Imagine that you’re in the middle of a search for a UX developer and that you haven’t found “the one” just yet. At the same time, we’ll also say that your company has an excellent reputation in the software development community. On top of that, you also have quite a few applications waiting in your inbox.
Things are looking good in this scenario, right? Absolutely! But the temptation here would be to celebrate these accomplishments by slowing down your technical recruitment efforts—which would be a huge mistake.
We’re not suggesting that you should hire a candidate just for the sake of ending a search. In fact, our CEO Joel Spolsky says that each developer that you interview should meet with at least six people before you make a final decision. But things like passive candidate recruitment and employer branding should always be a priority, even when your talent acquisition strategy seems to be working. Why is this the case? Let’s take a closer look.
In 2017, 62% of the developers that we surveyed said that they were open to hearing about new job opportunities. That’s great news for any employer looking to recruit a talent pool that’s mostly passive. But when you dig a little deeper, you’ll also find that 34% of developers rated their career satisfaction a 9 or 10, on a 1 to 10 scale. Programmers might be receptive to hearing from recruiters, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll jump at a new opportunity.
Additionally, while job-hopping seemed to be the norm in recent years, an article in the October 2017 issue of The Economist highlighted that workers aged 25 and over currently spend a median of 5.1 years with their companies. In simpler terms, professionals are more loyal to their employers than you might have thought.
What does that mean for you? Even if your inbox is overflowing with applicants, your work is far from done. To convince a developer to leave his or her current position for a new one, you need to continue selling the opportunity. In the increasingly likely event that one of your top candidates declines your offer to stay put, you’ll need to have a robust pipeline to keep your talent acquisition strategy moving forward.
Most people would agree that software developers are some of the most in-demand professionals on the entire job market. Considering that the U.S. economy added two million jobs in 2017, it’s clear that the open job market heavily favors the candidate. Does that mean you can’t hire the developers you need? That couldn’t be further from the truth. But it does indicate that you need to approach technical hiring as a year-round activity.
Again, let’s say that your application numbers are through the roof. First, consider yourself very lucky, especially in such a competitive market for tech talent. Then, put yourself in each candidate’s shoes. The people that you’re interviewing for your open positions are being recruited by the competition. In many cases, they’re probably interviewing for multiple jobs. This isn’t a brand new trend, but the truth is that it likely won’t change in the coming years—and that there’s never a time when you can (or should) be complacent about recruiting programmers.