You Can’t Always Get the Developers You Want…but with Flexibility You Can Get the Ones You Need..

Another week passes, and you’re still no closer to filling the position.

Unlike most job openings that you’ve recruited for, this one has been particularly challenging. Your development team has tasked you with the near-impossible mission of recruiting a Ruby on Rails expert who is also willing to relocate to your corporate office. Ruby on Rails engineers are hard enough to come by, but someone who is willing to pack up and move?

That’s doubly complicated.

You’ve spent countless hours personally inviting hundreds of seemingly qualified developers. You’ve cross-promoted the position in every job board imaginable. You’ve even tried LinkedIn ads, but the response rate has been almost nonexistent.

To add to the stress, your hiring manager and the development team continue to press for results. You’ve tried asking for some leniency regarding relocation, but that hasn’t gone over very well. Simply put, you’re stuck in the middle of a difficult situation.

Then, genius strikes.

What if you could extend the opportunity to engineers with similar skill sets? Would a top-tier Python expert be a suitable option for your development team? After all, you’ve always heard there are commonalities between the Python language and Ruby on Rails framework. Could this be a viable solution to your problem?

You might be onto something. Let’s unpack this idea.

Preparing Your Pitch

Before you run down the hall to your hiring manager’s office, let’s take a step back and examine your idea a bit further. It’s no doubt an interesting idea, but, without the right data to support you, there’s a low probability that anyone will listen.

Here are a few suggestions to help you make a compelling case.

Do Your Homework: You’re probably not the first technical recruiter who has struggled with this exact same scenario. In today’s world of countless Saas tools, smartphone apps, and machine learning, there could be dozens of articles that explore the feasibility of placing hard to find developers. As with most things these days, doing a little online research could be the right place to start.

Assess the Opportunity: Your gut tells you there are more Python experts to choose from than Ruby on Rails developers. Based purely on LinkedIn developer group membership data (132K vs. 69K), you may be correct. What other data points could you use to support your theory?  

Talk to Colleagues that You Trust: Does your company already have a few Ruby on Rails developers on the payroll? If so, do you have a good enough relationship with any of them to pick their brains about your idea? What challenges do they foresee?

Analyze the Opportunity Costs: Even if your idea has merit, the first objection you’re likely to hear will involve the time and cost of training. Hiring an engineer with adjacent skill sets will yield additional onboarding considerations. You’ll need to weigh this reality against the opportunity cost of prolonged vacancy. Would your developers rather have someone now who might require training, or would they prefer to wait six more months for the “perfect match”?

Getting What You Need – Skills not Resume

To your surprise, everyone (including the development team) loved your idea of expanding the candidate pool to include Python engineers. In fact, your hiring manager recommended going one step further. She shared a blog post about skills-based recruiting, and suggested this situation might be the perfect use case to put more emphasis on a candidate’s skillset rather than sourcing them through traditional means such as LinkedIn or job boards.

Your flexibility in this situation proved to be a smart decision. Not only did it bail you out of a tough spot, it actually led you to discover a more scalable method of technical recruiting.

Check out CodeSignal Recruiter or attend a webinar to learn more.

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