Valentine’s day is coming up, and we thought it would be a great excuse for us to look at how to draw in and hook the best candidates for your team. Tech talent is scarce, and software engineering and product development experts are picking the products they feel challenged and moved by – it’s no longer companies who are choosing between suiters. Much like in romantic relationships, there are plenty of options out there, but only very few have the qualities and traits you are looking for: so don’t let opportunities go to waste! Here’s how. 

Stage 1: Initial Meeting/Attraction

Every relationship has to start somewhere. Given there are plenty of tech roles and a lack of available candidates, there are two common scenarios. While small companies need to headhunt, businesses with strong employer branding have the privilege of receiving inbound candidates.

Either way, reaching out to candidates that meet the criteria is a crucial moment. Recruiting for product, design, data, and engineering roles comes with specific challenges. The secret to successfully seducing candidates is keeping the focus on their needs, not yours!

  • How will your company impact their personal lives and goals?
  • How will the team they join bring new learnings, fun, and professional growth?
  • How will the software they build fast-track their career and challenge their skills?

It’s also important to remember that different arenas allow for different opportunities. Cast your net wide by sourcing new regions, being active in tech communities, and networking mindfully. 

Stage 2: Curiosity, Interest, and Infatuation

Here’s the thing: people don’t work for brands and companies. Instead, they look forward to following, learning from, and collaborating with people they admire. Once candidates have agreed to go through the recruitment process and facetime you, it’s time to build infatuation for leadership and the team. 

At this stage, attraction isn’t too deep, and it’s all about impressing the other party. Depending on levels of maturity, experience, and self-understanding, there will be more flexibility on:

  1. The scale from must-haves to nice-to-haves to bonus points.
  2. What can be overlooked, and what are the non-starters and dealbreakers.

Much like in dating, it’s important to have more of “is this the right person for me?” instead of “what can I do to make this person like me?”. To do so, interviewers must be hard-wired to the requirements of the job description and be fully conscious of what will benefit the team as a whole, not just what the position requires.

How to interview software engineers

For a successful interview, we recommend hiring manages structure their 1st interaction with submitted candidates in the following order:

1. Give your credentials

Hey, I’m [HIRING MANAGER NAME] and I’m [ROLE] here at [COMPANY]. I’m excited to talk to you [CANDIDATE NAME] because we’re trying to [CHALLENGE/GOAL] and we believe you’re the right person to help me and the team do it.

2. State the goal for the conversation

Let’s talk a little about [COMPANY] so you know exactly how awesome it is to work with us!

3. Make it clear why you do what you do.

[COMPANY][Mission statement]

[PRODUCT][Unique Selling Proposition]

[ROLE][The candidate’s purpose within this context]

4. Make those core questions

[COMPANY] Does the mission resonate with what you believe in? Would it be fulfilling to work towards this goal?

[PRODUCT] Could you get behind this value proposition and impact customer and user’s life for the better?

[ROLE] Are you up to the task?

5. Call them to action and prepare for next steps

I really appreciate your time in talking to you. I’ve learned that [KEY TAKE-AWAYS].

To me, it [DOES/DOESN’T] make sense to continue our conversations. [NEXT STEPS]

Here’s an example of how an interview script would end up looking like:

Let’s talk a little about Company X so you know exactly how awesome it is to work with us.

What we do: 

Company X helps mom and pop shops to stay in business by finding them credit options in a way they don’t get taken advantage of. 

That’s why we have a platform that compares rates and another that provides financial ed – and that’s where you come in.

You’ll have a direct impact on how this crucial information reaches them.


We bring together smart, ambitious folks who are passionate about small businesses.It’s a fast-moving environment and we do stuff well, not fancy.

For example: with COVID our staff and methodology were so fast that we pivoted our app in just a couple of days to help people from day 1. Our 12 people team helped save 60k jobs. That’s a big impact!


Are you up for it? We are building a team willing to revamp our product and innovate the way we educate the market. What would you do?

Stage 3: “Enlightenment” and partnering up

As selected candidates move forward in the process and arrive at hard skill assessment rounds and get to meet the team, reality sets in. Both sides are making decisions about whether to invest in the professional relationship. 

During live-coding sessions and stakeholder pannels, trust becomes stronger. It’s crucial candidates and peers allow themselves to act naturally. Nervousness aside, this is when peers will notice weaknesses, and canditates will catch differences between expectations and practice.

Tips to do well at this stage of the hiring process include:

  • Bring in self-disclosure: what do you need help with?
  • Ask big questions: where can this lead?
  • Push for decisions: what can I bring to the table, and what do I need from the other party?

Stage 4: Commitment or Engagement

By now, you and your team should be ready for a decision. Open and honest conversations will lead to a  good understanding of whether the candidate’s skills, values, and goals are aligned. Although the leader / hiring manager should listen to the team, there’s no space for decision per committee. Team members are often unaware of personal biases and individual preferences, and this can lead to good candidates being turned down. 

Also, leadership usually has access to privileged information and a birdsey view of business, product, and team necessities and is better equipped to make a final decision. Trust yourself to do what’s best for the whole! Once you’ve made the decision on who to hire, it’s time you communicate with candidates to provide their respective yes or no. 

We have written extensively about how to make or accept a job offer before, and we seriously recommend you take a look at that article for an in-depth take on how to find the balance between personal and company interests. Have a look!

Need help getting candidates to fall in love with your business and join your team?

Ubiminds has long experience in attracting the right candidates and mediating relationships so that tech talent stays committed and engaged. More than that, we help coach hiring managers on how to pitch opportunities to candidates and lure them in with what really matters, not just the perks. Leave us your contact information below, and we’ll gladly advise you on where and how to find tech talent to grow your team. 


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