Case study

Premium Tech Recruitment

Strong experience in large-scale,
international tech recruitment
in Europe and the US

project overview

Project Overview

An international fashion corporation decided to undergo a radical digital transformation in order to outrun its competitors. The transformation had to touch many areas and aspects in order to be successful – including marketing, people structure, business processes, and logistics. We assembled a core technology team (Machine Learning, Software UX/UI, and operations) for several company departments.

Type of specialists

Relocated to Oslo, Norway

and sourced from countries like

Relocated To Oslo map

The problem

The company was facing a significant drop in its revenues and profits year by year due to strong competition from companies like Zalando (a huge, well-known fashion marketplace, especially in Europe) and other startups in the clothing/fashion industry.

In order to cope with this situation, our client decided to invest $9m into the creation of a fast-paced innovation lab that is responsible for performing a radical digital transformation of the company.

There was a need for the creation of a unified online e-commerce platform that would bring together all the brands owned by the client. For the time being most of the sales were happening offline in brick and mortar stores. Thus, the company decided to switch to online sales and leverage modern marketing tools across its brands.

A picture of two men with laptops
iMac screen with code on it

The challenges

In order for the project to be successful, we had to make sure that the people involved were of the top-notch. Thus, our first step was to assemble the team of highly skilled professionals who would be involved in this project. Therefore, we have performed a wide-scale international search (Europe + USA + Canada) to find top of the top talented individuals. We created the core Machine Learning, Software and UX/UI teams for the operation, as well as being involved in the search for experienced operations and business managers that were relocated from London, UK.

Importantly, in the majority of cases, recruiters just relocate people from Eastern Europe. But this search was different. We sourced people also from countries like the United States, Canada, Germany, and Sweden, which was very challenging, yet very fruitful for the client.

The outcome

Our team has built several brand-new, critical IT systems for the client totally transforming its day to day operations and exceeding business expectations set for the 1st year of the transformation.

One of them is an advanced BI tool that helps the managers from the marketing department to undertake informed decisions regarding the pricing strategy in the sales cycle based on the suggestions from a Deep Learning NLP model and the historical sales & pricing data. Another example would be an intelligent tool for the logistics department thanks to which the managers have gained access to a bird-eye view and are able to operate the fleet and transportation in a more effective way, eliminate waste, and, as a result, save significant amounts for the company.

People walking along a street in Oslo

Highly satisfied clients, world-wide

6 Reasons to Choose
DevsData for IT Recruitment

technical

1

Technical background of recruitment team members

There is an issue that most of the so-called tech recruitment firms or freelancers face, namely - their recruiters have absolutely no technical background. Not at all.

They can just recognize keywords on CV whether it is "Java" or "JavaScript" or something else (and - you have guessed - they do not really understand the difference).

They lack a deep technical & computer science understanding of what these things actually mean, and what is really the most important for specific clients' needs.

Here at DevsData LLC, the founding team as well as a majority of our employees have worked as software engineers on many international projects (or UK-based and US-based startups, as well as corporations) over the years experiencing many different technologies first-hand, vastly different project organization, managerial technics, workflow, and various tools and methodologies.

technical

2

The tech is not just a
keyword on paper to look for.

We understand that tech tools, frameworks, and languages are interconnected together, and there are groups of frameworks/modules that work well together for a particular business use case using a specific programming language.

We understand the similarities and connections, as well as differences, between specific technologies, and how hard (or easy) will it be for a specific engineer to learn technology X assuming he/she is already well-versed at Y.

Apart from the technical perspective, we have also been involved in IT projects as tech leads and managers. As a result we understand the business side, client’s objective, KPIs and what to look for in a good engineer apart from pure technical knowledge and acumen

hamburger

3

Our experience shows that soft skills are not less pivotal than the tech side in the case of smooth communication and avoidance of conflicts among team members.

