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Aprico hires and retains only the best talent

To guarantee operational excellence to its clients, Aprico Consultants developed a selection process for new hires based on a simple principle: we are looking for employees who are not only the most competent, but also able to deliver.

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In the IT industry, the war for talent has been raging for many years. But when there is a severe shortage of competent staff in the market, it is important – more than ever – to maintain the highest level of expertise among our own team. By combining cutting-edge expertise and perfect management of both the technological and business aspects of our clients’ needs, Aprico develops and implements an innovative ICT offering, which improves the productivity, efficiency, and profitability of our customers, enabling them to perform better and to cope with today’s technological challenges.

To provide our clients with the best IT profiles, ready to help them carry out their IT strategy, we have based our recruitment process on the principles that can be found in ‘Smart and Get Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent’. At Aprico, we have ambitious goals. We not only want to find new employees with the best competences, but also people who are ready to fully commit themselves to our company.

In reality, a candidate starts the selection process by solving a ‘business puzzle’. It’s an exercise that doesn’t require deep knowledge of neither the .NET framework nor a particular business domain, but that simply aims at assessing the candidate’s capacity of reasoning and algorithm and code design. In less than 30 minutes, the candidate has to complete the exercise. Unit tests are provided. In the next step, the candidate is invited to discuss the techniques that were used with one or two Aprico employees, in general senior profiles. The objective is to learn – apart from his or her technical skills – how the candidate thinks, analyzes and understands a problem. But obviously, the solution is more important than the problem. That’s why we want to learn more about the candidate’s way of structuring solutions and expressing himself. If necessary, the candidate receives some clues that help him on his way.

The technical exercise is only the starting point. In the next step, we start a conversation with the candidate to try and dig as deep as possible into his or her skills and knowledge. The conversation is a living thing, but still we follow a certain canvas, to make sure we cover all the most important areas, including security, design, software engineering practices, testing, and various technology stacks. The conversation generally lasts one hour. The information is consolidated into an appreciation sheet that is shared with the HR department and that supports our ‘decision’. Of course, we also discuss our point of view with our HR colleagues.

For Aprico, the selection process shows also how we master the technological field in question. It reveals that we only are looking for the very best profiles for architecture, design and patterns, security and software engineering, including agile methods, integration and various technological stacks (WebApi, ASP.NET MVC, Angular, Data Persistence, WCF, and more). The decision to retain a candidate is made unanimously by both interviewers.

“Overall, we are less interested in the candidate’s résumé than in his ability to deliver results and in the way this was achieved”, says François Chabot, Solution Architect and Microsoft Specialist. “In fact, the test we developed is really very simple. But we expect a solution that is extremely precise, similar to the work of a goldsmith.” Aprico is mainly looking for candidates with a certain level of experience, “but not necessarily for the proverbial five-legged sheep.”

Aprico’s mission is to develop and implement end-to-end ICT solutions that translate a company’s strategy, objectives, and constraints into pragmatic transformation programs, delivering real added value and a proven return on investment in a market that is in constant evolution and transformation. Our requirements in terms of values and culture, coupled with a close collaboration with the client’s business and technical teams, enable us to offer tailored services and achieve the operational excellence required by our projects.