✅ Best practices for developer hiring
Before diving into hiring for a new role, there are a few important steps that will help you set yourself up for success throughout the process.
As a start, here are general developer hiring tips to keep in mind:
Give ownership to one person for any given role: This will help with accountability and minimise the chances of dropping balls. If you can’t settle on a single person to care about the whole process, then be sure to go into detail in terms of which people are going to take ownership of the individual parts of the process.
Be extremely responsive with candidates: You should never be the bottleneck in your own hiring process. Developers are likely interviewing with several companies at once, and even a slight delay in your process could mean you lose out on a strong candidate.
Optimise for speed: If somebody meets your hiring criteria, your goal should be to put an offer of employment in their hands as quickly as possible.
Drop-off will occur: This can happen throughout every stage of the process, so it’s important to maintain a strong pipeline of candidates.
Focus on the candidate: The golden thread that should run through your entire process is the candidate experience, no matter whether you end up hiring the person. Keep in mind that the majority of developers have discontinued a hiring process after a negative hiring experience. If you don’t want to lose top candidates to your hiring process, you need to provide a great candidate experience.
Developers also share their experiences with their peers. Always assume that the person you’re interviewing is going to tell their friends or other community members about their experience interviewing at your company.
Be structured: The interview process is a pretty big time investment from both sides, so make the most of it by having a structured agenda for what you’re hoping to accomplish. Everyone involved should know what their roles are.
Be transparent: Explain to the candidate what your hiring process involves from the outset — developers value role and process transparency above all else in a hiring process. Read more in our 2023 hiring reports for the Netherlands and South Africa.
Next, you need to set up your scorecard.
Setting up a role scorecard
You should set up an internal scorecard in order to give your hiring team an objective idea of what the role entails and who you think can do the job. It allows you to come up with the practical definition of the right person for the role you are trying to fill.
A scorecard typically consists of a few key components, including:
- Mission: A description of the high level goal of the position.
- Outcomes: The results you expect to see if the candidate does their job well.
- Responsibilities: The most important tasks the candidates will be responsible for.
- Role-specific competencies: Competencies required to be successful in the role. This will include both functional and behavioural competencies that are relevant to this specific job.
- Company specific competencies: Competencies required to thrive in your business and company culture, which often remains the same across roles.
- Background, such as skills, knowledge and experience: The career experience or background that will help the candidate achieve the objectives set out in the scorecard.