In the past year or so we have been scaling in team size and I am responsible together with our CTO for recruiting candidates of all types of technical background (Frontend, backend, operations, QA). I have not that much experience myself in doing the interviews (up till now I interviewed 20+ candidates).
We have some headhunters or recruitment offices help us with supplying candidates. I drill during the interviews into the soft skills, Cognitive ability and so on. The CTO drills deeper for the technical evaluation.
My focus point
I must say we do a quite well job in evaluating the candidates their technical skills. But technical skills is just, let's say 50-60% that makes a candidate a good candidate.
The other part is the soft skills and Cognitive ability like :
- Can the candidate learn new stuff easily ?
- Does the candidate stick to what (s)he knows or tries to find for new solutions or technologies?
- Can the candidate explain himself in clear language?
- Is the candidate structured or messy?
- How pro active is the candidate?
- How well is a team member a team player?
- How much can the candidate think outside the box ?
- How well can a candidate see the big picture ?
- How active does the canidate see issues and tries to fix them (technically, about development process, ...)
- Etc ...
I do understand it is impossible to have always a straight forward answer to all of these questions, and its a science itself to profile a candidate. I presume there is no utopia like that. So I am not asking for the impossible, but, at least the advice or experience of you guys. I have heard often, recruiting and interviewing is a skills that you improve by exercise, which is fine, but help is always useful. But rest assure, I understand this is no exact science ;)
How do you try to profile these soft skills and Cognitive abilities from technical candidates in an software development environment that you need to recruit for your team? Do you have any particular strategies or approaches that have been proven useful for yourself ? Please do share if you have any good question or approach.
I have been reading for example "How google works", it has a nice chapter on recruiting, but there isn't much other material that I found up till now. Most sources help the person on the other side of the table, the interviewee.
Note to the community
If this question is too open for a Q&A like this or not specific enough for Project Management space please let me know and I'll withdraw the this question.