The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the growth of business digitalization. As many companies are moving online due to quarantine, IT professionals are now in higher demand than ever.
Employers were acutely aware of the shortage of competent staff and expanded their hiring funnel. According to the Benchmark agency, large tech companies lack 40 to 50% of developers on their team.
The most problematic points when recruiting IT professionals:
- limited pool of cross-platform developers;
- lack of clear criteria for assessing the competence of IT professionals;
- the lack of actual knowledge of recruiters about cross-platform technologies;
- high cost of hiring;
- increased competition for experienced employees with large companies.
Limited pool of cross-platform developers
As mentioned, there is a serious shortage of cross-platform technology professionals in the market. This industry is developing so fast that universities and coding schools don’t have time to update the curriculum, so students often receive outdated knowledge. Moreover, new technologies are constantly being released, fundamental approaches to solving various problems are changing, new specializations are being formed. Most developers have to learn continually, study new documentation, and monitor all updates, improving their professional level. Even self-taught programmers are now in demand, and they are often quite successful in their jobs.
The most scarce category is developers with industry and technology expertise. For example, Flutter was released only four years ago. Therefore, the standard requirements for the recruiting of a senior or tech lead are not suitable. Finding a Flutter developer with 5+ years of experience is simply impossible. Therefore, you have to find new approaches to hiring promising coders.
There is a real battle for highly skilled cross-platform developers. Poaching of professionals from other companies is now more widespread in the IT industry than ever before.
All this confirms that the process of hiring a good IT professional is a problem that standard methods cannot solve. In our experience, an effective approach to finding IT professionals is to visit thematic forums, freelance resources, and job boards. But this leads to a new challenge – assessing the level of the developer’s competence.
Lack of clear criteria for assessing the level of developer’s competence
Assessing the competence of cross-platform developers is a complicated task even for HR professionals who have extensive experience in the IT industry. There are no clear generalized criteria for assessing the coder’s level of expertise yet, and each project is unique and requires special solutions and approaches.
To hire the right developers, you need to develop a proper process for assessing the competence of IT professionals. Often, a test task is used for assessment. It is crucial to create the test task that demonstrates knowledge of the technologies used in the project and the ability to solve everyday problems. The technologies and tools list can be pretty extensive and has to be boiled down to the essential and very shortlist.
You need to find someone who can design the test task competently. As a rule, it can be a team lead or a principal programmer. Furthermore, the same person will have to check all completed tasks. It consumes a lot of time that the principal/lead would otherwise spend on solving business problems. However, IT recruiters often run into a situation when a candidate refuses to take the test, arguing that there are other offers on the table without the “humiliation and stress” of coding tests. Each hiring manager in this case has to make the decision about suitability of such a candidate, risks involved in blind selection, and possible attitude issues in the future.
Professional education in place can mitigate the gap in the knowledge/experience, but it delays expected productive output from the candidate. Considering extended timelines of filling positions this option is rarely viable for many smaller organizations. So finding a great professional with experience in the same industry, with the same frameworks, languages, and tools is a real challenge.
Low level of primary IT education
In addition to universities, many IT professionals are graduated by specialized IT/Coding schools and specialized courses – these are retraining of specialists, advanced training, and training in a new profession.
People who have tried themselves in one IT profession and then decided to try themselves in another field also go this way. For example, yesterday’s front-end is being retrained as a Flutter developer. Also, people come to IT who previously worked in entirely different fields.
On the other hand, not all candidates meet the required level of training.
Such narrowly trained specialists can most often apply for a junior position in companies. And not because the people of the new profession are technically ill-prepared in the specific discipline. Lack of experience, outlook, some basic things that specialized higher education gives, does not allow you to retrain and cover all the company’s needs quickly.
Lack of HR’s competence in cross-platform technologies
Not only companies choose employees. On average, an experienced IT professional receives 2-3 offers, so HR should present the project and company in an attractive way. The developer makes the final choice based on the interest of the project, opportunities for professional development, training, working conditions, and salary.
