HR

How We Recruit Tech Experts at EGO

So many software companies, so few software experts. How to recruit IT engineers in 2022? Read on to learn our approaches.

January 11, 2022
Oleg Horbunov
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HK$

Since every hiring situation is different, this post is going to be a bit chaotic wrap-up of our practices. And before we begin, let me explain how we position EGO Creative Innovations on the labor market.

What's in EGO for Candidates

EGO Creative Innovations strives to be more of a business partner for its clients than a custom app development company. In addition to designing and building digital products, we help entrepreneurs secure their success by providing extra-step services like business modeling, market research, product analysis, and others.

And then we love to share what we learn from our experiences and clients with other teammates, helping everyone to keep a bigger picture in mind, grow their expertise horizontally, and feel more involved in the projects they take on.

Unlike many other companies, we have never focused on explosive growth. Even after 16 years on the market, we're still quite a small team of 65+ people, with some more working with us on a freelance basis.

Such an approach helps us stay devoted to principles like agility, freedom of creativity, and like-mindedness. Hence we prefer to deepen our expertise in different business verticals and design techniques rather than expand our tech stack solely.

Still, sixteen years is a lot in the software and web development industry, so we had plenty of time to sharpen our approaches in software development. If you're interested, check out our blog and the next posts, in particular:

How We Document Our Projects at EGO [+Screenshots]

Takeoff with EGO: How We Start Working with Our Clients

How We Estimate Quality Assurance Works at EGO

Recruiting As A Sales Process

Today, a sales process is a well-defined set of techniques helping to establish contact and find a common ground with a potential client through a series of ping pong negotiations.

I believe recruiting is very similar in that regard. Gone are the times when recruiters could easily hire app programmers who fitted their vacancy requirements best. Today, it's rather about finding the middle ground between the company's needs and the candidates' wants.

At EGO Creative Innovations, we're initially focused on three key components of negotiating with candidates:

  1. Establishing a contact. We prefer to switch to less formal communication as early as possible, and often it even means using things like memes or stickers.
  2. Need clarification. There's always a reason behind the candidate's wish to get a new job. Sometimes it's the desire to have more money, in other cases they're looking for a project in a different area or utilizing different technologies. Once the deeper motivation is clarified, we'll do our best to make an offer that best matches the candidate's values and desires.
  3. Building loyalty. If less formal communication helps candidates establish more positive relationships with recruiters, building loyalty helps expand this attitude to the company and the project. Often, it means proper work with blockers and objections every custom app developer has.

One sales thing that shouldn't be in recruiting is pressuring. You might pressure people to force them to buy something, but not shape a positive attitude to the team or the company, which is of ultimate importance in the recruiting process for us.

How We Balance Time and Effort To Evaluate Competence

Nobody likes tedious hiring processes involving many interviews and test assignments. Still, recruiters need to properly evaluate candidates.

In the case of our mobile app agency, we have two conversations — a pre-screening interview to eliminate impostors and weak fits and get a preliminary understanding of people's soft skills, and a technical interview to have an exact impression of their hard skills. Then, there might be a test assignment or one more call with our client in the case of doubts. Through years of work, we see this approach is sufficient to evaluate the candidate's skills without taking much of their time.

A test assignment presented via a Dartpad task. Source: EGO

Sometimes, when we approach software engineers in the CIS region, they want to know the salary range immediately. Should it be revealed straight away? If there is one, why not?

But if a recruiter doesn't do that and instead wants to find out the candidate's salary expectations, it is most probably because they want to figure out the state of the market first. If the company's supposed salary range doesn't meet those expectations, the recruiter can report that fact to the management and then get back to candidates with an updated offer.

devops ninja animation
devops ninja animation
devops ninja animation
devops ninja animation

On Recruiter's Technical Competency

I often meet discussions on LinkedIn regarding the required level of tech expertise for recruiters. Heck, I even launched one as well, and 61% of my readers agree with me in the opinion that recruiters should have a basic understanding of the technologies and tools mentioned in the job vacancies.

During the pre-screening interview, the recruiter's first goal is to explain the specifics of the project a candidate is invited to join, as well as answer their questions. However, there is no book or course that will help them learn everything they need to know for this job, so googling things or asking colleagues for clarification is a common practice in the recruiting department of our mobile development agency.

Since this is also a question of technical vocabulary, it might be related to the industry's jargon. However, people talk about it more than it is actually used. Things like Jenga code and Hydra bug might sound funny, and I even know a few local courses for IT recruiters that start with providing the IT slang book for learners, but I don't see candidates actually using that slang throughout the hiring process.

One More Word on Motivation

Earlier I said that figuring the candidate's motivation is crucial to make an offer that will fit their values and desires. However, it's not just a sales technique to convince people to join us.

Since the IT labor market is so saturated with job offers, many companies do their best to retain people on the team. Once the HR department learns someone wants to leave the company, they will put a lot of effort to find out the way to make them stay.

In the end, the person will select the company where their needs will be better understood and met. Hence figuring out and addressing people's deep motivations becomes a central point in the recruiting process. Finding ways to give people what they really want instead of simply offering them what we already have is what brings meaning and purpose to our everyday work.

A Couple More Links Instead of a Bottom Line

If there's any chance you're an IT expert looking for a job, check out our Careers page for our current positions.

If you're a recruiter studying others' best practices in the software and web development industry, check out these blog posts as well:

How New Hire Onboarding and Integration is Done at EGO

Getting Back to Office: 5 Things To Keep in Mind From a VP of HR

Hiring Risks and How To Mitigate Them In App Development

And, of course, feel free to subscribe to the blog updates via the form at the bottom of the page for more posts like that!

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