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Technical Recruiting Cheat Sheet: A Beginner's Guide

Asavari Sharma

July 05, 2023

What is technical recruiting, you ask? Simply put, technical recruiting is the process of hiring people for technical roles such as software developer, UI/UX designer, IT service engineer, and so on. It is different from non-technical recruiting in that the HR team will typically need to have a working knowledge of the technical concepts relevant to the job.

But how much knowledge is enough knowledge? And would it not take months to learn all the concepts and applications related to a tech job? Instead, we recommend using a technical recruiting cheat sheet to keep the basics handy when conducting an interview. If you do not know what that is, read on.

What is a technical recruiting cheat sheet? How is it helpful?

As the term suggests, a technical recruiting cheat sheet lists all the terms and concepts a recruiter needs to keep in mind when hiring for a technical role. It features definitions, skill sets, language requirements, and other essential details in a simple, at-a-glance format that enables even non-technical recruiters to determine whether the candidate before them is a good fit.

There are three components that a technical recruiting cheat sheet can help with:

  • Expertise - The technical skills vital to the role
  • Soft skills - The non-technical skills that are just as important for success
  • Team compatibility - The qualities that indicate an ability to collaborate and share wins

If you are a developer by background, hiring a developer - or even some other technical candidate - would not be that tough because you already know what qualities and skills you are looking for in your next hire.

But if you do not have technical experience, all the terms and technologies referred to can get confusing. This is all the more true given that technology is constantly in a state of flux, which means that keeping up can be challenging for anyone.

Meanwhile, the position needs to be filled, and the choice you make as a recruiter will significantly impact the company’s technological future.

A technical recruiting cheat sheet can give you enough of a lowdown that you can converse freely with a candidate and gauge what they know.

It lets you pinpoint critical information quickly, speeding up the selection process, and helps you go into greater depth with the candidates who show promise. The key benefits of a technical recruiting cheat sheet include:

  • Improved knowledge of the tech world
  • Greater clarity and conciseness when crafting job descriptions
  • Improved ability to screen and test candidates for job suitability
  • Enhanced trust from both candidates and colleagues about your ability to hire for tech
  • A quick, accessible introduction to the technical terms necessary for recruitment purposes

A quick technical recruiting cheat sheet for software development roles

While many think of software development as a single department, it is a conglomeration of tasks, with each task requiring a specialist.

At the same time, all the specialists need to be in sync with each other and work together so that they might contribute meaningfully to the overall final product. It is thus vital to pick people who know their stuff and are also good at collaborating.

Here is a quick list of qualities that each role demands:

1. Frontend developer

The frontend developer role involves working between backend developers and other non-technical stakeholders such as those in design to create the client-facing side of the product. Essentially, it bridges the technical and the non-technical worlds in your company.


  • Uses the atomic design principle
  • Diversified framework knowledge
  • Proficient in CSS, HTML, and Javascript
  • Good at frontend security and debugging
  • Knows a variety of web technologies and design patterns
  • Understanding of UI/UX concepts like tradeoffs and perceived experience

Team skills

  • Easy to get along with
  • Basic knowledge of backend roles
  • Proactive about discussing use cases
  • Quickly grasps established code patterns and style guidelines
  • Familiar with the development framework and methodologies your team uses

Soft skills

  • Detail-oriented
  • Empathy for the end-user
  • Strong communication skills
  • Always learning and improving
  • Understands and meets your brand’s work aesthetic standards

Languages known

  • Java
  • Javascript
  • C
  • C++
  • Python

Frameworks known

  • React
  • Node.js
  • Angular.js
  • Express.js

2. Backend developer

The backend developer role involves writing server-side code, building APIs, and ensuring that product designs are scalable. They are the architects of the product foundation for the frontend developer to build on. Here is the technical recruiting cheat sheet for hiring them:


  • Easily picks up new tech
  • Robust IT architectural skills
  • Strong at developing scalable server-side code
  • Up-to-date on standards and best practices in their skill stack
  • Understands a range of software design frameworks and patterns

