The Python Developer Hiring Guide

Imagine this: for months you’ve been searching for the right candidate to fill a position as Python developer. When you finally think you’ve found a decent match, it turns out to be a complete mishire. Where the undertaking of finding a candidate itself can significantly halt company growth, a mishire can have even more dire consequences.

Not only can much of the fundamental work concerning the digital architecture of your business not be executed, you have now committed precious time and resources to someone unable to deliver what the business is in need of. This comes with severe opportunity costs, something which in today’s dynamic start and scale-up environment can be detrimental to success.

The dangers of a mishire

In the complex market for Python developers, a painful mishire is far from a rare feat. One of our consultants, Arjan ten Brinke, recently encountered a case where a company had gone through an incredibly tedious process to hire a new developer for their team, only to realize the fit was completely wrong. This did not only result in the fact that they had to go through the process all over again, their CTO actually had to return to the workfloor as a developer to prevent the business from practically coming to a standstill. A situation that is undesirable to say the least.

50% of The Gross Annual Salary is what a mishire tends to cost the average company.

Roadmap to finding talent


Why is the task of hiring a Python programmer a topic that deserves a special review? Because the situation sketched in the introduction is a struggle that we see too many companies around us have. In times where it’s more and more important to be agile and focused, we’re increasingly lost in translation when it comes to the specific talents we need. Addressing these bottlenecks can make the difference between market leadership and demise, which is far from an exaggeration in today’s fast-paced business environment. Our experience in the field tells us that it is possible to consistently attract those that will make your business work, if only you operate rationally based on sound principles. When talking with Python developers, this journey always starts with determining what a match would look like.

What does a match look like?

In order to get a view of what a great match is, it is imperative to have a proper understanding of both the task at hand and the needed skill set to fill the gap. This requires a bird’s-eye view balancing varying interests and a deep comprehension of the tradeoffs potentially impacting your specific business. Because problems are really pressing now, does not mean we shouldn’t think long term or that the long term is less of a priority. Rather, it is a challenge for us to think even more thoroughly about the impact of our recruitment decisions. Tackling this challenge requires three important points to be considered: 

  • Consider the 5 subdomains
  • Be flexible 
  • Distil what is essential

1. Define the task

Whereas there is an incredibly broad range of possibilities in applying Python, at Tech Rise we generally identify five different subdomains in which customers need talent: Web Development, Data Science, Machine Learning, Embedded Software and Artificial Intelligence. As you can see in the diagrams below, not only do these areas vary in character, the size of their respective markets diverge wildly and the international factor so apparent in the world of Python is also clearly underlined. 

Within these charts, which show an approximation of the total number of existing positions in the respective subdomains, only the inner rings represent those who are open to work, making Dutch job openings all the more striking. As of today, the Dutch market has 534 job openings in Web Development, 1.393 in Data Science, 614 in Machine Learning, 699 in Embedded Software and 423 in Artificial Intelligence. Worrying numbers considering how essential these fields are becoming in our modern-day economy. Even though these areas are by far not mutually exclusive and developers definitely often have an overlap in their skills, it is important to remember that there is rarely anyone specialized in all at the same time. Defining how the nature of the task at hand aligns with these areas, therefore is the first important step in filtering out the unqualified.

2. Define the needed profile

As mentioned previously, the second half of envisioning what a great match would look like is defining the needed profile. Essentially, arriving at the right profile is extremely contextually dependent and herein, no two organizations are the same. The basis though, can be condensed to this: distinguish what is essential to the position and consider the full spectrum of tradeoffs between different candidate characteristics to realistically determine what requirements define a great fit.

Distil what is essential

A recent survey of around 14,000 developers and recruiters found that almost half of all interviewed employers were not succeeding in sufficiently filling tech roles within their organizations. Considering such numbers, it is of significant importance to filter out what is non-essential in adequately filling the primed position. Consider:

  • What is crucial to making the job a success? 
  • What are factors that may seem important, but that we can actually do without?

Be flexible

In most cases it is wise to avert being too rigid in your requirements at the start. This will: 

  • Significantly enlarge your pool of prospects 
  • Favour candidates that are a great fit with intangible factors such as culture 
  • Allow you to gather feedback on what you do and do not want 

3. Consider what YOU have to offer

In creating a customer, we’re often used to trying to see things from the viewpoint of that customer: what drives and motivates our target segment and how can we as a company relate to that? Too often do we as employers forget to do the same in recruitment. Thinking about what we can offer a candidate goes beyond comp and even beyond working conditions in general.

“Effective employer branding requires an ambitious vision, in which your job opening offers part-ownership of that vision”

4. Formulate your recruitment funnel

This is where the practical considerations come into play. How do we actually find the best candidates and how do we filter through them? This process starts with contemplating the recruitment funnel, which we at Tech Rise visualize as follows:

Initially, volume is one of the key factors for us to focus on in the recruitment process. This will ensure as broad a range of possibly suitable candidates enters the funnel, but because great Python developers are in such high demand, caution is definitely advised.

5. From sourcing to closing

Throughout the previous steps, we’ve focused on building a strategic framework by which the right expectations can be set in order to shift into doing the actual work. With our recruitment funnel, we’ve shown how we generally approach going from sourcing to closing. Naturally, in reality the process itself may look much more detailed. The following approach can be seen as a proper approximation of the process: 

  • Determine the recruitment need 
  • Start sourcing 
  • Select and contact potential matches 
  • Manage communication and set up intake 
  • Coordinate the interview process 
  • Evaluate candidates 
  • Coordinate the offering process 
  • Close the deal

6. Aftercare

The international factor is what makes special focus on the person, rather than just the position, something to keep in mind even when the right candidate has already been chosen. These days it is quite normal for a Bangladeshi to receive an offer from the Netherlands, to be working on a completely new continent only a moment later. Naturally, such a change can ask a lot from an individual, a fact which is not yet fully appreciated everywhere. We’re quite used to accommodating new people in the workplace to make them feel at home and help them learn the ropes of the new environment they find themselves into, but in this fast-paced and global market a broader scope is needed.

Closing remarks

In this white paper we’ve taught you the intricacies of how to hire the Python developer that will help, instead of harm your business. As you know by now, this is not a standardised approach but rather a highly customized one. What is constant each time flows from the leading principles by which you aim to get to the best possible decision at every turn.

About Tech Rise People

As with all great theory, putting it to practice and acing the recruitment of new talent might still seem like a deterring challenge, but don’t worry: that’s what we’re here for. With nearly 20 years of experience in the field, there is no query too intimidating for us. 

Tech Rise People aims to match the greatest tech talent with the most exciting companies. We live by the principles laid out in this white paper and it is our vision to redefine the world of recruitment. An ambitious vision, but one that we believe we can accomplish by means of our obsession over the people we serve and the work we love. 

“I was amazed by the personal attention, professional way of working and commitment to finding me the best possible match in the field of Python.” – Yeliz Yengi | Senior Python Developer

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