The labor market is experiencing a huge demand for technology professionals, and more specifically, developers. Simultaneously, a limited talent pool leads to a bombardment of job offers, with developers becoming more and more reticent to responding to recruiters’ messages. Moreover, except for those actively looking to change jobs, mid-senior or senior developers rarely apply spontaneously. Hire a Developer is being a laborious Job.
Then, how do I hire a developer? The best response to this question is being proactive and finding the same places and conversations developers join. This approach will lead you to alternative channels and strategies to hire developers beyond the traditional LinkedIn posts and Inmails.
Get a big picture of the developer to hire
To hire a developer, you need more than just being on the same page with the hiring manager about the technology stack for a role. Of course, an assessment of technical skills is essential.
Yet, there are other important questions to pose before moving ahead. To outline a more complete picture of your ideal candidate, it will be useful to know the projects and assignments under the hire’s responsibility.
What kind of challenges should the candidate be willing to solve? Expectations about methodologies and approaches in work are equally important. How will success be measured for that specific role? Is your client -whether internal or external – open to hiring remote developers? If remote is within the radar, should you restrict your search to some specific country or region? Is time-zone an issue to keep in mind? What kinds of past-projects experience are desirable?
Once you have the big picture of the kind of developer to hire, it’s up to you to decide which strategy suits best to reach top candidates. The path may vary, depending on several facts: work-mode, geographical, seniority, technologies, and certifications required, expertise, experience, among others.
The good thing is that you will have a valuable amount of information to write an amazing job post and initiate a conversation with candidates.
How do I Hire a Developer?
The first step to hire a developer is knowing where you will find what you are looking for.
Proactively seeking developers is all about networking and understanding where and how devs gather, using the right keywords, tags, and hashtags. Developers can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Instagram, and even on Quora.
Far from the general belief that programmers are lonely characters, the grand majority tend to gather in social network groups, communities, bootcamps, hackathons, meet-ups, and all kinds of tech-tribes.
Developers use them to share code and solve problems and give support to colleagues, train in specific skills, and even code together for fun. Yet, there are specific tech platforms where developers spend most of their free time that provides more relevant information for your hiring processes.
Hire a developers on Dev communities
Developer communities have expanded in all directions: apart from the classic Facebook Groups, you have Slack groups, Meet-ups, Telegram channels, to mention but a few. You can even seek developers using Medium or Quora, or Dev Community, with almost 581,678 developers around the world.
Yet, the problem with all these communities is that breaking the ice is not that simple. Getting reviews from dev peers and accessing code can be extremely complicated.
Therefore, coding communities are the best places to find web developers, iPhone app developers, Android app developers, Magento devs, and even game developers and see for yourself their work.
Github is the most famous open-source community for developers. To browse developers on Github, you must sign up and create your own account. Each profile has an overview page where you can check the most relevant projects and activity levels at a given time. An advanced search page serves to browse developers by location, language, number of followers, and much more.
On Github, you can literally take a walk through a developer’s code. Not only can you see those projects a dev is proud of, but also take a look at what contributions he/she has made to their colleagues’ code. Another key aspect is how many stars the user holds, who follows that developer, and where he has “forked”, meaning what code projects the dev was interested in and saved into his own repository.
Most devs show their email, website URL, or LinkedIn profile under their Github username. If you find an interesting profile, but the email is not public, you can try clicking on a repository, then click on a commitment. Copy and paste the commit URL and add “.patch” at the end: you will get a screen displaying the information about the commit, including the email.
There also plugins you can add to your Chrome toolbar -Amazing hiring, for example – to get the email. If it doesn’t work, Keybase can be another valuable source to find multiple ways of connecting with the candidate. Most often than not, developers use nicknames.. but they use the same on different social networks: try pasting it on Twitter, and there are great chances of finding the same person.
Stackoverflow is literally the “developers google”: programmers use it to ask questions and find answers to all their coding challenges. Each answer is reviewed by their peers, and some fellows act as moderators. Topics are organized by tags.
You can follow many tags according to the kind of developer you are to hire, that is, the programming languages, frameworks, libraries, tech tools or specific topics your ideal candidate should manage. The complete list of tags is here.
How can you run a query?
On Stackoverflow, you have a query sheet to run your own queries. There are query examples you can use to build your own. To run a query, you’ll have to be logged and become familiar with SQL in Stack Exchange Data Explorer.
