In IT, where success hinges on having the right people in place, the approach to hiring should be strategically tuned for precision and speed.
Having worked on many projects and made hires for various engineering teams within different time frames, we outlined several fundamental rules that genuinely enhance the hiring team’s effectiveness:
- Scale the Team Smartly According to the Project Stage
- Diversify Talent Sources and Search Actively for the Top Digital Minds
- Ensure Your Recruiters Are Qualified to Adapt to Nontrivial Tasks
- Develop a 360-degree Candidate Assessment Approach
- Be Ready to Go an Extra Mile to Achieve Team Formation Goals
Scale the Team Smartly According to the Project Stage
Ensuring the team remains productive, motivated, and within budget during the whole project is crucial.
The challenge is finding that delicate balance between scaling at the right time—not too early or too late.
In the early phase of team formation, assemble a small but highly skilled core team. It’ll set the foundation and initial direction for the project.
To scale up wisely, assess the growing project’s requirements, complexity, and timeline. Consider the technologies involved and any specific industry expertise required.
As your team expands, invest in mentorship and training programs to develop the skills and knowledge of less experienced team members. Your goal is to allow team members to transition into their roles depending on the project stage seamlessly.
Once, we worked with a large healthcare operator in North America. Over five years, the collaboration has produced a comprehensive platform representing an array of integrated products focused on healthcare business process management.
The project started with a small team and gradually expanded to include more than 50 remote experts. We consolidated the core team in one location, enriching it with globally distributed software developers. Over one year, we recruited around 50 individuals for this project, with most of the hires occurring within the first three months. To achieve this, we established a dedicated recruitment team led by a Hiring Lead responsible for executing a tailored hiring strategy for the client.
Diversify Talent Sources and Search Actively for the Top Digital Minds
Avoid over-relying on a single job platform or recruitment agency.
A recruitment team should leverage a variety of job boards, social networks, and specialized platforms and resources to bring top candidates to the client’s doorstep.
It’s also valuable to maintain an internal database of professional contacts. For example, our internal applicant tracking system (ATS) includes a network of over 20,000 professionals.
And why stop there when you can stay deeply connected to industry communities and consistently take part in IT events? Participate in tech conferences, hackathons, and local meetups to network with potential candidates. These events provide opportunities to meet talents face-to-face and assess their skills.
To attract fresh talent, you may also develop internship and entry-level programs as an effective way to identify promising junior engineers.
Ensure Your Recruiters Are Qualified to Adapt to Nontrivial Tasks
Recruiters need to possess not only core skills but also the ability to swiftly learn and excel in handling complex and unconventional challenges. This requires ongoing training, upskilling, and a commitment to staying current with industry trends.
This way, your engineering team will be handpicked by individuals who truly understand the intricate demands of the IT industry, such as specifics of programming languages, emerging technologies, IT software and tools, etc. As for our process, the hiring team is composed of only Middle and Senior-level experts.
One of our clients develops products in various business domains—education, healthcare, business management, sports, marketing, etc. All products are designed using a unique programming language developed by the client—Flow. The language resembles F#, Standard ML, Haskell, and Scala.
Only 1% of candidates “made the cut” during the selection process, as completing the task required a very out-of-the-box mindset and skills.
The strategic hiring decision was to choose universities and IT schools as the primary candidate sourcing locations, filled with STEM contest participants, specialized IT course graduates, and tech geeks who could cope with the test task.
The recruiting process and the team’s approach to hiring have been significantly improved because the funnel consisted of a large pool of candidates with strong mathematical talent who completed both test tasks with high quality and on time.
As a result, we have accelerated the hiring process by nearly ten times, successfully onboarding 20 individuals. Notably, the proportion of candidates capable of passing the assessment tests remained the same, accounting for only 1% of the total applicant pool. So, to pick the top 20 professionals, our funnel included 2,030 individuals.
Develop a 360-degree Candidate Assessment Approach
Assessing candidates for a software development project requires a comprehensive 360-degree approach.
Review the candidate’s technical skills through coding tests, whiteboard exercises, or real-world project challenges. The candidate should possess relevant programming languages, frameworks, and tools. For specialized projects, it’s important to assess the candidate’s knowledge of the relevant domain or industry, e.g., healthcare or logistics specifics.
Evaluate communication, teamwork, adaptability, and time management skills. Soft skills are crucial for collaboration and project success. Pose real-world challenges or hypothetical scenarios to assess the candidate’s problem-solving abilities and creativity.
Looking into both technical prowess and soft skills ensures a well-rounded fit. Every interview evaluates multiple competencies meticulously and aligns with the project’s needs.
The goal is clear: to handpick the best talent, perfectly matched with the given clients’ requirements.
Be Ready to Go an Extra Mile to Achieve Team Formation Goals
Going above and beyond while assembling dedicated teams can meet ambitious deadlines and exceed client’s expectations.
Dedicating additional time, resources, or creative problem-solving is often what needs to be involved to gather a team capable of creating successful IT products.
Faced with the challenge of hiring more than 50 professionals within a month, the decision was to assemble a dedicated team of recruiters and additional project-based talent acquisition specialists. Eventually, the client’s ambitious deadline was met, with extra talent brought on board to account for any potential probationary issues.
In another instance, with just one recruiter, 32 experts were onboarded within the first month and a total of 60 within three months. The project is still actively growing.
Surprising a client with exceptional service or unexpected extras can leave a lasting positive impression and build long-term relationships.
Success in team formation relies on a balanced, proactive, and adaptable approach. By implementing these tips, you can ensure that your IT projects are positioned for long-term success.