When clients call you in desperate need of fresh blood for their organisation, it can be a challenge spotting the right technical candidate.
Finding a candidate who’s passionate about what they do, technically proficient AND a perfect cultural fit for their organisation without a key set of criteria may send you chasing the wrong rabbits down the wrong rabbit holes.
To keep the process of screening technical candidates simple and efficient, below are Lexy Mitchell’s top three criteria for identifying the right people for any given technical role.
- Passion for “geekiness”
In our modern world, technology is hurtling forward at lightning speed. New coding languages, frameworks for application development and hardware are emerging all the time. The truly passionate won’t just be keeping up with these technological expansions. They’ll be paving the way for the future with their own tech, driven by a genuine interest that isn’t just about having a job or making money.
These are the kinds of people who are constantly tinkering with Angular and REACT, communing with others inside the walls of GitHub and Stack Overflow. They’re fiddling with code to make it the best it can be. They may even be competitive with their peers, pushing each other to create new technological solutions, driven by a passion for their craft. Outside office hours.
If the candidate’s resume gives off any sense of this excitement, put them in front of your client! If the client’s requirements and the passions of the candidate align, the likeliness they’ll win the role is high.
- What’s their technology skill set?
Matching a technical candidate’s skill set with the client’s job description should be your first port of call. Which development frameworks has the candidate used? Which ones are they most experienced with? Have they been using these technologies for two weeks, two months or two years? Is this what the client is looking for?
Determining a candidate’s technical experience should give you a sense of whether they’re dabbling or if they’re serious. On top of that, you get a good sense if they’re expecting to upskill themselves on the job or if they’re actually ready for a role.
A candidate who knows a variety of tech, through and through, is far more likely to win a role. You need to consider whether the client actually wants to take on someone less experienced so they can be trained to fit the organisation.
Stand-out technical candidates (software developers/programmers) can often code in a number of different languages.
When you see resumes with a depth and breadth of technologies and languages this is often a good sign.
- How’s their employment history looking?
Many tech sector people live a gypsy-like life. They move from one role to the next without blinking an eye. Some are serious technicians, seeking out new experiences and challenges. Their primary purpose: growing skill and maintaining excitement.
Some candidates are on the polar opposite end of this scale, moving for reasons that are less to do with the growth of skill or genuine interest in their work.
Whatever the reasons for a technical candidates’ movements, a key factor in deciding whether a candidate is resilient is their history of employment. What kinds of companies has the candidate worked for? How long did they work there?
If a technical candidate has primarily worked for banks, and your client is a bank, then you have a good bet your candidate might be right for the role. If the candidate’s history with the bank is lengthy, you can put them in front of your client with even more confidence.
If you’re dealing with candidates who prefer to freelance, a sign you’ve found the diamond in the rough is if their contract has been renewed again and again by the same organisation.
It’s not a hard and fast formula
This set of criteria is just the beginning, not the end. Great recruitment requires a human touch which we’d be happy to help you with.
Lexy Mitchell is an expert technical recruiter at Big Wave Digital, well connected with plenty of top technical talent. If you’re on the lookout for new technical candidates for your organisation, she’d love to speak with you over a cup of coffee.
Feel free to get in touch with her for more information, coffee will be on Big Wave Digital, that’s a promise!
And if you have any key criteria of your own for screening great technical candidates, feel free to let us know in the comments below!