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Find your match – 5 tips to hire better tech talent

10-01-2022

6 min read

Still looking for the perfect junior developer? Or you’re just beginning the process of searching for a new addition to your team? We’re here to help you upgrade your recruitment practices and find great talent while you’re on the search.

The war for great tech talent is as real as ever. On top of the ever growing digital talent gap, the information you have on candidates is often insufficient. So it’s hard to make quick, yet well-balanced decisions during the hiring process.

It’s even more difficult to assess the skills of junior developers, often without a track record. They come from widely different backgrounds, often lacking professional experience, which means a lack of information for you. Do they work well in a team? Is there up-to-date, relevant knowledge behind the points you see listed on their CVs? Can they handle challenges, conflicts, and constructive feedback? All these questions left unanswered can lead to you not hiring a promising candidate and passing great developers by.

So what more can you do to find the best talent, on top of your current efforts? Read on to find our 5 tips. 

But first, let’s see the top challenges hiring managers face while recruiting juniors.

Hiring junior developers? Here are some typical challenges

From CodinGame’s latest developer survey, we learned that finding qualified developers was 2021’s biggest recruitment challenge for 61% of HR professionals. No wonder it’s difficult to recruit great junior developers either. The process isn’t easy for a number of reasons, and it’s weighed down by some typical challenges:

Job portals are useful, but have their limits

It’s natural to start searching for candidates on job portals, however, they can give an illusion that the talent pool is smaller than it actually is. Profiles don’t usually follow strict conventions and often lack information, therefore it’s difficult to compare them. And even when candidates create amazing profiles, it’s good to keep in mind that they’re able to write just about anything about themselves. Missing reliable information on candidates often results in overlooking good developers and going too far with mediocre ones.

Future potential is hard to estimate

It can be tempting to hire someone for a specific programming language that they’re a pro at currently. However, a great junior’s job is to be a motivated learner too, to be able to grow into an invaluable senior later. Someone with amazing tech skills might be the obvious first choice. Then, the same person might turn out not to have the motivation to learn or adapt to their new workplace, get frustrated by challenging projects or be hurt by or indifferent to constructive feedback. It would be amazing to see the future potential of candidates next to previous experience and studies, but it’s really difficult in a classic hiring process.

University degrees are not that relevant for tech positions

You’d assume that degrees help you filter out the best candidates. However, we learned from CodinGame’s latest developer survey that close to 80% of HR professionals around the world already recruit developers with non-academic backgrounds. Asking for a degree in today’s climate can drive away young developers. What’s more, it doesn’t really help you either

The process takes ages

Your first instinct might be to invite a candidate to as many rounds of interviews as possible. To meet your decision-makers and to get to know them as much as you can. To give them filtering assignments, or invite them to assessment centres. But jumping through too many hoops can cause applicants to lose interest in the process. They might simply move on if it’s too dragged out.

But how can you learn more about your candidates?

We already wrote about what you can expect from junior programmers on the job market today. But what if you’re still looking for the right developer in the first place?

Here are our tips:

1. Visit your candidates and check them out at work

It’s a pain point in developer recruitment that you cannot really get a realistic knowledge of your applicant’s ability to code and present until you’re working with them. The usual way to do this is through a technical interview, an on-the-spot coding exercise or an assessment center. These are great solutions, but will not always lead to accurate results.

We rather suggest you to request to watch live demos of junior programmers at a programming school. Go see demos online or in-person, or invite promising students to your premises to do demos. You can get to know candidates much better this way, and check their individual skills in terms of coding, presentation, and interpersonal skills, and select the best ones for an interview. This is also a great employer branding opportunity for you, and an amazing chance for juniors to get to know you as their future employer. 

Codecoolers demo their work to peers and hiring managers every Friday. If you’re interested to see them, reach out.

2. Pick a pro hiring partner that starts with understanding your needs

To speed up the hiring process and to make your recruitment efforts easier, it’s one of the best solutions to get a sourcing partner that really knows you, your business, and your needs. If they understand the way you do business, they’ll know what type of developer could fit in there.

