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Post by Rich Moy on Sep 22, 2016 1:00:00 PM

This post was updated in December 2017 with new information.

Even when you think you’ve done everything right to recruit and identify your next developer, there will be times when your top target will decline to accept another offer. The frustration you feel when you hear the words “no thanks” from your top tech candidates can make it hard to bounce back and start recruiting and hiring programmers again. Here are a few tips to help you regroup and start your search for another great developer.

Respect the Candidate’s Decision

Whenever a developer declines your job offer, it’s tempting to reach out and ask if there’s anything your company can do to change that person’s mind. “Should we offer more money? We can also include dog sitting services and free lunch if those things would help,” you might say. But this level of pursuit after a candidate has made up his or her mind will only make future recruiting conversations more challenging. Considering that 62% of the developers we surveyed told us they’re open to hearing about new job opportunities, don’t be surprised if the respect you show candidates today pay off down the road.

Start From the Beginning

In many cases, you’ll have a close runner-up who was talented, but not exactly what your company needed. When your top developer target declines your offer, it would be easy enough to go back to the candidates you passed on and say, “Well, those other people would be good enough, I suppose. Let’s just start hiring programmers and hope for the best.”

But if the other tech candidates in your candidate pool for a role were clearly not up to your standard, avoid settling for someone just for the sake of closing a search. Starting your developer hiring process from the beginning will take a little extra work, but will ultimately be worth the effort when you find and hire someone you’re excited to add to the team.

Look for Opportunities to Optimize Your Developer Hiring Process

Sure, it’s exciting when you identify a developer who you’d be crazy not to hire, but it’s also important to look for places where your technical hiring process left something to be desired. When a developer declines a job offer, there’s one obvious conclusion that you can come to: someone else created a better experience and made that person an offer he or she could not refuse.

As you restart your search, take the time to review your developer hiring process and look for areas of improvement. Perhaps you need to incorporate more live code into your interview process, or maybe you need to create more opportunities for tech candidates to meet your team. When you identify the gaps in your technical hiring process, take swift action wherever possible to put yourself in a position not to lose your next top candidate.

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