hire

3 Critical Steps to Hiring the Best Developers

Andela’s Chief Information Officer, Lisbi Abraham, has spent the past 25 years as a leader in technology and operations, partnering with clients and bringing new products to market. He recently joined the team at recruiting software platform Lever for a webinar called “How to Win the Competition for Technical Talent.” In his talk, Lisbi shared his three-step approach to finding the right technical talent:

 


Source the best, instead of sifting through candidates

According to a recent report from Lever, only 38% of engineering hires proactively apply for their positions. Winning at technical recruiting means making the talent come to you. Being a mission-driven company is one way Andela connects with engineering talent before we’re able to meet in person. We use social media and other channels to share stories that reflect our mission and goals, which keeps prospective Andela Developers interested and engaged.

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We’ve also used this approach to target our outreach to female developers. The average for female developers in the workforce is around 6%. At Andela, we have driven our number to over 20% by launching an all-female recruiting initiative, in which our own female developers reach out to those in their networks.



Rethink interviewing to focus on the attributes that matter most

Andela accepts only the top 0.5% of about 25,000 applicants per year, so it’s no surprise that we employ a rigorous screening process including everything from psychometric tests to pair programming exercises. But the real secret to our success is that we are constantly iterating on our process. We look at who succeeds here and feed their attributes back through our testing criteria to change how we train and evaluate.


We’ve also done away with typical coding challenges as part of our screening process. While such exercises might weed out people who are bad test takers, they also eliminate those who could still be good employees. We prefer a coding evaluation that takes real snippets of code and asks applicants to find what’s wrong or add a feature. This gives us a more realistic sense of how they would work with a client in the real world.

 

As Lisbi puts it, “Technology does not stop,” so we’re also looking for people who can learn on their own. Technology changes every day, and clients expect developers to adapt. We look for developers who will continually seek out opportunities to learn and grow.

 

Close with confidence

Once we select a candidate, it’s important to know what excites them about working for Andela — as well as their reservations. A candid conversation about both helps ensure a motivated, productive team member in the long run. Our thorough recruiting process gives candidates a better sense of why they want to work for us. In our experience, top candidates want to feel as though they’ve earned a spot at a company that is a leader in its field.

 

At Andela, recruiting is a critical process — and one we need to get right every time. For more of Lisbi’s hiring insights, check out his full presentation here.



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