If you picked a handful of employees at random and asked them what was important to them at work, you would likely get very different answers. John in Accounting may care about flexible work hours since he has three children. Carol in Marketing may care the most about getting a promotion since she made it her personal goal for the year. Alex in Engineering probably cares most about the ability to learn new technologies. (Or at least that’s what our 2016 developer survey revealed.)
We asked developers what was important to them at work and allowed them to choose up to 3 items. Below are the top answers and a few tips for implementing each into your organization.
We’ve mentioned before the importance of selling the company, not the role, and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to a company’s mission. Developers are in high demand and likely have multiple job offers on the table. Should they choose the company that simply exists to make money or the company that builds really awesome technology that helps people? (I think we both know the answer to that one.) Highlight what sets your company apart from the rest on your website and during your recruitment process to really hit this point home and garner a developer’s interest.
Hiring remote developers means that you can get the absolute best person for the job – not just one who is willing to live in your city. Developer competition is fierce, so by opening up your candidate pool to more qualified applicants from around the world, you’re so much closer to finding your ideal hire. To communicate that you’re a company that values remote work, be sure to include it in your job listings and make it a part of your company culture. Describe why remote work is important to you as a company, how your company makes it work, and what the candidate could expect if they came on board.
At Stack Overflow, we’ve made it clear that we believe in developers having private offices. You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but it’s still something a majority of developers want (based on our survey results, at least). Building software is easier when you have minimal distractions and interruptions, which a private office provides.
Developers love to be constantly learning and creating new things. If they’re tied down to working on old projects or spend more time debugging code then being creative, their happiness declines. So be sure to give your current developers a range of duties, one of which includes building something new.
If you’re not letting your developers learn new technologies as part of their job, you should be. Learning new technologies on the job keeps developers excited about their job, eliminates the risk of them having an outdated skill set, and may even help them get projects done more efficiently. Pigeonholing your developers to just one technology really limits their skill sets and expertise, not to mention their creativity. When putting together your job spec, don’t be too strict with the language/technology requirements.