How to Hire a Developer in 30 Minutesby@alexharris
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How to Hire a Developer in 30 Minutes

by Alex HarrisJuly 15th, 2022
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At Adadot we don’t look for the highest mark, or the most prestigious degree, but the person behind the CV. Recruitment is instead structured around finding the right person for the organization. We look at three factors when recruiting: culture fit, potential, experience, and technical interview tests. Culture fit can be contentious, and the worst applications of this seek out homogenous work forces lacking in diversity. We want people that enjoy autonomy, with a broad range of skills they can draw on.

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At Adadot we hire people, not paper. We don’t look for the highest mark or the most prestigious degree, but for the person behind the CV. This is an approach driven by management science, which breaks down recruitment approaches into two distinct options; the Psychometric Approach, and the Interactional Approach.

  • Psychometric recruitment approaches assume neither people nor jobs change much, meaning the selection of successful candidates is driven by a simple matching exercise between the current vacancy, and the person’s current skills.

  • Interactional recruitment instead accepts that jobs and people are constantly changing and that organizations need people who will grow and change with them. Recruitment is therefore instead structured around finding the right person for the organization.

Adadot sits firmly in the latter. We’re fighting for an improved future of work, and our recruitment approach needs to take that forward-looking view too.

We, therefore, look at three factors when recruiting; our own in-house technical collaboration interview tests, culture, and potential.

Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

1: Culture

The first, and arguably most important, part of our recruitment criteria is culture fit. Culture fit can be contentious, and the worst applications of this seek out homogenous workforces lacking in diversity. We want the opposite, with a broad church of Adadot kin, but with the common unifier being that they are people that enjoy autonomy.

As a startup, we are small and nimble, and people have to wear many hats. We’re not in an environment, nor do we aspire to be, where we have managers giving exacting instructions on what people should do and how they should do it. We need people that understand our vision and feel empowered to find the best way they can contribute towards us realizing it.

Coupled with this, our successful candidates take their work seriously, but without making the work boring. The world spends a lot of time at work, so we might as well make it a fun place to be. That’s only possible through company culture, and company culture isn’t what you say it is, it’s who your people are.

2: Potential: As a company that very much identifies as part of the future of work, it’s only right we should be looking to the future in our recruitment approach. Experience is invaluable, but equally so is potential. It’s often overlooked in recruitment processes, arguably because it’s hard to articulate through a CV, or even in structured interviews. We look to understand not just our candidates’ current place, but where they want to be.

Case Study:

A prime example is a brilliant member of our team whom we first got involved as a contract designer. They did some fantastic design work, and in a casual conversation with them, we noted we were looking for a front-end developer. To our surprise, they had been doing lots of front-end work in their spare time and got really excited by the opportunity to continue to grow this skill set in the workplace.

‘T-shaped’ people that are specialized in one thing but have a broad range of skills they can draw on are invaluable in any organization, but even more so in a start-up where we need our people to fill any gaps. Both design and front-end in one, a unicorn! We took a leap of faith based on the potential we saw and took them on board as opposed to a more experienced front-end developer, and they have been flying ever since.

3: Technical test

Now, this isn’t just a quiz. What we’re looking for here again isn’t what someone can do (well, that a little bit) but how they do it, working as part of our team. Instead of issuing a specific solo technical test or problem, we get candidates to pair the program with one of our current teams in order to solve a problem.

This evaluation is more about the process than the technical test itself. If they collaborate well, demonstrate that they’re solution-focused, and show they are more than a solo superstar developer, they have a good chance of progressing!

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Adadot as a recruitment tool

There’s a fourth assessment criterion we look to use, which we think is a game-changer for effective data-driven recruitment.

Adadot vs CVs: 51% of UK adults have lied on their CVs, and many of us believe CVs to be unreliable as a way of assessing applicants. So why do we use them as the key tool when deciding who to interview? Wouldn’t it be better to have performance facts shared with us from an independent tool that benchmarks an applicant against their peers? This is where a unique use case for Adadot comes in.

Adadot brings empiricism to recruitment through shareable performance and work habit statistics and trends, whilst benchmarking these against the wider developer population. If, for example, your team noted their ‘Speed’ criteria on Adadot was a 7, and have been struggling to push this up, you could look to hire someone that scores a 9 to help push team performance up.

Equally, you can ensure you’re recruiting people that are operating in a sustainable way by looking at their well-being statistics to ensure their high merge speed isn’t simply propped up by burn-out-inducing 14-hour days!

The big picture: It is of course worth noting that data is not enough alone when recruiting people, as discussed above, culture and person fit are even more important. The last thing you want to do is recruit a maverick developer that writes code at rocket speed but pulls down all of their teammates. However, as an initial analysis tool when deciding who to interview, the data Adadot provides would surely tell people a lot more than whatever spin a candidate has decided to throw down in a CV.

Employee experience at Adadot: Ultimately, we only want to be hiring when we expand. The key to that is retaining our current developers by ensuring they love working here.

Jason our CTO & co-founder puts it best, saying:

“Adadot is uniquely developer-centric because at the end of the day people manage people, not just projects. Empowering each individual to improve their performance is the only way to make success sustainable.”

We essentially look to eat our own dog food by ensuring we use our own product, making sure performance is transparent and put firmly alongside wellbeing, not above it.

Also published here.