When you’ve got a thoroughly thought-out strategy in place and the best resources at your disposal, you feel like nothing can stop your recruiting efforts. So why does it sometimes feel like you’re behind before the process even begins? Why are you missing out on quality candidates before they even make it to the funnel? It’s often the simplest changes that can make all the difference.
In our recent survey of 39,000+ developers, we uncovered insights on what attracts candidates to jobs, what tools they prefer using, and what they’re focused on learning. We validated these insights with local tech recruiters who are on the frontlines with these candidates every day.
This is the first article in our monthly series From the Front Lines. Each month we chat with a new talent acquisition leader to get insights about their experiences and the challenges they face when hiring engineers, developers, and other technical roles.
Here are the top three reasons why you may not be maximizing your tech recruiting efforts:
The recruiting process starts with you, but the weight of sourcing the right talent shouldn’t rest solely on your shoulders. Without support and regular feedback from your hiring managers, the skills or attributes of your target recruits begins to get foggy.
Mina Feuerhaken runs all of recruiting at HackerRank and previously scaled engineering teams at Looker. She explains, “It’s important for recruiters to create an ongoing cadence of collaboration with hiring managers (engineering vice presidents or directors of engineering). This can create clarity about desired technical hires and the most effective company messaging to resonate with possible developers and engineers on the web and through social channels.” This can be either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on what’s right for you and your hiring manager. More than the frequency, the importance lies in consistency.
Establish regular check-ins with hiring managers to get a sense of the company’s hiring needs. It’s important to know if there have been any changes in criteria for certain roles or company priorities. These elements can make significant impacts on your recruiting strategy and the talent you bring in.
“Recruiters need to hold hiring managers accountable and advise them as needed. In many respects, advising is what recruiters do best,” Mina notes.
As one of the fastest growing roles, and highest in demand, developer candidates hold a unique set of desires when they’re in the market for a new role. So it’s important to ensure you are touting the right benefits to attract that top talent. Rather than promoting the company mission or your robust benefits package, we’ve learned that you’ll be more successful when attracting talent by emphasizing the teams your candidates are joining and the work they’ll be doing.
Soham Mehta, the founder of Interview Kickstart, which helps coach developers on interview preparation and job search, spent the bulk of his earlier career as a software engineer at startups and established companies such as eBay and Box.
Mehta recalls that throughout his career as a developer:
“The tech stack never really mattered, at any of the companies I worked for. The people you work with is really what’s important. The companies that I chose to join are where I could gel the most with the team. When you’re surrounded by good people, you definitely learn, grow and develop your skills.”
Mehta’s observations about the importance of team coincide with what developers told us in the survey, ranking working with “smart people/team” in the top three of desired attributes in their next job.
One of the interesting insights we found in our survey is that developers tend to be lifelong learners. Working in an environment where they’re constantly exposed to new technologies and opportunities to learn is a top priority among the community. By highlighting these opportunities, you’re likely to feed your candidates’ insatiable thirst for learning.
Naarah Hastings, the founder of 6h Talent, specializes in recruiting advice for startups. Over the course of her recruiting career, she’s noticed that candidates at start-ups tend to value what they are building and the tools they are using. She notes that learning is indeed important to candidates, as almost all of the engineers she works with ask about training. “They don’t want to be siloed in a specific role and are willing to migrate from full stack to front end in an effort to move around, stay on the cutting edge and not be left behind.” She points out that 99 percent of possible recruits stay busy with their personal side projects through GitHub and Stack Overflow. “Some even run side businesses, all of which speaks to their desire to stay busy, keep learning and shape their candidacy profile for hiring organizations,” she adds.
Hiring the top tech talent isn’t easy. It requires you to fill your hiring funnel with quality candidates, with the hopes that one will accept an offer at the end of the process. In order to ensure you are on the right track to sourcing quality candidates, you need to maintain open lines of communication with hiring managers, understand the specific needs of developer candidates, and stay closely attuned to their desire for learning.
Interested in learning more in-depth insights about developer candidates? Download the full trend report: