A recent report conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that nearly three million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in March 2016. However, the same report also found that out of those 3 million professionals, only 40,000 of them were in the information industry. It’s also important to note that the “quit rate” in that industry dropped between March 2015 and March of this year from 1.5 percent to 1.4 percent.
With these statistics in mind, you might be wondering what this means for your company. Here are some tips to help you adapt to the fact that developers don’t quit jobs as frequently as other professionals.
Tech recruiters face one common (and major) problem: for every qualified candidate that applies for your jobs, there are a handful of candidates that simply miss the mark. Since so few technology professionals voluntarily quit their jobs, the harsh reality is that your inbox won't always be overflowing with applications. If you wait too long for developers to find you, the odds are that you'll likely lose top developers to competitors who are more willing to reach out to candidates who are currently employed.
Our CEO Joel Spolsky once wrote that the average programmer will only apply to four jobs over the course of his or her career. When someone outstanding applies for one of your tech openings, two alarms should immediately go off in your mind. First, you should schedule that person for a phone interview as soon as possible. More importantly, you need to do everything you can to make sure the candidate doesn’t have to wait for very long between interview rounds, even if you eventually decide to take a pass.
When you’ve identified a talented active candidate, the odds are that a few other companies have their eye on that person as well—and based on the recent BLS findings, the likelihood of that developer hitting the open market after he or she chooses a job is extremely low.
Sure, reading about how developers don’t frequently quit jobs is probably not an ideal way to start your Thursday morning. I can empathize with how frustrating it is to find the profile of someone who seems perfect on paper, only to learn that he or she isn’t interested. But keep in mind that even though you might be having trouble hiring developers, those challenges are not the candidates’ fault, even when they’re the ones turning you down. Although tech professionals don’t voluntarily quit their jobs at a high rate, staying respectful of a passive candidate’s decision will put you in a much better position to pursue a conversation down the line.