The importance of employer branding can’t be overstated—and companies from across all industries, are starting to take it more seriously. As tempting as it might be to use your job listings and careers website to only show off your “fun” perks, developer candidates are more curious about the projects they’d get to work on if they joined your company. When asked how they evaluate new job opportunities, the respondents to our 2017 Developer Hiring Landscape put the impact of the product (and subsequently, their work) near the top of their list of criteria. Your developers’ current projects are an important part of your employer brand, but what are the best ways to include them in your messaging without overdoing it?
Some of the most talented developers you’ll come across will also be the most generous about sharing their knowledge. In many cases, those programmers will take their generosity to the next level by sharing the finer details of their current projects at work and their side projects on their personal blogs. The team at Stack Overflow makes it easy for developers to talk about their work by hosting an engineering blog.
The posts are thorough and transparent, which gives potential candidates a clear idea of what it’d be like to join the team. Additionally, the blog makes it easy for our current developers to be brand ambassadors without forcing them to recite buzzwords or fluff on cue.
While developer candidates are always interested in learning more about the specific projects your team is working on, they’re also curious about what it’s like to be a member of the team on a day-to-day basis. Gary Pitaru, Chief Technology at Badger Maps, says it’s equally important to give potential candidates an inside look into how your team conducts code reviews. Pitaru also suggests scheduling time for developers you’d like to interview to sit in on a live code review. He adds, “Not only will they get a deeper understanding of the technical challenges of the project, but they will also get a sense of the team culture and the team gets to sample what working with the candidate could be like.”
You’d never want to reuse an old tech job listing (and if you are, then it’s time to reconsider). The same can be said about all of your employer branding materials. Sure, it would be easier to write a high-level boilerplate about the types of projects developers will inevitably work on, but you can set yourself apart from the competition by optimizing your messaging to reflect your engineering team’s most current initiatives. American Express recently set a great example for this when they launched their “Powered by Innovation, Engineered by You” campaign. This employer branding strategy did two things well: it showed potential candidates what life as a developer at American Express is like, and it did so by highlighting its most current technology projects.