I’m looking for Python developers. Have you got anyone available asap?
That’s what we often hear from our prospective clients - they have an urgent need to add capacity to their engineering team, and, in addition to running in-house recruitment, they start looking at software development companies with the hope of finding good, vetted developers fast.
That used to be a logical approach, as there is a natural rotation of projects in software shops. Usually, some developers would be ‘sitting on a bench’, i.e., waiting for their next allocation. In theory, suppose one already has some level of trust in a particular company (coming from a recommendation or its reputation). In that case, one could skip a part of the interviewing process and get people on board within days rather than weeks.
That used to be a reasonable plan. However, the market has evolved in some important ways, and there are a few things to remember:
- Market is becoming more polarised.
In other words, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. The most successful companies have significantly deeper pockets than the rest.
They can attract, select and retain top talent. They are also looking primarily for senior developers, sometimes not interested in hiring juniors at all (at least as a part of an external team). That means that such companies ‘suck’ the best talent from software development companies for projects that usually have no definite end date.
As a consequence, benches of software shops are no longer made of developers who are ‘in between’ projects, but more often, you may find there new hires or those who were not successful in clients’ hiring processes.
- Developers become pickier
in terms of projects they want to work for. That may be more visible among experienced developers who understand their skills and professional preferences better than juniors who are still exploring and discovering different paths.
In general, while facing multiple well-paid options, programmers will pick the more appealing project, whether it’s a technical stack, company vision, or culture that matters most. We can see that tendency among in-house teams, where on the one hand, not every developer performs well in every kind of project (sometimes you need to try three or more projects to find a good fit). On the other hand, some developers refuse to engage in certain projects. That makes resourcing much more difficult for software development companies.
- Technology itself evolves.
Each product is becoming a unique mixture of technologies, and it’s more difficult for companies (even software development shops specializing in certain technologies) to find perfectly matched engineers on their bench.
Besides that, the hiring process for developers has undergone significant changes over the years. Driven mainly by advancements in technology and mentioned changes in the job market. The hiring process has evolved in key ways:
- Emphasis on cultural and team fit
while technical skills are essential, companies also emphasize candidates' soft skills and cultural fit when evaluating them for developer roles.
Employers want to ensure the candidate can work effectively within a team and align with the company's values. As in Sunscrapers where we look for candidates who share the same principles and similar beliefs and who will fit well within the company culture.
- Growing demand for diversity and inclusion
as companies have recognized the benefits of having a diverse workforce, many have modified the hiring process to prioritize that. Companies are now actively working towards creating a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Exactly for those reasons, when launching our Dedicated Teams service, we’ve decided we will make Product-Developer fit our priority when matching developers with projects.
Product-Developer fit prioritizes finding a candidate who not only has the right set of skills and required experience but also has the values to effectively contribute to developing a specific product.
At Sunscrapers, by Product-Developer fit we understand the convergence between the client, product and a particular developer in the following areas:
company vision - a candidate is enthusiastic about and motivated by the company’s industry, business idea, challenges and goals,
organization type and size - a candidate feels good about, has good experience or wants to work in a certain type of organisation e.g. a startup or an enterprise,
company culture - a candidate seeks, is inspired by or is used to a particular culture,
remote readiness (if needed) - a candidate demonstrates crucial personality traits and attitude for successful remote collaboration,
technical skills - a candidate has the right level of skills in the required programming languages, framework, tools and utilities,
experience - a candidate demonstrates maturity and relevant experience required for the role,
capacity and availability - a candidate is able to work in the required capacity in required time slots or time zone.
As one can see, many important factors matter when searching for engineers. The traditional ‘benches’ of software development companies are still an important source of talent, but here at Sunscrapers, we believe they no longer offer a wide enough choice of candidates. It’s also difficult to meet client expectations and satisfy all project requirements when relying solely on the bench (it’s just not everyone will willingly admit that).
By prioritizing product-developer fit, we can ensure that we hire individuals with the expertise and passion necessary to help your company succeed.
Hence, when setting up dedicated tech teams for our clients, we now look not only at our in-house team but also reach out to successful past employees and contractors as well as the broader market to find the best fitting candidates for our clients based on merit (Product-Developer fit), not only the current employment status.
Our experience so far has been truly remarkable:
- We’re able to find more candidates thanks to looking at internal as well as external talent pool,
- We’re able to propose better candidates thanks to prioritizing Product-Developer fit over the utilization of people on the bench,
- Clients and candidates are happier about the collaboration as both sides have consciously and freely chosen to work with each other (instead of being assigned to one another).
Our experience shows that finding the Product-Developer fit guarantees better productivity, loyalty, and overall success, and it’s now our guiding principle when assembling dedicated teams.
We’d love to hear from you!