How to Hire the Right Employees | BlueOptima

5 min readDec 21, 2021


According to Gallup, mis-hires cost the US economy over 1 trillion dollars each year. But the cost of hiring the wrong employee goes far beyond money. It can break down team morale and, in the worst-case scenario, damage your brand.

When we talk about mis-hires, we refer to new starters who leave the company (either voluntarily or by termination) within the first six months of employment. Unfortunately, the software development industry is particularly susceptible to employee churn for several reasons, including the pressure placed on recruiters to fill positions quickly.

Fortunately, hiring the wrong person is a preventable problem. Continue reading to learn more about the consequences of hiring the incorrect person and, most importantly, how you can hire the right employee with successful recruitment strategies.

The Business Consequences of Mis-hiring Software Developers

One bad hiring decision can creep into all aspects of a business. Below, we’ve outlined the three main consequences of a mis-hire:

1. Financial Costs

When sourcing and onboarding new employees, the costs quickly add up. For instance, consider the following expenses of hiring the wrong employee:

  • The salary of the individual who isn’t performing as expected
  • The fees of a second recruitment process to replace the employee
  • Training (and subsequent retraining) costs
  • Severance pay (if any)
  • If the employee’s work was sub-par, businesses need to absorb the costs of re-allocating teams to rectify issues that should never have existed in the first place.

By investing in a more effective hiring process, you can keep recruitment costs to a minimum by sourcing the right people first time.

2. Lower Productivity

Although businesses incur direct costs of hiring the wrong employees, there are also indirect losses to consider, i.e., lost productivity.

A mis-hire can force employees to assume other duties that aren’t a part of their job description to meet deadlines. This not only impacts their own performance and productivity but the company’s ability to deliver high-value products and support to clients.

In addition, restarting the hiring process when an employee leaves can result in a distracted team. For instance, the team lead — a highly productive developer and key decision-maker in projects — must redirect their attention to the hiring process, resulting in a major hit to the entire team’s productivity.

3. Diminished Employee Morale

Finally, a mis-hire can also cause internal disruption in the company. The lack of human resources combined with time constraints can quickly diminish employee morale, as there’s no feasible way for them to complete projects and meet their objectives on time.

This dissatisfaction can quickly spread throughout the organisation if a suitable replacement isn’t found swiftly. Employees will grow disengaged and disinterested, leading to an unfortunate cycle of employee churn.

The best way to avoid this is to have a streamlined hiring process supported by technology to source strong technical candidates that are also an appropriate culture fit.

Another step is to determine the values and purpose of your organisation to retain the right employees. Workers who identify closely with a company’s culture are happier and experience greater job satisfaction, ultimately performing better and staying with the business long term.

Why Do Mis-hires Happen?

To better understand how to avoid a mis-hire, it’s important to recognise the causes behind it:

  • Due to the high demand for developer talent, employers are under pressure to fill positions quickly and therefore don’t have the time to analyse employee profiles and skills adequately.
  • Ineffective programming assessments can give employers an inaccurate view of the employee’s potential and performance.
  • There’s a tendency to overlook soft skills in the world of tech. However, these can be just as important when finding an appropriate team member.

Three Steps to Successfully Hiring Software Developers

Although mis-hires are a demotivating part of business, there are steps you can take to ensure you hire quality software developers.

Step 1: Set Clear Expectations for Employees

Success in recruitment starts at the very beginning of the process: the job description. The most effective job descriptions are the ones that aim to educate and provide an accurate window into your company. A well-crafted description sets expectations and ensures that employees understand what life is like on your team.

According to a global survey conducted by Stack Overflow, the most important job factors for software developers are:

  • Languages and frameworks
  • Company culture
  • Flexible schedule/remote working
  • Opportunities for professional development

By highlighting these aspects in your job ad, you give candidates a clear picture of the role they’re applying for. This clarity eliminates the risk of mis-hires because employees go in with realistic expectations of the company and performance standards.

Step 2: Use Technology to Enhance the Assessment Process

Traditional coding tests aren’t enough to give recruiters and employers an accurate insight into the quality of candidates’ work. They simply evaluate whether they arrived at the right solution — failing to take into account the coding process and maintainability, which are vital in real-life situations.

The Predictive Assessment tool from Blue Optima solves this challenge. Our tool evaluates the technical process behind the solution to ensure the code is of high quality and easily maintainable. In addition, it uses AI to predict the potential productivity of candidates, meaning employers can source high-performing candidates to future-proof their business.

Step 3: Evaluate Soft Skills in the Interview

Technical skills aren’t enough to ensure a successful hire. Soft skills are a powerful indicator of how a candidate will perform in a team environment. Skills such as teamwork, communication, time management and a keen eye for detail are all a part of a developer’s everyday work.

To get a sense of a candidate’s soft skills, consider asking example-based questions in the interview, such as:

  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a team member who constantly opposed your ideas.
  • Have you ever had to explain an error or delay in a project to a senior manager or client? How did you go about it?
  • What’s more important to you, getting the work finished on time or making sure it’s of a high standard? Why?

By following these three steps, you should be well on your way to hiring stronger candidates suited to your company.

Hire Smart with BlueOptima’s Predictive Assessment Tool

Hiring the right employees is a critical step to a more productive team and more profitable business, so why take any chances? Save time and money by following the steps above and embrace a solution that objectively evaluates your candidates.

Our Predictive Assessment tool empowers you to source quality programmers by giving you granular insights into their current and predicted future performance. Although personal interactions are essential in hiring and interviews, a tool like Predictive Assessment can optimise the process, reducing the time invested and creating a pool of high-calibre candidates.
By using the power of data and AI to drive your recruitment process, you can enhance your decision-making to avoid the costs of hiring the wrong person. Start your free trial of our Predictive Assessment solution now.

Originally published at on December 21, 2021.




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