If you are running against the clock, Recruiterflow can be a helpful tool for you to create your first queries. Their SQL query generator to source developers on Stackoverflow is excellent. After generating it, you just copy the query and paste it on a Stackoverflow query, add a title to your search and enjoy the results or download the information to a CSV file.
The benefit of Stackoverflow is that you will get plenty of relevant information about the people you will try to connect with: here, developers tell about the projects they would like to work on. This will give you tons of icebreakers to start a conversation and present your proposal highlighting those aspects that they will find more attractive.
How do you read the profiles?
First of all, keep in mind that the profile is written in free-form, sometimes even using a programming language syntax. These are the profile terms you should become familiar with:
- Reputation: on this section, you will visualize how many bronze, gold, and silver badges the user has earned.
- Bio: a summary of the user’s interests, free-form written, available even if you are not connected to Stackoverflow.
- Communities: they will give you a panoramic view of his or her areas of expertise
- Top tags contributed to: here, you’ll have a picture of the user’s topics of interest and how you can engage this person to get attention to your proposal.
- Additional info: it will display the user’s location, education, how long he/she has been on Stackoverflow, when it was the last time he/she connected to the platform, etc. Generally, users add a link to their Github account, where you’ll get the email to connect with that person.
- Username: this same username could be used in other platforms as well. You can try Namechk and find it elsewhere on the web or use the Amazing hiring plugin to check. As we mentioned before, keep in mind that most developers use the same username for their StackOverflow, Github, Keybase, and Twitter accounts, to mention but a few.
StackOverflow has a section where you can post job ads. If you post a job, be careful and add all the specific tags related to the role and the technologies involved. Instead of turning to more general terms, like “mobile developer”, use the proper words your potential candidates would use to find a job.
For example, an iPhone app developer will find a job using filters, typing the techs liked and disliked. By tagging your job post with the terms related to iPhone apps, you will make sure your job post stands out: not only iphone, but also iOS, swift, and objective c.
As for an Android app developer, using the tags android app, android, kotlin in your job post, will make it gain visibility. If you are willing to hire a web developer, you will have to try tags according to the technology stack your company uses.
Twitter offers many advantages to engage top-rated developers. It is worth mentioning that on Twitter, people tend to share code information but also express their discomfort and expectations about their careers. Therefore, you will need to join your target-candidates conversations and use that information as an icebreaker.
To hire a developer on Twitter, there are many browsing options:
1- keywords, using the “People” option: you simply type a keyword and select the range: ‘near me’ or ‘everywhere’.
2– hashtags, by using the most relevant hashtags related to the role.
3– influencers of the category: gathering in the same communities that your target-candidates join.
One handy way to join those conversations and grow your network is by creating lists. You can organize a segmented developer-audience splitting your lists by programming language, frameworks, seniority, stack, location, and so on. It will all depend on the kind of developer you are to hire. Generally, developers participate in global and local groups.
Tips for finding Magento developers on Twitter
To create a list, go to your Twitter profile, create a list under a name (make it private or public) and start looking for communities or groups using specific keywords. For example, if you need to hire a Magento Developer, type Magento on the search field. You will be suggested to add a huge number of good options.
The Twitter algorithm is quite broad, but try to focus only on those specific to engineering and development: @magento has dozens of thousands of followers, but @MagentoEngCom based in Texas, is a nicer choice if you hire in the United States. As you polish your searches, the algorithm will offer better fits and offer tons of Magento developer profiles.
Why use Twitter lists? Your feed will show an update of the most coveted developers. It will give you uncountable information and opportunities to join a thread and engage potential candidates.
Are you hiring iPhone app developers?
If you’re after iPhone app developers, apart from Github, Stackoverflow, and Twitter, you can follow an interesting forum. Developer Apple forum is a space devoted to macOS and iOS developers. Quite like Stackoverflow, but exclusive.
You can type one or more keywords related to iOS mobile development on the search bar, and you will get thousands of questions, answers, and users working on that operating system. The profiles are a bit too plain, but it is expected to grow and better.
Hiring a game developer
If you need to hire a game developer, you can turn to Unity forums, Stackoverflow, Github and Toptal. The latter is probably the best marketplace for Unity3D developers and coders.
How much does it cost to hire a developer?
According to Glassdoor, hiring a full-time developer in the USA costs between $82k and $180k per annum, but the estimate will vary according to skill seniority. Salaries can range from $64,000 and reach about $140,000 for Senior developers. Still, you have to add supplementary payments (3,2% of net salary), Insurance (8%), Annual paid leave (7,1%), retirement and savings fund (3,8%), and the benefits by legal regulations (7,6%).