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Discussion on: The Madness Of Recruiting Permanent Engineers

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rimutaka profile image
Max

Mark, I'm curious if you are / were directly involved in hiring, especially in the initial stages like defining a role, finding candidates or first contact. It would be interesting to hear your take on that.

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markwalsh profile image
Mark Walsh Author

I’ve been involved in both role definition, finding candidates AND first contact if you can believe it. What sort of things would you like to talk about?

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rimutaka profile image
Max

I am curious about the initial stages of the hiring process. There seem to be a lot of disconnect between what is offered and what is sought on both sides. For example, why do employers fill job ads with information of no interest to SWE candidates and skip on what matters? Can you share how do you structure your job ads?

And the same goes for the screening calls.
I hear some recruiters say they want to gage the level of interest in the role, yet, they start it with "Tell me about yourself".
Do you have a template how you structure your screening calls?

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markwalsh profile image
Mark Walsh Author

My previous job ads started with what I thought mattered to candidates - Since I am also a Software Engineer - I went with, in order:

  1. Tech stack/Working practices - List of all the tech we use, highlighting in bold what we expect you to have experience in. How we structure the delivery of the product.
  2. Salary/Perks - I worked in a budget constrained start-up but I made it appealing by offering remote work and personal development days (to do actual R&D). There's always things which can be done to entice people even without a budget.
  3. Description of the role - What we expect you to do on a daily basis, what you can expect from the business.
  4. Background information about the company.

I didn't do much phone screening, to be honest, I let the advert speak for itself.
Usually if I did have a phone conversation it was assumed that the prospective was interested in the role and it was mainly an adult conversation about the role (in case the advert didn't cover everything).

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rimutaka profile image
Max

Do you have a theory why recruiters do it the other way around?

It is literally the inverse of what you listed: 4-3-2(bar the $$$)-1 followed by a counter-productive screening call.

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markwalsh profile image
Mark Walsh Author • Edited on

I've no idea but it's a bad idea. I personally don't really care what the company does (as long as it's ethical). I care about their tech stack, processes and how they ship the product. I often find that the screening call is actually a little off-putting - I've had several internal recruiters completely dissuade me from continuing the conversation based off the screening call.

In general, tech recruitment needs a total overhaul starting with the companies themselves. It's one of the only industries in the world in which people completely dismiss a CV and references or examples of work in favour of unrepresentative testing methods.

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rimutaka profile image
Max

I can't agree more. It's interesting how the views change as someone progresses up the management ladder - the higher up they are the fluffier their SWE job ads get. I guess that's where team builders come in to keep them in check.

This is probably role-dependent, but what is your top filter for candidates? What do you look for first in their CV/profile? Is it their stack, experience, education, something else?