Everyday scenes from a technology company: HR spends weeks trying to find senior engineers and developers. Now it’s time to make your decision, but how to make the best decision on which candidate to hire? Hiring managers often have doubts on whether they should hire for experience and ignore the juniors, for instance. Even earlier on, when writing job descriptions, questions surrounding what kind of engineers and developers should be more integrated into the team are common. So, how do you know what kind of people are more appropriate for the job? Read on to find out.

Many are the questions that can come up during the hiring process. So the better way to make the right decision is to follow a plan with clear criteria to choose candidate A or B. For example: between two seniors, who of them has stronger-weighing Skills for your distributed team? It could be a criterion of the tiebreaker to choose by how many boxes the candidate checks off. Try to differentiate nice-to-haves from absolute must-haves you can’t abdicate of. Or maybe verifying which one brings in a unique skill that you’d like to develop in other members of the team…

The choice can vary widely and that is why you should have a clear methodology to facilitate decision-making.

Why Ubiminds’ talent submittal is different than that of other recruitment agencies or staff augmentation firms

There are usually a lot of disadvantages in contracting a recruitment agency, such as:

  • Costs that outweigh benefits. Usually, recruitment agencies’ fee depends on the salary and type of roles and jobs required to hire or a percentage of charge of annual salary. You spend on the recruiter, instead of investing in the engineer.
  • Lack of Cultural Add. If you hire a recruitment agency to work a role, they won’t advertise your brand fully. The applicant won’t completely understand your company, and so won’t know whether they’re the best cultural add for the team. You might meet people that are, frankly, not the best for your team’s culture.
  • Poor communication. Candidates apply for jobs and never hear back or they get contacted about irrelevant job roles and so on. Candidate experience may get compromised.
  • Bad quality candidates. Sometimes recruitment agencies are more worried about quantity instead of quality.  Lots of people believe that recruitment agencies are out for money. For recruiters to meet their targets, they send across any old CV to the client. Bad recruiting partners waste everyone’s time: that of hiring managers’ and talents’.

That’s why Ubiminds developed a different work model that goes far beyond staff augmentation

First, Ubiminds goal is not only to recruit and hire tech talents but also to make them succeed in transforming software businesses. Furthermore, Ubiminds strategy is based on the custom-curation of nearshore talent for high-performance teams. It is a subtle difference, but one that guarantees infinitely better results. Let’s understand why and how.

Why Ubiminds custom-curation is different from the traditional tech recruitment process

Custom-curation involves sourcing only the best candidates. This means establishing the following non-negotiable criteria:

  • Understanding 100% the role required by the IT team 
  • Saving time in recruitment, sourcing only the best
  • Having dedicated tech recruiters, specializing in fulfilling rather specific needs
  • Providing the best experience for both stakeholders (IT companies and tech talents)

Instead of working on top of traditional talent pools, Ubiminds maps out companies, educational organizations, communities, and other organizations where the right fit for your challenge can be found. No one is off the bench. That is why working with close proximity with hiring managers makes all the difference.

How to effectively do custom-curation for smarter staff augmentation?

Criteria

Ubiminds’ methodology

Why it works

Understanding 100% the role required by the IT team Project Kickoff  – It’s a quick, 40min call where we take a deep dive to understand:

  • The business goals and strategic positioning
  • What the product roadmap has as the next deliverables
  • How candidates should be adequated into your Software Development Lifecycle culture
  • If there is any way we can make HR processes easier.
Having a successful Project Kickoff means be able to submit vetted candidates within 10 days.  Also, Ubiminds doesn’t charge for sourcing and recruiting new members for your team, just for the work the engineers will carry out once they’re placed on your team. 
Save time in recruitment, sourcing only the best Ubiminds tailors each recruitment process. No two job positions are treated the same. For each new role, Ubiminds establishes specific tech recruiting tactics and techniques to count on our smart IT staff augmentation strategies and filter out 99.5% of candidates. By sourcing only the best candidates, Ubiminds is able to save 40-50% on cost-per-hire

and your team can be focusing on product development, not hiring processes. Besides that, Seniority makes a difference in terms of knowledge repertoire and accountability.

Having dedicated tech recruiters, specializing in fulfilling rather specific needs To hire tech talents Ubiminds have high-level tech recruiters. Ubiminds recruiters are technically able to perform all the sourcing and recruitment processes. From attracting and selecting candidates, the main goal is to bring only the best candidates to the funnel (quality is more important than quantity).   This allows us to meet the specific needs and goals of each product or engineering team. Thus, the company is able to consistently deliver successful talent. An added bonus is that this keeps attrition rates at much more attractive levels than that of other service providers. 
Providing the best experience for both stakeholders (IT companies and tech talents)

 

Ubiminds takes care of everything for IT teams and tech talents. From Personnel operations, with all legal and accounting paperwork and bureaucracy to visas and equipment. Also, Ubiminds provides Continuous follow-up and assistance for companies and talents. By guaranteeing assistance even after onboarding, it is possible to guarantee more satisfied teams and talents. Monitoring and communication go together and are vital for everyone to be on the same page. So the talents remain for a longer time in the distributed teams.

