Hiring a Java developer (or any other type of developer) is difficult, even for those recruiters with years of experience and technical background. For those with no clue about what Java is or what skills to look for, the challenge is even greater. If you’re looking for the best ways to screen Java developer skills, the first thing is to understand what you’re asking; otherwise, it is easy to get fooled by anyone with a Java certificate.

Before starting the recruitment process, make sure you do your research about the best java interview questions, as well as the skills and requirements you need for that specific role you’re looking for. In this article, you’ll learn more about what Java is and the most fundamental skills all developers who praise themselves as ‘Java experts’ should know.

Basic Java Developer Skills 

For a moment, think about the hardest exam you took in college. Remember how hard you studied for it? All the coffee you needed to make it through the night? And in the end, the results were great (or maybe not so great), but you managed to approve.

Think of hiring a Java developer as studying for an exam, especially if you’re not a Java expert. You can’t interview someone for a role you know nothing about. You first need to understand the role and why that role is important in the team.

What are the essential skills every Java dev should have? This depends. Not all the roles require the same skills; however, these are some fundamental skills that every single Java developer need to know and that you should keep an eye for: 

  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) principles (All Java developers need to have a solid understanding of this as Java is an OOP language).
  • Relational databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB) 
  • Popular version control systems such as Git or BitBucket
  • Working with an integrated development environment (IDE) like IntelliJ IDEA.
  • Web frontend technologies like HTML, CSS, and JQuery.
  • Principles of Solid (Single Responsibility Principle, Open/Closed Principle, Liskov Substitution Principle, Interface Segregation Principle, Dependency Inversion Principle).
  • DevOps tools.
  • Unite tools such as JUnit and TestNG.
  • Knowledge in microservices. 
  • Spring framework 5.

How to Screen Java Developer Skills Successfully?

Hiring IT talent is expensive, but having a bad hire is even more costly. The U.S. Department of Labor revealed that the average cost of a bad hire is up to 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings. And according to a report from the CEO of Link Humans, the average cost can be as high as $240,000 in expenses. These numbers can affect your company’s budget, plus let’s not mention the time and energy you waste on a bad hire.

When looking for your ideal Java developer it is fundamental to have a solid recruitment process. Here are 5 fundamental tips that will help you screen Java developer skills successfully and avoid going over the bad hire drama:

1)  Interview Prep Is A Must

No manager would ever go to an interview, especially a technical interview, without preparation. However, as obvious as it sounds, having the questions or tests isn’t the only thing you need to prepare.

Before setting up a date to meet your candidates, be clear about what type of employee you need for your team. For example, if you have an IT team already, what role will the new candidate have? What are the negotiable skills and the non-negotiable skills they should have? Asking yourself these questions will enable you to have a more precise panorama of what type of candidate will pass the bar.

2)  One Interview Isn’t Enough 

In an ideal world, you would interview a candidate, they would be a great fit, have the necessary skills, and in a matter of a week, you would already have them working on your team. However, the hiring world is challenging, and for being sure you’re making the right choice, you need more than just a hunch.

If you have a solid understanding of Java, then you could perfectly interview on your own and then interview the candidate with other colleagues or leaders to see if you all think the candidate is a great fit or not. However, if you don’t have any technical background at all, it’s important that you ask for help. Otherwise, anyone can show up to the interview and pretend they are the best Java developer. 

Either way, it’s always better to do solo interviews and group interviews, whether with their possible team members or with the leadership team, as you see convenient. But having a second opinion will help you decide more objectively who is the right fit for your team.

3) Test Their Skills

This is probably one of the hardest aspects of the recruiting process. How to test their skills the right way? There are different scenarios for this, depending on what type of candidate you need. But generally speaking, when hiring Java developers it is always good to put their knowledge to the test. You can start by asking theoretical questions about Java or about something specific you need them to know for the position they’re applying for.

Also, you can create tests or make them develop a specific task to test their performance. This all depends on the skills you need to test, but overall, many online platforms can help you perform these tests and see if a candidate knows what they preach.

Another way of testing a Java developer’s knowledge is by giving them a project and a due date. Then see if they deliver the project at the estimated time and how well they deliver it.  

4)  Set Clear Expectations From The Start

During the recruitment process, make sure to set clear expectations with the candidates. Let them know how the process is, how many interviews they’ll have, and who will interview them. Setting clear expectations from the beginning will also help them understand what you’re looking for. In the best cases, a candidate might think they will be a great fit for you. In other cases, they will instead avoid the entire process because they understand they don’t have the necessary skills or requirements.

5)  Go Beyond The Technical Skills

When hiring a Java developer, it’s fundamental to make sure they have what it takes to succeed in the role. However, hard skills are not the only thing that matters. 

Keep in mind that hiring for culture fit is equally important. Imagine hiring a talented Java programmer who hates receiving feedback? Or who can’t stand to work as a team? Soft skills also determine the success of the person in a company. 

Are You Ready to Hire Your Next Java Developer? 

Hiring and recruiting IT talent is not a piece of cake, especially when you want to find developers who fully integrate into your company’s culture and values. It’s never only about tech skills; it’s also about how employees work towards one common goal. However, all this is possible with a solid recruitment strategy and with implementing the 5 tips above. 

Also Read: 13 Reasons To Learn Java Programming