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Post by Rich Moy on Dec 28, 2015 12:00:00 PM

You’ve undoubtedly done a lot of work to build your tech team, and for good reason. With developers being difficult to find and hire, it’s more important than ever to build a strong employer brand, rethink the way you write emails and job descriptions, and understand what makes them tick.

But there are still a number of opportunities to hire great developers that most recruiters tend to miss. Here are three opportunities for companies of all sizes to get ahead when hiring developers.

Look More Closely at “Job Hoppers”

While the perception of job hoppers is changing across all industries, completely avoiding developers who have had a number of jobs is especially problematic. The best developers usually don’t need to apply for more than a handful of jobs over the course of their careers, and because they’re in such high demand, they tend to have a lot of options. Often times, this allows developers to change jobs a little more frequently than you might expect.

Of course, you’ll discover that some developers have been with a lot of companies because they’re simply not capable of writing the quality of code you need. But that’s not always the case. Perhaps they’ve switched jobs so many times because they were repeatedly offered opportunities to work with new technologies. In other cases, you might find that a developer has made a number of moves because of familial obligations. In any case, don’t rule out any developers simply because their resumes make them seem like job hoppers, especially if they appear to have all the skills you’re looking for.

Stay Focused During Traditionally Slow Hiring Seasons

You might be thinking we’re referring to the current holiday hiring season, and to some degree, you’d be correct. Since so many people tend to take longer-than-usual vacations in the summer months, it would be easy to hit the brakes on hiring developers. Inexperienced hiring managers might even argue that you’re wasting your time by spending too much time trying to recruit during an otherwise slow hiring period.

When it comes to developer hiring, there’s a huge flaw in this thinking. The majority of them, whether they’re looking for a new job or not, are currently employed. Because of this, it’s difficult to predict when hiring will slow down, and more importantly, exactly when you can expect to hire all the developers you need.

Build Relationships With Developers Before They Hit the Open Market

Our CEO Joel Spolsky has written extensively about how college internship programs can be a great way to hire developers before they ever hit the open market. These programs should be mutually beneficial. The college students you hire should be given real responsibilities, and if you’re happy with the code they produce, you’ll know they would be solid additions to your tech team. These internships are also a good way to give top candidates the ability to assess whether they’d like to come work for you after they graduate.

Robert Sher, a contributor for Forbes, recently wrote that recruiters are missing an opportunity to build relationships with candidates even sooner—when they’re in high school. While your main focus should be on candidates who are of working age, Sher argues that for companies who are struggling to compete with the bigger players, it’s important to build relationships with potential candidates as early as possible. With companies hiring developers as quickly as they can find them, this is especially crucial when it comes to winning the battle for top tech talent.

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