If you’re anything like I was when I was a recruiter, it’s hard not to notice some of the incredible perks that companies offer developers during the interview process. Considering that only 14% of developers are actively looking for new jobs, it would be easy to assume that companies need to offer trips to amusement parks and five-star dinners during the interview process just to get their attention. However, just like you wouldn’t define your company culture by your office amenities alone, tech candidates don’t choose jobs based solely on how well you spoil them during the interview process. Here are a few tips to help you create a best-in-class candidate experience for developers without breaking the bank.
Whether you keep them waiting in the lobby of your office, or leave them to stare at a blank video chat screen from a home office, it can be incredibly unsettling for a developer to be kept waiting. Often times, creating a positive candidate experience is as simple as being punctual at every stage of the interview process. When I was a recruiter, I had two rules to ensure I’d always be ready for candidates when they arrived. The first rule was not to schedule any meetings 30 minutes before a scheduled interview. The second was that if I was pulled into a last minute meeting, I had a hard stop at 15 minutes before a candidate was set to arrive.
In one of the first interviews I ever conducted, I asked the hiring manager for a bit of feedback. “I’m sure this wasn’t intentional, but you talked about yourself a lot,” she said. That was a bit jarring for me to hear. After all, I took a lot of pride in how I sold the company to every single candidate we met. What I eventually realized about my style of “selling” was that I had a tendency to try and break the ice whenever I thought it was necessary. Although my intentions might have been good, it made it difficult for the candidate to share anything. Not only do developers want you to do your research before you reach out for an interview, but they also want to tell you about what they’ve been working on. Give them the space to share achievements with you by doing something that might feel unnatural: talk less, and ask more questions.
I’m willing to bet that you’ve been in your fair share of meetings about how to optimize your candidate experience for developers. Sure, those conversations are a necessary part of your developer hiring process, but they can ultimately be unproductive without a clear idea of how the candidates themselves felt about their experience. The best source of that feedback? Your current developers, all of whom have gone through your interview process. While you might believe they don’t have any suggestions because they chose to work for you, the odds are that they’ll have some tips to help you identify gaps in your interview process and create an even more incredible candidate experience for future developers.