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Why Developer Recruitment is Best Left to Other Tech Employees

Recruitment agencies worldwide are racing to take advantage of growing software engineer shortages. However, existing tech employees don’t feel that developer recruitment agencies are capable of hiring top talent.


Tech employees say that using a software development recruitment agency wastes time and money. This is because most agency personnel do not have the skills necessary to assess the real capabilities of new hires.


Many Agencies Over-Automate Developer Recruitment


Why development recruitment is best left to other tech employees is simple. Few recruitment agencies specialize in hiring software developers. Most also use outdated formulas to recruit employees.


In 2018, Golang (Google programing language) developer Emir Ribic decided to test drive using popular freelance platform Upwork. However, despite completing several projects successfully, Emir soon had his account suspended.


Emir’s account suspension occurred after he failed to answer generic PHP developer questions during a call with Upwork’s account verification team. It did not matter that Emir does not work with PHP. Upwork simply didn’t have a formula for skill checking Golang developers. In this case, Emir was shown the door.


96% of Tech Employees Don’t Have Confidence in Recruiters


Upwork itself isn’t a developer recruitment agency. However, recruitment agencies use similar formulas for hiring employees.


By using formulas, few recruiters take a holistic look at tech employee resumes. Instead, most hire developers who tick specific boxes and look good on paper—even though many might lack appropriate experience.


Because recruiters often fail to hire competent developers, 96% of tech employees say that recruiters are incapable of hiring top talent. As a result, many prefer to asses developer skills themselves.


70% of Tech Companies Now Encourage Employee Referrals


When development recruitment agencies fail to source skilled employees, tech businesses take a hit financially. Productivity slows, and existing employee morale suffers. This is why 70% of tech companies now encourage employee referrals.


As well as encouraging tech employee referrals, referrals themselves currently account for 50% of all major tech company new hires. Referrals also lower recruitment costs and increase employee retention. However, some argue that the popularity of referrals is hurting diversity in the tech industry.


Developer Recruitment and Diversity


Referral platforms are increasingly seen as a Holy Grail for tech companies. As well as lower recruitment costs, employers are able to have more confidence in new hires. This is why even platforms like Linkedin now make it possible to refer connections to employers.


Sadly, some say that referrals undermine diversity in the tech industry. This, some say, is why men typically account for most new hires. Moreover, this (apparently) is why even Google struggles to onboard more female employees.


Developer Recruitment Vs. Project Outsourcing


Inviting employee referrals is an effective way to sidestep stress associated with working with a software development recruitment agency. However, another option is to completely outsource the development of new software projects. This is thanks to the fact that outsourcing eliminates the need to hire software engineers in the first place.


All companies need to do when outsourcing, is invest time researching development agencies that are a good match for their specific project requirements.

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