So you are looking for a perfect developer for your company. You have a dozen candidates with almost identical tech skills, equal experience, and they all apply for a single opening. So what now? How do you choose the right person for your firm’s goals?

Well, the answer is simple – listen and observe. Since the candidates are equal in their tech knowledge, try to focus on the ambition, ability to focus, sense of humor, and general feeling of an easy-going conversation for each candidate.

So which soft skills identify the right developer? And how do you spot them? Here is your answer!

Importance of soft skills for tech guys

 

Teamwork

Nearly 75% of all employers rate this skill as “very important”. As the new blood in the existing team, a candidate should catch up with the current workflow, be able to properly present their point of view, stay respectful, and work together in route to the final goal. Someone approachable, helpful, open-minded, and available to your questions and the potential team is the right fit.

 

Patience

Patience is the foundation of a developer’s work, whether in the search for a bug or communication with the stakeholders. A new project requires patience and time to be comprehended. A senior dev needs patience when explaining the project multiple times to a green junior. It is patience that can help with explaining complex notions of app development to non-tech clients. To check for this, just ask the candidate some technical questions that you don’t know answers to and evaluate how much you were able to comprehend from their explanation.

 

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Time management

Time is money. So if a candidate says a job can be done in 5 hours, there is no way they can afford to complete it in 7. The competence to clearly evaluate their own skill-set and calculate the time required to complete a task is crucial. To test for this, give them a simple task and request an ETA for the completion; then, see if they meet the deadlines.

 

Flexibility

Sometimes a browser update corrupts the system functionality or an AppStore stops showing your app to the customers. Flexibility and proper prioritization of the work tasks are essential to keep up with the pace. The agility and agile framework would be a great benefit to a candidate’s CV.

 

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Focus

The ability to eliminate distractions in order to concentrate is vital, especially while working with legacy code. Invent some distractions during the interview and check how well your potential developer focuses on the interview rather than the opening doors or the ringing phone.

 

Communication skills

The easiest and yet crucial skill on the list. Communication in the team, with stakeholders, clients, office crew, boss, and anyone else is a part of the developer’s job. Ease of clearly defining the idea, ability to find the right words during the interview, and general lightness of the conversation are what you need to check.

 

Accountability

This is a tough skill to check during the pre-screening, but something as simple as being on time is a part of accountability. If a dev is late for your meeting, be aware that this person might not take the job seriously or consider themselves accountable for the project.

 

Proactivity

For developers, proactivity is related to accountability, especially for the new team members. If a candidate sees an error in the code and not only explains it but is also prepared to fix it, this is proactivity – the will to take action and work for the common goal.

 

Feedback

Feedback is a way of in-team communication. A good candidate should be able to accept and give feedback in the form of advice and not personal criticism. Constructive criticism is vital for the project’s success, so simply check how a potential employee reacts to the comments you make during the interview.

 

Listening skills

What if a candidate fails to understand the question? Cannot follow simple steps? Well, such developers are tough to work with in an agile and flexible team. Look for those who calmly react, hear the feedback, and do the job right the first time. Because who would want a dev who needs 10 reminders about a task, right?

 

Conclusion

The development world is a fast-developing community of ever-changing technology and high-demanding clients that need to keep up with end-user demands. It requires flexibility, teamwork, accountability, and proactivity for the project’s success.

We have learned this the hard way at times, so now our HR department has a vast knowledge and experience in finding the perfect candidates for a project. Whether you need advice or are ready to experience the pleasure of working with a professional and communicative developer, write to us or contact us in any other way to make your team stronger!

VITALY MAKHOV,
CEO @ DOIT Software
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