This is How to Join a Software Company and Feel Great

in Culture, Business by Adrian & Piotr on May 20th, 2019

“Guys, your hiring process is so much different from the reality I knew until now” – these are the words coming from a developer after his job interview at DeSmart. Why is our developers’ recruitment process a game-changer? Why have we turned tech recruitment inside-out? Are you ready to discover the new and unique way to get a job in a teal software company? Let’s dive in!

Why don’t you start with giving yourself a pat on the back? Because it’s a golden age for software developers, and thousands of front-end and back-end openings posted on IT job boards like Polish justjoin.it, and millions you can find on LinkedIn, only prove that point.

The rapidly-growing demand for software engineers isn’t going to change anytime soon, so it’s up to you, as a developer, what tech company you join and when you make a career move.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

Although corporates in general, and software companies in particular, do whatever it takes to make you gravitate to their vacancies, just after a few interviews you might notice that they are all the same – soul-sucking and cold.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

What skills do I need enter a good IT company?

Without kidding ourselves – qualified candidates for developers are best-friends with the technology, and to be more specific – the programming languages and frameworks they use.

And this is where most human resources efforts focus… and end. They expect you to brag your developing skills, and possibly to prove you’re not a coding monkey.

Luckily, the change is emerging from the horizon. More and more publications highlight how soft skills, such as empathy, communication, or creativity, are vital in terms of being the most valuable software developer.

Our recruiting strategy and empathetic approach at DeSmart is like a high-five with that trend.

How to interview and choose software developers (and make a difference)?

So, how do we do it in our software house? Knowing what aspects matter most in bringing high-end software solutions to life, we have decided to pump more blood into our interview process.

“Unlike other companies, we don’t start with checking your coding skills” – says Piotr “Duch” Duszyński, CEO at DeSmart, and co-founder of UXPin. – “The first meeting has a different purpose – it’s about discovering you as a person, what drives you and how would you like the way we work and who we are.”

That’s more than just breaking the ice between an employer and job seekers. It’s saying farewell to old-school, drained from emotions, tech recruiting. And it works!

Here’s how Wojtek, a candidate for our software engineer underlined the friendly atmosphere he experienced during our recruitment process:

“You can tell that this technology company cares a lot about completing their team from individuals with the right personalities.” – says Wojtek, and that perfectly comes in line with our values. – “The very first meeting is about getting to know each other and feeling the vibe between you and people with whom you will be creating the company, literally!”

We will get back to the creating-the-company aspect later on (SPOILER ALERT – we are a teal organization), but right now let’s reconstruct our hiring process step by step:

Step 1: Going outside with our job openings

As we are on a hunt for top-notch PHP, React Native, Javascript / React, and node.js developers we start with posting on our website which of course isn’t reinventing the wheel.

Then, we’re going where most of the Polish software companies and IT job seekers go lately – to justjoin.it job board.

But we’re not just sitting and waiting with arms crossed over our chests. LinkedIn gives everyone an enormous chance to reach out directly to the most promising and talented players in this game. And we made it a part of our recruiting tactic plan.

Step 2: Hey! Glad we caught your attention!

How many times have you applied for an exciting position, and then… crickets? Nothing? Silence?

We don’t approve the idea of not getting back to candidates. It’s frustrating and unfair not to know what’s happening with your job application.

Let Wojtek speak again. This is how he reacted to our response at the beginning of the recruitment:

“Although the majority of IT companies don’t even bother answering each job application, DeSmart tries to answer right away. Their response shows already at this initial stage that this software house is open for a type of communication that suits you most. You can write back or call to schedule a meeting. I called.” – admits Wojtek.

Step 3: A long call before we even meet? No problem!

Even though headhunters tend to make a more extended call with potential candidates, in most cases phone calls from corporate HR specialist serve one particular purpose.

Wojtek:

“In fairness, I had a few phone calls with recruiters, and they were short and focused on scheduling an interview meeting and exchanging as many information as possible within a couple of minutes. When it comes to this first phone call, DeSmart is leaving other IT companies far behind.”

Let’s break it down:

“They highly concentrate on YOU and YOUR place in the company, instead of emphasizing the company itself. It lasts as long as it needs to – if you want to fire away questions or your opinions, it’s the right time to do so, and nobody will stop you from asking them. My phone call with Desmart was over 30 minutes long.” – Wojtek continues unintentionally answering a question: “How to recruit a developer to a tech firm?”

