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Post by Rich Moy on Mar 9, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Developers have made no secret that they want to work for companies whose missions they believe in. In response, many companies have gone out of their way to create recruitment materials that get to the core of what developers look for in new opportunities. The problem is that there’s still a significant disconnect between what employers think developers want and what developers actually want. With the competition to hire developers at a fever pitch, it’s crucial to understand how passive and active tech candidates respond to your recruitment materials. Here are a few things employer branding ideas to help you attract more technical talent.

When in Doubt, Buzzwords and Catchphrases Are Always a No-No

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, developers can’t stand recruiters who refer to them to as “ninjas” and “rockstars” in recruitment emails. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise either, but their disdain for cheesy catchphrases also extends to how they react to a company’s employer brand. David Haney, an Engineering Manager here at Stack Overflow, says that a majority of the phrases that he reads on candidate-facing materials fall flat for him. He adds, “Lines like ‘work hard, play hard’ and ‘we only hire the best’ don’t tell me much about the company. To be honest, it all comes off as fluff.”

While this might sound counterintuitive, developers are incredibly receptive to recruiting materials in which employers are open about the challenges they’re tackling. In fact, those details tend to get the most talented developers excited about the possibility of being a part of the solution. When your employer brand is built on a combination of what makes your company exciting and a realistic picture of what candidates should expect, it will ultimately help you show them that you’re not trying to oversell them on perks and benefits alone.


Developers Want to Hear From Other Developers

Even if you have a thorough understanding of why your engineering team enjoys coming to work on a daily basis, it’s common to rely too heavily on your own tendencies when you sit down to craft recruitment messaging for developers. Because you were hired to attract technical talent, it might seem like common sense to reuse messaging that has worked in the past. But when it comes to engaging developers, the story you tell candidates will ultimately fall flat if you don’t involve your current developers in your employer branding process.

Most developers have strong opinions that they’re not afraid to share, so it might seem intimidating to approach them for employer branding ideas. However, the quickest way to discover how your messaging resonates with developers is to see how your programmers respond to it. Additionally, make sure to include photos of your team’s workspace on your careers page. Because of how employers have treated them in the past, technical candidates want to know that your company values its developers. Highlighting the tools you provide developers and the environment in which they work is an ideal way to show potential candidates that they'll be taken care of if they decide to join your team.

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