How to Hire Java Developers: Job Skills
By: John Rossheim
Are you looking to recruit a Java developer?
At once creative professionals and talented engineers, java developers are vital players in their employers’ core businesses. It’s no surprise that landing top Java talent can require a complex recruitment process.
The following recruiter tips will help you hire the java developers and IT skills you need.
Key Java Developer Certifications and Degrees:
- A computer science degree is desirable but often not required of Java developers
- Pertinent certifications include: Certified Professional Java EE Web Component Developer, Certified Professional Java EE Business Component Developer, Certified Professional Java ME Mobile Application Developer, Certified Master Java SE Developer.
“Training can help differentiate between two candidates of similar talent,” says Rogers Cadenhead, author of Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days. “Having a certification shows you’ve tackled difficult issues, that you can look at source code and find the error or logic flaw.”
Essential Java Developer Skills:
- Meeting the specific challenges of coding in Java, such as developing distributed applications that are both efficient and error-free
“If you are looking to develop a project on Grails, then it’s better to have an adequate developer who already has hands-on experience on Grails rather than having a rock-star Java developer who will work on Grails for the first time,” says the Cygnet Infotech blog.
Key Java Developer Experience:
- Creating Java applications to meet project specifications
- Coordinating design, development, testing, debugging and implementation of Java projects
- Broad web and database development and software integration experience is desirable
“We ask if there’s a consulting piece to the job, and whether they’ll need to work with financial analysts,” says Jon-Ray Rivera, vice president of client delivery for recruitment process outsourcing at ManpowerGroup in Milwaukee. “Is it heads-down coding, or should the candidate be accustomed to talking to people throughout the business?”
“You want someone with the core competencies, not necessarily all the cutting edge technologies,” says Cadenhead. “Someone who’s good at the language and doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel, but rather use all the open-source Java that’s out there.”
How to Source Java Developers:
- To win their loyalty, provide career guidance to emerging Java developers
- Non-traditional institutions such as the University of Phoenix are providing an increasing share of graduates with Java skills
- Don’t ignore mainstream social media; the friends and followers of known Java developers likely include more Java developers
“We visit a variety of top 25 universities, and we do career fairs for graduating students,” says Jenny Chynoweth, talent outreach manager at WhitePages. “When resumes come in, I go over them with the hiring manager and get him to point out which qualifications he’s looking for in a given search.”
“Particularly with the introduction of Facebook’s Graph Search, recruiters will be able to search for those who are friends of (insert your favorite employee) and also are a Java developer,” says Sam Jones in his blog, Hiring-Hub.com.
How to Conduct the Interview:
- To develop interview questions for Java candidates, seek input from a Java expert
- Test the candidate’s ability to communicate the business implications of technical issues, in plain language
- “It’s useful to have in hand hypothetical questions designed by the CTO or the tech wizard of the company, for the internal recruiter to ask and report back on,” says Jones.
- “Ask one question that requires the candidate to write code,” says Cadenhead. “You’d be surprised how many computer science grads can’t pass the Fizz Buzz test.”
- “If you ask questions that are too simplistic, you risk insulting the IT candidate, or worse,” says John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, Menlo Park, California. Reed recommends that you take time to research your interview questions, jot down notes about the correct answers and then listen for key phrases.
Closing the Deal with Java Developers:
- Devoted Java programmers will relish opportunities to work on novel projects with cutting-edge technologies
- Developers may not have traditional career ambitions of moving up in the organization; recruiters are wise to elicit and respond to candidates’ individual goals
“We meet with recent hires and ask, ‘How could we find you again? What is it that attracted you to the recruiter who connected you with job?’ ” says Rivera.
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