To develop top-quality products, you need to bring the most talented technical experts into your company. Your organisation’s technical talent can be your all-important competitive edge. However, if you don’t have a technical background yourself, it can be tricky. It’s hard to know what to look for and understand what separates the best from the rest. It’s also a challenge to articulate what’s great about your company in a way that will sound attractive to them and motivate them to come and work there. How do you do it?
The answer is to enlist some help from your existing technical team. In this article, we’re going to look at why you should get your technical team involved in your hiring process. Then, we’ll look at how to do it. Let’s go.
Speak the language
It’s not that technical people and non-technical people speak a different language; the best companies have excellent communication between departments. However, developers and coders do use a lot of technical terms, and to assess how talented a candidate is during an interview, it’s much better to have a techie in the room. They know the questions to ask and can understand the answers.
Your existing tech talent will know what makes the candidate tick. Techies may be motivated by different factors to salespeople, marketers or anyone else in your company. But your team members will have a better idea around what excites them and will know the things to say to make them want to work at your company.
A smooth hire
When your existing technical team members get involved in the interview process, it creates an opportunity for the person they hire to have a head start with their transition into the company.
The successful candidate will have already built a certain level of rapport with your team member (otherwise they probably wouldn’t have got the job!), they would have had a fruitful conversation and made a connection. When it comes to the onboarding process, this connection will come in useful. They will enjoy seeing a friendly face, they will feel more comfortable asking questions, and they will already have an ‘in’ with the rest of the technical team. The team member who helped hire the new starter could even act as a mentor to them.
All of this helps foster a positive culture in your company.
Finally, getting your existing team involved in recruitment will make them feel valued. People like being given more responsibility, especially when it comes to something as important as hiring new talent. Your team members will appreciate that you have put your trust in them.
You are also trusting them with the culture of your company, taking them to choose someone who not only has the necessary skills, but will also be the right fit. It gives them a feeling that they are integral to the success of the company.
Now, let’s talk about the right way to get your team involved with hiring new tech recruits.
Let the team set the challenge
One of the most popular methods of pre-selecting which of all the candidates that apply should go to the interview stage is a coding challenge. Candidates must perform a task which acts as a gauge of their skills. Although this practice is widespread, it is not the best way to evaluate a coder’s skills, or how good they will be in their job. Most of the time, the challenge has no relation to the tasks they would actually do if they got the job. Plus, it only evaluates how good the candidate is at live coding, without any bearing on the other attributes the role requires. It’s no surprise that candidates dislike challenges and find them tedious.
If you really feel you must have an exercise for your candidates to perform, get your existing technical team to help set it. They know better than most the coding skills that the successful candidate will need; they will also know how to relate the challenge to the tasks the developer will perform every day if they get the job. Finally, they may even be able to make it fun!
Involve your team in every aspect of the interview process. Firstly, get them to help you draw up a framework for the interview. What questions will you ask? What answers are you looking for?
Then, get at least one technical team member in the room for the interview. You may even prefer to let them run the entire meeting, with or without you. As well as your pre-identified questions, get your team member to initiate a natural conversation around each and their interests around the topic. It will help them gauge whether or not the candidate will be a good fit for the team.
Finally, give them a say in the final selection process. Get your team members to open up to you about who they like and why. Although you, as the leader, should have the final say, you should consider everyone’s views first.
The way forward
When you get your technical team members involved in the interview process, you will find that the recruitment process runs much more smoothly. Plus, you should end up with a more talented new hire, that fits in well with the rest of the team, as well as your company.
We’re not saying that you should cut your HR people out of the process altogether – they can still play a valuable role in helping define benefits, as well as the more administrative side of things. However, to hire the best techies, utilise the techies you already have.
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