Team skills

  • Stack match for the team
  • Contributes to design as well as code review
  • Familiar with the methodology your team uses
  • Maintains comprehensive design documents for reference
  • Works with both technical and non-technical colleagues effectively

Soft skills

  • Problem-solving nature
  • Flexible and cooperative attitude
  • Strong technical and non-technical skills
  • Takes accountability for own performance

Languages known

  • Javascript
  • Java
  • C
  • C++
  • Python

Frameworks known

  • Spring
  • Node.js
  • Angular.js
  • Django
  • JSF

3. Full-stack developer

Full stack developers work on both the front end and the back end. Usually, depending on the exact nature of the job, the developer will lean more towards one of the two. They tend to have a broad skill base with a few specializations.


  • Stack match for the team
  • Can independently build an MVP
  • Can think at a high technical level
  • Committed to driving best practices across the tech stack
  • Understands tech even beyond their accumulation of expertise

Team skills

  • Understands the team’s development style
  • Strong at technical communication
  • Willing and helpful mentor
  • Easy to get along with
  • Sense of humility

Soft skills

  • Always learning
  • Creative and motivated
  • Objective about product decisions
  • Passionate about what they are creating
  • Self-started and manages own responsibilities
  • Takes both technical and non-technical contexts into account during work

Languages known

  • CC
  • Javascript
  • C++
  • Java
  • Python

Frameworks known

  • Angular.js
  • Node.js
  • React
  • Express.js

4. DevOps specialist

This is a support role that combines a knowledge of operations, software development, and QA to facilitate the development process and ensure that the product being built is robust both technically and financially. Have a look at this specific technical recruiting cheat sheet.


  • Experience in a related technical domain
  • Experience with building server environments
  • Can supervise considerable data maintenance
  • Knows how to work smarter rather than harder
  • Experience with successful system monitoring and reporting
  • Comfortable with picking up new technologies and concepts on the go

Team skills

  • Collaborative
  • Leadership abilities
  • Composed attitude in all scenarios
  • Can advocate for the system’s long-term needs
  • Familiar with the team’s development methodology

Soft skills

  • Strong communication skills
  • Proactive and self-motivated
  • Happy to work behind the scenes
  • Strategic decision-making abilities
  • Problem-solving attitude and a sense of curiosity

Languages known

  • Python
  • Swift
  • C++
  • Typescript
  • Javascript

Frameworks known

  • Angular.js
  • Node.js
  • Django
  • Spring
  • ASP

A checklist of must-haves for technical roles

Words like frontend and backend are not sufficient in themselves. Each is a broad division under which there are several job titles that your company might need new candidates.

Of course, we strongly recommend you work with a technical team member to understand the skills needed for each job title properly.

However, here is a list of roles or an IT glossary of sorts under each broad category and the associated skills you will need to test for.


  • .NET developer - C#, .NET, VB.NET, ASP
  • Flash developer - Flash, ActionScript
  • Cocoa/OSX developer - AppleScript, Apple, Cocoa Touch, iOS, Objective-C, Xcode, OS X
  • Interactive developer - CSS, HTML, Ajax, XHTML, PHP, Javascript
  • Front end developer - Ajax, ASP, ActionScript, CoffeeScript, Flash, CSS, jQuery, Javascript, HTML, HTML5
  • Rails developer - Ruby on Rails, Ruby, Ruby-HTML
  • Windows developer - ASP, Windows, C, C#, C++
  • SharePoint developer - ASP, Ajax, XSL, XML, SharePoint, SQL, Javascript, VB.NET, Windows Server


