How To Recruit Developers

Great teams start with great interviews.

By recording live interviews, our platform harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to help teams run a faster, better interview process.

Request a Demo

How To Recruit Developers

Recruiting software developers can be a challenge for HR, especially early in the process of screening and qualifying candidates. The reason for this is, that HR is trained in handling people, legal, compliance, DEI - culture and performance aspects of the business. Hiring a software developer requires a completely different skill set.

When recruiting software developers you must be familiar (at least a rudimentary level) with technology and the programming languages, frameworks, and systems where you have open jobs. You also need to be aware of what motivates software developers, how they work, how they think, and how they will assess your company. If you're looking for a shortcut, one of the tools that will be beneficial to you is interview intelligence software. Solutions like Pillar give you entire libraries of questions that can be added to screenings and interviews with just a few clicks - so you don't have to learn all the "lingo."

How to Recruit Developers:

When hiring software developers, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it's important to have a clear understanding of the skills and experience you are looking for in a candidate. This will help you narrow down your search and target the right candidates. Many developers will focus on growth, enhancing their skills, and embracing fresh challenges, making them receptive to discussing new opportunities. This presents a perfect opportunity for you to initiate a conversation with the confidence that it will be well received.

Secondly, make sure to use job sites and platforms that cater specifically to software developers. These sites often have built-in features that allow for easy filtering and sorting of candidates based on their technical skills. But keep in mind, that the best place to hire developers is where they all hang out. GitHub, Stack Overflow, Hashnode, DEV, and other sites where developers network, share knowledge, and showcase their work are great places to find top talent.

The best job sites for software developers are usually LinkedIn, Indeed, Toptal, Monster, or other similar large job sites. These platforms have a vast pool of candidates, but it's important to take the time and effort to properly filter and screen applicants.

Next, be prepared to engage with developers on their terms. This means being active on the platforms mentioned above, participating in discussions, and showcasing your company culture and values. Developers want to work for companies that align with their own values and provide an environment that allows them to continuously grow and learn.

One way around spending a significant amount of time on these job sites is by adding an AI-sourcing solution and digital assistant to your hiring stack. Systems like use algorithms to find and recommend the best people for your job descriptions- making the whole process just a bit easier.

Software Developer Job Boards

Job boards are a great place to find developers and engineers. Local software developers' job boards like Powderkeg, Built-In, and Dice allow you to post open positions and find potential candidates in your area. These boards often have a more specialized pool of developers who are looking for local opportunities.

When using job boards, it's important to make sure your job posts are targeted towards software developers. This means utilizing appropriate keywords and outlining the specific technical skills, coding languages, and experience you are looking for in a candidate. By doing this, you will attract more qualified applicants and save time in filtering your candidate pool.

In addition to local job boards, some of the popular platforms mentioned in the last section offer a recruitment process for software developers. For example, GitHub has a job board feature where companies can post open positions and candidates can apply directly through the platform. This makes hiring software developers a much simpler task.

In preparation for your conversations with the individuals you find on these job boards, you should have a list of software developer interview questions and answers ready. These should focus on technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and experiences with specific programming languages or frameworks required for a role in your company. You may also want to add any tools in your stack to be sure they're familiar with the infrastructure of your tech. Finally, it's helpful to ask about their experience working in a team and their ability to communicate effectively as "people problems" not skills gaps are often the biggest reason that teams fall apart and employees leave.

As you can see, recruiting software developers requires a unique approach and understanding of the industry. But by utilizing job boards and interview intelligence tools, as well as being active on developer platforms, you can effectively find and attract top talent for your company.

Developer Interview Process

Now that we have a foundation in place, the developer hiring process is quite simple. You'll probably want to schedule an initial screening to get basic qualification questions out of the way and to build your talent pool. Once this is completed, the developer interview process begins. You'll want to schedule each candidate in your applicant pool for interviews with a hiring manager who can properly evaluate their technical skills and experience.

How to Prepare for a Developer Interview:

To prepare for a developer interview, it's important to have a clear understanding of the role you are hiring for. This means being familiar with the specific programming languages, frameworks, and systems used within your company. It's also helpful to have a list of questions tailored specifically to the role and technical skills required.

