This post was updated in October 2017 with new information.
Talented recruiters and hiring managers become experts on the industries and job titles they are looking for. Those hiring for technical roles, for example, should be well-versed in technical terms, have a grasp on the industry as a whole, and be informed of the developer market salary and job demand. Here are a few stats about developers that every recruiter, hiring manager, and CTO should know.
There is a large supply and demand gap when it comes to technical talent. When there are more jobs available than there are developers to fill them, hiring managers understandably have a hard time filling positions, and developers can in return be particular about which job these choose to take.
This means your developer job listing is just that – a simple ad for an open position. Instead of doing the bare minimum and hoping you’ll get tons of applications, you need to make your listing stand out. This includes focusing on relevant perks, leaving out typical marketing buzzwords, forgoing a list of job demands, and making sure your job opportunity is interesting.
The majority of developers are classified as "passive candidates", which means they are not actively looking for jobs. This requires some work on the hiring manager and recruiter’s side since they have to go above and beyond their typical process to reach and engage the passive developers.
In this competitive hiring environment, it is not enough to just send a vague, two-sentence note. Instead, tell the candidates a bit about the role, explain what your company is like, and most importantly, give them a reason to be interested — especially if they are already employed. This includes presenting the perks of switching jobs, emphasizing your company culture, and adding a personal touch (no generic emails).
In the U.S., the average time-to-hire for tech positions is 35 days. This number jumps significantly if you’re selective in your search (which you should be), or if the candidate is passive. Using this benchmark, even if you met your desired hire on day 1 of your search, he/she is not getting an offer until 35 days later.
It’s important to have a realistic expectation of your time for hiring, especially if you’re new to recruiting and hiring developers. Stories of quick turnaround times are far and few between, and you don’t want to risk hiring the wrong person too soon, as the cost of losing a developer is through the roof.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that the employment of software developers will grow much faster than the average occupation from 2012 to 2022. The main reason for this rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software. Additionally, employment of applications developers is projected to grow 23 percent, and employment of systems developers is projected to grow 20 percent. With the increasing importance of analytics and mobile apps, it can be assumed that this projected employment rate will only continue to grow as time goes on.
Whether your current tech team is small or large, you’ll want to start focusing on the future. Working on your employer brand to establish yourself as a place to be for tech employees can pay off in the long run.
Digging deeper into these numbers, we see that 41% have earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (or a related field), 12% have earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Science (or a related field), and just 2% have earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science (or a related field).
These developer stats make sense since studies show that colleges graduated 23,000 students with a Bachelor’s degree or higher in software and computer sciences in 2013, which is less than half of today’s demand for workers.
So what does this mean for recruiters and hiring managers? Look past that silly degree requirement. Instead of focusing on what their major was in college (or even which college they went to), evaluate other characteristics in these self-taught programmers. Things like technical skills, a prevalence of coding side projects, and problem-solving abilities are just a few ways to evaluate candidates.