How To Hire Android Developers: 7 Tips To Get It Right The First Time
Senior Content Marketer & Technical Expert
“How can I hire great Android developers and get it right from the start?” This is a question that both business and technical managers ask themselves numerous times when their product includes a native Android app. We're here to make the process easier for you;
There are several places online you can use to make your search easier: LinkedIn, Job Boards, Social Media Groups, or GitHub. You may also make your hire through a Technology Partner;
Recruitment is not an easy task, as there are many things to keep in mind. We will cover the 7 top things to look for;
You might not be aware of it, but you do have a subconscious bias when evaluating candidates. We have a guide on how to neutralize it;
The mobile phone market is a stand-off between Google and Apple. You will see many more phones running Android than iOS; in fact, the little green robot appears on screens more often than the iconic Windows logo.
In the grand scheme of things, the approach you end up going matters little. No matter how great your app concept is, or how advanced your project is, you need quality developers. They are truly what matters: your product will be as good as the sum of the experience of your engineers. Even the best project scopes may be useless unless you have experts who can effectively implement them. “Where can I find good developers?” you might ask. We are glad you did.
Your product will be as good as the sum of the experience of your engineers.
Android Developers And Where To Find Them?
One of the first places you might look for great Android Developers, and for a good reason. Nowadays, every professional, who wants to be respected in the field, will feel the need to have an account on LinkedIn.
You may use that to your advantage. Looking up potential candidates using the standard search box would be suboptimal. The professional social network does not allow for that for a reason, too. There is a service for recruiters, called (surprise) “LinkedIn Recruiter”, that makes shortlisting potential candidates a breeze.
How does it work? The offering from the US service gives you the options to narrow your search using keywords, filters, and more. You may also reach out, and to analyze the effectiveness of your actions.
There are numerous job boards out there. There are those with a general audience, such as Glassdoor, and there are niche ones, aimed at a specific segment, such as Remote3, the place to post about Web3 remote opportunities. You also have to keep in mind, that some niche websites might limit their reach to a specific region – such as No Fluff Jobs targets professionals in Eastern Europe.
Where to post your offers? It all depends on the size of your company, and the geographical area of choice. If you are a big company, you may find Dice.com to be a great fit. For startups, specifically, there are two great destinations AngelList (startups of all sizes), and Indie Hackers (small to medium startups). Should you be a smaller, but established company, look for sites that target a narrower audience or are just smaller, such as Authentic Jobs.
Don’t just rely solely on our recommendations, however. As we have already mentioned, there are sites out there, that are targeting a region of your choice which we might not know about: being familiar with all websites out there would be impossible. They might also be in a foreign language, such as French if you are a company from Quebec hiring locally. A quick search can do wonders, so don’t be afraid to do that!
Social Media Groups
This one is hard to pull off, though might be hugely beneficial for you if you get it right; you will have to navigate moderators and developers carefully on your quest to recruit a developer. On Facebook, there are groups dedicated to developers where there will be hundreds or even thousands of people.
Be mindful, however, not to break the rules of a group. If they ask not to post links to job offers, then don’t. Not only will they be removed, but also you might be banned from the community altogether. If you can’t post, then do some research on your target segment. Familiarize yourself with specialists there, observe, and contribute.
You read that last sentence right: regardless of the group’s rules, try to contribute to the discussions, and post relevant content from time to time. It will also make a part of the community, rather than being a “hostile” outsider. You might also find people interested working for you, anyway. Don’t give up, and try to make connections if you can’t post.
Git Repositories. GitHub & GitLab.
Programmers love to share their code with the world. Sometimes it’s just to show off their cool project, and sometimes it’s because they want to help others. Whatever the case might be, you can look for projects by language, by name, and by other criteria.
We have developed a guide on how to find Android developers on GitHub, with steps that are easy to follow.
A Guide On How To Find Good Android Developers on GitHub
Navigate to GitHub.com in the web browser of your choice
Type in your search phrase in the search field at the very top of the page. Let’s say you are looking for developers who have experience in creating apps with an emphasis on video content. We used the search phrase “Android Video” just as an example. Press enter.
You now should see a list of results relevant to your search results.
It’s a good idea to restrict the repositories to only see those using Kotlin as their main language. Alternatively, select Java, though we recommend sticking to Kotlin.
From here, you may go ahead and look for projects that were updated recently, as it might give you a rough idea about developers’ engagement. Of course, it’s not a perfect indication, however, we have to keep in mind, that to accurately determine how active people are, we would need a lot more data points.
There is one more optional step for you to be more efficient.
Step 4a (optional, but recommended)
Click “Advanced Search” on the bottom left of the page.
You should now see a plethora of options with which you may find your desired projects. Let’s say we want to find code written in Kotlin, from 2019 until now (>2019). We have to make sure that it was recently updated, so let’s say, we want the latest update to be from a few months ago (>2021-10).
The result will be visible up top, and will look like this:
Click search, and voilà!
Hire A Technology Partner / Professional Services Company
Another option is to work with a technology partner, otherwise known as a professional services company, outsourcing company, or software house. These terms apply to companies that have developers on hand who will work on your project for a specified period of time and are ready to join almost immediately.
