People & Culture

How to Hire Developers in 2012

As we enter 2012, the outlook for tech in NYC is strong. There are more start-ups here than there have been since 2007. And, from what I’ve seen, this time around folks are actually trying to make a profit rather than the way we all did it in 2000. Plus, Wall Street is now an attractive place to work again. And, several big guns like LinkedIn and Facebook have made NYC home to development teams.

What does that mean for those of us that need to hire developers this year? It means we are entering the year with a very marked 'Talent War' in NYC. It's difficult to hire A-list developers, and even harder to retain them.

My advice – don’t settle and don’t panic. Here’s a 3 step process to help start you off in the right direction.

First, identify what your success criteria are. Rather than focus on skills needed to create a job description, imagine what a successful developer in your organization will look like 3, 6 and 12 months from now. Include all aspects of the job, from what this person should know technically, to how they will fit in culturally. Write these things down and use that as a basis for your job description.

Second, know what your company stands and what a successful employee in your organization looks like. Create an interview process that tests for each of these components. If developers that take criticism well tend to excel in your company, figure out a way to include analyzing this in your interview process. (Note: Not all questions are considered ‘legal interview questions’, so do your homework and be sure to avoid illegal questions.)

Third, know that it’s going to take some time to find the right fit (thus, don’t panic). The saying “hire slowly, fire quickly” will be more valuable in 2012 than it’s ever been. Evaluate your process and ensure you are making progress, but don’t rush. Making a bad hire quickly can take years to undo.