Recruitment in IT is often quite a challenge. IT companies face the problem of meeting the high demand for skilled and experienced programmers. Everyone would like to hire a communicative, open to criticism, logical thinking, and ability to positively influence other employees who are great specialists in their field. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. However, it is possible to examine key IT competencies- hard skills and soft skills – and see if the person meets our expectations. What are the most popular methods of verifying the competencies of Polish programmers? What do they consist of? You can find out by reading this article.
If you’re wondering what steps you should take to hire the best programmers for your company, we recommend our article dedicated to this topic.
Methods of Competency Verification Among Polish Software:
1. Technical interview
If the recruitment process consists of several stages, the technical interview is usually one of the final ones. It lasts on average from 30 minutes, even up to several hours, and it is at this stage that technical skills (as the name suggests) are tested. It is often based on a test or task from previous stages, where the goal is to ask for details and to make sure that the answer/solution was independent, informed, and whether the candidate really has a grasp of the issue. Questions from the programming languages and technologies listed on the resume are also asked. You can also expect to be asked questions that test the specific skills required for the position being applied for. Usually, such an interview is conducted by the people with whom the programmer will work at the company in question. Therefore, you can immediately ask about interesting details of the project or ways of working with the team.
At a technical interview, it is worth being honest and specific. On the other hand, if the question is more open – you should not give up, but try at all costs to find an answer. At such interviews, not only knowledge is tested, but also the approach to work and challenges. Being persistent to find a solution is the basis of a developer’s work. Based on the report “Prepare for the IT recruitment process in 2022“, we know that the technical interview is the most preferred method of verifying competence among developers.
2. Remote task (homework)
Another method of verifying competence is to solve a technical task yourself. Since this can sometimes be time-consuming for the candidate (we know from experience that such tasks are usually solved by candidates on weekends, when they have more space in their calendars), and later have to be evaluated by other technical people, this is a somewhat less common practice. Most often, the task consists of writing a small program, taking into account information about the things that should be included in it and how the program itself should work. When solving such a task, it is worthwhile to take care of high-quality code (so-called clean code), think about the application architecture, and write some basic unit and integration tests (even if they were not required in the task). It is best to submit the finished program via a repository on one of the three most popular platforms: GitHub, BitBucket, or GitLab. Some developers send the ZIP archive via email, but this is not a very professional approach (unless the company so desires).
In the report “Prepare for the IT recruitment process in 2022“, the remote task as a method of verifying competence ranked second.
3. HR/business interview
Often this interview is woven into an initial phone interview or combined with a technical interview. Sometimes it is also the final stage when the candidate has already been technically vetted. The HR interview is designed to see if the candidate is suitable for the team he or she is about to join, in all non-technical respects. These are mainly soft competencies, such as communication skills, openness, ability to work in a team, or checking what values the potential employee follows in life. In this way, the company wants to see if the candidate will be able to get along with the team. According to Sebastian Rabiej, leader of the Java User Group in Wroclaw, an equally important soft skill is assertiveness and the ability to argue rejection.
In the report “Prepare for the IT recruitment process in 2022“, the HR interview as the preferred method of verifying competencies ranked third.
4. Live Coding
Another method of verifying competence is live coding. It involves solving a practical task in real-time. The recruiter transmits the content of the task and watches the candidate solve it. If live coding is conducted in the company’s office, the candidate is given a computer to work on the code. These days it is very rare to get a piece of paper and a pen instead of a laptop. In addition to the task itself, the recruiter also checks how the candidate approaches the problem, is under time pressure, and how he or she handles the situation when he or she can’t complete some part of the task.
5. Code sample
As the name suggests, this method involves providing the employer with a sample of self-written code that you want to show off. Depending on the requirements, this can be code created specifically for the recruitment process or a code snippet from previous projects. If this is the case, make sure that you own the copyright to the code and that you are sure you can share the code snippet with another company.
Before sending a sample, it is worth paying attention to whether there are no general errors in our code, whether the code is clear (it is worth looking at whether there are errors in the naming of methods, fields, or classes), and whether the presented code is functional and whether we could do something better, e.g. use a design pattern or use a different approach.
6. Pair programming
This is a method in which two programmers work together on a single workstation. One of them takes the role of “driver” and writes code focusing on details and minutiae. The other assumes the role of “navigator” – watches the code being typed, thus seeing the bigger picture and controlling whether the small steps the first programmer takes lead to the expected result. This arrangement increases the chance of detecting potential errors in the code. Pair programming as a method of verifying competence allows to check whether the programmer can work in a team, is communicative, and is open to potential criticism.
7. Personality tests
Personality tests can be a good addition to the recruitment process, as they provide a deeper understanding of the candidate. However, they should always be used taking into account other information about the candidate and analyzing the results from interviews to get a balanced picture of the future employee. Make sure those interpreting the results are suitable trained. Also be sure that you choose matched and reliable tests, as there are thousands of them in the world. We have written a separate article about several of them (MBTI, StrengthsFinder, DISC).
The above-mentioned stages during the recruitment process in the IT industry appear most often in Poland. In addition to them, the level of English proficiency – which is often essential for work as a programmer – is very often checked. It should be remembered that regardless of the stage and its success, feedback is always worthwhile as well.
If you are looking for programmers to join your team and don’t know which of the listed methods of verifying competence will be the best, contact us. We will help you find the best programmers for your company.