We take team building seriously at Sunscrapers. Our primary objective is creating high-performing teams that deliver exceptional digital products for clients all over the world.
What does building a team mean for us? We believe that successful team-building is made of these three elements:
- Finding and hiring top talent;
- Designing a work culture that cultivates talent, fueling passion and growth;
- Building environments that empower people and make it possible for them to realize their full potential and offer the best performance.
That's why knowing what traits and characteristics make great engineers is so critical for us. In this article, we wanted to share what we've learned during the last decade of sourcing, engaging and hiring talent.
Our ideal candidate profile
We always hire professionals to perform particular roles, so at the very basis of our hiring process lies the careful assessment of skills and experience that demonstrate their proficiency at a given job. All other skills can be built on top of that strong foundation.
However, experience itself is not the only critical factor.
We build our team with different levels of experience in mind, looking for juniors and seniors that possess skills required by a particular project. Talent, mindset, and cultural fit are just as important because they're the traits that channel the professional growth of our team members.
...but soft skills are essential too
It might come as a surprise that we talk about people skills when hiring developers. It goes without saying that these skills are often ignored or neglected in our industry. But at Sunscrapers, they are essential.
Our experience shows that our clients need developers who can work smoothly as a team. That's why we look for team players who simply enjoy working with others and can efficiently contribute to the group effort, putting the interest of the group before their own.
There's no place for people with oversized egos or negative mindsets in our team. We avoid hiring these personalities because such individuals spend time on creating conflicts or engaging in pointless discussions about politics, preventing the team from achieving its goals and building amazing products.
Communication is also critical to us since we often work remotely with our clients and in our day-to-day work deal with complex, non-trivial things. We hire developers who with such skills in mind to avoid communication pitfalls and ensure smooth collaboration with our clients.
Our formula for amazing communication is “Concise and Precise”:
- Concise saves you time and helps avoid misinterpretations;
- Precise because precision matters a lot – even the smallest decisions can have a huge impact on our work (for example, gathering technical debt).
But we also believe that there's no thing such as too much communication. If something isn't clear, we do our best to nail down the problem and explain the subject at hand.
Curiosity & empathy
Finally, we also value curiosity and empathy because we want our team members to be interested in broadening their horizons and developing a full view of our clients' business context and their circumstances.
We value people who like to inspire themselves to take real actions
We look for people who are fully engaged in what they do to deliver outstanding, spot-on performance.
Extra factors we take into account when hiring developers
We look for passionate, driven people to become part of our team. Creating a work environment and culture that attracts them is only one side of the coin. The other is being able to tell whether a candidate has that type of personality or not.
Over the years, we learned that the best indicator of passion is the extracurricular activities. That's where we believe lies the difference between good and excellent performance.
We look for developers with a strong sense of ownership and a reasonably-sized ego. We want our engineers to strive for a deep understanding of everything they do and make conscious decisions about what to do next (and how to get where they want). They should be able to put themselves in our client's shoes and offer their best performance to others.
When hiring engineers, we especially look at the following activities:
- Being involved in the community
- Contributing to open source
- Running a blog
- Organizing workshops
- Speaking at events
Why are these things important to us? During the last 10 years, we learned that if someone lacks this drive, they won't be able to motivate anyone in the team. These things simply tell a lot about an individual's mindset and ambition – the two elements that are crucial in our hiring process.
Our ideal candidate profile changes as we apply new insights. In fact, we update it on a regular basis to make sure that we find the best talent for our team.
Our will work culture helps us to articulate values that instantly show potential candidates what to expect from working with us.
The feedback we get from our team members, as well as from clients, shows that we took the right direction for building our team. That feedback motivates us to push forward in sourcing talent and developing our ideal candidate profile.