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How To Hire The Right DevOps Engineer For Your Team

The demand for skilled technical DevOps engineers, managers, and contractors has grown exponentially in recent years. As more organisations undertake digital transformation initiatives, the need for effective DevOps grows more crucial.

However, hiring the right DevOps talent that aligns perfectly with your organisation’s processes, infrastructure, and team culture can prove challenging. 

The Ongoing Challenges of DevOps Recruitment and Placement

When recruiting DevOps talent, especially for contract-based roles, it pays to work with specialist technical recruitment agencies like ClearHub. Our dedicated experts make it their mission to understand your specific needs and match you with offshore or local DevOps talent that can integrate into your workflows seamlessly, and provide your organisation with the right level of support.

An ever-present issue within DevOps recruitment strategies is the niche talent pool and high demand for specialist vacancies needing to be filled. Whether you have already established incumbent DevOps processes or are at the start of your journey, finding the right hire is essential. The cost of a bad hire can be felt long after the position is filled, so this is best avoided as much as possible.

This guide will explore some key considerations when looking to hire DevOps contractors to ensure you find an engineer that complements your tech stack and enhances delivery capabilities.

How to Secure the Right DevOps Talent for Your Organisation

Define the Core Skills and Expertise Needed

Before posting a DevOps vacancy or speaking to recruiters, outline the must-have expertise and competencies expected from candidates. 

When you need to bring in a DevOps engineer or software developer, establish the minimum experience level and evidence of projects completed. Measure them up to your current organisation’s tasks to assuage their similarities and address any evident gaps. 

As the name suggests, DevOps engineer recruitment involves finding someone with diverse skills that span across development and operations. The vacancy or vacancies that need supplementing will depend on your organisation’s stage in your DevOps journey, whether you’re transitioning to a new model, adopting cloud technologies, or scaling your infrastructure. 

Ultimately, with contract-based work, DevOps engineers should be able to get to work straight away. But you want to avoid hiring a DevOps contractor too junior for a role that requires more senior management expertise. Therefore, consider the wider knowledge needed in CI/CD pipelines, automation, containerisation, microservices and more based on your infrastructure. 

Doing all of this in the early stages will help recruiters shortlist the most suitable DevOps engineers for your review.

Assess Cultural Fit and Soft Skills

Technical skills alone don’t guarantee a successful hire, nor should they. Hard technical skills can be taught, whereas personality traits and characteristics are often irreplaceable.

Assess contract DevOps engineers’ communication abilities, collaboration skills, problem-solving, self-motivation and other soft skills during the interview process. Encourage them to talk openly with several members of the team. Different perspectives can help you formulate a complete picture of a candidate’s ethos and vibe, and provide reassurance that they are acting in a manner that suits your culture. Candidates have a tendency to act more ‘professional’ in job interviews, so bear this in mind.

Early cultural alignment also reduces integration issues and bottlenecks long term. Explain your workflows, management style and team interactions to evaluate candidate suitability, and listen carefully to their responses. Quite often you can learn whether a candidate is a good fit based on what they don’t say, rather than what they do.

DevOps contractors that slot seamlessly into existing processes adapt faster and work more efficiently from day one, which can help if you are intent on fostering a more collaborative, transparent culture between development and operations.

Validate Past Experience and Referrals

Scrutinise candidates’ previous contracting experience working with similar software stacks and tools to yours. Multi-cloud platform expertise, including in AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, is especially sought-after. Applicants may also have familiarity with other software stacks like Atlassian and can provide supporting evidence of projects or operational tasks completed, even if your incumbent stack is from a different provider.

Vendor referrals also build confidence when hiring. Specialist agencies like ClearHub have a carefully compiled network of potential DevOps candidates who have undergone extensive verification. When partnering with us, we can make tailored recommendations to save you time while shortlisting.

Discuss Delivery Workflows

Even stellar DevOps consultants and engineers can only thrive if properly integrated into your established workflows. 

During interviews, discuss:

  • Typical delivery timeframes
  • Release processes
  • Production monitoring
  • On-call responsibilities
  • Integration with other teams like developers, QA testers etc.

This sets clear expectations around how you operate before your new hire starts. Strong collaboration ultimately accelerates delivery in complex stacks.

Find Quality DevOps Engineers With Help from ClearHub

Identifying well-qualified DevOps talent that aligns seamlessly with your workflows, culture and tech stack takes time, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. However, the right hire pays long-term dividends across software engineering, systems administration and IT operations. 

With the right consultant, engineer, or manager working alongside you, you can improve your software delivery processes, develop innovative new DevOps strategies, integrate new tools, enhance your training and support, and so on.

ClearHub’s specialist software engineering and development recruiters simplify your search process through rigorous vetting and matching with contracted or permanent DevOps talent tailored to your needs. Our team is comprised of Atlassian and DevOps recruitment experts with proven experience filling roles of all seniority levels, and we can promptly match you with top-tier DevOps talent to support current projects and future growth ambitions. 

All candidates are given suitability tests before being submitted for available roles, and our team will be available 24/7 should there be any unexpected issues. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your hiring requirements.

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