As part of our Developer Survey over the last few years, we've asked developers questions about their job-seeking status. This year, over 90% of respondents said that they’re employed at least part-time. This makes it clear that employment rate for software developers is much higher than most other professions.
But what about the 16% of developers that said that they’re actively looking for new jobs? What do they look like? More importantly for anyone looking to hire developers, could they be the types of programmers that you’ve been having trouble finding? Let’s take a closer look.
In many cases, taking the time to understand 16% of a survey’s respondents might not sound like a worthwhile use of your time. But remember, over 101,000 developers took the time to complete this year’s Developer Survey—which means that over 16,000 of those programmers said that they’re actively looking for their next job. This might be just a fraction of the total developer population, but again, this is a large sample size.
Of course, that begs the question: which types of developer are actively looking for a job? Take a look at the graph below. You’ll find that while some of these roles are more common than others, there are also some surprising titles on this list.For the last few years, the developer types at or near the top of this list have also been some of the most difficult to find and hire. The roles near the “bottom” of this graph aren’t that far off, either. Over 18% of the developers that are actively looking for new jobs are Data Scientists and Machine Learning Specialists, while over 13% of DevOps Specialists are looking, too.
If you’re looking to hire developers on this graph, do these findings mean that your inbox will be overflowing with applicants? Not exactly. At the same time, it does confirm that they’re not impossible to recruit for—that is, if you take a more strategic approach to sourcing for them.
Now that we have more insights into what active tech candidates look like, take this as an opportunity to review your entire sourcing strategy. After all, not only are 16% of developers searching for new jobs, but an additional 59% are interested in hearing about them.
Reviewing your job listings is the most natural place to start. Ask a few of your current developers to read them, and ask them to answer the following question bluntly: Would you be excited about applying for this opportunity? If not, solicit their feedback and find out how they would make your job listing more attractive.
When it comes to your tech recruitment emails, challenge yourself and your colleagues to reach out to the right candidates, even if those people don’t seem like “active” job seekers at first glance. While it’s true that most developers are currently employed, you shouldn’t assume that any passive or active candidate wouldn’t be interested in hearing from you for any reason—especially if you send a personalized message.