HR needs to know all about the proposed job. Often not only HRs but some hiring managers also don’t understand what kind of expert they need. For example, if the project is at the initial stage of development, then it doesn’t have clearly defined tasks and solutions.
For a candidate to assess his own fitness for the role, he needs to know the project tasks, tech stack, tools, development ambitions, and so on. If HR can’t provide comprehensive information, it will be tough to communicate with a potential employee. IT professionals don’t understand abstract descriptions and may conclude that the company is not competent.
Of course, HR can’t be a developer, although that would be nice. But it is necessary to describe to the candidate an approximate IT infrastructure of the project.
Rising cost of hiring a developer
The cost of recruiting developers has many hidden fees.
You need to pay for the time of the HR specialist and the employees involved in the interview. Plus, you should add the costs of posting job ads, hiring recruiting agencies, and developing the HR brand.
For every in-house developer, you must pay salaries and taxes, provide competitive benefits, develop a bonus system and a training budget, equip a workplace, provide equipment and license all the necessary tools and software.
However, the standard package is not enough if you are looking for middle and up-level roles. High competition for IT professionals forces the business to come up with additional bonuses to motivate employees. It includes conferences, professional development, matching 401K contributions, extended PTO and sick leaves, team building and corporate events, branded gifts, sports budget, goal bonuses, free lunches, and other staff.
But the biggest challenge is that you must pay, even if the employee is temporarily not contributing to the project.
In some cases, budget constraints preventing the company offer a candidate a highly competitive compensation package. Then HRs say that it is impossible to find a suitable candidate, implying that it is impossible to find a candidate within a particular budget.
High competition for experienced candidates with large companies
Large companies are switching to cross-platform frameworks, including such giants as Google, Instagram, Facebook, Skype. These companies set high standards for the industry. They have a big name, a strong employer brand, a positive image, loyal users, and huge recruiting, marketing, and headhunting budgets. Qualified professionals tend to accept offers from such companies.
If you are looking for a highly qualified developer for tedious tasks and a substandard compensation package, you are likely to fail. A vast number of outsourcing companies are ready to offer them more, providing better working conditions.
In addition, experienced professionals already have worked in several companies, so they have something to compare. You have to offer them something more valuable than the previous employer.
Paid courses, fitness, lunches, and vacations are a must. It’s no surprise to anyone anymore. Developers are looking for companies for professional and career growth.
To compete with giants and outsourcing companies, you need to spend more than one day looking for a strong statement, defining a mission and vision, and coming up with unusual perks.
Recruiting cross-platform developers is challenging. Outsourcing is an excellent alternative to optimize your resources and avoid the difficulty of finding and retaining highly qualified experts. It solves several problems at once:
- First, you can delegate tasks that you don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to an entity that can perform them more efficiently.
- Secondly, the company doesn’t need to spend time and budget for in-house employees if the project tasks are not permanent.
An employee hired under the outsourcing model is usually result-oriented rather than process-oriented, as an in-house developer. You pay for a particular result, allowing the company to avoid unnecessary expenses and give guarantees. An outsourcing agreement implies the ability to reduce payments if the work is not 100% completed and replace a consultant who is not effective without any problems.
But the main problem that outsourcing of development solves is the shortage of cross-platform developers. Finding a good middle or senior cross-platform developer is very difficult. Even more difficult is to convince them to work for your company. Outsourcing allows you to hire a high-quality professional for a short time and get a better result than hiring less qualified in-house employees. Less time, more results.
The financial component of the outsourcing model is still very attractive to US companies even with the rising cost of resources worldwide. You can still hire people offshore or nearshore and optimize the expense.
Digicode is a provider of full-cycle development services that allows any business to use resources effectively. Our services range from outsourcing and project work to management, deployment, estimation, implementation, and administering technology for our clients. You can reach out to Digicode for highly qualified professionals to optimize cross-platform development.