How we recruited an awesome front-end developer by competition

In the past we selected candidates like every other company does. Put an ad out and wait for applications to pour in. This time we did things differently and managed to recruit a great frontend-developer!

But let’s start with giving you a little insight in how application procedures usually go at Angi Studio:
We start with setting out a vacancy on our website and other job websites, describing what kind of developer we’re looking for and who we are as a company. Next: we wait.. Wait for people to respond and send us their motivations and portfolios. Usually we get 60 to 120 responses to 1 job post. Which, in average takes up to 40 hours to look through all the e-mails and react. The candidates who pass the pre-selection receive an assignment and are invited to present the completed assignment with us. The candidate who does the assignment the best, gets the job offer. This process takes on average 2 to 3 months.

We need one now!

Good front-end developers are hard to find. And the years of experience don’t always say enough about the quality. Besides that, we wanted the process to go much faster. We needed someone who could start straight away. But how were we going to find someone good, if we needed to go through all those e-mails first? At this pace we wouldn’t have selected someone in 2 to 3 months. So, why not do it completely different this time?

That’s what we did and last September we started a competition. A competition in search of a new front-end developer.

The competition

The assignment for the competition was set up in a way we could test their skills which they would need when working for Angi Studio.

As an assignment we designed a fictional webpage which which had to look great on mobile, tablets and computers (in other words: be responsive), using HTML5, CSS3 & Javascript. One of the rules was that they weren’t allowed to use any frameworks. We wanted to see what they could do based on their own skills and if they could write clean code.

This was a very exciting experiment for us. We all liked the idea, but would people really participate?

Do we have mail yet?

In the first week of the competition we got no mail at all. We were all a bit scared this competition would become a huge failure. Did we ask too much? Did people even see our competition?

CV vs. code

When selecting candidates you see lots of CVs and notice the lack of experience of some. You want to put them on the side. But that’s how you overlook that talented front-end developer that’s eager to start knocking out code.

That’s why we did a blind test with our front-end developer. He was only allowed to look at the code, to judge the candidates and not know anything else about them… What surprised us most was that by judging only on their work we selected people that would probably never have been selected if we had only looked at their CVs. Even though they didn’t have a development background we were so impressed by the way there had approached the competition we decided to invite them for an interview.

And the winner is...

After a selection procedure of only 5 weeks there was a winner!
Actually, there were 2. We offered them both a job and they started in Oktober 2014. It was really exciting to see if our new way of recruiting had worked. We were really happy with the our two new colleagues. But like any other recruitment process, you never know how it turns out. We had to part ways with one of the two because the way we work at Angi Studio was not a good fit with her. But we are really happy with the developer that stayed. Jorinde: our new front-end developer. A girl who fits our team and is extremely motivated to become the best front-end developer she can be.

At Angi Studio we do not have an opening right now, but we are always on the look-out for new talent. For more information, see our website.

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