Understanding the Concept of the Minimum Viable Candidate

So, you are looking for a new tech engineerand you are discussing with the team what qualities you need to look for. Bythe end of the list, your dream candidate has experience with all of your techstacks, they are knowledgable of your industry, they will relocate, they canstart now, and obviously, they have to be a team player!

In today’s market, finding a candidate thatwill tick all of your boxes is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible.There is going to have to be some compromise. To begin with, let’s look at whatyou should know about technology and hiring at present:

  • Check to see the most up-to-date statistics on the highest salaries for specialised engineers
  • Learn which are the most popular programming languages, frameworks, and databases. Familiarise yourself with the likes and dislikes developers have regarding their tools.
  • Know what is important in a job for tech experts.

Once you are aware of the latest tech trends,it’s time to go back to the team and your job description to decide what isyour Minimum Viable Candidate.

What is Minimum Viable

At first glance, the idea might sound a bit harsh, but it stems from the idea of a Minimum Viable Product, which is a common concept in software development. A Minimum Viable Product is one that just meets the needs of the client, it’s what is enough to make them happy and offers useful insights for your future products.

If you use the same idea for your candidates,it would be to ask what is the minimum amount of skill our developer needs inorder to get the job done to standard.

This strategy is productive because youradvert will now be aimed at actual people who you can hire, rather than theidea of a perfect candidate that not many are going to be able to live up to.You need to find someone who has the basic skills required for the projects. Asdevelopers appreciate being able to learn new skills, anything extra that youwould like a candidate to have can be placed on a list of opportunities.

The Skills You Need vs. The Skills YouWould Like To Have

For this, you should split your list of idealqualifications into two, the absolutely necessary and the bonus skills. Eachbusiness, team, and/or project is going to have a different set of requirementsbut here are some possible examples:

Necessary Skills

  • Minimum of two years experience with frontend/backend/full-stack development
  • Extremely able in Java, C+, and Python
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to deliver presentations

Would Like To Have Skills

  • Knowledge of certain field and related industries
  • Some history with Windows Server and Azure
  • Confident at optimising SQL queries

Mix And Match of Job Roles or Is YourProfile Practical?

We quite often here of job postings were thecandidate will be expected to work on the main project but then fill the restof their time working on other things. These tasks are likely to requiremultiple skill sets and sometimes skills that are unrelated.

Having this mix and match of roles makes yourlist of requirements too long, once again we go back to look for the perfectcandidate instead of focusing on the Minimum Viable Candidate.

There are two solutions to this problem.First, you could try to separate the one role into two job adverts. You willreceive candidates with the two separate skill sets but you may also find someof these candidates have skills related to the other post, or willing to learn.

Secondly, you could keep one advert where themain skills required are your must-haves. Other potential roles a candidatewould have to fill could come under skills that would be nice to have and/orwilling to learn.

Involve Your Engineering Team

At the end of the day, it’s your team that will be spending most of the time with your new hire and so their opinion does count, especially when it comes to the candidate’s profile. Your team is going to be the best qualified to highlight what your Minimum Viable Candidate looks like. When talking to team members, you could cover the following:

  • What responsibilities the candidate should take on
  • Clarify the core technologies used
  • Where to look, and not to look, for candidates
  • The appropriate level of experience the candidate should have

Everybody wants to be able to hire the bestcandidates, but by holding out for this person you risk not filling theposition quickly, putting additional pressure on your current team, and notsatisfying your customer’s demands. Looking for the Minimum Viable Candidate isa speedy solution to a difficult task in today’s IT industry.