In the past few years, there has been a proliferation of mobile apps on the App Store and Play Store alike. Companies and services of all domains that were generally restricted to having either web operations or online operations started opting for mobile apps as an alternative method of reaching their customers and offering their services. As a result, the number of apps on app stores has increased dramatically. This increase has also been attributed to the rise of platforms that allow for creating apps without any coding requirement.
However, it is important to understand that mobile app development is a specialised profession. People study and code for years before they can build the perfect mobile app. This is why the role of mobile app developer has grown more prevalent and is here to stay. Companies not related to the field of technology have also started hiring mobile app developers as their clients prefer the use of mobile over the internet.
As the number of mobile app developers has increased, so has the options for companies looking to hire these developers. Thus, the skill sets required for a mobile app developer keep evolving, and developers are expected to keep these skills up to date.
How to Hire a Mobile App Developer
If you are looking to hire the best mobile app developer from the available pool, you must take a series of judicious actions. Here is a list of these steps to choose the best candidate.
Determine Your Requirements
The first step toward hiring a competent mobile app developer is to brainstorm. You need to decide the requirements of the mobile app you are looking to develop and the kind of developer that you want to hire. You must determine whether you want to develop an Android or an iOS app and whether this app needs to be completely integrated with your website or standalone. Does the app need to have certain essential features that require specialised skills? How many apps do you want to create? What is the period in which you are looking to release these apps?
Once your questions regarding the target app have been answered, you can move on to questions about the kind of resource you are looking to hire. Is it a part-time employee or a full-time one? Do you want to hire an app developer only to develop the app or to maintain it continuously as well?
Answering these questions will help you build not just a list of requirements for your app and prospective employees but also gives you greater clarity about your aims for the hiring process. When you proceed through the steps of this process, it will help you choose among equally qualified candidates with different skill sets. It will also help you when your chosen candidate starts developing the required application and will enable you to guide them.
The Job Description
Human resource teams generally do not give job descriptions the importance that they deserve. These aren’t just a tool to communicate your job requirements to your candidates. Job descriptions can tell your candidates a lot about the personality of your company, the people who form its top management, and the kind of employees it hires. The job description is the first impression of the job role perceived by the candidate. This is the reason that you might often come across job descriptions that span hundreds of words.
There are a few sections that are mandatory to include in the job description. Firstly, do not forget to introduce your company and the position on offer. Next, an important section is the one on the required educational qualifications. Specifically, when it comes to hiring a mobile app developer, you should not restrict yourself to certain basic qualifications to narrow your field. This is because several extremely talented mobile app developers work as freelancers and might not necessarily hold a degree. Another section is the one on job requirements. Here, you can lay out in precise detail the responsibilities of the employee. This allows prospective candidates to visualise a day at your organisation and imagine whether they will be able to work there to the best of their abilities. Also, list down the languages that are essential to be known and the frameworks the employee will be working on.
Start Your Search
Simply putting your job requirement on your website does not guarantee that you will be flooded with applications. Even if you are, there is no guarantee that these will be the best candidates available in the market. To generate excitement among the best candidates, your job listing needs to reach them. There are several ways to ensure this.
If you have a development team, you can get them to share the job listing with other developers they might know. Generally, if one of the candidates referred by your employees gets selected, the referring employee also gets a bonus as a token of appreciation. This acts as an added incentive to your employees. You can also hire professional recruiters from job listing websites who will get in touch with appropriate candidates looking for jobs. Another option is to join mobile application developer communities through the many forums and social media websites. These communities will generally have a separate section or channel on which jobs can be posted. An advantage of such communities is that active members are well versed in mobile development and are likely to be great candidates for your post. You can also look for code repositories on GitHub that match the kind of code you are looking to develop and invite the members or developers of these repositories to apply for your opening.
Revisit Your Budget
For the past decade or so, mobile app developers have been in great demand. Their skills and expertise have been solicited by nearly all companies, regardless of the industry. At the same time, the number of mobile app developers has been rising every year. However, the expansion in the pool of competent mobile app developers has not been commensurate with the rise in demand. Hence, the compensations of mobile app developers have been going up by the year. This is the primary reason you might have to revisit your budget multiple times during the hiring process. Even the largest of companies are typically limited in the compensations that they can offer mobile app developers. This compensation can depend on several different factors.
The most important among these factors is the level at which you are hiring the developer. At the entry level, salaries can still be high, but not as high as senior or manager positions. Even at the entry level, the compensation that you offer can vary with the skills and the level of experience of the developer. Developers who have worked with a few companies before might generally warrant a higher salary, while those who are freshers and for whom yours is the first company can be hired for a lot less. These considerations must be factored in when you determine your final budget for the developer’s salary.
