Hays UK blog


Learn how to recruit top developers

By James Milligan, Director UK & Ireland, EMEA for Technology and Project Solutions

In the world of technology it’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing pace of development. That’s why as employers, it’s important to recruit top developers with advanced technical skills and can continuously make a positive impact within your organisation.

However, due to specific technologies being valuable for different sectors, hiring managers now need to be kept abreast of the in-demand skills available in the market. For instance, there is consistent demand for .NET, yet the fastest growing technologies are Angular JS, Java and Python.

So how do you evaluate their technical skill-set?

1. What examples they have presented in their CV?

Have they listed specific frameworks? Links should be provided via their GitHub profile where they show examples of their code. It’s a great idea to have a sense of what you’re expecting to see here before your search, and you can always ask workers with a similar skillset for their thoughts on ‘desirables’.

2. Is their skill-set current?

It’s great that developers are aware of on-going trends within the industry, but it’s their ability to adapt and learn which makes them stand out from other candidates.

One may use Java as an example, this is one of the most popular programming languages across the board, and is partly due to the rise in Android. With the upcoming launch to Java 9 this year, this is likely to stay in demand. The JavaScript framework AngularJS has improved greatly between versions too, which has also resulted on popularity in growth. A top developer should not only know about these recent changes but also be able to adapt to them.

3. Can they demonstrate continuous development?

How are they are keeping up with the rapid pace of technology? There are now multiple ways in which developers can expand their knowledge using tools such as:

  • Codecademy
  • Thinkster
  • Coding Campus
  • Stacksocial

Look for evidence of these in how they present themselves or you risk taking on someone who’s happy to stagnate.

4. The importance of trends

There is now a rise in demand for new and complimentary tools such as ReachJS library, the Docker container and Google’s Go language, which was named 2016’s programme language of the year. Candidates who successfully identify the major surges in the industry will allow you to pipeline the best developers for your business.

5. It’s not just about the latest technologies

In a recent turn of events, we are seeing the use of JavaScript doubling as the key language for developers. Although some may argue that SQL is not an actual programming language – it is still seen as a tool to communicate and manipulate databases. Whilst IoT and Big Data continue to prevail, SQL skills are essential to look out for.

As the tech industry evolves, employers now want to recruit developers with so much more than knowledge of one coding language. Top candidates should be empowered to keep up with the latest in-demand trends and stay ahead of the competition.

6. Hard vs. soft skills

Finding developers who are able to write apps is a valuable skill-set, however you also need to think about whether they can get this deployed on time. There is a real requirement for the DevOps skills to make deployment processes more efficient, on-time and reliable.

Companies are keen to employ individuals that can provide a holistic knowledge of business best practices to meet deadlines. Being able to ‘just code’ isn’t enough anymore, top developers now need to integrate their hard and soft skills to achieve business goals.

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

James is Director of Hays IT, Digital Technology and Project Solutions in the UK, Ireland and EMEA. Having joined in 2000, he is responsible for the strategy of Hays’ Project Solutions, IT and Digital Technology businesses, which includes IT contracting, permanent technology recruitment, resource augmentation and statement of work solutions across both the private and public sectors.


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