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The inner and outer workings of a digital agency

Harsh Sagar

Sep 09, 2016 / In Web Development

Harsh Sagar heads Web design and Development here at envigo. He is passionate about new technology trends, development of internet and startups.

How to hire high quality tech talent?

With the software industry experiencing a never-before-seen boom, hiring quality programmers has become an inherent challenge of this industry. Added, parameters such as employee retention, work ownership and team compatibility further make recruitment a daunting task for an organisation - needless to say that their cost to company always seem short of a perfect fit’s expectation.  

In this situation of hell let loose, there have been some opportunists who've come as Messiah - but not necessarily a free one. Codility clearly communicates Hire stronger coders faster.  

The code lord company, Google itself sends out job offers to those who have rich search history concerning programming. Other platforms such as Value Coders & Hasjobs have a committed their recruitment platforms to software developer forte of  human resource.

But it's not all hopeless a situation going south. Few practices of recruitment can well contain the above mentioned hurdles.

College Placements

This seems like the most traditional way to do things in its face value however it isn’t. An organisation looking to hire to-be-graduates usually look for academic geniuses. A cut off marks thereby filters a handful of qualifying students for the interview round. Sadly, this filters out the true pirates of the software industry. Folks who have won Google Summer of Code, have worked on some crazy ideas or have a high traffic portal are usually not the ones who are academically all there (understandably). Added, they are not necessarily from Computer Science department. For instance, Delhi College Of Engineering had over 15 students qualifying for GSOC’16 which had only 3 students from CSE.

To hit this gold mine pool of talent, some very reputed companies (Amazon, Flipkart, Zomato etc.) have come up with innovative ways to recruit :

  • 0% Cut Offs
  • Any number of backs allowed
  • No one above 75% eligible
  • Online test portal

Breaking the stereo types provides lesser resistance in finding talent which is capable of sustaining an exponential challenge curve. Not to be forgotten these folks anyway do not have a lot of  college placement opportunities owing to their academic record. Hence, they are not very choosy.        

ESOP

This is the new classy. For organisations as well as employees. ESOPs ensure that the vesting happens over a period of time thus ensuring a prolonged marriage in between the recruiter and the recruited.

Understandably not every organisation’s structure has the scope to give away ESOPs however there can be hacks to the same. ESOP can be alternated by anything which is directly relevant to (small fraction of) the revenue, is promised over a period of time and builds up a heavy enough sounding CTC. This seals the deal currently in the industry where ESOP values are greater than cash in hand - and it works wonders.

Open Hour Challenges

Some of the biggest companies have ceased to go for college placements. Alternatively they have open hour challenges which basically means that they have a round the clock test which programmers can take to get past round 1 of the recruitment. As inexpensive and time saving this approach is, the visibility of this test and the quality of devs taking it directly depend on how noisy the recruiter’s brand is in the market.

Associating with industry mentors

At all points of time there’s a mentor in the industry. They aren’t very difficult to find. These folks have outshined freelancing, open source contributions to the extent that they are now interested in the greater good of affairs.

Such mentors are followed by dev of all levels. Some who have just started, some who are fast or some who are world class in a very limited scope. Point being, mentors have a good idea of who’s good with what among their followers. A close association with these mentors over time is one of the finest HR relations an organisation can keep. For example, Micromax Yureka’s OS contributions, Sony Xperia, News in Shorts and a number of other big and small companies have benefitted in crisis situations because of mentor relations.

Hackathons

This is one of those ways where an over night miracle can be made true. Hackathons are looked as opportunities to strike a fortune by devs. Interestingly a hackathon aligns dev of the industry in an array of devs sorted in order of their expertise. More importantly, these devs come in groups. With hackathons lasting 24-72 hours and being attended by devs in super large numbers owing to brilliant within community communication, hackathons suddenly put a lot of geniuses under one roof for complete observation. To keep a job offer as a prize money, for finding mentors and a pocket full of freelancers - this one’s a total jackpot if an organisation can pull of one. Added, a successful hackathon is looked forward to on frequent basis by the dev community.

There are some more points which are not so trivial but not so boomeranging either. But if taken care of, can bring in a  lot of optimisation to keep the challenges of recruitment within scope:

Keeping up with the right technology : The world of Web Development Services is changing by the moment. Devs love to adapt. And thus projects need to adapt too. Finding MEAN stack developers is easier and economical in the longer run than finding dot net developers today. Not getting into the maintenance cost of old-technology products, but with an exhausted dev supply the projects have a high risk level of nearing deadlocks. This goes by the age old saying- “a healthy demand keeps the supply steady”.

Becoming a part of the community

Big cities have an advantage. They have the concept of networking evenings. Coworking spaces such as 91Springboard, HelloMeets and others use their space to call in a beer evening for devs, product managers, workshop hours or for talks. Puneet Soni, ex chief product officer of flipkart, or Dipender Goel (Founder & CEO, Zomato) frequently visit such evenings for they still believe in running into raw talent and possibly staying aware of what’s going on in the minds of upcoming generation of devs. Calling in such evenings helps to connect devs who are looking out for some good roles and would walk in with a team of experts if the opportunity calls for it the next morning.

Small power packed teams 

Almost}, gone are the days when people looked forward in associating with a BIG brand. Most of them look forward to associate to a BIG role - with great power comes great responsibility? And eventually work towards making it a BIG brand. For larger organisations, they look forward to a BIG project. All in all the story keeps revolving around the commander in chief topic. Individuals want to walk in and walk out for some irreplaceable value they can create and contribute via their expect KRAs. This not only caters to their work appetite but keeps them evolving for whatever is next in their career- that’s how they’ve always been. A similar ecosystem can help more of alike high calibre devs to coexist.

Clear exit strategies

Not all projects require a life time parent. They’d rather require a short period super hero post which the new assets can be handed over to humans. Short term recruitments ranging from 6 months to a year or two can often fit in very well within the scope of negotiation with programmers.

Work Culture & Freebies

To travel free, eat well and work with music might sound a little too much but that's just enough to make interns and full time employees to want to walk into office everyday and give those late hours of brain storming and last minute hacking. To flaunt a culture like this if available, attracts bees like flowers do.


The above practices are the hot ways to crack the supply of human resource for organisations in the industry - but not the only ways. And of course these too are constantly (at least parametrically) changing. This article has been created with kind inputs from Aman Priyadarshi



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