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Post by Rich Moy on Feb 21, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Meeting your hiring goals this year will require (yes, require) you to recruit and engage with passive candidates. It’s no secret that the competition to hire the best developers is fierce, and a majority of developers already have jobs. This might make it seem intimidating to reach out to a programmer who isn’t actively looking for a new job, but here are a few statistics will give you the insights to know how to recruit passive candidates.

1. 65% of developers aren't in a job they currently love

Sure, it bears repeating that most developers consider themselves gainfully employed. But that doesn’t mean they all love their current jobs. In fact, only 35% of developers say that they love their jobs, meaning the remaining 65% of them don’t necessarily enjoy what they do at work.

While you should still invest the time to research candidates and write personalized emails, you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to a developer just because he or she is employed. Many of them might not jump at the opportunity to join your team right this second, but if you take a sincere interest in what they want, some of them might become applicants down the road.

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2. 44% of adults subscribe to job alerts

Even programmers who are happy with their jobs can’t help being curious about other opportunities that might be available to them. In fact, a recent study by Indeed found that found that a 44% of professionals keep tabs on the job market by subscribing to automatic email alerts.

When your top developer candidates take the time to thumb through a few job listings, it’s up to you to make sure yours stands out. If yours are bogged down by things like wordy requirements sections and bulleted lists, take an editor’s pen to them and make sure they show off what makes your company unique.

3. 84% of candidates would consider changing jobs if a company with an excellent reputation made an offer

In a recent study, Corporate Responsibility Magazine found that most professionals are happy to explore employment opportunities with companies that have strong reputations. You might be thinking, “Of course a well-known organization can win a developer’s affection without much effort.” 

But the truth is that companies at all stages can create employer brands that grab a developer’s attention. Recruitment materials that include a compelling mission statement, photos of your office, and a few thoughts from your engineering team about your work culture resonate with passive candidates who are interested in seeing what else might be out there for them.

4. 75% of candidates conduct their own research before applying for a job

With so much information available to candidates online, you should expect the most in-demand developers to do their homework before throwing their hat in the ring for any job. You’d probably get more excited about hiring programmers who are equally enthusiastic about the possibility of joining your company.

We’ve touched on the importance of creating employer branding materials that get developers’ attention, but recruiters who go out of their way to answer a passive candidate’s questions can set themselves apart from the competition. Whether that means hopping on a call to chat about the interview process or setting up some time for them to talk to one of your current developers, proactively supplementing a candidate’s research will show them that you have their interests in mind.

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