How to Recruit the Best Developers: A Talk with a Jobsity Recruiter
Because Jobsity’s success rests on the quality of its developers, the most important people on our team might not be our developers themselves: but the recruiters who bring them on board.
With 200 interviews a month and 50 developers brought to the final vetting stage, our recruiters work as hard as anyone in the business -- the goal, however, is more than just quantity. It’s nothing short of building a workforce of the best developers in Latin America.
Today we sat down with Diana Romero, one of our top recruiters, who works out of the Quito office. We wanted to find out what makes a Jobsity recruiter unique. We talked about what makes IT recruiting different from other types of staffing work, what Jobsity looks for first when it vets candidates, the top 5 questions she asks when interviewing developers, and more.
Here’s what Diana had to say:
Hi Diana, how did you find your way into IT recruiting in general and onto the Jobsity team in particular?
Well, I originally studied organization physiology, and when I was a student, I wanted to find a part-time job to improve my professional skills. I fell in love with a tech company and they hired me as an HR assistant. There, I learned to review profiles of developers and became generally informed about the IT world.
Later, when I interviewed with Jobsity, they knew I was a junior recruiter, but they saw something in me and told me they wanted to coach me to help me bring my skills to the next level. For me, that promise made the jump worthwhile. That was 9 months ago.
The best part of working at Jobsity is that kind of mentorship: my bosses are very flexible, very smart. They constantly give me feedback to help me improve my selection of candidates and to learn much more about programming languages and tools. And they share their ideas with me so we feel like real peers.
What would you say sets IT recruitment apart from other types of recruitment?
That’s a good question. Trying to find a developer is like finding an architect who can build in any city, on any landscape, and with a team speaking any language.
For that reason, when I recruit at Jobsity, we focus on soft skills, and after we are clear that they have the necessary soft skills to succeed in a workplace at a high level, then we focus on their technical skills. If a great developer can’t write an email or maintain strong communication or emotional management, it doesn’t matter how well they can code -- it won’t work.
Talk me through what some of the essential questions are that you always ask to help determine if a candidate should pass to the next stage.
#1 What kind of resources or tools do you use to keep yourself updated about tech in the American context?
Because we staff developers for North American clients, it’s essential that our developers are well-versed in this context, and that they know where and how to stay on top of the ever-changing industry.
#2 To understand their problem/solutions management, we give them a situation and ask: “How would you solve this situation?”
We know that the success or failure of their work placement can hinge on whether or not they can manage to navigate different challenges -- technical skills, soft skills, communication skills, etc. So we make talking through such challenges a central talking point of the interview.
#3 We ask: “What are you looking for in a job? What do you want to do? What do you want to keep learning?”
We want to be sure that the developer we’re talking to is the best for the organization, for the job we place them in, and that we’re best for them as well. We need to know what the developer wants to work on, so we can create a dream job for them and find a dream candidate for us. We don’t want our candidate to be bored and we don’t want our clients to be unhappy!
#4 We always ask about job-hopping. For example:: “I’m looking for developers who want to stay at Jobsity for a long time, who want to build a career with us. Do you think you’re available for this kind of position? Or are you looking for something else?”
Jobsity needs to hire people who are committed. It’s one of our main values: “Commit Wholeheartedly.” We look at how much time they’ve spent at their previous employer, whether they are looking for a variety of new jobs or not. We have to be very clear about this, so we state it outright and we don’t hide it: we want people who want to stay with us.
#5 We always ask: “How much time do you need to deliver this challenge (technical exercise)?”
We know our candidates are talented people, and we try to always try to be respectful of their time. We ask a lot of our interviewees and want them to succeed. For this reason, we always make sure to ask what they need to help them find this success in the tasks and challenges we present to them. The goal is to become peers who work together for a long time, not to set them up for failure!
#6 We always ask: “What was the biggest challenge that you faced in your work experience/Professional career as a Developer?”
As I mentioned in previous questions, at Jobsity, we think problem-solving skills are one the thing our team members do best. So this question, we can validate the complexity of the projects in which our candidates have been involved, and even identify where their shortcomings are. For example, if they mention communication problems or bad teamwork, as recruiters we have to investigate more and see what kind of skills they might need support with in case they are hired.
What would you teach other recruiters, in other companies, or those new to Jobsity, to help them become great IT recruiters?
This is a perfect question for me because though I like to learn, I love to teach.
Be open-minded and flexible.
In the last two months, I’ve taught two new recruiters. and what I told them was: be very free. Tell your candidates to ask as many questions as they can without judgment -- when people are nervous to ask, they hold back and they make mistakes. We are all here to learn. If people make mistakes in their work because they are not asking or clarifying their doubts, this could bring difficulties in the future and could even affect their performance.
Share your values.
When you’re in a company with a specific culture you need to share that culture with candidates so that they know how to work in symphony.
Be authentic and transparent.
Sometimes you have to say “sorry, this opening is not for you.” You can’t lie to a developer; they are looking for work and it’s not OK to hide the ball, it’s hurtful and not fair.
Stay in touch with your candidates.
Be friendly and human--in a professional way. It will help the candidates be open as well, and it will help you get all the information you need without pressure and without anyone feeling false. And don’t forget: laugh with them! It brings everyone joy and it helps to break the ice.
Act with integrity.
We are looking for new developers and offering them jobs; we can’t provide them false information. We need to exemplify our best values so we can expect that from them. We don’t know if we can offer everyone a job now, but we may later, and that means we need to be known for being integrity so our reputation precedes us. That’s valuable in the field.
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