Setting a Skill Benchmark
One of the best parts about hiring a candidate based on coding skills is that there is an abundance of benchmarks on which you can base your hiring decision. But in non-coding-related jobs, determining a numerical benchmark for skills can be hard. In fact, you might often just have to go by the candidate’s word on having specific skills if you can’t test each of these skills yourself. However, when it comes to coding, you can set an upper limit for the rank or skill rating that your candidate might have on any one of the many ranking platforms available. Most coders will be a part of these competitive coding platforms, and their rank can be a reflection of their skills compared to their peers.
If you do not wish to take the chance with an external platform, you can design a coding test for your candidates, which can first be given to one of your employees with similar skill sets. Once you have received the results of this test, you can set these results as a benchmark for candidates. Candidates who clear the benchmark may be shortlisted for further rounds, while those who do not are eliminated. Almost all coding jobs have a technical round before the interview rounds to assess the candidates’ expertise in the required fields. These rounds are required to be highly selective, and setting stringent benchmarks can ensure the candidates who move forward are genuinely skilled.
Talent Acquisition Metrics for Hiring
Once you have received enough applications for the advertised post, you can close further applications and start shortlisting from among the applicants. As an alternative, you can have a rolling system of applications, in which you screen every application as it is submitted. There are several methods using which you can shortlist candidates for the further steps of your recruitment process.
You can shortlist candidates based on certain quantitative criteria. You can definitely determine certain skills and aptitude of your candidates with tests like problem solving test or a critical thinking test. These are objective and mark your candidates based on the information they have submitted. There could be certain marks for the number of years of experience the candidate has. Similarly, there could be points for the number of essential languages the candidate knows and the number of relevant projects they have worked on. Such points-based systems will typically be used if a large number of candidates have applied for a limited number of positions. It is also important to remember that to implement such points-based system, your job application must be designed such that the task of assigning points can be automated.
Another method of shortlisting is the more frequently used subjective method of CV-based shortlisting. In this method, your HR team will go over every detail of the application a candidate has submitted. The choice of candidates for further rounds will be based on a holistic review of applications and resumes. This is a more time-consuming process but also more effective in selecting the best candidates.
Once you have reviewed your candidates’ resumes, it is time to start testing them as per your own criteria. We previously discussed how a test could be designed and given by one of your current employees to set a benchmark for candidates. This is the time that your candidates sit for this test. The technical test or coding round is generally the most heavily eliminating round after CV-based shortlisting. Depending on the number of openings you have and the skill sets that you want your candidate to possess, you can determine the difficulty level of the exam. Also, you must try and ensure the questions in the coding round are closely reflective of the challenges your mobile app developers are likely to face on the job. This helps the candidate assess their fit for the job, and you can assess the performance of the candidate when faced with such typical problems.
In the coding round, there are two ways by which you can select candidates for the further process. You can set a benchmark, as discussed above. All candidates scoring above this benchmark will be shortlisted. Another method is to simply determine the number of candidates you want for the next part of the process, depending on the number of open positions. Once you have this number, select that many candidates from the top of the rank list of your exam.
Coding rounds are highly effective in determining the cream of the candidate pool. However, simply being able to solve a given set of problems is never enough. To solve more complex future issues that might arise on the job, your candidates must be sound in their fundamentals of mobile app development and computer science. This, and several other considerations, can be assessed using technical interviews.
Technical interviews are generally the penultimate round of the recruitment process. The technical interview is usually not taken by a member of the human resources team but by the team the selected candidate will be working in. An advantage of this approach is that the manager whom the candidate will be reporting is introduced to them and gets an idea of the competency and abilities of every good candidate. The team of the eventual employee has a say in the recruitment process for the first time during this round.
Questions asked in the technical round will typically be of two types. Firstly, there will be questions based on the fundamental concepts of development. These are meant to assess the candidates’ familiarity with basic concepts of the field they will be working in. The second will be questions based on the candidate’s resume. The interviewer can ask the candidate to explain a project they have worked on or give a brief overview of their time in an earlier company.
The Final Interview
The last and final round of a recruitment process is generally the soft skills interview. In this round, the human resources team is involved again but will also be accompanied by a member of the senior management. Companies have, over time, grown to give immense importance to the attitude and soft skills of candidates. This is due, in part, to the globalisation of the field of technology, and specifically web and app development. Mobile app developers are supposed to interact and engage with clients based in other countries. It is therefore important for them to be confident and have great command over their language of communication.
Additionally, they must also be able to work in teams and communicate clearly with team members and their managers. These capabilities are immensely important in an employee, whether at the managerial or entry level. Through simple personality-based questions, interviewers attempt to assess a candidate’s mindset and choose those who exhibit the right approach toward their vocation and the specific job.
It is evident from the above points that the recruitment of mobile app developers can be a tough task involving detailed steps. Among the many reasons for this process’s complexity is the growth in the number of mobile app developers over the past few years; hence, choosing the best among the lot can be hard. Regardless, the steps outlined above can be of immense use to you in your search for the perfect mobile app developer for your team.