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Post by Rich Moy on Aug 29, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Transparency at every stage of the developer hiring process is often a touchy subject for recruiters. You’d be hard-pressed to find two companies that share the same opinion about how transparent their recruiters should be when they engage with tech candidates. This debate will likely continue for the foreseeable future, but developers have made one thing very clear: employers who aren’t open and honest about their technical roles will find it difficult to attract top talent. Although it might be more comfortable not to share certain details, here are a few ways that increasing transparency will improve your entire developer hiring strategy.

Your Technical Job Listings Will Get More Attention

Nearly 63% of the developers we surveyed said that salary is their top priority when they consider job opportunities, yet many developers still wish that employers would disclose salary earlier in the interview process. You might ask, “I’m sure that salary transparency would be a positive for candidates, but what would I get out of it?” The short answer is: more and better candidates.

Anecdotally, we’ve always said that technical job listings that include a salary range get more applicants, but the data team here at Stack Overflow was curious to see just how much it matters. Matt Sherman, an engineering manager at Stack Overflow, wrote that in a recent experiment the team ran, job listings on the site that were redesigned to display salary ranges saw a 75% average increase in clickthrough rate. While embracing salary transparency isn’t the only thing that will sell your company to a developer, it’s clear that developers aren’t just requesting it, but that they’re more eager to throw their hat in the ring when you’re willing to discuss compensation up front.

You’ll Evaluate Developers More Effectively

Jack Liu, a software developer at Hearst, recently told us that it’s frustrating to go into a coding test with only a vague idea of what to expect. It’s reasonable to evaluate how well developers can think on their feet, but treating a technical interview like a game show isn’t an effective way to determine whether or not a candidate can write quality code. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you give developers the exact list of questions you’re planning on asking during their interview. However, don’t fall into the trap of keeping your cards too close to your vest. If hiring managers want to know how well candidates understand a particular concept, don’t be afraid to prep candidates beforehand by letting them know to expect this task.  

Your Openness Will Lead to Better Technical Hires

We probably sound like a broken record whenever we say this, but developers have no shortage of job opportunities. When a top candidate has to choose between multiple offers, many companies sell them on fringe benefits. “Our competitor might offer free lunch,” you might say. “But we provide developers with laundry service and daily massages.” As difficult as it is to ignore these types of perks, developer candidates take their entire experience with each company into consideration when push comes to shove. As Kim Peters, CEO of Great Rated, told TalentCulture, “Top talent has lots of choices, and they want a workplace where they’ll be comfortable. It’s the company’s willingness to be open about their workplace that lets people understand if they’ll be a fit, and ultimately decide to join the company.”

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