Building a Great Team of Software Architects and Engineers – A Recruiter’s Perspective

Recruiting is a relationship business. And, I don’t just mean networking outside the office. There’s so much more to it than just “recruiting.” Of course, looking outside the office walls to identify talent and form relationships is undoubtedly an important part of building a great team, however; it pales in comparison to the essential relationship building that also needs to occur internally.

Here at Daugherty Minneapolis, our SA&E team is currently composed of 25 talented Software Engineers with a wide variety of technical skills. They’re all incredibly innovative and eager to learn and work together as a team. Therefore, each new addition can considerably influence the dynamic and capability of the group, branch, and enterprise as a whole. So, how do we as recruiters ensure we are making hires that will contribute in a way that builds an even more exceptional team?

1. Spend time getting to know your team and company.

The team is the lifeblood of what informs, inspires and drives a recruiter to bring in the best talent possible. It allows us to speak knowledgeably to the strengths and opportunities that we currently face, and close relationships with the team and team’s leaders create a shared sense of responsibility when assessing and attracting candidates. Your team has to trust that you are doing everything you can to search for best candidates because you have put in the effort to understand them and their needs.

2. Make the interview a collaborative process

Setting up interviews can be challenging, especially when your team is busy with client projects and commitments. I am lucky to have a team that gives back the same degree of care and personal responsibility for doing everything they can to facilitate a thorough and positive interview experience for each candidate. They take the responsibility of hiring each candidate seriously, understanding the impact it will have.

Keep in mind how valuable their time is and work with them to minimize the distraction to their day. We work in collaboration at Daugherty Minneapolis, making sure we get the right person to speak to the candidate, the first time. For example, some candidates want more specific insight into technologies, vision or even specific examples of how we operate with our clients. Having formed relationships with the team, I am able to quickly facilitate a conversation with the person who would be best suited to speak with the candidate.

The benefits of a close Recruiter/Team relationship are endless, but they all boil down to the same result — A better collaboration for the recruiter to engage and attract the best candidates for the team’s needs and a team that has skin in the game in the interview process.

Where to Start

So how do you build these relationships, right? First, attend regularly scheduled events and meetings (even the ones that you typically wouldn’t see recruiters attending). These events lend perspective on how your team works (ie. hack nights, sprint demos, etc.). Eat lunch together, sit in technical interviews (you will learn a lot and see how your candidate interacts in a peer technical setting), and most of all, be present and open to passing conversations. Most developers get into a zone while working and interrupting them can be a setback to workflow. Take advantage of free time that can often lead to the most serendipitous and productive information shares.

Hiring the right technical talent can be challenging, whether you have a full team of recruiters or you’re a startup just beginning to build your company. The most important thing to remember is it’s all about the team, and making the wrong hire can be costly in more ways than just monetarily.

Get closer with your team and build a support network that will allow you to be the best recruiter for your company. It’s made all the difference for me at Daugherty. That close connection is what gets me up in the morning knowing that regardless of what the day brings, we are committed to the success of continuing to grow the best team possible together. We also have fun while doing it. Start building the camaraderie. And, if you’re not sure exactly where to begin, start with bacon and Linux. Developers love bacon and Linux.