Hiring Junior Developers? Remember that You Were Once a Beginner, Too
Landing a first job as a developer is an exciting time for someone looking to kick off their career. For senior staff and management, however, onboarding newly-inducted junior developers might feel burdensome.
What everyone must remember is that we all had to start somewhere. For junior dev workers, this is an exciting time and it should be for you, too! This is a big chance for these fresh team members and it’s a great opportunity for your business as well. We’ll explore why junior talent is in an ideal position to grow with your organization—and how to find the best talent to invest in.
Why it’s important to hire talent that can grow with you
A junior developer is someone who has some professional coding experience but hasn't spent a great length of time in a professional setting cultivating their skills.
Though some debate the meaning of the title, it’s safe to say these are individuals who are less experienced than seasoned veterans (senior developers). While some companies prefer hiring veteran talent—and sometimes it’s a necessity—there’s value in onboarding someone relatively new.
Junior developers are often curious and eager to learn to code in new and innovative ways. Newer developers are a lot like a blank canvas—they can be better molded around company needs, compared to someone who has been in the same type of developer role for a long time. This flexibility is advantageous for growth, both for the individual and the company.
Even remote employees or contractors can grow with great communication and mentorship. Implementing feedback loops allows these individuals to develop new skills and refine existing ones. With video conferencing tools, you can even bridge the distance between team members which pulls them further into the company culture to grow and develop.
Tips for hiring the best junior developers
Hiring great candidates for any developer job begins with the recruitment process, and it's no different for juniors. You’ll need to put out feelers for the position, describe the role and expectations, then assess candidates as you narrow down the pool of potential hires.
Candidates will possess a wide range of proficiencies, depending on coding languages and technologies they’ve studied or used. Along with programming competencies, they should provide work samples available and demonstrate a passion for coding. People who who delved into this career path solely for the paycheck may not be the most motivated individuals.
Cast a wide net
Remember, you should still consider those who aren’t highly credentialed for certain roles. There are great programmers who might have unconventional training or educational backgrounds—sometimes portfolios speak louder than degrees from reputable universities, for instance. If they aren’t up to snuff, a well-designed recruitment process will weed them out eventually.
Reach out to talented prospects
Getting the best talent for your team usually involves more than posting jobs to your careers site and job boards—you'll need to do outreach and sourcing as well.
Spend time taking on real recruitment efforts to make your opportunities as attractive as possible. Developers will want to know what it's like to work with your team members, for your business, in your workplace, and using your tech stack.
Vet junior developers for your business
There are many ways to assess your candidates' skillsets to filter out unqualified developers and advance talented ones. We recommend implementing multiple testing interview stages, depending on the nature of the role.
The Codility CodeCheck platform is great for gauging candidates' skillsets, and reveals more than just code quality or simply answering the question of “does the code work or not?” Our online coding tests delve into how an individual writes code, providing granular insights into their thought process and the performance of their code.
Implementing an online coding test at the beginning of the recruitment process is an effective filter to decrease the sheer number of phone screens that need to happen. Recruiters will be better able to focus their time on candidates that meet the basic minimum requirements in terms of coding skills.
It takes time and great mentorship to cultivate fantastic tech skills in junior developers, but the investment is worth it in the long run. Just make sure you're assessing their skillsets effectively and efficiently!
Download our complete guide to finding, hiring, and retaining the best entry-level developers.