In the interview for Website Planet, Piotr Nowak, CEO of Nopio, presented the mission and vision of our company. He also presented his predictions about the development of the industry, as well as explained the phenomenon of industrial polarization.
In April 2016 when I was joining Nopio, there were only five people on the board. Not a big team really, but in time new projects came in and we started to grow. Suddenly, we had to face the same problem all software companies in Poland must face: we had to find new developers to join our team and we realized how hard it is to find the right candidate.
From our experience, there are 5 rules that we always follow while hiring programmers. We hope they may help you to figure out your own strategy.
1. You need to realize hiring a programmer is not going to be easy.
It’s not a secret that Poland has one of the top tech talents in the world. According to Hacker Rank, we are the third place after China and Russia! What is more, our programmers are well-educated and have lower financial expectations than developers from western countries.
Unfortunately, there is very high competition in the market as well. According to InfoShare Academy, currently 30% of companies from the IT industry have problems finding qualified employees, and there is a deficit of 50,000 programmers in the Polish market. This means very high demand and very low supply. Not a good combination at all.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you have to give up. You just have to realize that hiring a polish programmer is going to be a challenge for your company and that you should start thinking about the right strategy to help solve the problem.
2. Developers can get bored, as can everyone.
The very important thing here is not to treat software developers as just a pair of hands writing code. They are people and no matter how big their motivation is, after two years of doing the same things and working on the same tasks every day, they will quit and find a more interesting job. That’s why you should make sure to let them work on challenging projects and constantly ask for feedback. How do they feel about their work? Are they satisfied?
When hiring a programmer, you should also keep in mind that as a result of high competition on the market, companies offer more and more benefits to developer joining their team: gym memberships, private healthcare, and modern offices with relaxation zones. Think about assets that can attract their attention.
As an example, we thought it might be cool to eat a good lunch together once a week. That’s why every Wednesday we order food for all our employees and they can choose whatever they want! It has become our tradition and it’s great because it gathers people together.
3. Prove the candidate will have room to grow.
If you’ve already found an ambitious developer who is interested to work with you, you need to prove to him that he will have the conditions to improve his skills.
In our case we offer every candidate a yearly budget for their personal growth – they can take part in programming conferences (also international), buy professional books, or attend courses (also English lessons).
The rules are very simple – if you invest in people, they will want to give you something in return and make you sure you’ve not wasted your money. Employees will feel that you trust and believe in them and that’s very important.
4. When hiring a programmer, ask lots of questions.
And this shouldn’t be only technical questions. In our opinion, it’s also crucial to understand the way candidates are thinking, what character they have, what their passions are, and their attitude to work.
- Ask them about their favorite project and see the way they describe it. Do they talk only about facts and numbers, or also about the effort they put in to make project successful?
- When are they most effective during the day? What motivates them?
- What are their passions? Do they do anything apart from coding?
It also works the other way. Does the candidate ask any questions about the way team works, about the projects and attitude? If yes, it means they are interested and want to to get you know better. If not, then what are the chances that the candidate will want to learn anything about you in the future?
5. People have to like each other.
It all comes down to the last, but very important point. Can you imagine a good, efficient team consisting of people who really hate each other? Me neither. That’s why while hiring a programmer you should make sure that they will suit the team.
Our personal way to verify this is in a preliminary meeting of the candidate with all team members present. Everyone may ask questions, even fairly personal ones like: ‘Do you play video games?’ or ‘Have you read the Harry Potter books?’. This is to check how the candidate feels among us, and if he is able to socialize.
If someone joins our team, we make sure he integrates quickly. Hanging out in the bar, on the barbecue, or maybe playing board games? Sure, why not! We like to spend time with each other and that’s what makes our bonds very strong and working together much easier.
We are hiring
If you like our approach and you think you might be a good candidate, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck with all your recruitment processes!