In this blog, our resident software expert, Nathan Jefferson talks about how to hire the right software developer for your team in Northern Ireland. Not only is Nathan an expert IT Recruiter, he also has a Diploma in Computer Science, so he knows a thing or two about hiring great people for software teams!


Demand for software developers continues to increase in NI so hiring the right developer continues to be challenging. Hiring the right developer doesn’t just mean hiring the best technical fit and interviewing is more than just a binary tick-box exercise against a list of programming skills. Hiring the right developer also means finding someone who shares your company values and fits with your team…because that’s what really ensures a great hire in the longer term.

I’ve seen a lot of different approaches to interviews, some great and some…not so great so I wanted to share some straightforward advice on establishing an interview process that will help you to hire the right developers for your team:


  • Make the process rigorous but streamlined: move too slowly with your interview process and you will lose out to the competition. Move too hastily and you will compromise the quality of your process. Lay out a well-defined process with a beginning, middle and end. If it takes any longer than two weeks or has more than 3 steps, you might want to take a look at how you can streamline your process.


  • Two Way Street: candidates know they are in high-demand so now more than ever you have to be willing to “sell your dream” to them first, otherwise why should they invest time in your process over other options? Take time to talk them through the role, team, culture and company at the beginning of the process. This should help to attract the right people into going all the way through your process and save you a lot of time in the long run.


  • Make technical assessment fit for purpose: some companies fear that having a rigorous technical assessment may scare off good candidates. Other companies can be too stringent in what they ask of candidates by asking for overly-onerous tasks to be completed. I would absolutely recommend having a technical assessment as part of the process for software hiring…just make sure it’s fit for purpose! Good developers will appreciate a well thought out technical assessment.


  • Make cultural fit part of your assessment process: Technical fit is of course critical to the success of any developer joining a software team but too often employers overlook cultural fit. A strong cultural fit will help to ensure the developer stays with your team for the long term. How do you assess for cultural fit? First you must understand your own company values. Only then can you assess cultural fit accordingly.


  • Manage salary expectations up-front: there’s no point in going through the process if candidate and employer expectations aren’t aligned. Equally, candidates and employers can be guarded about their expectations until they get to know each other. Try to at least establish that there is a “zone of agreement” up front so that when you go to offer, both sides’ can negotiate within sensible parameters.


Developers are in high demand, but that doesn’t mean companies need to compromise on quality. By establishing the right process that is fit for purpose and true to your company values, the right developers will more naturally gravitate towards your business leading to more sustainable and successful growth of your software team.



At Enso Recruitment we build high-performing software teams and rewarding, fulfilling IT careers in Northern Ireland. To find out more about how we can help you to grow a great software team, reach out to Enso and become part of our circle!


Tel: +44 (0) 2890993445