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Designing and following a structured software developer hiring process can help your organization attract top talent, identify qualified candidates early, and encourage engagement throughout the recruiting process. A structured approach can create more fair and equitable interviews for candidates, enhance the candidate experience, and help your hiring team make the best decisions for your organization. 

What is a structured software developer hiring process?

When we talk about a structured software developer hiring process, we mean an intentional, planned, and documented process that is consistent for all candidates from beginning to end. Following a structured software developer hiring process helps you deliver a reliable candidate experience, which means you can more accurately measure your candidate experience, providing valuable data for making improvements. 

Advantages of a structured hiring process for developers

Implementing a structured hiring process for software developers is a relatively low-lift way to boost your organization’s efficiency, speed, and hiring outcomes. A structured hiring process streamlines your recruiting, saves time, and helps you move candidates more quickly through your pipeline — which means you can better compete for top talent. 

Another key advantage of adopting an intentional structure is that it can create a more equitable hiring process. A majority of job seekers feel that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are beneficial and essential in the workplace, and the recruiting process should reflect your organization’s commitment to progress while helping candidates feel welcomed and appreciated.

No job seeker wants to waste time with questions that are irrelevant to the position they’ve applied for. Part of a structured hiring process involves tailoring interview questions and skills assessments to the role in question, and Codility’s role-specific templates help make that easier. Engaging candidates in relevant topics can help them feel valued while helping you learn what you need to know in order to make the right hiring decision.

When you can make better decisions about candidates throughout the recruiting process, you can make better hires — and making better hires means better business outcomes. In the long run, this can positively impact employee retention, which is always an important consideration, especially in times of high talent mobility.

In a structured software developer hiring process, a good candidate experience is key.
With a structured software developer hiring process in place, your team can feel confident that you’re using data to make the informed decisions about each candidate.

Types of structures to consider

The options for types of structures are limited only by your imagination and creativity. It’s crucial to create a structured hiring process that serves your business needs, reflects your organizational culture, and fits the volume and speed at which you need to hire software developers. Here are some of the most common types of structured hiring processes. 

Fully remote hiring: This type of structure is ideal for candidates who will work remotely full-time and may or may not live in the same geographic region as your offices (if you have any). Here, it’s essential to consider candidate experience from the perspective of a job seeker you may never meet in person. How recruiting teams use technology throughout the recruiting process can have an enormous impact on the candidate experience as well as hiring outcomes.

Remote-first hiring: Many employers are taking advantage of the speed and scale of virtual recruiting to screen large numbers of candidates before moving smaller groups of prequalified candidates through more traditional recruiting processes. This might look like hosting virtual career fairs and administering online skills tests to a large pool of candidates, and then inviting those with the top scores to a more personalized in-person event or moving them directly to in-person interviews. This type of approach works well when hiring software developers who will work onsite at least part of the time. 

How Finastra’s remote-first hiring process helps them hire 1,500 tech employees per year.

Hybrid or synchronous approach: Blending online recruiting with traditional processes can work well, too. Employers can use virtual recruiting and in-person tactics at different stages of the recruiting process or run both simultaneously. This might look like hosting a virtual career fair in the morning and an in-person recruiting event in the afternoon allowing candidates to choose how they prefer to interact with you.

Those are just three main examples of types of structured hiring processes that tech organizations use to recruit software developers. Your team will need to identify which structure is best for your organization right now, but adopting a particular structure doesn’t lock you in forever. The beauty of using virtual tools is that they are flexible and easy to scale up or down based on your organization’s needs and challenges. The important part is creating and executing a mindful, intentional structure that reduces negative influences (like bias) and supports the best possible outcomes.

Essential components of a structured hiring process

No matter what type of structured software developer hiring process is right for your organization, you’ll generally need to cover the same bases to get the most out of your strategy. Much of the success of a hiring process relies on addressing each stage of the recruiting funnel — and prioritizing the candidate experience rather than focusing only on the transactional aspects of the process. 

Top of the funnel: Address content/communications at the top of the funnel. Create a cohesive plan, with a style guide and templates as needed, for job postings, sourcing channels, and other recruitment marketing content. Prioritize inclusive language to ensure you’re not alienating candidates that would otherwise be a great fit for your organization.

Middle of the funnel: Likely the most crucial stage of recruiting in today’s tight talent market, it’s important to get this right. Using structured interview questions (like these) helps deliver a consistent candidate experience while gathering the same information from each candidate to inform your decision-making. 

Accurate assessments of a candidate’s hard and soft skills are also essential, and live virtual code interviews provide even more quantitative data for hiring decision-makers. Create an intentional structure for virtual technical interviews and use tools designed to facilitate these important interactions, like CodeCheck for skills assessments and CodeLive for virtual whiteboarding.

Here’s how SWIFT transitioned to a fully remote recruiting process with Codility.

Your team also needs a structured communication plan for each stage of hiring. This should include candidate feedback, next steps, and additional information about your organization’s culture. Feedback shouldn’t be limited to the candidates who will move forward; it’s important to provide feedback for rejected candidates as well (especially, but not limited to, those you may want to consider for other positions in the future). 

Bottom of the funnel: As most recruiting teams know, candidate ghosting continues to be a challenge in today’s tight talent market, even at the bottom of the funnel. Creating effective communication strategies and a great onboarding program can help. This means continuing to engage with a candidate after they accept an offer and giving them opportunities to engage with the hiring team as well as other new hires. Many organizations have started hosting pre-start date virtual events with a social focus to help build community and offer new hires a way to interact with others before they start work. 

Other employers assign a “buddy” or “mentor” who guides new hires through the process of getting to know your organization’s culture, policies, and practices. It’s also key to have a plan for the first 90 days, including a plan for remote work or flexible schedules, so that your new hires know what to expect and have an opportunity to ask questions or voice concerns early on. 

Using a structured hiring process to find top tech talent

With a structured software developer hiring process in place, your recruiting team can feel confident that you’re providing a more equitable hiring process, a better candidate experience, and that you’re gathering the data you need to make the right decisions about each candidate you consider. 

You can adjust, update, or customize your process over time according to your hiring results, staffing needs, and candidate feedback. Supporting your hiring process with the right tools provides a valuable level of efficacy while continuing to facilitate a flexible, scalable approach to all your software developer hiring needs.

Explore our solutions today to learn more about how Codility can help you gather the evidence you need to make sound decisions throughout your hiring process.

Codility is the leading technical hiring platform for companies to test the coding skills of developers and make evidence-based hiring decisions. Codility predicts the real-life skills of candidates at all stages of the hiring process and for more than a decade, has evaluated the problem-solving skills of over 15 million developers and counting.

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