Is it worth it though, to find a partner like this? Well, that’s something you have to decide for yourself. 

At Codecool, we approach every new partnership with a fresh start, asking deep-dive questions about a partner’s business, culture, hiring needs, teams, tasks, preferred hiring practices, and a lot of other topics. After a short and effective briefing we’ll make sure that you meet only the best, most fitting junior developers that match your exact requirements. 

And we are fast – you can have your new junior signing your contract in as fast as 5 days after you request one later.

3. Compare juniors based on an extended candidate profile

While external recruiters can bring you a number of developers to interview, they usually have time to talk to a candidate only once on the phone after finding them on Linkedin. This is a great starting point and can save you time. 

Still, you’ll have a higher chance of finding great employees if you pick recruiters who have an active, personal connection with the developers that they’ll recommend to you. Recruitment Managers at Codecool take the time to get to know each and every Codecool graduate personally. Based the information you shared about your requirements previously, they’ll know whom to recommend to you, and can share detailed info on each candidate‘s skills, ambitions and personality.

4. Ask to see their project portfolio

While looking for the right junior programmer, you can face a simple yet daunting problem: a junior is usually not going to be the one to present you with an extensive, jaw-dropping project portfolio. However, a portfolio is what can best showcase a programmer’s actual skills and interests, so it’s usually a super important source of information when hiring digital professionals.

Our students document all the projects that they work on during their time with us. During our flagship Full-Stack Development course, they finish 20+ lifelike Scrum development projects and 50+ individual coding challenges and assignments. They’re continuously practicing their newly learnt technical and soft skills, and get used to handling different project roles, too. What’s more, after successfully completing the course, they spend their time working on their personal ‘love projects’, which are usually even bigger and more ambitious projects compared to what they’ve been doing before.

5. Look for truly informative CVs

We all know that recruiters spend 6-8 seconds reviewing a CV before they decide on the fate of an applicant, and around 80% of CVs don’t get shortlisted at all. So it’s just natural that while looking at multiple, inherently different CVs and trying to compare them with one another, a number of great junior developers can slip through the cracks. Plus, so many details that look dull on paper could be game-changers when shown off in the right way. Not to talk about irrelevant, or fake information that some candidates put on their resumes.

Our juniors all use the same standard, concise, informative CV format, which makes it easy to compare them. It’s not just a simple CV stating facts, but an interactive showcase of their projects fuelling great conversations at technical interviews. Individual Codecooler’s work and contribution to projects can be checked in detail through the CV, and all information included is guaranteed to be 100% legit and relevant.

Tech talent recruitment can be better

If you’re looking for your next developer, consider partnering with Codecool. We have a big and active network of quality tech talents and flexible recruitment processes, offering you quick access to top talents.

Growing your teams? We can help you find your next junior who could be in your team in just a couple of days after you contact us. The complete hiring process takes 4 to 7 days for our clients, from briefing through shortlisting and interviews to sourcing agreement. You won’t be wasting time or resources, and be ready to start work with your new developers quickly and efficiently. If you’d like to hire a senior developer or a complete new team we can help with that, too. 

Don’t let your best colleagues go. We are also here if you’re interested in up-skilling or re-skilling your existing employees. We’re happy to tailor our flexible training programs to your exact needs, and turn them into your most valuable and skilled digital resources.

Your own internal digital academy powered by Codecool can cover the hiring, training and onboarding of your tech teams and colleagues, and provide continuous training for existing employees, in line with your actual strategic priorities.

Interested in what Codecool has to offer you? Let’s talk! Please be invited to visit one of our Demo Days on any Friday, too, online or in person, and check out the skills and capabilities of our students.

Hope to talk to you soon.

About us

Codecool is the fastest growing programmer school and tech talent hub in Europe. We make the digital talent gap disappear and enable people to take on future-proof tech careers. We solve IT skill development and resource needs via training and recruitment.

The Codecool Blog is a collection of the coolest insights and best resources for HR heads, IT leaders, other business executives and small business owners in charge of tech talents and digital strategies.

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