeed are all interconnected and tie back to a company’s core DNA, or the building blocks that create its purpose, vision and implementation strategy. This part of a business – and team building – is incredibly important, especially when 70% of people define their purpose through work.
No matter the position you’re hiring for, the most successful team builders are thoughtful in their approach and thorough in their execution. Knowing what skills to look for and what questions to ask is just as important as knowing who to involve and how to manage the process. Bringing all of this together is the key to finding and securing the best candidates and ensuring your team’s success.
Written by Alex Snitkovsky, CEO of Commit Software Division