7 tips for recruiting system developers

Most CTOs and IT managers are used to recruiting system developers – but how do you recruit foreign consultants at a distance? Check out our best tips!

Recruiting system developers abroad is in many ways quite similar to recruiting in northern Europe – the tech world is global. But there are some things to bear in mind. Take a look at the advice in this guide when you are hiring IT consultants at a distance!

1 Check the time of employment

Curriculum vitae, or CV, is the most popular worldwide format for presenting your experience and education. But depending on what country you are recruiting in, you may need to take a closer look at a few things.

One factor that may be relevant is employment time. At Indpro, we have extensive experience of recruiting system developers in India. In India, it’s important to check that the developer has not been jumping from employer to employer. By changing jobs frequently, system developers in India can increase their salary considerably. Hence, many developers have made it a point to change jobs regularly, sometimes as often as twice per year.

If you recruit a developer who has jumped with high frequency, the risk is high that he will leap from your company soon too.


2 Count the technologies

Another important factor on the CV concerns what type of developer you are looking for. Do you need someone who is eager to learn new technologies, or would you rather hire a system developer who enjoys maintaining an existing system?

If you run a start-up or other type of company that requires flexibility, you probably want a developer who is looking to grow by learning new things. Then it’s wise to take a look at the CV: has the candidate worked with more than one technology? Has she added new frameworks and languages to her skillset?

If you require a developer to maintain and manage an existing system, you probably want to do the opposite: look for candidates who have remained faithful to one technology and are satisfied with that.

System developer at desk.


3 Take experience with a pinch of salt

In Sweden, the home country of Indpro, we have a cultural tendency not to brag. Because of this, Swedish system developers may sometimes value their own work too low. In other cultures, it can be quite the opposite – candidates tend to exaggerate their work experience a tad.

Our experience from many years of recruiting in India, is that Indian candidates will not fail to tell you about their achievements. In fact, they often exaggerate their merits.

To clarify what experience the system developer actually has, you need to ask specific questions during the interview. You should also check with references from previous employers, to ensure that employments mentioned are correct in both time and scope. If you are recruiting through a consultancy, you can demand that they do this leg work. At Indpro, we are particular about this process in all our recruitment.

If a specific skillset is important, you should ask the candidate to show code that he or she has written. You can also check the work that the system developer’s has presented on Github.

4 Request work samples

To be completely sure that your candidate is a good match, you can also ask her to do a work sample in system development. Chose a problem from your own system and ask the system developer to solve it.

If you’re not able to produce your own work sample, there are evaluation tools available online. At Indpro, we use tests from the recruitment platform Codility to get an idea of what a system developer can do.


5 Ask the right questions

When you interview a system developer eye to eye you will get a chance of getting a personal impression of the candidate, for example when chatting by the coffee machine. This is something you miss out on when recruiting at a distance.

One way of compensating for this is to ask questions that allow the candidate to show jis or her way of thinking.

Some example questions:

  • How would you feel about having to work with a new programming language?
  • What would you like to have achieved five years from now?
  • Name one thing you have not liked in the organisations you previously worked for?
  • What’s most important to you, high salary or work-life balance?

In India, it’s quite rare for an employer to care about life outside the work place. This means that you need to ask very clear questions to find out more about the system developers personal life, like hobbies and family.

Another way to get a feel for a candidate is to look at his or her activities in social media. For example, the groups that the system developer has joined on LinkedIn might say something about his interest in the world around him. Is he following pages on technology, innovative companies and reputed universities?

6 Note what questions the candidate asks

In Sweden, we are used to an open culture with flat hierarchies. That’s not how things work in most other countries. In India, hierarchies in a work place are much stronger, which means that you cannot expect an Indian system developer to ask as tough questions as for example a Swede would.

It is, however, a good idea to take note of what type of questions the candidate asks. Does he or she ask about opportunities for growth? Is he or she curious of what technologies you use? Does the candidate wat to know how often you have performance reviews? Does she seem to have read up on your company?

All these are indications of the personality of the system developer, as well as a measurement of her interest in the role.

System developers like the Swedish work culture.


7 Sell the Swedish way

Selling the role and your company is always important during interviews. An aspect of recruiting abroad is that a company that has a Nordic attitude towards the employer-employee relationship, might want to stress this as a USP during the interview.

Swedish work places have a flatter hierarchy, which means that system developers are free to present their own ideas, ask questions and address anyone in the organisation. None of this is a given in many other countries. In India, it’s in fact quite unusual.

It’s also rare for the leaders in a company to be open and accessible. To showcase your own attitude as a USP, make sure to be open and show who you are during the interview. Your attitude might be the deciding factor that helps you find the right system developers for the job ahead.

We wish you the best of luck with recruiting system developers at a distance!