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Post by Rich Moy on Sep 5, 2017 12:00:00 PM

All successful developer hiring campaigns begin with the same thing: candidate research. There’s good reason for this. Identifying their skill sets, qualifications, motivations, and goals helps you target your recruiting message. It also gives you a clearer idea of exactly which types of developers to recruit.

Even though the impact of knowing your audience is obvious, you still might be thinking, “Where do I even begin?” But don’t worry—this post will show you where you can find the insights you need to understand your ideal developer candidates on a deeper level.

Dive Into Market Research

William Bill of Wealth Design Group LLC told Entrepreneur magazine that starting a new business venture without market research is similar to driving a car from Texas to New York without a map. The same can be said about recruiting developers.

When you study the current tech landscape, you can use your research to create your developer hiring strategy, measure your results, and adjust when necessary. Without this knowledge, you’re taking a series of not-so-educated guesses about how well your plan is working. Just getting started? Download our 2017 Developer Hiring Landscape. Over 64,000 respondents from 213 countries chimed in to help us produce the most comprehensive developer survey on the planet.

Interview Your Candidates

To better understand their ideal customers, marketers often conduct interviews with prospects to learn about their buying habits and pain points. If you’re treating developers with respect during the interview process, you’ve probably discovered a lot of the same things about your ideal candidates.

Take a second look at your notes from previous interviews and document any trends you see. For example, if candidates have repeatedly expressed the same challenges at work, you can tailor your recruiting approach to allay the fears they might have as a result. If you don’t have this historical data, reach out to a few passive candidates you have relationships with. Even if they’re still not interested in exploring new job opportunities, they’ll still have valuable insights to share with you.

Talk to Your Engineering Team

Ultimately, your goal is to find developers that are right for your engineering team—and your engineering team is the biggest authority on what those candidates’ profiles look like. Before you launch any new search, take the time to interview at least one developer and one engineering manager about the role. To help guide your conversations, here are a few talking points to get you started:

  1. Clarify the responsibilities these candidates should have the ability to handle.
  2. Reconfirm the core technologies required for the role.
  3. Ask for any industries you should (and should not) be sourcing candidates from.
  4. Discuss how many years of experience the ideal candidate would have—and the number of years of experience the team would accept.

Sound intimidating? Be sincere about the pressure you feel to find the right developer candidates to work alongside them. Your openness will make it clear that you don’t intend to waste their time.tech persona template


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