Another point that we firmly believe in, apart from the knowledge of technology and soft skills, is that the most essential thing to actually look for in an engineer is brainpower – the ability to solve complex, abstract problems, and to do it quickly. It does not mean “knowledge of algorithms”, but quite the opposite. During a recruitment process we give a series of problem-solving challenges that do not require knowledge but require thinking and determination. And surprisingly, the vast majority of the candidates, even senior engineers, cannot even solve the simple challenge. Some of them do not even try but give up at the very beginning. And yet they want to charge $140/h for software consulting. That is just one of the examples how poor the level of skill set of the average software engineer is.

technical

4

Tech changes literally every day, doesn’t it?

screen

Combine all the above with making sure that the person is really up-to-date with the recent tech frameworks, modules, and tools, as well as having a genuine passion and motivation for creating high-quality software, and you will likely get an engineer that builds your system vastly faster than you would expect.

And those are the kinds of the engineers that we are after, and are well-connected with – by having a network of people from best European computer science universities that worked for the most demanding clients like hedge funds and banks, as well as ambitious startups..

screen
circles

5

Transparency and ethicality - does it even exist in the IT recruitment?

What we have also observed is that there are recruiters and agencies that are neither very transparent, nor ethical.

Many friends of mine were instructed by a recruiter during an interview to say that they actually had the required experience, even if they had no idea what it was about. Or they were told they could learn tech X in a few hours, whereas the job posting stated that a deep, or even expert, understanding of tech X is needed.

In DevsData, we thoroughly test the candidates and introduce the ready-to-go tech team to our client.

And the value the engineers we recruit bring to the project is what makes our clients reach out to us again.

circles

6

Competent shortlisting - that's how we save your money, time and energy.

One last tip that allows us to streamline the recruitment process is to weed out weak people quickly at the very beginning of the process.
If you ever recruited internationally – you know what is the issue here.

As a result, we can focus valuable interview time on the specialists that are sharp, knowledgeable, and overall promising - to test them better and make sure they are really a good fit for the client.

Rigorous, multi-stage recruitment process

with an approval rate of under 1%

To deliver what we promise, we came up with an extensive, multi-stage, rigorous recruitment process, tailored to a particular tech position, that we continuously improve. As it is our secret of success, we do not want to disclose every detail, but it involves stages like:

  • Approximate approval rate:

    20% of the initial candidate pool

    1

    CV prescreening

  • Approximate approval rate:

    10% of the initial candidate pool

    2

    An automated problem-solving algorithmic challenge

  • Approximate approval rate:

    5-10% of the initial candidate pool

    3

    Quick non-technical conversation

  • Approximate approval rate:

    1-2% of the initial candidate pool

    4

    1 hour thorough technical interview with one of our engineers - live coding

  • Approximate approval rate:

    <1% of the initial candidate pool

    5

    The followup, longer calls with our engineers and business team to assess if candidate's experience is relevant to the project

The essential thing is to eliminate weak candidates very early in the process not to waste time on inferior talent, people without necessary acumen, brainpower, or CS fundamentals.

Skills and traits that we check:

Non-technical skills/traits *

  • Communication and organizational skills
  • Drive and passion
  • Personality
  • Behaviour during difficult or unusual situation
  • Business understanding
  • Presentational skills
  • Ability to think abstractly and finding generalized solutions for specific class of problems
  • Intelligence and brainpower
  • Reaction time

Technical skills

  • Is the person up-to-date with the very recent tech changes?
  • Computer Science foundations
  • Awareness and knowledge of security aspects
  • Deep understanding of and experience in the programming domain(s) stated in a CV
  • Algorithmic problem-solving skills

* Non technical skills are also checked for the engineering roles.

Got a project idea?

Let's have a call to:

  • Find out how bespoke software can help your business.
  • Estimate the time and budget needed to develop a solution.
  • Learn more about our expertise and capabilities.

Got a project idea?

Quote mark

Best back-end engineers I've ever worked with.​

“I interviewed about a dozen different firms. DevsData LLC is truly exceptional – their backend developers are some of the best I’ve ever worked with. I’ve worked with a lot of very well-qualified developers, locally in San Francisco, and remotely, so that is not a compliment I offer lightly. Their depth of knowledge and their ability to get things done quickly."

Nicholas Johnson

CEO OF ORANGE CHARGER LLC;

MENTOR AT YCOMBINATOR

Success

Thank you


We'll get back to you within 1 bussiness day.