Nick Caley is Sales Director at Client Server. Every month, he shares his thoughts on the tech hiring market.
I have fond memories from my early days at Client Server.
I learnt that recruitment is not for the faint-hearted, that mid-week drinking (for me anyway) was a must, and that I was a surprisingly chipper recruiter on a hangover for someone with little practice.
I learnt early on the value of high calibre candidates, what we at CS have always called 'Client Server Quality', or CSQ for short.
Back when recruitment was tough (yep, I said it…), finding CSQ candidates with the right motivations and expertise is what Messrs Boulton and Kerr drilled into us daily.
"But is he a proper engineer", Mr Kerr would say, and "what does he want to do…?"
I remember a comment an ex-C++ placement of mine had on his CV:
"In a 'C' language practical at University which was geared towards performance optimisation, the professor asserted that he already had the fastest possible solution and so our work would be graded according to how close they got to his. My program was faster.".
Now I must admit I enjoyed, and still enjoy, reading it – as did Mr Kerr – and thankfully, it was accurate, and he an exceptional engineer (there's that word again), but I digress.
What's more interesting for me now is that his question of motivation has never been more prevalent, but whether someone is a "proper engineer" feels a bit redundant.
Of course, the definition itself is open to debate. Still, in a young Nick Caley's eyes, it likely started with a degree in computer science from a reputable institution and then a penchant for algorithms, data structures and low-level programming.
To be fair, our clients would often reinforce this, and as someone who focused on the C++ market, I was perhaps biased. Still, these days it's refreshing to see more and more businesses focus on relevance to the job and specific skills for the right reasons, rather than obscure low-level knowledge.
And nowhere do we see this more than in the Mobile Engineering space.
Demonstrable app development experience is all that matters, and in some instances, the market value for those skills is skyrocketing.
We're seeing React Native engineers pushing six-figure salaries, and if you're a strong native mobile developer, you can be looking even higher.
Contracts are also back with a vengeance, with a recent Fintech client of ours looking for multiple mobile engineers and – off the back of a one-stage interview process – hiring a number within a week.
Sounds quick, right? It is, but it's kind of what it takes in the Mobile space right now.
So if you and/or your clients are doing the same, then try and leverage a candidate's personal projects, links and/or mobile apps. It can be an efficient way of showing what they can do and mean the process moves a little quicker.
That does require a leap of faith. But as with any tech hiring now, that's kind of a given.
It also shows candidates that your focus as a hiring business is on up-to-date and relevant experience – and not any of this:
and that can only be a good thing.