These technology partners act as agencies with (usually) industry-specific knowledge both in terms of the best technology & architecture practices as well as in product development.
Below, we will outline what to pay attention to when hiring an Android developer, whether that’s in-house or through finding a technology partner.
What To Pay Attention To When Hiring An Android Developer
You now have a list of developers you would like to approach, or you have already approached some. There are some things you have to keep in mind going further:
One Size Does Not Fit All
Not all developers will fit your requirements. Developers will not specialize in all areas of app development, just as a Chemical Engineer might not know anything about Mechanical Engineering.
This is all due to the depth of the topics needed to master the complex area of native app development. Developers with experience in completing projects of a messaging app might not be the best fit for the creation of a video editing app. That’s because the knowledge of how to efficiently send and receive text messages will not be useful in creating a flawless and an intuitive creative experience. Make sure you have a clear outline of what it is you are making, and keep it in mind during every stage of the process.
Good Communication Skills Are Priceless. Coding Is Not The Only Thing Developers Will Do
The developer who sits in a poorly lit basement alone is as mythical as a unicorn. Besides coding, the experts of today need to attend meetings, talk to you, and be able to say whether they need something to finish their task.
Skills in good offline communication are useful when one goes online. The way your team members interact with each other, conduct themselves in external meetings, and convey company culture is essential.
Make sure you assess for soft skills as well as the technical skills that the Android developer needs to have.
Be Realistic With The Required Knowledge
Requiring an experience of more than four years with dealing with a library that has existed for only one and a half years is something that many have seen.
Another example is when you require too much from your candidates. Experience in programming in Java is not a far stretch when working on a project in Kotlin. Requiring Haskell knowledge, however, might just be too much.
Make sure that somebody with in-depth technical knowledge reviews the job spec before posting it online, should you not have that knowledge. That might save you many problems, and not miss out on some highly qualified candidates. Having your job spec become a meme is not something you would want.
Keeping Up With The Latest Standards Is Important
Standards in programming change over time, with programming eras lasting much shorter than non-programming ones. Not so long ago, the only language in which you could create your Android apps was Java. Now, Google encourages you to write your code in Kotlin, instead.
Another big change that occurred over the years is how developers create user interfaces. It used to be conceptually similar to how HTML works – you created each screen with structural blocks (eXtensible Markup Language). Adding the blocks would make the screen fill up with different shapes and colors. Now, you define how your screen is supposed to look like entirely in Kotlin (Jetpack Compose).
It is also a great window into a developer’s way of dealing with critique, discussions, and you may easily see how good their code is. There is another benefit to employing an open-source maintainer or creator. It’s the employer branding, and the sheer brand recognition.
Again, not being a high-profile programmer is not a reason not to pass on somebody. It does not mean that your candidate will turn out to be incompetent or not a great fit. We want to reiterate: people might have their reasons for not publishing their work, such as the fact that people might prefer to keep their work private.
Having An App As A Piece Of Their Portfolio Shows They Know Exactly What Goes Into Building An App From Scratch.
To start off, we are not convinced that having an app published on Google Play is a necessity to prove you are a great specialist. It’s common for people to hold that aspect in high regard, though the sole fact of an app made public does not tell you much.
Of course, if there is an app published on Google Play, it is a nice-to-have. Remember, however, that there are other places where you may publish apps as well. Perhaps one prefers not to make their app available publicly and will send you a private link with the code, for one.
People are people, so as long as you will be able to see a quality app, it does not matter where it is available: GitHub, Play Store, a private portfolio, or F Store are all just means to an end. One value tip is to always ask for the source code: the fact that the code works does not prove it is high quality.
Gaps In The Resumes Should Not Necessarily Count Against Candidates.
Sometimes, after a draining job, people need to reset their mental, and recharge. There are many scenarios in which people end up leaving their jobs burnt out. Resting is most natural, and sometimes even desired for both parties. We would not want a candidate who is completely burnt out, right?
Have you sometimes wondered how is that, that you just don’t like some people, and you don’t know why? Perhaps there are others who you liked right away? This is subconscious bias at work.
Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winner, wrote a book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, where he explains how does one think, and how does one come to certain conclusions. You might not have enough time to go through it, so here is a simple guide to help you out:
Select a few traits that you regard as key requirements to succeeding in the job. The limit here is six. Make sure they don’t overlap as well: we want to see how good are they on a scale as wide as possible.
Efficient communication, the knowledge, and the experience in the libraries commonly used in your app, and reliability are just some examples.
Come up with questions (and perhaps tests) to evaluate a candidate on aspects you defined in the previous step. You may ask them to write a simple app as “homework”, and conduct a technical interview.
Now that you have your questions and assignments figured out, think how you will score each candidate. The best-case possible is to have qualitative data on the candidate, rather than qualitative.
Step 4 (optional)
Have each person who had a chance to speak with the candidate evaluate him on the same pre-defined scale. Then, determine the average for each expert. That can be your seventh grade, though it does not need to be.
Now, with each candidate interviewed, pick out specialists with the highest grades. That’s the key to more reliable hiring; a more accurate prediction of whether somebody will be a good hire or not.
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