Thereby, Ubiminds custom-curates digital product teams focus on developing a white-glove IT staff augmentation service and guarantees talent at a 40% lower rate.

Because of the high curation, Ubiminds hiring process deliveries excellence through:

  • Focus on your company core activities 
  • Do the heavy lifting and save the company time and money in the process (from the moment the company hires Ubiminds, the clock starts ticking and you’ll get introduced to the first candidate under 10 days.)
  • Select experts that perfectly match the team. This means to get the best people that will stand at above-average retention rates: Ubiminders stay with their hiring managers 20 months on average. 

What should a candidate vetting process look like?

Vetting Senior Engineers is the process of performing an evaluation to determine candidate potential for the role. For this evaluation is important to guarantee what skills, traits, and aspirations will influence the decision on who to hire.

Ubiminds pillars for vetting and recruitment

  1. Have a clear job briefing. Knowing exactly what you’re going for avoids you from getting sidetracked.
  2. Build a persona. Have in mind what the ideal candidate profile looks like. Strive for perfection.
  3. Get everyone on the same page. Criteria set, make sure everyone doing the screening has the same understanding.
  4. Be aware of personal biases. There is a fair share of subjectivity involved, and it impacts decision-making. Especially if you’re not aware.
  5. Look for the essentials. Previous companies, referrals, side projects, shared network. There might even be portfolios worth looking at.
  6. Call in the specialists. Be it your internal HR team or service providers such as Ubiminds. Traditional staffing firms do know how to pick up on subtle signals, not only the red flags. Yet, they are often not fully prepared to check tech skills.

Source: https://blog.ubiminds.com/en-us/candidate-screening/

A shortlist of best practices for interviewing candidates during vetting stage:

  • List the minimum requirements for a candidate to be an “acceptable” hire (for instance, the years’ relevant work experience or Expertise in problem analysis, problem-solving, and design thinking)
  • Define the qualities that would elevate an “acceptable” hire to a great hire (for instance, emotional intelligence, persuasive communication, or leadership/management skills)
  • Establish which skills and requirements are most directly related to successfully completing job duties and deliverables (Ruby on Rails, foreign language competency, etc.)
  • Identify what attributes will make a candidate a good cultural add for your company and how will these attributes be identified in cover letters, resumes, portfolios, etc.
  • Keep in mind what attributes would make a candidate a bad cultural add for the job or your company. The most important is to have a strategy to know how to identify these traits in the candidates.

Ubiminds’ vetting and recruitment process structure

Ubiminds doesn’t send hiring managers resumes. Instead of it, the approach is developing a rigid and robust process to approve sieve, customized for each vacancy and client. Therefore, the recruitment and vetting process is much more assertive and only submit candidates that are worth knowing. 

In order to support companies in scaling their Product and Software Development Teams, Ubiminds holds the following methodology:

First, establish a “Status Overview” of the company using six modules that make up Ubiminds’ Distributed Governance Model. Namely:

  1. Clear goals and vision – Establish the North Star: Known identity and result-driven approach to decision-making.
  2. Leadership’s commitment to the distributed mindset – Trust and empower teams to get there – strengthen persistency.
  3. Diverse and multifaceted team – Channel differences into problem-solving and value delivery.
  4. Streamlined collaboration  – Set common terminology and definitions, communication guidelines, channels, transparency and visibility.
  5. “Just right’ processes and routines – Align knowledge management: org chart and roles, processes, documentation.
  6. Legit work conditions – Provide adequate workspaces, hardware, tools, connectivity, logistics, and ergonomics.

For a DIY approach, you can download this free framework tool and:

  • Define a Maturity Scorecard to dive into opportunities and challenges
  • And attributing the “Self-improvement Cards” and driving continuous improvement for your company. 

