How To Assemble An IT Team So That The Match Happens And The Business Gets The Result: An Inside Look

How To Assemble An IT Team So That The Match Happens And The Business Gets The Result: An Inside Look

I have been recruiting for a long time and have helped to assemble more than one strong team for IT projects. In our department, we find and hire remote specialists from all cities of Russia and abroad, conduct more than 100 interviews every month, and quickly close vacancies: on average, it takes no more than 14 days from an application to an offer.

How Do We Select A Team For Projects?

Since 2011, Surf has gathered teams that successfully implement complex projects for various industries. During this time, the company has accumulated enough experience to share it.

And back in 2022, we received the HR-Brand award from Head-hunter and said that it helped us to assemble a strong development team. But first things first. Yes, yes, at first, there is still a little material; we are techies ๐Ÿ™‚

There are two types of projects in Surf:

  • Internal projects, which we carry out for clients from and to;
  • External projects, in which their team is assembled, and processes are built, but there are not enough developers with expertise in a particular stack. We are often approached by companies that need help in strengthening their team.

First of all, the heads of departments, in conjunction with team leaders, are engaged in selecting a team for any of the projects. They are well aware of the skill level of each of their employees: current grade, experience with specific technologies and tools, their interests, and plans for professional development. This is also important because if a developer is not interested in a project, he will not bring anything new and will quickly burn out.

As the number of projects grows, the number of specialists required for them also grows. It is the recruiting department that helps to select new team members. To do this, we have a map of the company’s values โ€‹โ€‹and clear technical requirements for candidates.

Our recruiters rely on a grading system – grouping positions on certain grounds (a combination of hard and soft skills) and on the requirements of a particular project.

To assemble a team, recruiters:

  • Search for candidates with the necessary skills on different resources;
  • conduct screening and briefing – a preliminary assessment of the skills of applicants

In our recruiting department, we use the Talent Nurturing approach – this is building long-term relationships with candidates. We maintain a warm relationship with many applicants: we communicate, make friends, post useful content on LinkedIn, and offer to join the team when a position suitable for their experience and skills appears.

In hiring, the recruiter acts as the first and largest filter: to find and select from all the people on the market who meet the formal requirements: working conditions (schedule, location, salary), technical skills, and soft skills.

To assess hard skills, we rely on a grading system. We have a standard one: developers are divided into juniors, middles, and seniors. And for each level, the requirements for the level of their knowledge and skills are prescribed

Junes, middle, and seniors have not only different qualifications but their different areas of responsibility. Therefore, the task of an IT recruiter is to find a person suitable for specific tasks.

To assess soft skills, we use a company value map. It is formed based on global goals and aspirations.

This is a list of moral and business principles and beliefs that are the foundation for long-term development. This benchmark guides all Surf employees – from the administrator to the top manager. And for recruiters, this is a convenient map of personal qualities, “soft skills” that need to be assessed in candidates. For productive collaboration, the values โ€‹โ€‹of the applicant and the company must coincide.

The work of a recruiter is based on the principle of a funnel: it forms the candidate’s path from the general market to the offer.

To save time (ours and the candidates), we use screening to select developers – this is a preliminary assessment of technical skills. It is a list of 5-7 technical questions that the recruiter sends to the candidate. Filling takes about half an hour.

After passing the screening, the recruiter sends candidates for consideration to the team leader or department head. Thus, to decide on an invitation to an interview, they have a resume, screening, and a recruiter’s recommendation. This helps us to assess each candidate’s skill level better. The hiring funnel is just a blueprint. Sometimes there may be more stages: with addition in the form of test tasks, separate technical and final interviews, and additional acquaintance with the project team. And a recruiter needs to know what stages are provided for each position; we fix the entire selection process in a common document so that each participant has a common understanding.

Our recruiter goes all the way with the candidate and tells him which stages are already behind and which are coming soon. Maintains communication, sends feedback without fail, and informs all participants of this exciting process about changes.

“So far, nothing complicated,” our reader will think: the recruiter knows what specialist is needed, studies dozens of resumes, and then chooses the best one. But is it so simple in practice? Indeed, IT recruitment has its nuances. A recruiter is obliged to understand technologies, abbreviations accepted in the industry, and even memes (where without them)ย 

Here is a little life hack from me on how to stay up-to-date with technology and not fall out of context:

We process a large number of resumes every day; if we find something unfamiliar in them, we actively look for answers on the Internet and ask colleagues, hiring managers, and team leaders. We also exchange experiences with each other, read HR resources, Telegram channels, and various studies, and go to specialized events.

Alena Filatovite, Lead Recruiter at Surf

However, technical savvy is insufficient; you need a special recruiting skill – observation. You need to be able to notice the details:

  • How detailed the resume is.
  • What terms of work are indicated.
  • What the candidate himself writes about himself.
  • What interests he has indicated.

But a full assessment is possible only in the course of personal communication.

Also Read: How To Reduce The Cost Of Working With Open Source


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