Software developers are in high demand—and short supply. They can choose from multiple job offers, so they have all the power in the relationship. However, attracting them to your company could be easier if you know what they are looking for, what they value most in their workplaces, and what features should your project have to become more appealing to brilliant tech minds.
That’s why in this article, we suggest discovering how to attract tech talent and what matters to software developers based on their firsthand opinions.
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Why do companies struggle to attract tech talent?
If you are looking to attract software developers, you probably already know that it’s not easy. Below are just some of the reasons that force companies to come up with more and more creative tech talent acquisition strategies to catch a big fish in a tech talent pool.
- Intense competition. 43% of businesses struggle with hiring suitable candidates because of the high level of competition. As a rule, mailboxes of top candidates are overflowing with offers to consider open vacancies, but not all of them will ever get answered.
- Growing salary expectations. Top-skilled software developers recognize their value and are eager to get paid above average in exchange for their knowledge. Global tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon are more than able to satisfy their needs, while the smaller and less-known organizations (which still can be a good fit) are left with less qualified and experienced candidates.
- Great Resignation. 72% of tech workers are thinking of quitting their jobs or exploring other job opportunities in the next 12 months. In our recent article, we discussed the impact Great Resignation has on hiring tech talent. Long story short, it becomes more difficult since the best software developers want the best job opportunities for themselves and are pretty sure they will be able to get them with little to no additional effort.
- Tech talent shortage. There are only 65 potential candidates for every 100 new job openings. In fact, the demand for brilliant software developers exceeds the supply significantly, and, when coupled with the factors above, makes recruiting tech talent even more challenging.
What matters most to modern software developers
It may sound harsh but as stated by McKinsey, “Top talent is now interviewing you, not the other way around”. So, here is what modern software developers want from the companies they work for.
Take a look at the chart below. Objective-C, which occupies the last position in the list of favorite programming languages, dates back to 1980. While it doesn’t make this language better or worse than others, and it still can be effective when tailored to the project needs, using more recent languages, tools and frameworks is more interesting to modern software developers.
In addition to the opportunity to work with new and advanced technologies, developers say they want the chance to make an impact, not just the chance to make money. That’s why most of them are willing to consider projects with a strong mission and world-changing potential.
Intellectual challenges are also among the things that make software developers love their jobs and proceed with lifetime learning. Here is the firsthand opinion of a software developer with 20+ years of experience to prove it.
Nevertheless, the salary is still important, so let’s dwell on this point, too.
Companies have to compete with other businesses that need people with similar skills, which means you have to pay more than you’re used to for getting the right person on board. At the same time, salary expectations are often higher than companies can afford.
However, doing your best to offer competitive salaries to your software developers is business-wise. In the end, you pay top dollar for top professionals, which will increase the final ROI. In addition, the best-skilled developers are likely to have programmers of the same or higher level in their professional network, and with a referral program in place, one day you can get a winning recommendation.
If you feel like you can breathe a sigh of relief after your developer accepted your job offer, then you need to know that you are only halfway there. Now your task is to make a good first impression. The only way to do that is to provide a great onboarding experience. Feel free to discover how to do it right in our dedicated article.
Flexible working schedule
A flexible working schedule and remote work opportunities are two of the most sought-after benefits for software engineers. In the world of software development, these opportunities have long become a norm, which is equally beneficial for both companies and their tech teams. In addition to better job satisfaction and life-work balance, working out of time zones becomes more effective when team members can adjust to both the time zones of their colleagues and their personal needs.
Non-toxic working environment
A non-toxic working environment and collaborative teams are other two factors that matter for modern software developers. A non-toxic working environment is one where developers feel comfortable with their coworkers when sharing their ideas and exchanging their opinions. Such freedom allows them to work at their best, which leads to better products and happier customers.
Collaborative teams are also important. Developers have to work together to create new products. If they don’t feel like they can trust each other or communicate well enough, then this will make it much harder for them to succeed as a team.
