How to Hire IT Specialists: Checklist for HR

Finding IT specialists in the Python web development company without being an IT expert is really difficult. The industry includes many directions and a giant “zoo” of technologies, some of which can replace each other, while others are incompatible, although they have similar names.

How much an HR needs to understand IT terminology and understand technologies?

If the tasks of hiring IT specialists are rare, one-off, you may be able to cope without immersing yourself in the topic.

If the company develops its own products, and we are talking about the formation/expansion of project teams, then it will be necessary to work on the development of IT expertise. At least at a level sufficient for a basic understanding of the lexicon. For example, a recruiter does not need to know how Django differs from Spring and Symfony, but they need to understand that all these are frameworks, that is, “frameworks” that allow you to speed up development because they contain code to perform the basic and most frequent processes.

Determine the area

There are dozens of areas in SoftFormance ( development, integration, administration, Data Science, machine learning, etc. Each of them needs its own specialists – not only with certain knowledge and skills, but sometimes with their own psychotype. For example, a great Data Scientist most often will not be able to be a lead developer: they think differently and solve problems.

We will talk about IT recruiting using development as an example since it is most often associated with tasks for most commercial companies. Although in general, the information is applicable in other areas.

Development, in turn, is also different: mobile and web applications, for operating systems, development of drivers for devices, development of systems that work offline, etc. Here we will narrow the topic again – suppose that we are looking for specialists for web and mobile development.

And finally, there are directions within the development team: front-end, back-end, testing, etc.

Explore the vacancy

Any specialist has his own set of hard skills and soft skills. Their balance determines who he is currently and where he can develop.

Hard skills are divided into several levels: beginner, basic, intermediate, expert, and deep. In IT, they usually correspond to the role that a specialist can perform in a team: intern, junior, middle and senior developer, architect.

Soft skills determine the ability of a specialist to interact, organize, and manage. And they can intersect with hard skills in a variety of combinations. There are senior developers who have expert knowledge and at the same time do not want to become team leads because technology is more interesting to them than management. And it makes no sense to force them: the company will lose a good developer, and get a bad manager in return.

At the start, it is necessary to clearly define the tasks and role of the specialist who is needed in the team

Need a junior developer? Here soft skills are not fundamental, the main thing is the availability of basic specialized knowledge. The candidate must understand what algorithms are, know the programming language, and be able to solve practical problems in their field: backender – work with the database, frontender – work with LocalStorage, and possibly know the framework. Each skill should match the specific technologies that are used in your company’s project.

We are looking for an expert-level specialist for the position of senior developer. But if we need a team lead, it makes sense to shift the focus to soft skills. The tasks of the team leader are to manage the development team, monitor tasks, perform code reviews, and be a mentor for junior and middle developers. With top organizational skills, sometimes even an average level of hard skills may be enough for him.

Thus, simply looking for an “IT specialist” is pointless and, generally speaking, impossible. To draw up a portrait of an applicant, an HR needs a lot of input: the direction of his work, a set of hard skills (in accordance with the list of technologies and platforms used in the project), and role in the team.


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