Some common mistakes recruiters make are as simple as having bad job descriptions, not being active on social media, or not allocating any resources into managing their employer brand. I personally know the struggle as I used to be a recruiter—so I can’t emphasise enough not to waste time attracting the wrong candidates.
Here are some of the reasons why you may have struggled to attract developers in 2017, and how to not make those mistakes in 2018.
When communicating your company culture to developers, you want to showcase your unique personality. If you’re going to attract the best talent, you should work to build a community that accepts change and is open-minded. When you create a more open circle and your employees are in a comfortable environment, they’ll be empowered to excel in their role.
One example of this is having a strict dress code when it’s not practical. If someone feels uncomfortable wearing such attire and they are not in a direct customer-facing role, then you may be holding them back from expressing themselves and performing at their best.
It’s also important to offer training for your employees as part of your company culture, as this will ultimately help your business grow. In turn, this growth can reflect positively on your employer brand and attract more developers. A recent survey conducted by Great Place to Work found that the list of Fortune 100 companies spent an average of 73 hours training full-time employees—much higher than the 38 hours allotted by companies who didn’t make the list. These organisations also tended to have personalised employee development programs and succession planning in place. The results? The top companies reported two-year growth of five times the national average, and revenue increases of 22% over the national average.
“At Arm, we currently look for a wide range of software engineers; from low-level boot code, to operating systems, device drivers, graphics wizards and toolchain gurus. However, we also appreciate that we live in a world where technology has a huge impact and is growing rapidly. Therefore as well as specialists, we look for engineers who are well-rounded and can adapt across skill sets, enabling us to be prepared for the technology of tomorrow. We further support and shape this through Arm’s model to grow our existing talent through our early talent programs.” — Fiona Smith, Global Brand Manager
As you can tell, Fiona believes that preparing for the future is very important as technology progresses. Arm has taken the initiative to train their existing talent according to their model, which has been a great way to help promote their employer brand to developers (exactly how this blog post will boost their employer brand).
10 years ago you may have been able to get away with offering a much lower salary than what's offered today, and with fewer company benefits to brag. However, in today's age, the value of a developer has increased dramatically with additional benefits to compliment a nice salary. We understand that not every business can offer a competitive salary, but you can offer more flexibility and additional benefits that developers want. Remember: developers are in such high demand that they can often be pickier about what type of companies they work for.
You won’t stand out from your competitors if the messages that you send to candidates are unclear and vague (especially if they’ve been copied and pasted!). Your messages should be personalised, engaging and not spammy. One of our top tips here at Stack Overflow is to make sure you don’t use a spammy subject line—just keep it genuine and simple and you should see an increase in your open rate. Maybe you had noticed that your click rate is low and you’re not driving enough traffic to your job listings. You really want to catch their attention in the opening line. One of the best ways to do this is to talk about one of the developer’s projects and explain to them why they’ve been recognised.
If you would like additional insights on writing job listings or recruiting emails to developers, download our free guide.
Are you writing messages that are vague? Get rid of the mindset of not disclosing information until the candidate shows interest. This is a big problem in the contingency recruitment world and it can be your greatest downfall when trying to attract the right candidates. Many developers will immediately reject the message if you’re not providing information to generate interest in the first place.
Lastly, you’re more likely to attract developers if you’re found in the right place. Attend events, visit forums, go to hackathons and visit the sites they love to spend time on (like Stack Overflow). This will show the developer that you understand what matters to them. It also shows developers that you’re interested in learning more, which will make you stand out from recruiters who lack this knowledge. The day you know how to speak the same language as developers is the day you will truly engage.