How to Hire Your Next DevOps Engineer

Hiring top DevOps talent can be a difficult process. As we’ve seen, demand for DevOps professionals has increased, as more companies understand how important it is to break down the walls which traditionally divide software developers and IT operations. With more roles than suitable candidates, qualified engineers firmly hold the power, being able to pick and choose where they land next.

 

For many tech companies, having a DevOps engineer in the team is going to be essential for growth, especially if you’re a start-up in the early stages of business. Bringing together development and operations, DevOps engineers work with both the IT team and developers to align processes and move updates along in an agile and proactive manner, helping to deliver reliable products earlier.

You might hire a DevOps engineer to:

  • Provide advanced technical support
  • Action updates and fixes
  • Perform root cause analysis for production errors
  • Resolve technical issues
  • Develop deployment scripts
  • Automate and improve development and release processes
  • Test and examine code written by others

 

Although each company’s needs will differ, there are some common skills within DevOps you may look towards to help you hire top talent within the industry:

  • Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or relevant field
  • Experience in DevOps or software engineering
  • A competent understanding of OS administration, such as Windows and Linux
  • A proficient understanding of coding and scripting with common languages such as Python, Ruby and PHP
  • Collaborative and supportive management abilities
  • Customer-facing management skills
  • Strong problem-solving and communication skills

Looking for a candidate with a combination of soft and hard skills, who also has the relevant experience and education, can be difficult to find, but this doesn’t mean that you should cut corners in your recruitment process and hire a candidate that isn’t completely suited to the role. The problem with panic hiring when there is a talent shortage is that you’re potentially missing out on someone far more qualified for the role, and ultimately can result in a hiring process which isn’t objective.

It’s important as a company that you have a clear idea and end goal in your mind, creating a hiring strategy that will help you reach that goal. Panic hiring isn’t setting your business up for success. In fact, studies show that 46% of panic hires fail within 18 months, so taking time to fully vet candidates and choose the right person for the role – not just the first who is available – will save you time and money in the long run.

Additionally, we’ve seen over the past 2 years the salaries of DevOps professionals increasing. According to Puppet’s annual DevOps Salary Report, between 2020 and 2021, DevOps practitioner salaries doubled and manager salaries tripled. The best candidates are becoming more expensive, which unfortunately could be a barrier for some SME businesses. However, if you do decide to take the leap, this is further reason to take your time and not resort to a panic hire which will most likely cost you more.


How to Hire Top Talent in the DevOps industry

 

Have a Clear Hiring Strategy

Before you begin your outreach, start by setting clear objectives for your hiring search. Creating a well-thought-out hiring journey not only provides clarity for all stakeholders involved, but it also shows how prepared and considerate you are as a company, which is very attractive to a potential new employee. Remember, the candidates are observing you from the first moment you make contact. The hiring process is an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and organisation which will most definitely play a part in the candidate’s thought process in whether they should accept an offer or not.


Diversify Your Talent Pool

Once you’ve outlined your hiring strategy, it’s time to look at where the talent is. It can be easy to look in familiar places and your go-to job boards, however limiting your search means limiting the range of candidates you can reach. Before beginning your external outreach, look internally. Is there a suitable employee already in your business who is looking to step up or try something new? The benefit of recruiting internally is two-fold:


  • It is often more cost efficient – no fees for job boards or onboarding bonuses.
  • It boosts team morale and shows that their career progression is important to you.


If an internal recruit isn’t possible and you’re hiring your first DevOps employee, it’s time to get specific. By nature, DevOps engineers have a unique set of skills and there isn’t a surplus of them across the typical talent placements. Look to a niche job board for DevOps professionals who are proactively looking for a new opportunity or consider working with a specialised DevOps recruiter who has a network of engineers at their fingertips.

Here at Oakwell Hampton, we have a plethora of exceptional DevOps and IT professionals in our database within not only the UK but also the Netherlands, Germany and the US. If you’d like help with your hiring process, get in touch.


Sell Your USPs

Now you’ve found your perfect candidate, it’s time to sell yourself. It’s important that you showcase your company’s USPs to attract the candidates that are qualified for the role and a good fit for the company culture. As well as this, share the benefits, additional perks, role progression and training/development opportunities that the candidate will receive as an employee. “A good fit” has to be a mutual feeling for a successful hire; be honest with who you are and what you can offer to help prevent an early departure from the role if accepted.


Your Next DevOps Engineer Hire

As we’ve covered, DevOps engineers can be hugely beneficial to your business, improving efficiency, aligning processes and providing advanced technical support and it’s no secret that competition is high. For a successful hire, get clear on your hiring strategy, target top talent pools and differentiate yourself.

If you need support in hiring, get in touch.


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25th May

Career Advice Blog