How to Find Top Candidates for Java Developer Jobs

Hiring for Java developer jobs is a high priority for many organizations as the programming language continues to play a dominant role in enterprise application development.

However, finding top candidates in a wide pool of applicants can be challenging. Here are some tips for success:

Whenever you're dealing with a potentially large applicant pool, relying on general job search engines alone can be time-consuming and, ultimately, not all that fruitful. Both sides are susceptible to "eyes glazing over" syndrome.

Hiring managers tend to lose steam going through application after application, separating the wheat from the chaff. By the same token, candidates can lose interest and enthusiasm looking through pages and pages of positions.

A specialized staffing firm offers both sides of the hiring process for Java developer jobs a chance to cut through the noise and find each other in the fog. A reputable agency will have deep networks in the developer community, as well as established relationships with top talent. By going this route, you can work with a team of dedicated staffing specialists to identify exactly what type of candidate you need.

Parsing the resume

Nearly every prospective candidate will list Java/J2EE skills, as well as some popular APIs and databases. Your decision won't be made easier by comparing these nearly identical skill sets. Instead, look for expertise in a specific area of core Java. Which candidate's experience best matches your company's needs?

A candidate might list, for example, experience with Java development in the cloud, embedded Java or mobile Java development. A Java programmer already comfortable working within the kind of environment your company uses can hit the ground running. Speed may be a big factor in your hiring decision, especially where critical projects are concerned. There is no guarantee that a great programmer is also skilled at user experience (UX) and quality assurance (QA) processes.

However, many technology professionals seeking Java developer jobs do understand that blending programming know-how with business-facing acumen can help set them apart from other candidates. A resume that emphasizes experience in UX and user interface (UI) design or QA testing may indicate that the candidate can contribute much more to your overall software implementation than just programming. Just be prepared to offer a higher salary to these types of well-rounded and in-demand tech professionals.

Use our Salary Calculator to find out how much java developers are making in your area.

Laying the interview groundwork

Once you've selected your top candidates, use the interview process as a means to evaluate a potential hire’s ability to apply technical skills in context. Submitted work and resumes are great, but you want to see the interviewee in action. Here are two questions that can serve you well:

  1. How do you improve the quality of your application? This is a good question because it asks that interviewees talk about their approaches to development. Strong candidates will discuss applied technical skills and can give an indication of how they feel about code quality.
  2. If you could change one thing about Java, what would it be? This is a nice twist on the old "if you could change one thing about yourself ..." question. It requires that the interviewee have a solid understanding of Java and can articulate ways in which it could be improved.

Also, don’t fail to gauge a potential hire’s soft skills such as communication, teamwork and writing ability, which are becoming increasingly important for success in any technology role.

Finding skilled candidates for Java developer jobs can be a challenge. But if you approach the search with a fine-tuned process — and perhaps enlist the help of a staffing specialist — you’ll be more likely to find a qualified candidate quickly and avoid making a costly bad hire.

For more information on hiring for Java developer jobs, check out the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide, which can help you research the latest data on compensation in your market.

More Resources:

Note: This post was originally published on 9/30/14.