Introduced in 2004, Ruby on Rails has remained a popular programming language for over 15 years, delivering major business advantages to those who have embraced it in their organisation. In that time, ROR has helped technical specialists reduce development time by up to 50% when compared to alternative languages, and this has helped to significantly reduce costs and increase ROI.
However, despite the fantastic benefits it can offer, working with Ruby on Rails can be a challenge, as the experts in the field are hard to source and in high demand, regardless of the hiring companies’ country, industry or size. When faced with this dilemma, companies typically have two options; reach out to an elite software house who have a ready built team of dedicated Ruby on Rails developers eager to work on the project, or find your own in the open market. If you’re taking the latter option, this article should help.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it the right way.
Step 1: Where to Find the Best Ruby on Rails Talent and How to Attract Them to Your Company?
There are many different ways to find potential programmers that may fit your company’s needs well. It’s important to note, that the Ruby developer’s market is very demanding and contains a finite number of valuable specialists, making recruitment challenging. Ruby on Rails technology often attracts true enthusiasts - and the truth is, there are relatively few of them on the labor market. That’s why if you know that you’ll need RoR developers in your team for long term projects, it's good to have an ongoing recruitment process in motion.
The first step in the recruitment process is to evaluate the necessity of the next job role in the team, and identify the priority hire. Next, a catchy job ad should be prepared that outlines what’s required and the type of individual the team is looking for, with the remuneration package clearly scoped out and communicated.
Armed with an attractive job ad that includes all essential information about our requirements and the benefits we offer, we then go on to the next step: job posting.
In this phase, we use many channels such as external pages with job offers, that are solely focused on the IT market. Including nofluffjobs portal, justjoin.it or bulldogjobs. We also publish our offers on Ruby on Rails community forums too. In addition, we also see much success with our career page, in fact many of our finest developers have come through this channel. Remember, this area of your website is critical and needs to include interesting and appealing content that puts your company’s best foot forward. That’s why having that tab visible on your website and filled with interesting, appealing content is very important!
To apply for a position through our website, candidates are obligated to fill in the form on our career website and attach a sample of code/ applications written in the technology they specialize in. The sample can be the result of student or amateur work - it doesn’t have to be commercial, but it definitely needs to showcase good language application. Based on the seniority of the position, the code we request will typically vary in terms of level of advancement, as this helps identify their capabilities and their suitability for the role in question.This code should be presented on GitHub or Bitbucket.
Step 2: CV Selection: How to Distinguish the Most Promising Developers at an Early Stage of the Hiring Process?
The CV management process is divided into several phases:
Evaluating Candidate Information
As CVs are received, it’s important the details are evaluated to identify the suitability of the candidate. Everything from experience and skill set, to salary and employment term expectations should be reviewed to identify the quality of fit. In addition to the application form, the applicant’s CV should be supported by proof of their skills and knowledge, in the form of code supplied through GIthub/Bitbucket.
Application Analysis & Specifying the Level of Advancement
After checking the code samples and identifying whether it meets the required standard, candidates will be informed if they have qualified for the next stage of the recruitment process.This typically takes the form of a phone interview, primarily designed to fill in information gaps around the individual’s experience, portfolio, education and direction of development. These are all factors that may come into play when making a decision around a candidate.
Step 3: The Interview: What Questions Should I Ask, to Verify the Potential Ruby on Rails Developer Skills?
Before you decide to pop the question “will you join our company?” you need to make sure that it’s a match made in heaven. At Railwaymen we believe, that the best way to do that is to invite the potential candidate to an interview at our office. Before that happens, typically the Human Resources Coordinator completes the required information and creates a comprehensive view of the candidate to make sure that both sides are well prepared for the talk.
Usually, the following people from our team are present at the meeting: the CEO. CTO and Senior Ruby on Rails Developer. During the interview , our priority is to focus on verifying the technical knowledge of the candidate, his/her interest in the new technologies and motivation to self-development in the IT area.
From our Ruby candidates we require a particular familiarity when it comes to:
- Object oriented programming, structures and algorithms
- Ruby language and it’s concepts
- Ruby on Rails framework at the level that allows to create a simple CRUD application
- SQL language and ActiveRecord ORM with particular emphasis on understanding generated SQL queries
- HTTP protocol
- HTML & CSS
The level of that knowledge required is highly dependable on the position the candidate is applying for (Junior/Regular/Senior). We not only ask questions but also prepare some simple tasks that help to verify the candidate mechanisms of thinking.
After the interview, we make our decision and inform the candidate. This is very important, as no one likes to be left in the dark and they may even be someone we work with in the future. Even if we decide to not hire them, we send him/her feedback to help in their self-development.
How to Write a Good Job Description for Ruby on Rails Developers
In the highly competitive market of Ruby on Rails professionals, you need to sell your company well - that’s where a well-written job ad comes in. You need to look at your job posting from the candidate perspective, providing all the critical information they could want around the opportunity. ! When it comes to job description content itself, it varies slightly depending on the platform that we post it on. The most comprehensive ones, are visible on our website and based on Google Analytics data, they get a lot of traction!
In our job descriptions of Ruby developers, we do our best to explain who are we looking for as clear as possible. Different companies require different sets of skills (or tools/ experience) depending on the type of projects being developed and so clarity in this area is critical.. In addition, we also focus a lot on the benefits that we provide, and these are listed under our e “what we offer” tab. This is very important - the salary is one thing, but we want to show the candidate that we offer something “extra”.
Here you can see an example of our job ad hosted on our website that worked very well when it came to hiring ruby on rails developers in our company. And below is a screenshot from our job ad posted on an external portal, see the difference?
Hiring Ruby on Rails developers is demanding. They know that the magic that they can do with the language is very valuable and won’t join your company unless you offer them the best conditions, perks and salaries. That’s why if you want to find the best developers, posting a job ad is not enough. You need to take care of the general image of your company and have people on board who are capable your candidates to find the right skills and fit.
Based on our experience, all of these efforts pay off, as having talented, experienced and well liked Ruby on Rails developers in your company enables you to develop products of the highest quality as a team.
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Iwona Walczak, HR & Employer Branding Manager at Railwaymen. Railwaymen has successfully delivered over 100 projects for clients from more than 20 countries and have been named Top Ruby on Rails Developers 2019 by Clutch.co. When it comes to industries, they have experience in construction, fintech, education, healthcare and much more.