Considering that, Ubiminds performs the following steps:

  • Kickoff meeting – to align expectations about business goals and strategic positioning. In this stage, Ubiminds defines what the product roadmap has as the next deliverables, how candidates should add to your Software Development Lifecycle culture and if there is any way to make HR processes easier. For this to work, Ubiminds needs full collaboration from the client and be clear about what they are looking for, it can’t change its scope at all times.
  • Create compelling job descriptions  – Poorly described job postings make it impossible to attract top Software Engineers. In order to have a competitive job posting, you’ll need to prepare a standout job description. Starting to write a highly clickable title and key job duties as specific as possible.
  • Build and execute the interview Plantime to go deeper into the candidate’s profile trying to mine cultural and technical information that could confirm if the candidate is qualified for the position.
  • Go hunt (not wait) for Software Engineers – There is a limited pool of candidates with the required expertise and desirable behavioral skills. So Ubiminds has a dedicated team of Tech Recruiters to find tech talents. Besides that, Ubiminds expands the candidate pool through a nearshore model and sourcing where the seniors engineers are.
  • Execute HR and business processes – managing bureaucracy, executing payroll, and monitoring the intellectual property. Support your company on legal contracts of Master Service Agreement (MSA) and Statement of Work (SOW) (contract work, Fees, invoices, and payment, Intellectual Property, and so on).
  • Follow-up – After hiring the candidate, Ubiminds executes onboarding and follow-up of the contracts.

What should Hiring Manager interviews with product, design, and engineering professionals be like?

One mistake hiring managers often make is in hiring for skills relevant to the position. It’s a mistake because base your sourcing and hiring process on extensive experience in programming can generate some distortions. The most important of them is: you should look for signs that the person will be a good leader of your existing staff, rather than whether the person beats the rest of the team on coding experience.

A study conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman revealed that the skills people reported needing depending not only on their level in the organization but also on the job they held and their particular circumstances.

Source: https://hbr.org/2014/07/the-skills-leaders-need-at-every-level

If this data in mind, your mindset before the interview should be:

  • The technical assessment is relevant to the role
  • The technical assessment is going to answer the question(s) you want to be answered
  • There should be technical leadership levels that track management levels as their equals in compensation, authority, and respect, but with different domains
  • Engineering managers are ultimately responsible for the health of the team, the career progression of the engineers under their care, and for making sure that engineering teams are focused on the right priorities. 

Possible questions to be made at an interview by the Hiring Manager

Interview Question

What you should look for in answers

How many years of experience does s/he have as a senior engineer? Their technical judgment should be well-respected by their peers; they should know enough to know how much they don’t know, and where to trust their own opinion or not.
How would s/he prioritize the work? Good engineering managers know how to prioritize tasks such as feature development, bug fixes, or refactoring technical debt based on how well they meet business objectives and based on the time, effort, and cost involved. Great engineering managers know how to ask the right questions to help with prioritization.
How would s/he divide these tasks among two or more developers? Good engineering managers know how to divide up tasks based on skill level and domain knowledge. Great engineering managers understand how to avoid overloading developers and how to spread knowledge throughout the organization.

This question invites the candidate to ask discerning questions to determine the optimal division of tasks. It is a good sign if they ask about the skill levels and domain knowledge of the team they will be leading. 

Your project is running behind. How would you communicate this to other teams? How would you communicate this to the executive team? Good engineering managers communicate in a collaborative manner. Great engineering managers use collaboration as an opportunity to introduce post-mortems at the end of a sprint (or the end of the project).

When answering this question, the candidate should mention that they listen to ideas from the team in these meetings, in order to create action plans and minimize the risk of delays for future projects. Great engineering managers create an environment where everyone is confident that everything is being done to complete the project and to get it back up to speed.

In what ways does s/he support his/her team as they work on projects? Good managers are able to mentor and coach engineering team, or even accommodate the career aspirations. Or perhaps they are well-versed in coaching/mentoring, and have set up consistent one-on-one meetings with all team members. This question will let you know if they are a good cultural add, or if the candidate will have to adapt to the organization’s way of doing things.

After answering these questions you’ll be able to decide Who is the candidate senior enough to be a manager?

Peer group interview questions for assessing candidates

A peer interview is an interview method where one or more employees participate in an interview to better access if the candidate would be a good cultural add for the company. Peer reviews can be imperative to find out if a candidate would mesh well with the company culture or is a team player. Peer interviews are very important to assess whether technical knowledge is complementary and whether the candidate will know how to collaborate with the distributed team. 

There are a lot of advantages to performing peer group interviews. Some of them are:

  • Candidates get to know the company through other employees’ perspectives, opinions, and viewpoints.
  • Peers can ask and answer more specific questions because they know the particularities of the routine of the role.
  • Candidates feel more at ease.  Peer interviewing is a way of connecting existing and future employees as well as bringing the team closer together.
  • The team gets excited about hiring. 77% of employees consider relationships with coworkers a crucial condition for employee engagement. 

