An awesome recruitment process

A standard recruitment process

It is quite common for companies to use a very similar recruitment process. It is similar to such an extent that some companies even use the same questions while interacting with their applicants. The candidates can get fairly well prepared for interviews by reviewing stock questions to be found on the web. There seems to be room for improvement in the field.

 

Our goal for the recruitment process

In Selleo, we value certain personal characteristics and behaviours more than others. Selleo is a software development house, which means co-workers need to have both good collaboration skills and solid technical expertise. We need to establish whether the candidate has got both kinds of skills. We developed and implemented a fairly unique multi-stage recruitment process to identify the people who are a good fit for our context.

The Selleo recruitment process

The process varies depending on the candidate’s level of expertise – we have a process for recruits with little experience as well as a different approach for those with more skills to show. The former can be staged into the following steps:

  • programming exercises to solve at home
  • a culture & communication workshop
  • a three-week online course in Ruby or JavaScript
  • pair programming sessions in our offices

For more experienced people, we have modified the process:

  • programming exercises to solve at home
  • a culture & communication workshop
  • pair programming sessions in our offices

After each step the candidate receives feedback which they can use to improve in weaker areas.

Programming exercises to solve at home

In the first step the candidate receives a few exercises to solve in Ruby, JavaScript or a language of their choice. We value clean and readable code which is easy to extend. Having completed the exercises the candidate receives constructive feedback and – if we are satisfied with the output – we invite the person to take part in a culture and communication workshop.

Culture & communication workshops

The workshops are designed to check candidates for their collaboration skills and cultural fit. We need people who a fit our culture. The cultural fit is very important for us as it is one of the key ingredients of how things get done here in Selleo. The workshop is usually attended by five selleo co-workers and three candidates. This should ensure that we are in a position to assess the recruits quite thoroughly. During the session, all the participants solve a number of challenging exercises together. We assume a recruitment experience may be stressful for some people, and attempt to make it as comfortable as possible to ensure people behave naturally. The exercises themselves were designed with a view to reducing stress and improving interactions. One of them, for instance, consists in collaboratively building small objects from Lego. Candidates taking part in the workshop can vary in their technical expertise as there are no technical tasks involved in this stage of the process.

An online Ruby / Javascript course

If a candidate is new to Ruby or Javascript, it is necessary to see how fast a candidate can learn in a limited period of time. The technologies we use are changing rapidly, so we strive to engage and favour fast learners. After finishing the course, the candidate is invited to visit our offices and take part in pair-programming sessions to assess their progress.

Pair programming sessions

During pair-programming sessions with less experienced applicants, at least two lead developers attempt to establish if the candidate mastered the materials and if they are able to solve problems related to the latter. After the session, we provide the candidate with constructive feedback on the solutions they developed. When the candidate performs up to our expectations they are ready to start collaboration within one of the Selleo teams.

On project peer programming

When the candidate is more experienced, we invite them to join us to work on a real project for a period of at least 2 days. We do not need to introduce the whole project but rather limit ourselves to introducing the context for a given task to be performed. We try to understand the candidate’s approach to the problem, i.e. how he tackles down specific problems and challenges during the task implementation. When the task is completed, the candidate receives feedback on their performance and we decide if they are good enough to join the team.

Conclusion

Our recruitment process may seem to be a bit complex and time-consuming, yet it is of vital importance for ensuring there is a solid match between the candidate and the existing team. It does help to ensure mutual satisfaction further down the road of collaboration. Feel free to join us for the next recruitment workshop.

PS.

In 2015 Selleo was awarded HR Dream Team 2015 in Candidate Experience Management Innowacja i niestandardowe podejście do procesu.

simon – blog

Simon is a lead developer responsible for designing and building application’s architecture from the ground up. As a mentor and a testing advocate, he supports other developers in their efforts to design software applications with code optimization and scalability in mind. He enjoys leading teams and discussing with clients issues concerning technical recommendations and possible adjustments to requirements.