“Do you have knowledge? Do you have experience? Yes and yes? Good, you’re hired!”. If recruitment seems suspiciously simple, think about that old saying about things looking too good to be true. If you want to gather a team of specialists that work in sync with each other, surface-level credentials are just the beginning.
We at fireup.pro take pride in the fact that we are a software development agency where everyone understands each other—often without a single word. This is possible because we recruit people not only based on their achievements but also on other personality traits.
We recognize that there are software developers with superb skills, who just wouldn’t feel comfortable enough when working in our environment. So how do we know if a person will fit right in?
Here are the 5 things we consider:
1. The candidate’s talents and way of thinking
Wait, wait—what do these two have in common? Surprisingly, a lot. Talent doesn’t equal ability. Talent equals inclination.
Sometimes you simply see predispositions worth developing. And personal development is part of what we do at fireup.pro. We help our app developers, QA engineers, Java developers, and other specialists grow, not only in their primary field of work but also around it. Maybe this person will make a good project owner or a SCRUM master? If so, why hire someone else if we already have a person showing potential?
Personal development, however, requires a certain way of thinking. First and foremost, one can’t always be a lone wolf. If you are to grow, you need to want to grow and to do it with others at your side. Thus, we have to know how our candidate approaches co-operation; if he or she can recognize the qualities of other team members; if they’re willing to help the team plan and reach their goal, or identify the risks along the way.
There’s a good way of testing a person’s inclination. It’s called Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment.
We already wrote about it – CLICK HERE to read more.
2. The candidate’s values
We pay attention not only to what the candidate thinks but also to what kind of rules they play by. Are they sincere? Transparent? Respectful? How do they approach people with less skill or experience? Are they willing to boost their work at the expense of others?
It is possible to work together without sharing common values. You can even reach the goals you want. But these will be quick and short-term wins. In the long run, this approach leads to divisions, destroying the team as a collaborative unit.
We don’t expect everyone we hire to share every single value we established. Determining our own core values took us years of working together. It will take time for every new person to adjust. However, the will has to be there, and also we welcome some kind of foundation. You cannot completely change your perspective, especially in a short time. That’s why it’s good to know that we share at least some professional (and life) ideals.
3. The candidate’s knowledge
We mostly hire programmers, but this doesn’t mean we want our people to know nothing besides Java. It’s important that they show some interest in the entire industry and can engage in a discussion about its hardships or opportunities. This is because the market changes constantly, and you have to keep your finger on the pulse to follow or stay ahead of the trends.
Also, the more extensive the knowledge (also about other industries or areas in general), the better. As a software development agency, we design solutions for all kinds of companies, and it’s good to have people with a deep understanding of their respective markets.
4. The candidate’s experience
Experience and knowledge are often equated with each other, but we like to keep them separated. We’ve met people with vast knowledge and almost no experience, and also some that worked on numerous projects without knowing that much about their field.
We don’t mind a candidate not having years of experience. You have to gain it somewhere, and like we said—growth is part and parcel of working at fireup.pro. However, it’s always good to have someone who recognizes the difference between knowing and doing. Practical application of knowledge comes with surprises and challenges that you simply have to face to truly understand.
5. The candidate’s character
You may wonder what’s the difference between one’s values, or their way of thinking, and their character. There is a difference, and it’s huge.
Let us give you an example. Your candidate may be a well-educated person who truly appreciates teamwork and knows it’s important to take advice. However, this same person may be extremely short-tempered and lose control every time anyone suggests an improvement or a different approach. It’s not that they don’t believe this is beneficial. They just can’t control themselves on such occasions.
A person’s character is the result of their talents, beliefs, upbringing, and also genetic traits. Sometimes, you just cannot help yourself and act contrary to what you deeply believe is right. There are circumstances where this is desirable, but you need to determine yourself if that’s what’s right for your company culture.
In the end, it’s all about the culture
Every company has a distinct culture a.k.a. personality. You may prefer to work overtime to meet deadlines, or you may value a relaxed and focused approach. You may prefer to have a long method of preparation or just jump in and improvise your way to success. You may prefer to encourage or discourage socializing; ask your employees to wear formal or casual clothes; keep your relations informal or official.
There is no single course everyone should choose. Every company has to find its own personality, create their own culture. What’s important is to remember that every single employee is part of this culture. Their ways of thinking, their values, talents, everything we’ve said–these are the elements that define your organization. You want to hire people who’ll create a comfortable environment.
Oh, and one more thing. Getting to know people shouldn’t end when you hire them. Keep talking. Check if they do feel comfortable where they are. 1-on-1 meetings between managers and the members of their teams can greatly improve employee engagement. Such discussions help your people self-organize, identify issues early on, and successfully develop their careers.
Because building a team is not just about what your people know or can. It’s about how they put their abilities to use, and if it’s aligned with your way of making things done.