If you're in HR, most often the first interview will be conducted by a hiring manager so they should have a full grasp of the skills and experience needed to perform well in the role, so you won't need much in the way of preparation.

But, if you're a hiring manager looking to hire technologists, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, it's important to have a deep understanding of the technologies used within your company- I know we're hammering this point today, but this is key to a great hire. This will allow you to ask meaningful questions about the candidate's experience and abilities in these areas. It's also crucial to have an open mind and be willing to learn about new technologies and techniques from the candidate. Remember, you are not just evaluating their technical skills, but also their ability to learn and adapt.

Next, make sure to ask semi-structured, open-ended questions that require the candidate to explain their thought process and problem-solving abilities. This will give you a better understanding of how they approach challenges and if they would be a good fit for the role. We'll talk more about software developer technical interview questions and answers in the next section, but keep in mind that a curious posture and an open mind will cover the ground a closed one won't.

For instance, if you find out during an interview that the coding language preferred by the candidate is outdated, such as Java you could make the assumption that they're no longer interested in improving their skills. However, if you ask them why they prefer Java and what new languages or frameworks they have learned recently, you may find that they are actually dedicated to continuous learning and improvement and they like that language for its simplicity and effectiveness.

Another important aspect of the developer interview process is gauging a candidate's team fit. Team fit is everything. Since software development often involves working in teams, it's crucial to assess whether a candidate has the necessary soft skills to collaborate and communicate effectively with others. Some examples of questions that can help evaluate team fit include asking about their experience working on group projects, how they handle conflicts, and their communication style.

Pillar's interview intelligence software is invaluable for helping you gauge team fit. Using AI, our interview intelligence solution analyzes your candidate's facial expressions, tone of voice, and word choice to provide insights into their personality traits and communication style. This information can be used to make informed hiring decisions and ensure that the individual will thrive in your team environment.

Software Developer Technical Interview Questions And Answers

So we've talked about how to find developers, and how to screen them for skills and team fit, let's cover software developer technical interview questions and answers in our last section. Preparing you to find the best candidate means arming you with the basics of software development.

Here are the five most common questions to ask in a software developer interview:

1. What programming languages are you proficient in and why did you choose to learn them?

2. Can you explain the difference between a variable and a constant?

3. How do you handle errors in your code when you find them?

4. Do you have experience with version control systems like Git?

5. How do you ensure the security of your code?

Let's answer each of these questions to familiarize you with the most common responses you'll get in interviews.

1. What programming languages are you proficient in and why did you choose to learn them?

The candidate may list multiple languages, but the important thing is to see their thought process behind choosing these particular ones. Do they align with the technologies used within your company or are they related to the role they're interviewing for? This question also gives insight into their learning methods and preferences.

2. Can you explain the difference between a variable and a constant?

The candidate should be able to clearly differentiate between these two terms and provide examples of when they would use each in their code. This question tests basic knowledge of programming concepts.

3. How do you handle errors in your code when you find them?

This question evaluates the candidate's problem-solving abilities and how they handle unforeseen issues in their code. Look for an answer that involves debugging and testing to find the root cause of the error.

4. Do you have experience with version control systems like Git?

Version control is a crucial aspect of software development, so it's important to know if the candidate is familiar with it. If yes, ask follow-up questions about their experience using Git and any specific projects they've worked on using it.

5. How do you ensure the security of your code?

With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks, security has become a top priority in software development. Look for an answer that includes testing for vulnerabilities, encryption methods, and secure coding practices.

Overall, these questions are meant to assess a candidate's technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and familiarity with industry-standard tools and practices. It's also important to give the candidate a chance to ask their own questions about the company, team, and role to gauge their level of interest and fit. Remember, finding the right software developer is not just about technical skills but also their potential for growth, collaboration, and contribution to your company's success. With an open-minded approach and the right tools, you can find the perfect match for your team.

If you're struggling to interview software developers, reach out to someone on our team. We'd love to help you build a recruiting process that gets results. Book your demo to see how today. Happy Hiring!