11 Qualities to Look Out For When Hiring a Programmer

Say you need to hire a developer for your company’s new project. You found candidates whose CVs fit your technical requirements. What’s next? What else should you consider when hiring a developer? We asked our top recruiter about the pitfalls of tech recruitment. Here are the tips she provided for anyone new to the Tech HR world:

Look out for someone who: 

1.Is Jumping

One of the first things you should look out for already on the level of CV reading is jumping. It means a developer is changing positions and companies very quickly. It speaks to their lack of commitment to a team, a company, a goal. Recruiters claim that most employees who have proven to switch companies in a short time leave their company just as quickly. Therefore, if you are looking for a long-term, committed employee, it is better to avoid hiring people with this mindset.

2. Has Bad Communication Skills

Some recruiters wrongly focus exclusively on a developer’s technical skills, forgetting that soft skills are also significant. Sometimes it happens because of a language barrier, and other times a person doesn’t know how to glue words together. If your developer can’t communicate clearly and effectively work of the whole team takes a hit. 

3. Is Hard To Catch For a Quick Chat

This kind of behavior includes: missed calls, cancels meetings last minute, left your messages “on read.” First of all, it shows you they don’t care about your company enough to at least show respect in the process of hiring. Secondly, this quality will become an issue in the future and likely disrupt the workflow. Especially if your company hires remote employees, their ability to respond in time and be reliable is crucial for the whole team to stay on track.

4. Has Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations, such as high salary expectations despite the candidate’s scarce experience, show a lack of judgment and perhaps even an inflated ego. Given the constantly growing salaries in software development and the shortage of programmers, some candidates will try their luck and ask for more than they are worth based on their skills, hoping that a desperate recruiter will still hire them. Stay in tune with the current trends in tech HR to always know how much developers get paid.

5. Speaks Badly About Former Managers & Colleagues

One can respectfully criticize their former employers, but there is a line between criticizing and bashing someone. For instance, the developer could say: “There was bad management” or “They did not pay on time.” These are valid arguments because the former company did not fulfill the candidate’s expectations. But saying something like “My CTO was stupid and knew nothing about web development” spiteful and simply unprofessional. This kind of behavior is more appropriate for a night out with friends than a job interview, and every professional must understand it.

6. Is Not Collaborative

The “I prefer to work alone” statement can be tricky. Some companies only need one developer, but any company relies on the teamwork of the professionals involved. It is hard to rely on such an independent worker to be responsive to the rest of the team and report about issues that come up in their work. Thus, even if you don’t have a tech team, an ideal hire is always a team player

7. Is Money-Focused

Hearing a lot of questions about money from a candidate is always a bad sign. Not that a programmer shouldn’t be interested in the amount and kind of compensation for their work. Although, when the questions about money significantly outweigh all other inquiries, for example, about the technical tasks or the future team, you should take it as a red flag

8. Shows Zero Knowledge About the Company

If the candidate does not mention your company’s previous projects or cannot say why they want to work for your company, it shows a lack of interest in your organization. They don’t have to be a long-term fan of your every service and product to apply for the job, of course, but researching before showing up to an interview is the bare minimum you want to see in a candidate if you expect them to care about what you do.

9. Has Only Freelance Experience

When someone who mostly did freelance software development in the past applies for a full-time position, you want to ask them more about their mindset. Can you trust that the candidate left the freelance practice behind? Or will you always have to wonder whether the developer works exclusively for you? There is no easy way to answer these questions. However, throughout the conversation with the candidate, you should try to find out why they want to switch from freelance to a stable job and how serious they are about dedicating their time to a single project for months or years to come

10. Wants to Grow Fast

Unless the position you are hiring for is a role that implies quick promotion to the next step, it makes sense to avoid people with a strong aspiration to become a lead engineer in the nearest future. You can spot them by questions such as “How quickly could I become a lead developer?” That kind of candidate could leave in a few months if they find a relevant job position as a lead

11. Is a Switcher

They are the type of people who applied for the position merely to switch from their previous job. Similar to “jumping” employees, “switchers” have a habit that might cost you time and money when they eventually decide to “switch” positions again.