After learning that 62% of developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise if your current programmers are going so far as to schedule interviews. In fact, Jobvite recently found that over 50% of professionals had at least one interview in the last year to explore their options. While that might be cause for concern, there’s much more to this story than these statistics would otherwise indicate. Let’s take a closer look at why you can still meet your employee retention goals if your developers are interviewing with other companies—and how to make the most of your interactions with passive candidates with a wandering eye.
Whenever you get word that one of your developers might be interviewing, it’s only natural to reach out to that person to rectify whatever it is that’s bothering them. With the high cost of losing a developer, you should be commended for being proactive about keeping your programmers as happy as possible. However, considering that Jobvite found that many professionals schedule interviews even though they have no intention of leaving their current jobs, you could make a perfectly happy developer think there’s something wrong.
The competition for tech talent is intense—and the chances are that other companies are actively recruiting developers on your team. But if you offer the types of benefits they care about and are conscious about creating an engineering culture they can thrive in, panicking about the reality of developer hiring will only hurt your chances of retaining them.
Learning that one (or more) of your current developers has interviewed with another company might lead you to believe that they’re unhappy with their positions or the direction of the company. Either of those things might be true, but in the event that a developer is unsatisfied with his or her role, many of them will be open to having a conversation with you to elaborate.
The reality is that you can’t stop your engineers from testing the market—but you can be proactive about keeping up with them on a regular basis. Developers should have the opportunity to speak to HR openly about how they’re feeling at work. You won’t always like what you hear, especially if you learn they’re exploring other job opportunities. But creating an environment in which they can actually be honest will help you identify ways to optimize your employee retention strategy.
When I was a recruiter, I found it difficult to believe that all of the things I did to attract passive candidates weren’t an exercise in futility. Since then, the Developer Hiring Landscape has proven that employer branding content is a powerful tool—and when developer candidates come across interesting companies, they will at least consider switching jobs.
While the Jobvite finding might lead you to believe that a passive candidate is only engaging with you to hone their interview skills, don’t jump to this conclusion without having a conversation with that person first. If you take the time to learn about their goals and interests, you might discover that your company can offer them what they’re looking for in the next step of their career.