No bureaucracy and micromanagement
When a developer is working on code, it’s important to have an environment where they can focus on getting the job done right.
|“Almost all software engineers surveyed said key elements for an ideal work environment are great managers, co-workers they get along with and can learn from” – 2022 State of Software Engineers.
But what makes a great manager? Great managers are the ones who listen to their team members and respect their input, they set high standards but are also willing to help employees meet them, and they provide honest feedback often. In addition, co-workers who are friendly, supportive and easy-going help create an atmosphere where engineers can thrive.
No time drains on meaningless communication
Meaningless communication and “it should be an email” situations are annoying. Plus, they waste the time of software developers you are paying for instead of letting them write the code.
And here is what software developers share on Quora talking about the things they like least about their work process. Attending too many meetings is the top second thing they don’t like (with micromanagement being third).
So, show your candidates the right approaches to remote communication from the very beginning of your conversation – for example, let them choose a convenient time slot to schedule the first interview, give them the freedom to choose a communication tool, align the time zones and keep your conversations short, yet meaningful.
Diversity and inclusion
The tech industry is still a predominantly white male space, but it’s changing as diversity and inclusion become more and more important to software developers. They want to see equal access to job opportunities, and they want to know that the hiring process is free from prejudice depending on the candidate’s age, nationality, race, religion, and so on.
While programmers are people with innovative thinking, they have long been aware that judging people because of their personal features should become a thing of the past, and what’s more, hiring diverse tech teams drives innovation and creativity at the workplace.
Career growth opportunities
The world of software development is all about keeping pace with time, life-long learning, and professional advancement. That’s why successful programmers learn new things day after day, increasing their value as tech professionals. And this is also the reason why they are eager to move higher on the career ladder. The 2022 State of Software Engineers survey we mentioned earlier revealed that for more than half of the participants, having career development opportunities is essential.
How to attract top tech talent with their expectations in mind?
If you wonder how to get started with tech talent attraction while keeping the insights above in mind, here is a step-by-step guide to do it in 2023.
Start your transformation steadily
Meeting all the requirements modern software developers have overnight is impossible. That’s why you have to start your project transformation slowly. First, identify what you are lacking right now. Next, divide the pain points into the higher and lower priority ones, and only then start with your transformation strategy.
Prioritize your company’s culture
It can be hard to attract the best talent when you’re a company that’s not already known for being a great place to work. Your company culture is one of the most important things you can change if you want to make your business more attractive for software developers. Developing a strong employer brand is also a must if you want to attract top programming talent to your company.
Creating a strong mission is a good place to start. Your mission should be clear and easy to understand by the people who work for you and your customers. It should also be flexible enough that it can adapt over time as your business grows and evolves.
Hire diverse teams with a matching skill set
Hiring diverse teams with a focus on skill set match rather than on cultural fit is the next step you can make to attract the best software developers to your company. To get started, take a look at your current team and see where gaps in diversity lie. If you have a lot of men mostly no women in your staff, fixing this gender gap will be a good place to start. You are also welcome to discover more diversity hiring best practices in our related article.
Optimize your remote work environment
If you haven’t optimized your remote work environment in the wake of the pandemic, it’s not too late to start right now. For example, start by encouraging your software developers to work from home several days a week. You’ll also need to make sure that they have access to everything they need, including powerful hardware and any necessary software related to your project.
Leverage a data-driven approach to talent sourcing
When you are done with the steps above, consider getting started with more advanced, automated, and data-driven tech talent sourcing. In addition to the opportunity to speed up the recruitment process and cut hiring costs, it will also allow you to get in touch with developers who are open to new job opportunities and whose expectations coincide with the benefits your project can offer.
At Bridge, we use a data-driven tech talent sourcing engine to find the top-notch programmers in the global talent pool, filter them accurately and then handpick the right candidates for your vacancies. Despite all the challenges the modern tech labor market faces, with our help, you can overcome them in a few days instead of dragging the candidates’ search for months. We’ll help you get the most out of your hiring process by providing the right tools and resources to find and recruit the qualified programming talent your project needs right now!
Get in touch with us today!