What happens next?

Step 4: Let’s meet and don’t play games.

Here comes the first meeting – a job interview that is far from a classic job interview. Why? Because it looks more like a social meeting, with people, who are about to decide to hang out with each other or not.

“I always underline our intention to put honesty first” – says Piotr Duszyński. - “If it clicks between us and we decide to run a second meeting, it will be fantastic. But if it doesn’t work out, it will still be fine because we had a chance to spend some time together and talk. Don’t hold back what you feel about something we say about work. No games or hidden intentions, just honesty”.

There’s another crucial thing:

Step 5: The both-ways feedback

What’s missing in the mainstream tech recruitment is the lack of feedback. Most probably, you leave a meeting with only your gut-feeling how did it go. But you don’t know anything for sure, because recruiters don’t bother being upfront with you.

“We have radically taken it to another level” – Piotr Duszyński smiles. - “Not only we give you feedback at the end of our conversation, but we also expect you to share your feedback with us. We honestly say what we liked about you, and if there’s something we don’t agree – we don’t sweep it under the carpet. And that works both ways – we highly encourage you to speak your mind and say how do you see our future cooperation.”

Let’s get back to Wojtek:

“That is another aspect, where Desmart put others to shame. And this feedback-sharing it’s not about politeness and white lies. If you didn’t like something you can say it with no negative consequences. In return, you can expect honest feedback, instead of empty courtesy-words and a formula all applicants hear. What you hear at DeSmart is about you only, and the other way around – what you say in your feedback will bring value for the company.”

When both sides are happy, there’s another stage in a way:

Step 6: OK, now we can talk about coding.

Whereas plenty of recruiters scratch their heads with questions like: “What is the best way to recruit good programmers?”, “What is a good developer recruiting process?”, or “What are the best practices when hiring software developers?”, we follow our instincts.

After the first meeting, we both know if we are a good match with a developer.

The second meeting is the time to focus on technology and how fluent you are with a specific language.

What's it like to work in a Teal organization?

Yes, as we teased a couple of paragraphs up, DeSmart operates as a teal organization. And one of the three sets of questions applicants get from us before the first phone call, consist of those:

  • Have you ever heard about teal companies?
  • If yes, why would you like to work in this sort of a company?
  • If no, read this article and watch this video, and then let us know what you think.
“Talking about the teal philosophy and our approach to run a software house dominates the first meeting with our applicants. And, yes, for some of the developers this business model is mind-blowing” – admits Piotr “Duch” Duszyński. – “It’s about mutual trust, equality, but also bigger responsibility and engagement.”

Although for some tech job seekers it seems exotic and from a different world, many developers feel super-excited when we visualize their future role in tech firm where everyone is equal.

Paweł, another job applicant, recalls the first meeting in DeSmart’s office:

“It was terrific to hear that working in the teal model is possible and you are making it happen. It is so much different from the reality I had to face during my first job.”

Previously quoted Wojtek also mentions the aspect of having a real impact on how the company works:

“It is possible thanks to the idea that DeSmart software house is a group of equal partners, instead of military-like hierarchy organization.”

However, our recruitment process isn’t all about enticing developers with a simple idea of the outgoing style and fantastic work atmosphere. We’re also provoking applicants to see more critical approach come to the surface. If someone doesn’t seem to believe in teal already at this stage, it’s better to know it faster.

Why?

Because, naturally, this style doesn’t appeal to all. After years spent in corporates or even medium-sized companies with a classical structure, some professionals can’t imagine that they don’t have to consult each detail with a manager, or a team leader.

“In our teal model, you’re calling shots. If you want to write something different or to sign up for an online course, you have been thinking about for months, you can do it - it’s your decision” – convinces Piotr Duszyński. – “We trust you know what you’re doing, and that the company will benefit from it.”

And here’s the bottom line:

As we spotlighted in our “Does teal mean anarchy?” article, the teal approach also refers to the finances. At the end of each quarter, we turn on the profit-sharing.

Quoting after Ewa’s article:

“The shareholders get half of the profit, and the rest of the team – the other half. Together, they decide what amount of money to spend on their everyday needs, new office equipment, the recruitment of new people, etc.”

Are you in?

Are you ready to discover the unique way to get hired in a software house? Are you ready to unleash your potential in a teal organization and find your best decision of your software development career?

Check our open positions. We can’t wait to meet you!


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