Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Programmers

Sep 03, 2013

No matter what type of business you are involved in, there is one element that clearly must be present in order for you to succeed. This vital element to success is TALENT, and as the CEO of software development consulting firm Cyrus Innovation, one of the most important areas I need to make sure to staff with high-level talent is our team of programmers. But picking out the right candidates who fit into our cutting-edge business model is not always easy. However, I have learned a lot of lessons over the years that now allow me to minimize hiring mistakes.

Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when hiring programmers:

1. Rushing to make a hire for a new project.

There’s nothing more exciting than bringing on a new project to your firm. And there’s nothing scarier than realizing you don’t have the personnel on staff to handle it. Maybe that’s because all of your programmers already have full plates of work. Or maybe it’s because the project is so unique that you need a specialist. Whatever the case may be, you need to avoid making a hire out of fear and desperation. Take your time. Find the perfect programmer for this project, as well as other projects you have in the pipeline. In the end, your clients will thank you for it.

2. Not weighing cultural fit heavily enough. You may come across the most talented programmer in the world, but if they don’t agree with the beliefs and goals of your business, they will do you more harm than good. Great businesses often thrive because of their community atmosphere, and one bad egg can spoil the whole bunch. That’s why you must make sure to hire people who believe in what your company is doing. But how? Here’s a hint. Try taking candidates on more casual interviews outside of the office. They may be more inclined to open up to you truthfully over a nice meal as opposed to sitting across from your desk.

3. Not seriously considering outsourcing. There is something comforting about handing an important project to an in-house employee. They are under your roof and at your fingertips. You are their main means for financial support. And simply, you just know them and their skill set very well. But in certain situations, not considering outside programmers is a major mistake. For starters, a lot of the most talented programmers out there work freelance. They do this because they like the freedom of picking and choosing their projects, not because they aren’t talented enough to get a permanent, in-house job. Like I discussed earlier, talent is the key to creating great project. So don’t ignore talent just because it isn’t under your own roof.

4. Not giving candidates a tryout first. So, let’s say that you interviewed a bunch of possible programmers and narrowed the list down to your favorite candidate. You could just go ahead and hire them right away. But you could also hire them on a trial basis for a specific project. Now, this is not a way to get cheap labor. On the contrary, you should pay them a fair wage that is somewhat equivalent to what they would make if you hired them full time, because what you are trying to do here is test out what it would be like to have them work for your company. If they do a great job, you can now be ultra-comfortable hiring them. If they don’t, it is very easy to move on to other candidates.

 


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