Common Recruiting Mistakes When Hiring Software Developer (and How to Avoid Them)

Mistakes in communication with IT specialists during the recruiting process

ITExpert team 23.02.2023
ITExpert Blog Recruitment
Mistakes in communication with IT specialists during the recruiting process
critical mistakes in recruiting process

An outstanding IT specialist can receive several job offers per month. It is easy to lose him or her because of a non-critical recruiting mistake.

We have compiled a list of common mistakes that can make you lose a candidate. And we also share tips on how to avoid them at different stages of recruiting.

First email

Overusing fancy structures

If it looks like the email is too dull and dry, it might only look like that to you. Candidates don’t expect creativity, jokes, or exceptional literary style. They need information.

Mentioning “A cozy office”, “friendly team” and “cookies” is bad manners in recruiting, regardless of the field. If there are really worthwhile bonuses, mention them at the end of the email: corporate English classes, a corporate library, medical insurance, and gym fees.

In addition, forget about epithets, they are also uninformative. Instead of mentioning “market leaders”, say that several companies use our product. Instead of an “interesting project”, say “we use such and such unique technologies or approaches”. Leave the conclusions to the candidate.

Example of a bad vacancy description

Not saying anything

There are critical points for an IT specialist when choosing a potential employer. They should become the guideline for the plan of the first email. For example:

  • Project. What software your company produces.
  • Technology stack. Only those technologies that are actually used for work.
  • Salary range and other bonuses.
  • Working overtime. If this concept does not exist in the company, just mention it. If this is actually possible, provide compensation options.
  • Work schedule. Whether it is possible to work remotely.

After that, provide information on additional bonuses and other important details of the project. Now the candidate has enough information to understand if he or she is interested in the offer.


Not reading the CV

If you are interviewing, carefully study the candidate’s CV. No need to ask him to talk about previous work experience if it was described in the resume. If there is a question about the responsibilities in a particular company, then it is better to immediately proceed with them.

It also makes no sense to ask questions that you already have the answers to.

Not understanding the topic

Yes, it’s corny. However, not only does the applicant need to prepare for the interview. The recruiter is not required to understand all the technical issues, but it is necessary to have an idea of what the candidate will do.

Basic questions to ask in advance:

  • What tasks will the specialist perform?
  • What is the project tech stack?
  • Will the candidate work independently or as part of a team?
  • How is the development process organized? What methodologies are used?
  • Who is the future team leader?

Copying top companies

There is no need to just copy questions from interviews at Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook. Developers themselves are eager to work for those. So the question “why do you want to work with us?” is really appropriate in that case only. But their approach will not suit most others. For example, if you are only launching a product under an NDA, then there will be no benefit from such a question.

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Not setting goals

Hard skills in most cases will be checked at the next stage — a technical interview. In the first stage, it is important to understand whether a person is suitable for the company. Whether they blend in with the team or correspond to the values.

Make a list of critical soft skills that you need to understand by the end of the interview. And write questions that will lead to the answers you need.

In most cases, direct questions are a bad option. To the question: “Do you know how to take responsibility?” — hardly anyone will answer no. Better ask about the biggest failure and how the candidate then coped with the situation. 

Sending a job offer

Offering knowingly unacceptable conditions

For an IT specialist, your project is first and foremost his or her work. There is simply no point in sending an offer with a salary below the one that a person already has in their current company. The option “we will raise your salary, but after a while” is also unlikely to work. It’s better to reject a candidate right away.

Not sending a rejection letter

If the person is not suitable for the position, then be sure to write to him or her about it. If you can specify the reasons for the refusal, it would be perfect. In this case, there is a real chance that the candidate will try to apply to you after some time when they  improve their skills. Plus, it will positively impact your employer’s brand.

Example of a good rejection letter


Not conducting pre-onboarding

Start onboarding before the candidate arrives at the office. Clarify their preferences in technology. Create work email and accounts on the right platforms and set up the necessary access. Share links to the rules and important principles of working in the company.

Before creating accounts, it is better to clarify the preferred transliteration of the person’s first and last name as well (e.g. if you work with developers from Ukraine).

Overloading with the information right away

Do not try to give the candidate all the necessary information at once on the first day. It’s tiring and overwhelming. It is better to divide this into a couple of days and let the person smoothly enter the workspace. And also make a schedule of meetings and activities for the first week.

Let the onboarding process slide by itself

Don’t leave the candidate alone once you’ve provided the necessary information. Ask if there are any difficulties, wishes if they need help with something.

It is important to understand that these are only some of the mistakes that can be made. Therefore, a win-win option when searching is to use the services of a recruiting agency, at least in the early stages. The agencies already have well-established search processes and extensive experience in communicating with candidates. In this way, you will save time, and candidates with relevant experience who share your values ​​will come to the technical interview.

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