Our Development Team Extension Program

Our development team is the engine we run on. And it’s obvious that the recruitment process has to be perfectly tuned in order to build a diverse team capable of growing the entire company as they go.

We believe there are two approaches to introducing new people to the team. You either have to operate on a strict and disciplined hiring policy, or have a visionary that is charismatic, knowledgeable, and have that eye to notice an x-factor in a candidate.

It’s good when a CEO knows all their employees by names, has a story to tell about each of them, and knows exactly why they are part of a company. Early on, this is most likely the case. In our history, a group of friends unified by a common interest formed a future Shakuro and it operated as a dorm-room startup for some time, but then, as the opportunities grew, the necessity of hiring new people occurred and however the background acquaintance played out before, it became irrelevant. Expanding a development team became our another business development process and required a well-thought out approach. So forth comes…

Our Development Team Extension Program

What we’ve learned for over 10 years of being a competitive digital agency is that putting together a vibrant engineering team is quite a challenge. You have to consider multiple factors, like education, experience, communicative and social skills, ability to cooperate, and so on.

Surfing on the best qualities of each team member and nullifying the drawbacks is what makes a successful development company and makes team extension program easy.

We came up with the following hiring guidelines that significantly improved our hiring.

When Is It Time To Hire A New Developer?

The most obvious need for a new employee is dictated by the technical lack. If you need to inforce your Ruby on Rails team, you search specifically a RoR developer and evaluate candidates based on their Rails competence. But what if the team is packed and your goal is to optimize the development process, speed it up, enhance the quality and so on? This is a different requirement and it needs reasoning.

Things to consider before hiring a new developer:

  • What is the new employee’s business purpose?
  • What their career course will be like?
  • What is their employment model/schedule?
  • Is there enough office space/hardware/software tools for a new employee?

Candidate Selection

After a job opening has been confirmed, essential questions answered and the bat signal sent, it’s time to evaluate the incoming response. In order to not get swept away with distractions like an impressive CV, stories, and purely candidate’s persona, you have to follow a checklist.

New developer screening tips:

  • Real-life test. You can get a lot from seeing how a candidate solves a real technical problem. Save yourself some time and don’t fall into hypothetical talks, instead see how they perform in a real-life scenario. Look at approaches, mindset, and methodology, rather than aesthetics and scrutiny.
  • Language competence. In an outsourcing environment language skills are as important in a task as it’s technical part. We have a English conversational test which can easily estimate a candidate’s proficiency level and perspective.
  • Background check. Whenever we are appeased with a candidate’s knowledge, communication skills, and mindset, we do an informal reference check as a confirmation asset, however, it can be instrumental in figuring out where the new employee may shine and how they would perfectly fit into our workflow.

New Developer Enrollment Process

It takes more than the three attributes above to eventually start working for us. Once the initial screening process delivers a number of potential employees, we start the enrollment process, made to indicate whether a candidate is a perfect fit for us. Typically, only 1 out of 10 candidates makes it to become our developer.

Enrollment stages:

  • HR interview. This is a specific interview that a recruiter conducts to figure out a candidate’s communicative skills and their proximity to the principles of the company.
  • Technical task. This may include a sample coding session with candidates in a time limit allowing to see how fast they look for solutions and the pathways they take.
  • Team Lead interview. After a candidate shows their technical skills and become a hire prospect, we set up an interview with the team leader they are supposed to work for. No one knows the vibe of the team and can figure out whether a candidate can integrate into the team seamlessly.

New Developer Team Induction

What often impedes  the new hire’s starting  performance and contribution to your projects is a number of non-technical procedures that emerge on the early stages:

Organizational things to take care of:

  • Contract. It’s important to have things settled legally. Always.
  • Provision. The salary usually gets settled beforehand, but companies provide a number of different aspects of a payroll, including sick leave payments, maternity leave, floating days off, and all sorts of labor regulations.
  • Supplies. The workplace, gear, and tools must comply with the tasks and operations a new hire is supposed to perform. This in not only hardware and software, but also the access to corporate resources, account permissions, and introduction into the company infrastructure.
  • Workflow. Our new developers are included into our workflow with maximum transparency and explanation, in order to blend in. This is either a PM’s task to break things down for them, or team leader’s privilege to forge a new hire into a potent team member.

Effective Hiring Outtakes

A well-organized hiring approach is a company’s responsibility even though you might have a strong team with key people working in it for decades. Team extension is an inevitable part of business development process. So when the time comes, it’s better to be prepared and have a plan of how to run your hiring procedure.

It all comes down to optimizing the company’s time management and saving the employee’s time as well. The smoother is the procedure, the faster you can introduce new developers to the team and empower it.
Sustaining the team is the key to it’s growth and binding talent around your brand is what a good management strives for. This can only be achieved through tuning talent search, new employee integration processes, and positive attitude along the way.

Written by Shakuro Team
March 03, 2017