What does the recruitment of IT professionals look like? Learn about competence assessment methods

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What does the recruitment of IT professionals look like? Learn about competence assessment methods

logo-kwadrat-2-2-2 Author: Michał Warda

Michał Warda – Recruitment Team Lead with 7 years of experience in the IT industry. He combines his recruitment skills with a passion for technology to ensure the highest quality in the projects he manages. Currently, he is mostly focused on building his own team and developing the skills of his colleagues.

For many years now, Poland has seen a high demand for programmers and other IT professionals. According to last year’s reports by the Polish Economic Institute, 147,000 IT professionals are currently needed in Poland for their share of the total workforce to be the same as in other countries of the European Union. Things are not made any easier by the fact that it is the most experienced, highly qualified candidates who are most in demand. How do we find them? In the following article, I will explain the practicalities of recruiting IT professionals!


1. Review of a candidate’s CV / profile and first contact with the recruiter

The first step involves a basic screening of the candidate, which includes a review of their CV or LinkedIn profile. This provides a lot of useful information concerning their education, experience and skills, etc. It is often assumed that the competences listed do not reflect reality. That is why the recruiter will later test them in practice. The initial screening, however, makes it possible to select individuals who meet the basic requirements for the position.

But IT professionals do not always respond to messages with job offers unless they are in the process of looking for a new position. This poses a considerable challenge for recruiters. The best programmers tend to change jobs only when they get a much better offer from another company. More often than not, they either get recommended for a job or are recruited by headhunters or an outsourcing company. 

2. Recruitment interview 

The purpose of the recruitment interview is to assess not only the candidate’s technical and practical skills, but also their soft skills. Contrary to popular belief, those are also of great importance when recruiting IT professionals

Interpersonal skills, including communication or team management ones, can be extremely useful at work. Along with such qualities as creativity, problem-solving or a drive for development, they are considered skills of the future. They are just as important as technical capabilities, because nowadays programmers often work in teams and play a major role in the development of their projects. 

As part of the interview, the recruiter can also determine whether the candidate is genuinely motivated, interested in the position and ready to conform to the company’s requirements if hired. Finally, the meeting provides a good opportunity for the recruiter to test the candidate’s stated foreign language proficiency. Many positions offered to IT professionals require at least an intermediate level of English. 

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3. Competency assessment

If the candidate has made a good impression during the interview and is interested in participating in the recruitment process, the next stage should involve tasks designed to test their knowledge and skills. Depending on the candidate’s future responsibilities, a number of methods are used, such as:

  • Technical interview – the recruiter or an experienced senior IT professional tests the candidate’s expertise by asking technical questions related to programming languages or other topics (such as cyber security, AI, ML, data analytics). The candidate is often asked to provide a solution to a sample problem; 
  • Remote task – in some cases, the recruiter may ask the candidate to complete a task outside of the interview, to be handed in by an agreed date. This offers the opportunity to test not only the candidate’s skills, but also their ability to meet deadlines;
  • Live coding – the candidate has to perform a task in real time (usually about 30-45 minutes) using dedicated tools, such as Codebyte. This allows the recruiter to monitor the progress of the work remotely. Afterwards, the candidate is asked to explain in detail why they used certain solutions, what they wanted to achieve, etc.;
  • Pair programming – an interesting alternative to live coding, where the candidate pairs up with the recruiter to perform a programming task. They work together on the same task, with the driver (candidate) writing the code and the navigator (recruiter) asking questions, raising concerns and searching for possible errors in real time;
  • Portfolio – the candidate may be asked to present their original work (such as an application, an algorithm, a website) or provide and discuss a code sample.

Whichever method is chosen, the candidate should receive feedback from the recruiter at the end of the assessment process. In some cases, other competences may need to be checked, which is why this stage may require more time. 

4. Establishing the terms of employment and signing the contract

If a candidate’s competency has been verified and they are still interested in the offer, the recruiter can proceed to the final interview. At this stage, the terms and conditions of employment are clarified and negotiated. 

According to a report by Bulldog Job, IT professionals tend to prioritise compensation (according to the Salary Report 2023 prepared by Valueships, the average salary is PLN 11,427 gross), the form of work (remote or possibly hybrid), as well as professional development opportunities.

How do you find the best IT professionals?

With such a talent shortage in the market, recruiting IT professionals is extremely difficult. The best professionals already have jobs, so employers only have a chance to recruit them if they decide to move to a better position or are successfully persuaded to do so. There is a good reason why more and more employers use the services of headhunters and outsourcing companies. The latter option is particularly convenient for businesses, as the entire recruitment process is handled by an external provider. 

Are you looking for the best talent? Use the services of ITDS – we excel at finding and testing highly qualified programmers and other IT professionals who best meet all your requirements. Choose a solution that can save you a lot of time and money!