#Sloboda | 6 min read

How we Hire Talents in Sloboda Studio

Yaroslav Titenok , CEO of Sloboda Studio

How to hire software developers?

This is like looking for a new family member.

Sloboda Studio is a constantly growing company and recruiting plays a significant role in our company.

But we have to confess that at the beginning of our journey around 7-10 years ago, we made mistakes that were crucial for our team.

Throughout the years, we came up with the most suitable recruiting process that meets both customer and internal needs.

 

When we hire

Any company is a complex system. Ours isn’t an exception.

Whether our company needs to be expanded for new projects or open a new department, we start hiring software developers.

 

We start a new project, but all of our developers are currently engaged

Such situations occur when the project is urgent, but our team is busy with other ongoing projects. Sometimes it is more rational to hire new developers for the specific project so that the client will release his product faster.

 

We strengthen our staffing for the company’s growth

Each year we hold an internal strategy session where we analyze the number of requests we get and create a further growth plan.

 

We open a new department

Sloboda Studio was historically founded as a Ruby on Rails development company, but we do not limit ourselves to one technology and are constantly expanding our expertise.

So far, we have a frontend department with React, Angular, and Vue developers. We also have a Python and machine learning department.

Recently, we expanded our expertise to PHP and WordPress departments.

 

We fall in love with a particular developer 🙂

Somebody said that when you meet the right talent, don’t wait for an open position. Our team wholeheartedly believes in this – we try hiring a software developer who’s outstanding even if we are not hiring at that moment.

 

Where we find

Being 10 years on the market, we are constantly hiring and tried a number of channels to find the best people.

Networking, references, internships, and various digital channels are working for our recruiters during the software developers’ hiring process.

 

Networking

Sloboda Studio actively participates in the IT community’s life. We organize tech events, such as Ruby on Rails meetups, hackathons weekends, and the biggest outsource industry conference in East Europe. Thanks to this, we have a lot of answers to a question about how to hire software developers.

Though our social life is actually not our recruiting channel, it does give us an opportunity to meet not only niche influencers and partners

but also our new bright specialists and future colleagues.

Networking is a time tool when we’re hiring a software developer. We make new connections today, but we can’t totally rely on it. When the hiring day comes, we usually have someone who we can ask for recommendations or hires.

 

Internship

Four years ago, we created our own internship program to find talented developers, train them, test them, and eventually work with them.

We were so happy with the talented developers we recruited during our first internship cycle that we are conducting internship programs on a regular basis.

 

References

A friendly atmosphere inside the company is the result of a lot of work and a careful selection of people. Nevertheless, there is a bonus – it is one of our best channels for finding talent through references.

Why are references so great for software developers hiring process?

When our colleague gives us a recommendation, we can be sure about the candidates:

  1. Soft skillsOur colleague can guarantee that that person is a great team member
  2. Tech skillsOur coworker can share the experience of working with the candidate, his technical skills, or previous projects
  3. Values suitability We can see if this person fits our corporate values
  4. Trust Recommendations help us to build a trusted relationship between our company and candidates

Hiring a software developer becomes more friendly and effective 🙂

 

Digital channels

Standard channels, such as LinkedIn, DOU, StackOverflow, and GitHub, also help us to find talent.

Surely, we also use job websites. Here, we prefer finding people over posting our job openings. Some may say these digital channels are less effective. Well, that’s true. But it is worth trying all the options to find the right person.

 

How we Interview

At Sloboda Studio, we consider both soft and hard skills as equally important for our job applicants. We look for people with good technical expertise. But we don’t hire if there are no appropriate soft skills to pair with the technical strengths. A great developer isn’t only a professional, he also is a team player.

One of the things we value most is workplace morale. When we hire a new team member, we try our best to make sure they will be comfortable working with us.

Indeed, the more cohesive and friendly the team is, the more pleasant and productive the work process will be.

 

Pre-screening via phone

This is the pre-screening stage. We meet our candidates, tell them more about the company and position we are offering, and talk about the candidate’s previous experience and specify their expectations.

If a job applicant is friendly, polite, and our expectations match, we move to the next stage and invite them to an HR interview.

Around 80% of job applicants stay with us at this stage.

 

HR interview

At this stage, we invite developers to our office to show them how we work. We believe that the interview is not an interrogation, but a dialogue.

Companies hire expertise, but they end up working with people. So we try to understand the specialists’ personality and talk about their favorite books and hobbies. It helps us get to know people better.

 

We say YES to people who are:

  1. Open-minded
  2. Honest
  3. Responsible
  4. Willing to help or mentor others
  5. Self-improving

 

We say NO to people who are:

  1. Irresponsible
  2. Intolerant
  3. Unfriendly

 

During the interview, our HR simulates two types of situations:

  1. Use cases (Have you been in such a situation? How did cope with it?)
  2. Projective (Imagine that you have a deadline tomorrow, but you are missing it. What will you do?)

Up to 70% of job applicants stay with us at this stage.

 

Technical interview

To conduct a technical interview and get an objective assessment, we always select the questions and tasks for each particular developer. That will help us better understand whether a person suits a particular project or position.

The technical interview is usually done by our Senior developers or external independent experts.

To assess the developer’s qualifications, we use our internal system of grades and qualifications checklist.

Around 50% of job applicants stay with us at this stage.

 

Final interview

Only 10% of job applicants stay with us at this stage.

We’ve already mentioned that we care about choosing our colleagues.

Our top managers take part in the hiring process.

At the final interview, potential developers meet our CEO or COO to discuss the core points.

After this meeting, we can compare the strongest applicants (up to 2-3 people) and make a final decision.

 

 

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