Finding and Hiring Gifted Developers

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Gifting in context

I have from the very beginning tried to build Level 12 on people who are just really gifted. That’s the word I like to use. I think some people can do software development, who are not on the far end of the gifted spectrum, and they’re able to make their way through.

But at Level 12, we’re always in some ways up against the deadline, because it is expensive, what we do, we’re trying to deliver as much value as we possibly can in the shortest amount of time.

In addition to that, we’re almost always adding new features or trying to come up with something new for the client that adds value. As we tried to hire people for less money that often didn’t work out well for us. They just didn’t have that gifting that we really needed for somebody who could be really good in tech and good with the customer and meet the deadlines. And just all of that kind of adds up to you need a certain type of person who’s on the higher end of the scale in terms of gifting to be able to not just survive, but to thrive in that environment.

A process that delivers without playing games

And so at Level 12, one of the things that we do is we have a very,….we’ve thought through, we’ve developed a process. That’s very evidentiary. So, the process at Level 12 is very much a skills based process.

We want to as much as possible put the prospective candidate in a environment that simulates what they would do their work in. So as much as possible, letting them work in their own computer and their own laptop with their own tools, and then come up with problems and exercises for them to do that are not fake, they’re not brain teasers. They’re representative of the type of work that they would do if they work for us.

Long story short, it’s really the main thing that makes Level 12 different is the amount of effort that we put in and that we ask the candidate to put in, in actually doing programming work.

And then at the very end, if that all works out, they still come on site for a day or two and we basically do a work day or two together. We go out to lunch and we get to know them. Just to get to know them a little bit better, but we put a very work-centric problem in front of them and we give them a team lead to talk to and we see how they work.

All of that effort that we put in, gives us a pretty high sense of confidence if we’re going to make an offer to somebody that they can actually do the kind of work that Level 12 needs them to do. And at the high level that Level 12 needs them to do it.

For a more extensive look into our hiring philosophy, listen to this podcast Randy made with in 2019.

Also take a look at our careers page for one of the most detailed job descriptions you will ever see made by developers for developers.

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Originally published on 2020-06-08 by Royce Hall

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