The Quality Assurance engineer is the last route out for whatever the end product.  The QA engineer makes sure that the product is the best it can be when it hits the market.  Because of this responsibility, the QA engineer is top-of-the-line in his profession and is the most difficult to find and recruit.  It can, however, be done with the right approach that begins where QA engineers spend spare time. The QA engineer, therefore, represents not only the entire engineering team but the company’s reputation as well.

Know Where They Spend Their Free Time

As is true with most engineers, QAs stay away from the networking social forums.  Instead, they frequent forums in which they can share information and comfortably talk with their peers.  Forums of most interests to QAs are more general software testing forums.  The focus is not so much on language-specific issues.  Software Testing Club and QA Forums attract QA’s feature conversations around quality assurance best practices.  It’s estimated that the Software Quality community on Stack Overflow attracts more than 13,000 visitors per day.

When potential candidates are spotted, it’s best not to launch into a recruiting spiel. The forums are places for engineers to relax and talk to others who are there for the same purpose.  While they might be interested in a new job prospect, it’s best to not jump into hearing about one.  Instead, enter the conversations.  To do that, a prior recruitment strategy might be to learn as much as you can about the QA’s daily tasks and challenges.

Understand Their Biggest Challenges at Work

Minor glitches in an application might be accepted as something the final users can tolerate,  but the best QA engineers often escalate the glitches to bugs and send the application back to the engineers.

A scalable testing process is a QA task.  Getting stakeholders to use the same process and tools can best be accomplished with clear guidelines.

Regardless of the QA’s best efforts, it is not improbable that there will be bugs in an application.  Setting up and managing expectations across multiple teams whose jobs are affected by the product is one of the QA’s most difficult challenges.

Know What They Look for in New Jobs

Understanding the other side of the recruitment coin is an important tool for success.  It’s not enough to understand some of the tech talks, but you should also be aware of what the candidates are looking for.  At least one QA professional speaks of what is important in her job search.  Ludmilla Sivanathan, QAManager at Clearbridge Mobile, says she needs to be challenged, and if the job doesn’t demand she “push” herself she won’t apply.  Additionally, she asks “if the developers are open to feedback” and does the team share responsibility.

The last, but certainly not the least, the concern of the potential QA candidate is whether the company will encourage advancement.