What The Recruitment Process Looks Like

From the outside a recruitment process is fairly opaque. As someone applying for their first developer role it can be easy to get lost with who’s who. Let’s go through the high level journey of recruitment for a role.

The job interview is often only one small part of the hiring process. Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

Remember, the process will always be slightly different for each company and each person but the common building blocks are often there.

  • Company identifies they need an additional person and speaks with a recruitment agency (sometimes done by a specialist team withint the company) to post an advert and job description.
  • The applicant (you) see this advert and decide to apply.
  • You will most likely be asked to provide a CV and potentially a cover letter.
  • The recruiter will then shortlist a number of candidates, filtering out the people who are clearly unsuitable and share them with the hiring manager. They may do this by speaking with the applicants themselves before forwarding them on.
  • The hiring manager will then often select a subset of candidates to hold a telephone interview with, these are usually around 30 minutes long.
  • A small number of people are then invited in for a face to face interview (obviously in the current climate this may be done slightly differently).
  • The hiring manager then assesses each candidate and decides which, if any, would be suitble for the role.

Ok, so let’s assume you’re the selected candidate. What happens next?

  • The recruiter will most likely call you either way to get your impression on how the interview went. They will most likely update you on whether they’ve heard anything on whether the company intends to make an offer. Bear in mind that a hiring manager may have many interviews for a single role and will often wait until finishing all interviews before offering the role.
  • If you are selected then the recruiter will often give you a verbal offer, or let you know that the company intends to make you an offer. Nothing is binding at this stage but it’s often wise to give an honest view of whether you would accept or not. It would be impolite for you to let a company go through the efforts of getting a contract out to you if you have no intention of accepting.
  • The recruiter will most often want to discuss start dates with you. This is great news, however if you are in an existing role you shouldn’t hand in your notice until until you’ve read the contract from the new company. It’s safe to assume you’ll be able to start 2 weeks plus any notice period you currently have, but these can always be adjusted once you’ve agreed your last day.
  • You will be issued with a contract of employment which you will be asked to sign and return.

So there you have it, the entire process! I’m going to break these various steps down over the upcoming weeks but there are a few points I want to highlight now.

It’s a long journey from advert to offer! Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Sometimes, especially if a company is hiring multiple people in the same role they may run an Assessment Centre rather than going through the entiring process for each candidate. These are nothing to be afraid of, and can be a lot of fun. But it’s often very daunting to meet (and be expected to work with) people who are competing against you for a small number of roles.

It’s important that you’re assessing the company as much as they are judging you. Hopefully you’re going to be spending several years of your life at this organisation and working with the hiring manager. If you feel uneasy around them or don’t think you would fit in there then there’s nothing wrong with turning down a job offer. It’s disappointing for the hiring manager to lose someone they feel would be a good person for a role but if your aspirations are elsewhere you should listen to that.

Finally, a LOT of candidates apply for roles. Especially during difficult times (like we’re expecting in 2021). Look for ways to stand out. I’m not talking about bringing cake to the interview or wearing bright colours to the interview but think about what differentiates you and makes you unique. Make connections with the recruiter and hiring manager by asking questions and always show your interest.

I intend to cover recruitment in a lot more detail over the next few weeks but hopefully there’s enough here to get you started.

As always if there are any questions please get in touch and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter.

So You Want To Be A Software Developer?

I’ve been working in Software Development for over ten years now. First as an engineer, then a tech lead, and now a manager. It’s an extremely exciting, challenging, and rewarding industry to work in but it can also be stressful and quite opaque from the outside.

I had the misfortune of leaving university in 2008, right in the middle of the financial crisis. I’d like to be able to tell you about rejection letter after disappointing email but the truth was more often than not I head nothing. I was one of the lucky ones, after three months of sending applications off onto the void I stumbled across a small company in Harrogate who took me on and saw my potential as a future developer. I’m immensely grateful to Bill, Joy, Pete, Chet and the others who invested in me and gave me that opportunity to show that this was an industry I could thrive in.

People looking to enter IT in 2021 are going to be facing competition just as difficult, if not more so than I did. I want to help. That’s why, over the next few weeks I want to blog and write my advice, suggestions, and advice for anyone looking to join the industry for the first time. I’m in an immensely fortunate position of having gone full circle from applicant, to engineer, to experienced hiring manager and this is my attempt to pay if forward for all the people who have helped me along my journey.

If you would like to receive this information then please subscribe to my blog and follow the Twitter Account. I would also like to set up a mailing list but, as that’s likely cost £££s I’ll wait until I’ve got a few people following along and feeding back to make sure I’m not spending purely for my own vanity.

The software industry is not what you see in the movies!

So what is working in the software industry actually like?

First, there’s a lot less creation of new software than you may actually expect. There are “greenfield” projects as we call them. But these are usually with either startups (which can be potentially risky) or an established company investing heavily in a new product. The majority of software roles out there are for established companies wanting to fix bugs and expand the functionality of their existing systems.

We rarely work alone. Most companies have teams of around seven people called Scrum Teams. These teams will contain a mix of developers and testers, most will also contain a representative from the business called a Product Owner.

Professional Software Developers rarely work alone, teams of around seven people are most traditional.

When most people think of development they think of websites and mobile apps because those are the most visible. However, unless you decide to specialise in web or mobile you’re much not likely to find a role building membership systems (my second job), warehouse stock inventory, or finance (my current job). Software is everywhere and there are IT jobs out there in sectors you haven’t even heard of yet.

I want to finish this post by asking you a question. I’ve interviewed more people than I can count and asked hundreds of questions in interviews, I want to give you practice answering these questions so you don’t get stuck when you find yourself on the phone or in an interview situation.

Given what you know what especially appeals to you about working in the software industry?

Think of your answer and let me know how you’d answer either on Twitter, via email, or by posting in the comments below.

I hope you found this post useful. As I mentioned above this is going to be the first in a series which I will aim to publish each Thursday. So please subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter, join my email list (when it’s available), and share it with anyone else you know who’s likely to be looking for a role in software development in 2021.