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Our Checklist for Expanding an In-House Dev Team

Before hiring somebody for an engineering position or building an in-house dev team, you need to double-check a number of things. The following checklist is based on our 8 years of expertise in recruitment, onboarding and offboarding software developers. These are the best market practices and battle-tested solutions, which will help you build a successful development team.

Organization and Team Readiness

Before even considering a new hire, key managers should ask themselves a few questions to test the organization’s readiness to absorb talent. Each new hire has to be verified, and you need to make sure that a clear value, vision and KPIs are in place for both engaged parties.

  1. What will be the new hire’s daily schedule?
  2. Are there adequate tools (hardware, software) already in place?
  3. Are there well-defined business needs new hire will fulfil?
  4. What will be the new hire’s career path?

Candidate Screening

  1. Practical task
    1. Candidates should receive a task to prepare before the process continues. You cannot extract all the necessary information from standard application documents, and the task allows us to have a better view of the candidate's skills and decide if we want to continue the recruitment process.
  2. Language audit
    1. When a job requires a very good command of English, candidates should also go through a language audit. In Netguru, it is a telephone conversation with a language testing specialist. As a result, you will get a report that shows the level of a candidate’s language aptitude.
  3. Reference check
    1. To make sure that a given candidate is as good as you think after the recruitment process, you should collect references. It will allow you to get a second opinion about the candidate’s skills. On top of that, you will know whether they are a good fit for your organisational culture.

Recruitment Process

The typical recruitment process in Netguru consists of more than 20 steps, and we eventually hire only 3% of applicants.

  1. Interview with the recruitment team
    1. The interview enables recruiters to check if the candidate has certain social skills needed in the company, such as highly developed communication skills (e.g. if they can speak to the point) or experience in team working. You might also want to know whether they have ever cooperated with a client, or which tools they use on a daily basis. Most of all, however, you should look for “the right fit” – you want to work with people who not only have a solid skill base but people who will also be able to maintain a good atmosphere and promote the company’s values.
  2. Pair programming
    1. After the interview, you should conduct a pair-programming session between the candidate and one of your developers. Thanks to screen-sharing, pair-programming allows you to check the candidate’s technical skills, their line of reasoning and to see where and how they’re looking for solutions.
  3. Leaders interview
    1. Setting up a meeting between the candidate and his/her potential future leader can also be very helpful in the recruitment process. Based on their knowledge, the leader can check whether the potential employee a good fit for an already existing team.

Onboarding

Getting new hires on board quickly and efficiently is crucial to every company’s success. Even more so in software development industry, where the sheer number of tools, processes and access privileges can cripple your business. Our onboarding checklists have more than 50 things a manager needs to tick off before a new employee is ready to work.

  1. Legal matters – preparation and updating of model contracts:
    1. responding to the current needs of the market,
    2. different forms of cooperation (contract of employment, B2B contracts),
    3. close and expensive cooperation with a law firm.
  2. Payroll – occupational medicine and health and safety training:
    1. preparation of an appropriate agreement,
    2. HR and payroll services during the term of employment,
    3. implementation of labor regulations (paid leave, sick leave, maternity leave).
  3. Resources – providing all the equipment and tools necessary for everyday work:
    1. computer hardware and accessories,
    2. software tools and applications.
  4. Setting up all key access privileges such as email, Slack, Trello, Jira, etc. and ensuring that they are working properly, in accordance with appropriate checklists.
  5. Processes:
    1. create an onboarding process and continuously improve in response to current needs,
    2. involve other people in this process: mentors, developers, CEO, HR team.

Mentoring

You want the new hire to be 100% productive in the new workplace as quickly as possible. A smooth start is a mentor’s primary task. Here’s what the process ought to look like:

  1. Select and assign a mentor.
  2. Train the mentor and build their awareness.
  3. Create a checklist.

Offboarding

When we say goodbye to employees, we want to make sure the process is as efficient as possible so both sides won’t waste time by repeating or delaying tasks. Our offboarding checklist is very comprehensive.

  1. Legal matters – termination of employment under the law:
    1. creating a legal basis dismissal,
    2. creating a termination letter,
    3. exit interview.
  2. Payroll:
    1. issuing a certificate of employment,
    2. settling the remaining paid leave,
    3. putting back personal documents,
    4. settlement of hardware.
  3. Access privileges: revoking access privileges to tools.

In Conclusion

All these checklists and processes serve two main purposes:

  1. Using the recruitment team’s time well,
  2. Using the candidate’s/employee’s time well.

The latter especially is a show of respect and a good rule of thumb. You want to not only build a happy, productive team, but also to create your employer’s brand. In today’s connected world, little mistakes and online comments can cost you a brilliant new hire. Your immediate need when you start a recruitment campaign might be finding new people for your company, but your focus should always be sustainability.

Finally, make sure hiring full-time talent is what your company really needs. Here's an article we've written on the subject to help you make the final decision.

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