However, we have had some experiences that once our consultant was on-site and started the project, that they were not as good at application development as we first thought.
We are trying to find better ways to ensure a developer can actually do the required coding. Do people still use Brainbench? Is this a reliable method? Are there better methods?
Any suggestions are appreciated.
847.466.7400 x 2973
One thing I have learned about recruiting outside of my field of expertise is not to "Think" but "Know".
The candidates objective is to get a job and impress you, so they will do anything in order to get that job including lie (oh my how horrible). I am a trained computer and biomedical engineer so I am faily confident with my knowledge of most programming languages, the problem is a new open source solution comes out EVERY DAY so its hard to keep up when you dont have the time to dedicate to the continuing learning process. It seems that you are not doing your due dilligence with reference checks because that will quickly unmask any issues this person has (my assumption based on your posting above with starting people but soon after having to replace them).
Of course no one will give you the names of people who will not speak them up, but put a little bit of elbow grease into finding a former team member who is willing to converse with you and you will see a world of change in your retention rates. Also, how is your relationship with your customer(s)? If they are strong relationships, ask the customer to help you develop a "drop-dead" questionnaire to use in your screening process or do as I do with programming languages I am unfamiliar with, hire a consultant to screen candidates on a case-by-case basis. For their time pay them per interview (the most I pay is $50 per interview.)
The key to being a great recruiting/headhunting/staffing organization is to have focus in particular areas so if your focus is IT, you should have at least on converted programmer or developer on staff in your recruiting or sourcing department. This will do two things, first open up your candidate pool because that persons network becomes your network and secondly, they are now your brick wall screener for developers or programmers. I'd suggest trying to find a former athlete (not an easy task for developers), because that person will also have the personality needed to engage candidates that are otherwise not used to being in anything but technical conversations.
I hope I didn't bore you or the other readers with my ideologies, but I can assure you they work. Our retention rates are above industry standards (I am on the DC area so it is hard enough as is) and our customers like that we get intimately involved in the selection process because they know they are getting a top-flight candidate who will exceed expectations. Good Luck!