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How to Ramp up Your Team Wisely

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A robust, reliable team is a key to success in any business. Therefore, particular attention must be paid to the recruiting and retention of employees. With this in mind, how should one treat the process of selecting new employees? The K&C recruiting specialists will be glad to share some tips.

Pay Careful Attention to Your Recruiting Strategy

If your company needs a particular specialist, do not rush to follow the beaten path of hiring a new employee from anywhere you can find. Rather, try a multi-phase approach to your recruiting process.

Recruiting Steps

The first phase involves preparation. During this phase, an HR specialist specifies all the details about the vacancy to fill and begins an internal search among existing employees:

- among existing specialists who have already been working at the company and have been facing emotional burnout on their current project and are looking for new challenges or the technology stack to dig into;

- with whom the company has successfully contracted previously.

K&C’s remark: “There were really many cases when people came back to us after some time. We do try staying in touch with our ex-colleagues. It’s a good practice.”

The second phase involves an active search, if needed. Here, the traditional search methods are implemented.

 - “Cold” search and search via social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. (the primary condition is no spam, only an individual approach is acceptable here)

- Response-based recruiting: Job posting on job portals, specialized resources or company’s website, processing replies as well as working within your candidate database (with candidates that have previously applied for a related position)

K&C’s remark: “Rely mainly on an in-house recruiting. Resort to external recruiting agencies only when you need to hire 20-30 or more specialists in total.”

Check All Resumes and CVs Carefully

In an ideal world, we would prefer to deal only with the resumes that are error-free and formatted correctly to find qualified candidates. However, in reality, we have to put up with the fact that software developers are not linguists, and they are not trained how to do it properly. Therefore, behind a poorly looking resume, you may find a diamond in the rough.

Steps for Resume/CV Assessment

First, look at the resumes that provide the most complete information. That is, you can see the technologies, projects the person has worked on, and his/her role in them.

Second, pay attention to the resumes that are not perfect but at least contain the most essential information. As we have already mentioned, even candidates with badly composed resumes deserve a chance.

K&C’s remark: “A resume is just a method of contact, personal communication decides everything.”

What to Pay Attention to

Here are the most crucial elements to notice when looking through a resume:

- Knowledge runs the show! If the person knows all that is required for a specific position and he/she has the necessary experience, then they are your candidate.

- Specific Education is mostly not required: if a person has worked with the technology for a long time and showed good expertise, then the education does not matter.

- Demographics: We don't think it’s a secret any longer that factors including religion, heritage, political views, and gender are not important. If you're still living in the middle ages, you’d better come back to the modern world and get to know its rules.

Hold an Interview Professionally

First of all, define the size of your company. If it is as big and well known as, i.e., Google, then you can use a typical interviewing method. This standard process could imply several rounds of interviews: a Recruiter or HR specialist holds the first “general” interview, then a technical interview is conducted, and lastly, a final step is reached - an interview with a hiring manager or a team-lead.

However, if your company is more of a niche enterprise, then it could be more rational to keep an interviewing process more flexible, adapted to the definite job opening and specific candidates. It should not be long and consist of too much rounds. Otherwise, a candidate will not understand why he\she needs to spend so much time to become a part of the company hardly even known on the market.

A conversational tone during the interview is also very important. By no means should it seem like an arrogant examination to the candidate.

Steps of the Interview

Divide the interview into two parts: preliminary short communication, to clarify fundamental questions, and an extended interview, which implies the presence of technical specialists. They can use real-life situations from projects they are working on, whether they have already been solved or are still works in progress. This is done for a candidate to think this over and suggest his\her options of solving issue.

K&C’s remark: “A person can cram a theory very well, but it is not a guarantee. It is important for us to see how a candidate think, and whether his or her logic coincides with the project’s concept.”

Here, for clarity, we’d like to provide a detailed example of K&C’s practice to demonstrate what you really need to look for in a candidate.

Once, a new K&C employee asked their unit manager, “Why did you hire me? I hardly answered a question during the interview.” The manager replied, “We need people who know how to work well, not how to interview perfectly.”

The unit manager saw the experience and the desire to work within the candidate.

Detection of a “Not-Your-Person”

There are three essential factors that you can’t afford to miss during the interview.

- Sometimes, it’s glaringly obvious that a person has been “coached” to pass an interview with flying colors. This can make it seem that he/she has visited dozens of them and just memorized all the questions. Usually, such people can’t think analytically – any moves away from the typical interview questions will confuse them.

- In addition, try to clarify how interested a job seeker is in your company and its offer. You can hire a technically ideal person, but if he/she wants to achieve something specific (it could be some other technology stack a person is leaning towards, or managerial responsibilities that are not possible to be realized within definite project etc.) in their new job that your company can't provide, your collaboration may turn out to be useless for both parties.

- The last, but certainly not least important factor is the possible discrepancy between information written in the resume and their actual experience and knowledge – which comes down to how much the candidate may have exaggerated in their resume.

Onboard a Newcomer Properly

When a new person first comes into the office, there is no a single way to behave with him/her.

Some people would like a comprehensive introduction with all the details. Usually, these people prefer to be guided and need their hand held over the course of their first week.

Other individuals feel better on the first day if they are left alone somewhere in a quiet corner with a pile of company information to review.

What you definitely need to provide is a working place and any necessary technical devices. And do not forget to let the newcomer know who they should address if they have questions.

However, the actual on-boarding process depends a lot on the team and corporate atmosphere. In some organizations, it is customary to initiate the new employees introduction to the group, while other teams prefer this introduction to happen more naturally and do not force the newcomer’s hand. In either case, during the first week, an HR specialist should monitor the situation thoroughly, acting as a mediator between the novice and their team.

K&C’s remark: “Do not try to organize everything like big companies do. Branded t-shirts and trucker hats may just frighten away a newcomer.”

Retain an Employee Naturally

The Modern Phenomenon of High Personnel Turnover

Nowadays, we increasingly observe that employees tend to leave companies after less than a year. Those who work more than two years at a company (for us at K&C 5-6 years) are phenomena. So, what can you do to encourage workers to stay with you as long as possible? Actually, it’s not a big mystery. You just have to...

Create a Positive Atmosphere

We spend almost 90% of our life at work. Thus, the atmosphere etched into the hearts of every employee is of great importance. If a person feels uncomfortable, efficiency decreases accordingly.

Set up Feedback Meetings

Depending on the length of the employee's stay at the company, make it a practice to conduct feedback meetings. Create a standard form with questions that will be discussed. Send it to the employee with whom the meeting will be held in advance. During the communication itself better to practice individual approach, stay flexible and use answers from the form as a kind of tooltip and guideline.

Also, ask people with which the employee works to leave feedback on him/her. This can be a direct manager of the person: a tech\team lead or a project manager as well as other team-members. They should also monitor this feedback and understand how motivated the employee is, and how much he/she likes the project.

K&C’s remark: “At K&C, all team leads communicate with an HR specialist directly. With this, the HR specialist is able to fully understand each employee's situation.”

To Summarize

All in all, K&C’s team hopes that all of the advice mentioned in this article, will be useful for your business. Cater to the needs of your team, grow it, and develop it. With this in mind, we’re sure you will be surrounded not only by colleagues, but also by friends.

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