You want to grow your company and you need more developers. But finding talented developers who can consistently generate quality code is hard. We know it's hard, because we've been doing it for almost fifteen years. In fact, it was one of the reasons why X-Team was founded: to remove the hassle that comes with finding and hiring talented developers.
If you want to consistently hire great developers in-house, you need a good hiring process. This is true whether you're a small startup or a blue-chip company. A good hiring process will up the quality of your applicants while reducing the chances that you hire the wrong developer. In this blog post, we'll walk you through our hiring process, so you get a better idea of how X-Team finds, filters, and hires its talented developers.
As with all things marketing, first you need to understand your audience. We make sure we know where top developers are spending their time both when they are happily employed and when they're looking for a new job.
The latter is fairly easy to figure out. Job boards such as StackOverflow and WeWorkRemotely, as well as social media networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook, are common places to find developers in search of a new job. In our experience, you can find good candidates there, but you need review thousands of resumes to find them. We also constantly test new job boards to reach more developers.
Finding high-quality developers on job boards is a time-consuming process that requires you to sift through a lot of candidates. If you're too busy scaling and want high-quality developers at your disposal quickly, call X-Team instead.
While we advertise on job boards, the reality is that the best developers are already employed. That's why we spend far more time, money, and brainpower figuring out how we can attract the attention of those developers. We've spent well over a decade crafting the most energizing and inspiring company for developers. This means investing the majority of our profits back into our developers via:
- A $2,500 yearly Unleash+ budget for every developer
- Monthly X-Outposts in exotic locations
- Three-month Seasons full of events, prizes, and challenges
- A bounty system to win epic collectibles (and that's the tip of the iceberg)
X-Team exists entirely to support its developers, because we believe that energized, motivated, and inspired developers deliver their best work. This has been an extraordinary effort from a team in 50+ countries and it's by no means been easy to build. But if you want to attract the best developers, you need to give them an environment where they can see themselves stay; one that's focused on growth, flexibility, and fulfilment.
Referrals are also an important source of applicants for us, because a referral has the "stamp of approval" from at least one trusted insider. As a result, they're often high-quality applicants. That's why we incentivize X-Teamers to refer other developers for specific roles with high-paying rewards and internal currency that they can spend on collectibles or charity donations.
The bottom line is that you can't just "post and pray" if you want to attract and retain talented developers. You need to decide if you want to spend time and money to make your company the best place for developers to work at, or call companies like X-Team, whose entire purpose is to serve teams of high-quality developers and provide them to you at a moment's notice.
From the moment you open the floodgates with remote job postings, you'll need a strong filtering system. How you organize this will depend on the size of your company and on how many people apply. If you're a small startup, you could interview everyone who applies to find the right candidate. Just be aware that even small startups receive many applicants, particularly for remote positions.
We believe the best approach is to put a good filtering process in place from the start. It will save you a significant amount of time and money as your company grows. X-Team receives thousands of new applications every month. Our highly advanced, custom-built filtering system is a huge help for our recruitment team to select the right candidate for a role.
That filtering system is an internal product that we've spent a decade iterating on so we can easily source the right developers for our partners whenever they need them. If you don't have time to develop a sophisticated filtering system, you should consider one of several third-party applicant tracking systems.
In addition, we create content that helps applicants understand what will help them stand out and how they can improve their chances. This helps our applicants showcase themselves properly, which, in turn, helps our filters extract all useful data from applicants, from their work history to their preferred working hours to the soft skills they'd bring to our team.
X-Team's filtering system exists as part of an ecosystem of apps meant to make the lives of our recruitment team easier. We've written about this extensively in our blog post on holistic decision making, the framework we use to make better decisions in a complex, fast-moving world.
The recruitment journey for a potential X-Teamer begins with an intro call. This is an important moment, as it's not only a first impression for both of us, but an opportunity to understand expectations from both sides.
An intro call isn't meant to be an interrogation. It's meant to understand if there's a strong fit between the applicant and X-Team. We want this fit because a journey with X-Team can easily last 10+ years (our voluntary retention is 98%). We spend as long as needed with candidates to understand all their needs and help them see how and whether we align.
The most common reasons not to move forward after the intro call are English competence or misalignment on culture fit. Technical competence isn't our main focus at this stage, as culture fit is paramount to the X-Team brand. Our partners have come to expect a very specific attitude and personality from our developers.
More specifically, we look for evidence that someone is selfless, humble, and proactive before we move forward with them. We look for developers who are going to bring positive energy every day to our partners, and if someone doesn't sell us on that from the get-go, we want to respect their time and end the conversation early.
After the first call, we really start to hone in on the role they're applying for. We kick off a second interview to dive deep into their skills and experience. At this stage, we want to make sure they end up in a role that they're really going to love, where they can really grow, and where they know they can add a lot of value.
As the third step in our interview process, we evaluate an applicant's technical skills. We ask them to review code, schedule a pair programming session with a veteran X-Team developer, and probe their experience with tech-focused questions.
Finally, if the applicant is successful at all stages, we have a final chat about the contract, when they can start, and other details. Once that's done, they're officially an X-Teamer. They begin working on our internal teams to prove their reliability, proactiveness, and ability to work as a world-class remote developer. We also use this time to train them on the remote best practices that we've been working on since 2006.
Finding great developers is hard. Hiring great developers remotely is even harder. Being able to do so consistently has required X-Team to spend hundreds of thousands of hours scanning resumes, building a strong filtering system, and creating a community that developers want to be a part of.
We've come a long way in the last decade, building both the most energizing community for developers as well as the platforms and tools to help us form teams for the world's leading brands. Want to see what a team of X-Team developers can do for you? Send us a message today.