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Post by Rich Moy on Sep 11, 2017 12:00:00 PM

There's no denying that the developer hiring landscape is constantly evolving, and yet many tech recruiters still rely on "proven" tactics that worked in the past. As a result, developers often go into recruitment conversations expecting the worst. The good news is that they've made no secret of how they want to be recruited, and what will drive them away.

Still, change is hard. If you’re struggling to find tech talent, you probably know that you need to adjust your approach. But where do you begin? To help you get your recruiting strategy back on track, let’s discuss a few of the most common developer hiring myths—and why you should avoid them.

You Don’t Need to Sell Your Company to Developers

Even for the biggest companies on the planet, employer branding is critical to their success. If you’re still not convinced, consider that Blend grew its engineering team by 40% with employer branding content that emphasized their company mission.

Over 41% of respondents to our 2017 Developer Hiring Survey said that company culture is one of their biggest job evaluation criteria. If you want to stand out to them, ask yourself this: Do developers know what makes your engineering culture exciting? This should be top of mind whenever you write a recruitment email, create a Company Page, or post a technical job listing.

Your Only Goal is to Hire the Developers You Need Right Now

You’re in rare company if your tech team is fully staffed right now. If so, you might be wondering what’s left to do. You could kick up your feet until an engineering manager gives you another role to work on. But this reactive approach to recruiting will add a lot of unnecessary stress when the time comes for your team to grow again.

So don’t stop recruiting developers just because you don’t have any open roles. Instead, keep up with the passive candidates you have existing relationships with, and build new ones when you have the opportunity to do so. Not only will this lead to a fuller candidate pipeline, but it will also have a positive impact on your company’s reputation in the developer community.

Your Time-to-Hire Should Be Identical to Non-Tech Roles

When you think of developer hiring myths, time-to-hire should be one of the first things to come to mind, especially when you’re comparing developer positions to non-technical jobs. The average time-to-hire for all roles is going up, and it’s increasing for engineering jobs at an even higher rate.

To get a better idea of how many days it should take to hire a programmer, break it down into a few nuanced components. How long does it take you to advertise a role in all relevant channels? How much time does it take to identify acceptable candidates? How long does it take to complete all interviews? How many days do you need to complete background checks, create, and extend job offers? Finally, how long does it take to convince a candidate to accept?

All Developer Candidates Have the Same Hiring Profile

Imagine that you’re searching for a Front-End Developer and a PHP Developer. They might be joining the same engineering team, but candidates for each role have different skill sets, career goals, and challenges. Developers don’t expect you to read and understand their code, but they’ll tune you out if you make sweeping generalizations about them.

What do your candidates want out of their careers? What types of projects are they interested in outside of work? What has this person accomplished? The answers to all of these questions will be different for every type of developer you need to hire, and knowing them will help you recruit the right candidates more effectively.

You’re Getting Plenty of Applications Through Job Boards Alone

Recruiters often treat developer applications like lottery tickets. The more you have, the better your chance of finding the types of programmers you’d like to hire, right? Well, not quite. In fact, this is still one of the most common developer hiring myths.

Our CEO Joel Spolsky wrote that he once advertised an internship on a job board. Doing so generated hundreds of responses, but none of those candidates made it past a first-round interview. Even though the resumes were pouring in, he eventually realized that any application from this particular source was probably not a fit.

Your ultimate goal is to hire great developers, so avoid fixating on application volume. Then, revisit your job listing strategy. Are you posting them on sites that developers actually visit? Is the content targeted to the types of programmers you’re looking to hire? If not, you’re wasting a lot of your time and resources to get applications that you’ll just have to decline.developer myths


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