A short list of questions that can help you during peer group interviews:

  1. Can you share an example where you were not able to deliver on time?
  2. Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with a team remotely
  3. Tell us an example where you identified inefficiencies in your work and recommendations you made to resolve them
  4. Give us an example of how you resolved a conflict with one of your colleagues
  5. Give us an example where you had to prioritize tasks and how you shared your priorities with your manager
  6. Describe a time where you had to adapt to change quickly
  7. Describe a time when you had to learn a new concept quickly
  8. Describe a situation where you had to deliver work for multiple managers. How did you go about prioritizing?
  9. Tell us about a time when you had done something wrong and how you handled it.
  10. Share an example where your manager made a decision you did not like and how you handled it
  11. How do you handle difficult tasks when you don’t know where to start?
  12. What is your greatest achievement in your previous work?
  13. Give us an example of when you missed a target and how you handled it
  14. Give us an example of how you set your monthly goals
  15. How do you handle difficult conversations with co-workers? Give us an example.
  16. Share an example where you had to motivate your co-workers
  17. What do you do when you don’t agree with your manager? Give us an example.
  18. Give us an example of when you went above and beyond to achieve a goal.
  19. What do you do when you finish your tasks early?
  20. Describe a situation where you had to go above your manager in order to get your message across.

Are technical assessments really necessary?

Definitely yes, a certain level of technical assessment is good for both candidate and interviewer to align expectations. If needed, Ubiminds can take care of that, by performing live coding and taking home tests. And this doesn’t just mean writing code. It could be preparing a presentation, creating a design, etc. On the other hand, technical assessments can’t become an obligation. Otherwise, we can have a terrible genius in teamwork, for example. 

So the idea is to maintain a balance between technical knowledge and other skills. An evaluation of the sense of collaboration, curiosity, and courage to ask for help/guidance or even the ability to explain the decisions will be more useful here. Also, technical knowledge is proven on a daily basis.

Ubiminds’ core values that drive the recruitment and vetting process

  • People First:  Gathering diversity of ideas is key to thrive on equal terms and opportunities.
  • Teamwork: Deliveries are met with full collaboration to boost efficiency and quality.
  • Critical: Our teams are opinionated but data-driven. No more guesswork, just performance!
  • Envisioned: Ubiminders are problem-solvers, not code monkeys. 
  • High touch: Our dedicated recruiters are market heavy-weights, in it for the long run.

Ubiminds’ three levels of analysis for candidates

  1. Basic ‘must-have’ requirements. Knowing the basic skills and traits the candidate needs to even be considered for the position. For tech, that can be their proficiency with operating systems, programming languages, development frameworks, or platforms.
  2. Preferred/“good to have”. Skills that are not absolutely necessary, but will set candidates apart. This helps negotiations by prioritizing who gets the best offers.
  3. “Between the lines”. Extras that you haven’t identified as part of the job outline, but will bring you benefits in the long run. It can be something that isn’t foreseen in the roadmap but can add to team performance, for example.

To be successful in source and hire tech talents Ubiminds have dedicated tech recruiters from the planning to the execution of the recruitment process.

How many candidates should I talk to before deciding on who to hire?

It depends, but 3 to 5 is a good number, especially if the candidates are not identified to reduce bias. So it is possible to mark out, but neither the interviewers nor the experience of the candidates is eroded.

Quick decision-making: the smartest way to go

The operational and financial cost of keeping a vacancy open for a long time is greater than that of hiring someone and ramping that person, or even making a replacement.

Glassdoor estimates there are 263,586 unfilled jobs just in the tech industry that add up to $20.1 billion. So it’s clear that more delays in the product roadmap for lack of people, more damage to your company’s revenue. For instance: if it takes 2 months to find the person, plus 1 for him to do the transfer, and 1 month for him to effectively perform, it is 4 months before the person starts to deliver value.

If the person is hired in 2-3 weeks, the new employee will probably start delivering value 1 to 3 months earlier. 

There are two quick factors to accelerate your recruitment process and to facilitate decision on who to hire:

  1. Yes, there is a shortage of professionals available. But there is insecurity of those who hire not to trust the capacity of the contracted professional. The better way is to involve tech recruiters in the recruitment process to guarantee the candidate’s ability to the role.
  2. No technical test is better than day-to-day practice to assess whether that professional is really the best. But if you want to do a leap of faith, Ubiminds makes it easy. In addition to having a team specialized in matchmaking, it also guarantees: follow-ups and coaching with the developer and the hiring manager to ensure success, cancellation of SOW with 45 days, without fines, and free backfill.

When deciding where to find your IT outsourcing provider, it’s important to know the exact requirements of your project, the allocated budget, and the time frame allotted for completion. If you’re considering work with high-performance nearshore development teams, talk to Ubiminds to find more about our strategy to bring the best result to your company!

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