Finding and Hiring Ruby Developers

Jamie Rogers

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Here’s the deal:

You are not alone in your struggle to find new Ruby Developers.

There isn’t a CTO or Recruitment Manager I’ve spoken to who hasn’t found hiring Ruby experts noticeably more challenging than other types of IT & software positions.

We all want the hiring process to take less time and resources.

So, I’m going to tell you why finding Ruby Developers is hard, and how you can make it easier for yourself.

Just the article you’ve been waiting for.

Why are they harder to find?

  • Many Developers know Ruby-on-Rails, but not many carve a career out of being a specialist Ruby Developer compared to say, Java or C#.
  • There is a high demand from the start-up community for skilled Ruby experts in Berlin, resulting in enormous competition between employers for the true Ruby specialists.
  • The size of the Ruby community in Berlin compared to the demand for their expertise is small. Very small.

But, there is a silver lining:

Ruby and Ruby-on-Rails are fantastic tools for start-ups for too many reasons to discuss here, so the challenge of hiring Ruby experts should not persuade a business to utilise alternative tools.

Instead, start-ups and corporations in the market for skilled Ruby experts must heed my advice or accept that their new employee search will last far longer than normal.

Easy choice if you ask me.

Here’s what you need to do:

Commit to hiring

You are either hiring or you’re not hiring. Commit to your hiring process, reserve time in your week to review applications, have the interviews, and make decisions on each step quickly.

You are competing for Ruby experts more than you are used to, an overly relaxed hiring process will only conclude as wasted time.

The job offers you make will probably be 1 of 5 that the candidate receives, assuming you are able to make an offer in time, so being the first to make an offer significantly increases your chances of it being accepted. It demonstrates your reliability, motivation and makes the candidate feel you really want them!

Review your employment offering

Not to change it, but to fully understand it. A common slip-up I see is the failure to communicate the benefits, unique and fun things working for your company offers people who know nothing about you.

A critical part of defining your employee search criteria is defining what you can offer the right person in return, and not just a good salary.

Things to consider:

  • Do you know for sure the average salary and how your employee package compares?
  • Fresh fruit, BBQ’s & free beers are standard in Berlin – think of something different.
  • What features of each day, month, and year define your company culture?
  • Specifically, why is the project or subject of work interesting to a Ruby Developer?
  • What will prevent your new employee from leaving soon, what does your long-term employment offering look like?
  • Are you searching, identifying, and selecting candidates creatively?

In my experience:

You can still source your new employees with the same tools and methods as everyone else and win the competition to hire, but it pays to be creative and innovative in a competitive market.

How are you engaging with local Ruby experts? Job adverts will only reach around 20% of the Ruby community, by the way. Are you attending Meet-ups, sponsoring events, hosting events, and pro-actively approaching people?

Big companies with large recruitment marketing budgets are already doing all of this.

How do start-ups and SMEs increase their visibility to the Ruby community?

Well, of course, my favourite option is to employ a skilled recruiter, within hours of hiring a Recruitment partner you have tapped into their vast network of local Ruby experts.

The next best thing to consider hiring internationally. An advert for a company in Berlin instantly stands out when it’s posted on a British, Brazilian, or Russian job board.

Exploring international sourcing opportunities gives you a real edge in this market!