Team of .NET Developers for Aviva SSC

AVIVA

Aviva decided to open a Shared Services Center in Poland for several European countries. Our task, as the IT recruitment agency and outsourcing company, was to find candidates for the various teams they would need - the largest one of them was the .NET team, which would be tasked to develop a key IT system for the Aviva group operating throughout Europe. The order included finding a Manager for this team, a suitable TechLead and several experienced Polish programmers.

The period of the described project: 2017-2018

Cooperation continues until today.

Problem

We started the recruitment by searching for a Manager for the programming team. The preferred candidate had to have many years of leadership experience, as well as a successful career in the insurance industry. In addition, his role would mainly involve managing the team, not self-programming. This requirement eliminated some candidates who wanted to combine these two areas in their daily work. The three-stage recruitment process ended with the submission of an offer to our candidate, who accepted it.

The next step was to look for Polish programmers who would work in the team of this Manager.

We were looking for candidates who met the following requirements:

  • Good knowledge of .NET and C # programming language.

  • MS SQL – indexes, tsql, optimization. The candidate had to know how things work, not just how to use them.

  • MVC – documented experience in building applications in MVC.

  • Unit tests – knowledge in several areas required. Dependency injection, unit tests, mocks etc. The candidate had to know how to create good unit tests and how to design a code that could cover them.

  • Design and programming patterns - The developer had to know at least a few, singleton, factory etc.

  • Entity Framework: commercial experience.

In addition to technical skills, we were looking for people with an open mind, due to the fact that the company has a flexible British work culture.

An important requirement was that some of the interviews took place in English, so the candidates had to communicate freely in that language.

The only possible form of cooperation was the Employment Agreement, which greatly limited our possibilities, because people wanting to work on B2B contracts were out of the question.

Solution

Due to the fact that we were filling a lot of vacancies for .NET programmers at the time, we knew exactly where to find the best suited candidates.

Furthermore, we also had two hours of training with this technology, which were conducted by .NET programmers in our office. At the end of the training, the speakers handed out the test, and each of the recruiter-participants had to take it. The positive result of the verification of competences was awarded with a certificate.

In addition, we created 7 key-phrases that made the community of developers pay attention to our offer, including:

  • Caring for code quality: the Aviva team works according to TDD principles, uses the Dependency Injection pattern, uses Unit Tests and Code Review.

  • Mature software development cycle: GIT, gitflow, Jenkins, sonarqbe, checkmarx.

  • Participation in R&D projects implemented in international teams.

During these recruitments we decided to search for candidates on various channels, browsing their repositories on portals such as Github and Stackoverflow. Candidates who evaluated the offer positively, but could not take part in the recruitment process for various reasons (e.g. financial), were asked by us to recommend their colleagues. Thanks to this, a dozen or so people reached out to us for the position.

The project was carried out continuously for several months, so we constantly monitored the situation of candidates with the profile we were looking for. Therefore, as soon as one of the candidates allowed themself the thought of changing jobs, they simply had to find out about Aviva’s offer.

Results

As soon as we got to know the details of the offer, we were convinced that the vacancy was attractive, i.a. that the team was new, built from scratch. In addition, the project was interesting, prestigious, and the quality of the code was a priority.

A big advantage of the offer was also a very modern office and its convenient location.

After successful recruitment, we invited each programmer to lunch, during which we talked about the Aviva’s offer and what specifically convinced this candidate to accept it and reject others. In most cases, the reasons listed did not surprise us. The exception was that we didn’t realize how much the British helped us. According to the candidates, the way they talked about the brand’s vision and plans was so enthusiastic and exciting that it convinced the undecided.

Since the vacancy was so attractive, we were able to present dozens of candidates to the client, and the client could choose exactly the employees he wanted.