Hiring people with an extraordinary skill set and charisma sounds like an ideal deal for every company. Most companies have figured out various ways to assess candidates based on CVs, tests, and online assessments. While these methods reduce the hassle for the hiring managers, there are some mistakes they make in hiring a software engineer.

Who Is A Software Developer?

Before you start shooting off questions on a developer, you need to identify their approach towards technology, programming, and life in general. Software development is not just a science but an art and a good engineer is able to craft systems, develop projects and most of all is able to comprehend the interactions of several modules of code. Hence, you cannot judge them entirely based on numbers.

Here are few not-so-good ways of hiring them:

Measuring Speed

Most programmers around the world believe in creating a sustainable program me, which is robust and well thought of. The developer who writes fast code might be smart but it does not mean he can write clean, maintainable, and robust code.

Algorithms Or Theory

Gaining popularity and adoption of programming websites like SPOJ, Topcoder and CodeChef has created a whole new community of people (mostly students and freelancers) who like solving problems based on CS theories, algorithms, and few other concepts. For an experienced developer, however, years might have passed by since the last time he saw a sorting algorithm.

There’s no better way to waste time than ask a front-end guy to solve an algorithmic problem.

Whiteboard Whitewash

This is the most popular of all methods and yields terrible results. Do you really want a developer, who might go on to work with you, to solve a pointless exercise when you have better ways to assess and know them? Most developers we’ve met did not perform well on whiteboard but were quite promising on online tests (P.S: We’ve ditched the whiteboard interviews and you should too.)

One Size Fits All Assessment

With the rise of tech and online assessment tools, companies are much more inclined towards pre-screening candidates using online tests.

Though these tests speed up the process of selection, they miss one key point – that for every role, you need to craft specific tests.

Most of the organisations fail to identify this, not only making the process futile for themselves but frustrating for the candidate as well.

How Developers Actually Want To Be Hired

Developers are not actually looking for an easy gateway to your company but they want to be valued for what they are. They want to be gauged in terms of their proficiency in technologies and the ability to write quality code.

Companies should not compromise candidate experience as it helps to get the best out of developers. If you are using any tool for assessing a developer, get a constant feedback on their experience and how you can improve the process. Most of all focus on asking them real-world problems rather than the abstract ones.

Today, you can find many companies hiring for front-end development roles. Why not ask them to make a call to Twitter API and fetch the latest images and tweets with a particular hashtag and display in a feed?

This is just one example but there can be many more interesting and practical ways to test skills. And who knows? It might lead to your next hire.

[This post by Rohit Tirkey first appeared on DoSelect and has been reproduced with permission.]

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