How we select developers for client projects

We use our POSiFLORA project as an example

How we select developers for client projects

In this article, we’ll share hiring tips, specifics of IT recruiting, and tell you how we found an experienced mobile app developer for the team at POSiFLORA. The POSiFLORA application suite has over 2,000 active client-users.

In brief

  • 01

    POSiFLORA — an accounting and sales development system for floristry businesses.

  • 02

    Hire a mobile developer for the project team.

  • 03
    Current team
    • 6 backend developers
    • 2 frontend developers
    • 4 mobile developers
    • 2 testers
    • Designer
    • DevOps
    • Product owner (combines the functions of a product and project manager)
    • Chief Technology Officer
  • 04
    Results in Recruitment
    • The project was launched in 2019. Over 4 years, the system has significantly expanded its functionality, the number of clients has increased, and the team has grown: during this time period, we hired 20 specialists.
    • Selection of one specialist takes about a month.
    • Adaptation and training take from 3 to 5 months.

Businesses need developers with experience

Modern business needs IT products: online stores, corporate sites, media portals, and mobile applications. When it’s impossible to develop them on your own, you need to hire developers.

Taking specialists without experience and training them yourself is a long and expensive process, and not profitable for businesses. Companies prefer to look for specialists immediately with a «middle» level of ability.

At OrbitSoft, we divide developers into levels based on experience. Each level corresponds to a different pool of skills and competencies.

Problem: It’s hard to find an experienced developer

In recent years, due to high demand in the IT field, many online schools for developers have appeared. They promise to teach learners everything from scratch, and even give starter work experience in the form of a training project.

Graduates of such schools are looking for jobs at the «middling» level. In fact, their knowledge is only sufficient to be an intern. It turns out that there are many candidates in the market, but it’s still hard to find the right ones from among them. Experienced IT recruiters and technical specialists are needed for quality recruitment.

OrbitSoft is an outsourcing IT company. Our specialists perform development design, analytics, and testing tasks for client projects around the world. When the tasks get bigger, OrbitSoft recruiters look for new colleagues together with team-leaders. We tell you how we manage to recruit the best specialists.

How we select developers for the POSiFLORA project

The recruitment process at POSiFLORA consists of several stages:

Recruitment funnel at OrbitSoft

Resource planning

POSiFLORA has a road map and a plan for the year. On the roadmap we describe what results we want to achieve, and in what time frame. This is needed in order to meet the deadline. Based on these documents, the team leader plans resources.

For example, one of the clients wants a new feature to be added to the app. We check the roadmap and the project plan and realize that the team needs another mobile developer to meet the deadline.

Defining an employee profile

We look for new colleagues based on the tasks and the product stack. The stack is a set of technologies used in the project. For example, we develop the POSiFLORA mobile application in C++ using the Qt framework. So, we need a developer who is familiar with these tools.

We are creating a product for the client, so each task has a clear deadline and budget. It’s not profitable to put a junior level worker on such a team: it will take time to train him or her. We are looking for a midlevel specialist with at least three years of experience.

recruitment department assignment
Based on the requirements we form the assignment for the recruitment department

Recruiters select candidates and conduct interviews

Recruiters start an active search based on a given candidate portrait. They find 100—120 candidates whose skills match the vacancy. Then their profiles are studied in more detail, focusing on technical and flexible skills.

About 20 people move on to the initial interview. Our recruiters have many years of experience in IT, and can select not only by soft skills, but also hard skills. As a result, the technical interview with the team leader is attended by 3—5 candidates at most who fit the job requirements.

The initial interview is held according to approved guidelines. There are 25 mandatory questions, and they are different for each job. For example:

  • At the beginning of the interview, the recruiter does some screening: he or she screens according to the critical conditions of the job. Every job has requirements that cannot be deviated from. For example, a clear technology stack, selection by salary fork, and by job format.
  • In order to check if the specialist has correctly assessed his level, the recruiter asks uncomplicated technical questions. This saves time: only strong candidates move on to the technical interview.
  • Determine their level of English.
  • Check discipline, communicativeness, propensity for cooperation, critical thinking, and other flexible skills — so that the candidate is the best fit for the company, the project, and the team.

Advice from OrbitSoft

7 Red Flags in a Job Interview

Signs that the team will have difficulty working with the candidate:

  1. Changing jobs every few months. IT projects may indeed not last long. But the reason for frequent job changes may also be due to conflicts with colleagues. If the candidate blames all failures on those around them, the problem is most likely with the candidate.
  2. Imposes their own rules or demands. For example, the candidate refuses to talk to the recruiter, and immediately demands a technical expert. Such a candidate will find it difficult to work on a team and follow the instructions of a team leader.
  3. Aggressively reacts to questions. Not knowing something and saying it is okay. Phrases along the lines of «Why even ask that, it’s never used», indicate that the candidate is uncooperative.
  4. Hiding past experience. It’s normal if a person has worked on a project under a strict NDA. But if the candidate refuses to talk about all of their projects over the last 5 years, it’s suspicious.
  5. Answers with vague phrases: «Well, you know…», «What do you think?» or, «Otherwise it won’t work». Usually people answer this way when the results were not achieved on their own.
  6. They make promises and don’t deliver. They didn’t show up for a meeting, didn’t answer an email, didn’t warn them that they would be late — people like this will blow off deadlines and let the team down.
  7. Ready to start tomorrow. If an employee is ready to leave their current job in just one day and let their company and team down, there is a good chance that they will do the same to us in the future.

Technical interview with team leader

After the interview with the recruiter, about 3—5 successful candidates remain. To understand which one of them is suitable for a particular project, the experience of the team leader helps.

In order to evaluate the technical skills of other developers, the team leader should have the level of a senior. For example, the team leader at POSiFLORA has ten years of experience with the project stack, and not only leads the team, but also programs himself.

Tip from OrbitSoft

These selection methods do NOT work in POSiFLORA

Unpaid test assignments. Such a test is suitable for junior developers: they can use it for a portfolio. Candidates with experience will be demotivated by the test assignment: their time is valuable, and they will not waste it on a free job without a guarantee of an offer.

Test day. This selection method is not suitable for high-load projects. For example, at POSiFLORA, you need several hours just to deploy the environment on your computer. In just one test day, the candidate will not have time to show his or her skills.

The Team Lead asks technical questions about the candidate’s past experience: How did you do it? What methods and tools did you use? Why these methods and tools? Such questions help to find out how much the person knows about the topic, whether they have adequately evaluated themselves, or has embellished their resume.

We need to ask theoretical questions as well. For example, a mobile developer’s timeline asks:

  • What is ACID, and how do you verify that a database meets this standard?
  • What are design patterns (GOF) for?
  • What are SOLID principles, and how to apply them in practice?

The Team Lead asks for a link to GitHub or Bitbucket. It helps to check how well and professionally the code is written, and how often updates and upgrades are released.

Tip from OrbitSoft

What a company should keep in mind when looking to staff a project

The candidate also gets to choose. People want to know about the company, and what tasks and conditions they might be working on. For example, OrbitSoft has information about projects and technologies on its website. The candidate understands in advance whether he or she will be interested in working for us.

It is necessary to maintain the relationship. If a candidate is not a good fit, that’s no reason to say no. After the interview, we recommend skills to build, and keep in touch. Perhaps after a year the developer will gain experience and be right fit for the team.

Whatever your needs, we can help!

Tell us what problems you’re facing with your business. We look forward to hearing from you.

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