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Post by Rich Moy on Nov 18, 2015 1:02:00 PM

This post was updated in October 2017 with new information.

With competition to hire developers as fierce as ever, companies of all sizes have started offering perks that go far beyond health and dental insurance. While some hiring managers can also sell candidates on the idea of working in a major city, others simply cannot compete with those locales. However, that’s not necessarily as big of a disadvantage for those recruiters as you might think. While you’ll need to work a little harder to highlight what makes your company a great place for developers to work, here are a few tips to help you get it done.

Find Out What Your Candidates Want By Asking Them Directly

It would be easy to get caught up on the things your current location can’t offer developers. The truth is, while some cities might seem more appealing than others on paper, developers look at opportunities from a big picture standpoint. Because everyone has a unique list of must-haves, the best way to find out how to hire developers is to be bold and ask them what they’re looking for.

You spend a lot of time trying to learn about what makes developers excited to come to work, and these personal issues should be a major part of those learnings. In some cases, candidates might be sold on the idea of moving to a smaller town, but the rest of their family needs some additional convincing. In other cases, developers in larger cities might actually be looking for a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of their current environments. Before you rule yourself out simply because you’re a small company recruiting them, start your conversations with developers by getting to the bottom of what they truly value when they consider new roles.

Be Even More Flexible About Remote Workers

According to our 2017 Developer Survey, 64% of respondents said the ability to work remotely was at least somewhat important. For any small company recruiting developers, this cuts into the potential talent pool drastically. It’s no surprise that Sara Sutton Fell recently found that remote job postings in 2014 increased by 26 percent and that 83 percent of hiring managers expect remote work to be even more prevalent in five years. What does this mean for smaller companies? Offering developers the flexibility to work remotely may become even more of a necessity in order to stay competitive.

However, simply offering remote work isn’t enough. Remote workers are especially prone to feeling isolated because they’re not physically in an office, so it’s important to make sure they’re taken care of just as well as anyone who’s in your building every day. Fell also spoke with Anna Rees, HR Communications Manager at Intuit, who told her that they’ve hired an Engagement Specialist, who is tasked with making sure their remote workforce has everything it needs to be successful. She continues, “Fostering a flexible work culture is really a partnership, and it’s all about setting expectations for the experience.”

Make it Easy on Developers Who Are Open to Relocating

It would be easy to stop at simply offering developers the option to work remotely. Of course, some will jump at the opportunity, but no matter where you are, others will be open to relocating to your city. While this would make some tech recruiters breathe a sigh of relief, your work is obviously not done when a developer says they’re open to the idea of moving. When you’ve identified a developer you really want to hire, make yourself even more appealing by offering relocation assistance.

It’s understandable to balk at the potential price tag of offering relocation packages, but they can actually save you quite a bit of time and money over the long haul. If you make a developer’s life easier by helping them relocate, odds are they’ll be happier employees. When you have happier employees, that leads to less turnover, which means you’re not losing developers nearly as often. Considering how expensive it is to lose a developer, the cost of a standard relocation package pales in comparison.

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