  • Business intelligence analyst - Business intelligence, Javascript, jQuery, SQL, SAS, SSAS, Visual Basic, R, Objective-C
  • Back end developer - C#, PHP, Ruby, Python, Java
  • Data mining - Python, Perl
  • Data engineer - Ruby, Java, Puppet, Scala, C++, Cassandra, HBase
  • Machine learning developer - Python, R, Perl, Java, Weka
  • Oracle developer - ASP, .NET, SQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, RDBMS
  • Linux/Unix proficient developer - Emacs Fedora, AWK, Debian, Linux, RHEL, Linux-kernel, vi, vim, Shell scripting (Bash, Korn, Bourne Shell), Scripting (Perl, Python, PHP)
  • SAP developer - Cobol, C++, ABAP, Java, SAP, mySAP, Netweaver, ERP
  • Software architect - API, Agile, C++, Cassandra, Ant, CouchDB, Git, Oracle, Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, SDK, Teradata, CORS, Websocket, Unit-testing
  • Site reliability engineer - Cloud, HTTP, authentication/authorization, SQL, network design, disaster recovery, performance, Linux/Unix, TCP/IP


  • Android developer - HTML5, Java, Linux, C, C++
  • iOS developer - Cocoa, C, HTML5, Objective-C, LUA
  • Blackberry developer - HTML5, Java, C, C++, Cascades, QT
  • OS X developer - Objective-C, Cocoa, Cocoa Touch, X Code, OS X, Objective-C++
  • Web developer - ASP, CoffeeScript, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, jQuery, Ruby, PHP, CSS, HTML, Javascript
  • Interactive developer - CSS, Javascript, HTML, Ajax, XHTML, PHP
  • Ruby on Rails developer - Ruby on Rails, Ruby, Ruby-HTML
  • .NET developer - .NET, ASP, VB.NET, C#
  • All mobile development - Event handling, memory management, multithreading

Big data

  • Data engineer - Cassandra, C, C++, HBase, Ruby, Scala, Java, Puppet, HDFS
  • Big data engineer - Cloud computing, Hadoop, Cassandra, Mongo, MapReduce, HBase
  • Data mining - Python, Perl
  • Machine learning engineer - Weka, R, Python, Perl, Java
  • Platform infrastructure specialist - Cassandra, Go, C++, Java, HTTP, MySQL
  • Oracle developer - SQL, ASP, .NET, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL

Over to you

Hopefully, this comprehensive technical recruiting cheat sheet will help you gauge your candidates’ skills more confidently when recruiting and reduce your time-to-hire. However, it is essential to remember that technical expertise is not the only indicator of a good fit.

Your candidate still has to have strong communication skills, a willingness to learn, and the necessary people skills to fit into your company culture.

Therefore, be sure to look out for those even as you assess technical ability. Always work with other senior managers - including those in charge of the team the new candidate will be in - so that you know you are making the right choice for the company. You have got this.

Adaface, a candidate-friendly skill assessment platform, helps you evaluate candidates on various programming languages, software engineering frameworks, and coding skills. Plus, you can customize the test for any technical role and include any number of 700+ skills in MCQ or coding question formats. Get a detailed candidate performance report. Hire fast!


1. Is technical recruiting difficult?

Anyone tasked with finding tech talent is in a spot as a tech hire can make or break the company’s technological prospects. However, by using reliable strategies such as joining tech forums, using technical skill assessment tests, and running paid ads to attract tech profiles online, technical recruiters can smartly source, engage and convert talent for the company.

2. Who is a technical recruiter?

A technical recruiter refers to the person who handles sourcing, screening, interviewing, and selecting candidates in tech roles.

2. What skills does a technical recruiter have?

A few skills that make technical recruiters great at their job include strong project management skills, proactive candidate communications, proficiency in various assessment techniques, up-to-date knowledge about the latest industry trends, and vital critical thinking attributes.

3. How is tech recruiting different?

Tech recruiting is the process of hiring specifically people for tech-intensive roles. Recruiters must have a strong understanding of the necessary technical terms and job requirements. On the other hand, non-technical recruiting involves hiring for non-tech roles.

4. What is full-cycle recruiting?

Full-cycle recruiting refers to the end-to-end process of finding, evaluating, and onboarding a new employee. It is usually managed by the HR department. The full cycle recruiting process begins when the need to fill a job position in a company arises and ends when the new employee has been completely onboarded.

Asavari Sharma

Asavari is an EiR at Adaface. She has made it her mission to help recruiters deploy candidate-friendly skill tests instead of trick-question based tests. When taking a break, she obsesses over art.

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