Now that’s a tongue twister!
Let’s face it, hiring the best software developers today is a big challenge. Most of them are already working, and those that aren’t are in high demand, making it even harder to lock them into your role. Quartz Media found that in 2015 there were 59,581 college graduates with degrees in computer science, with a whopping 527,169 open computer science jobs. That’s 8x more open roles than developers exist to fill them, driving up the demand for people with these niche skills. The Obama White House also predicted that by the year 2020, there will be an astounding 1.4 million jobs that require some computer science skills, and only about 400,000 workers available to fill this need.
If these numbers leave you nervously pulling on your collar while looking at your open software engineering roles, have no fear. We have compiled a list of ways you can step up your tech recruiting game and find the best hire for your company.
1) Branding, branding, branding.
Say it again for the people in the back: strong, clear company branding is paramount. Whether you’re a small business who is looking to expand and want to draw people to your opportunities, or a large tycoon who wants to sit back and let the applications flow in, effective branding is the gift that keeps on giving, drawing more candidates to your business with less work on your end! With those 527,000 open job postings, you need to position your business as something different and hone in on what makes you superior to other companies.
Tied in with branding your company is knowing the ins and outs of this job, and the special features of your company that will draw developers to your open role instead of others. Are you a large company with a huge corporate benefits structure and all the free snacks your stomach could want? Advertise that in your job description. Are you a start-up with killer culture, happy hours and the opportunity to work on many projects? Throw that in your LinkedIn bio to attract some attention. Own your brand and your company’s assets that set you apart from your competitors. There is much competition for developers, so winning them over with your culture and perks is a huge part of bringing them on board.
Social media is a great way to project your brand as well. Fire up the ol’ blog machine, throw some posts up on LinkedIn, and get some online presence out there to get people to pick up what you’re putting down.
2) Know your open job to a T.
Make sure that whoever is searching for the perfect developer for your team has a strong handle on the open role. What languages are required, your budget for the role, the structure of the department and everything in between. This will help them start with a list of solid points to go off of and search for candidates who fit the bill in all aspects of the role.
Along the same vein, take caution not to attempt to sound extra tech-savvy if it’s not your forte. This is a very technical field with many nuances, and developers can tell quickly if you’re trying (and failing) to talk the talk. It’s embarrassing to be caught out in this scenario, so be up front with how much you know. If it’s not your area of expertise, own it, and be very familiar with the languages and skills necessary for this job you're looking to fill.
3) Source from the right places.
The actual sourcing of your candidates often seems like the most daunting part, but it doesn’t need to be! In fact, one of the most underutilized and successful ways to get new hires is likely sitting in your office right now. Referrals are a great way to get new skilled candidates. If you’re currently making the effort to hire stellar employees at your firm, chances are that they also know other talented people as well. Computer science related degrees are gaining popularity across the country, so chances are that someone in your office knows a developer who would be a good fit for your open role. Referral bonuses are also a great way to incentivize your employees!
If referrals don’t pan out for you, be sure you’re looking in the best places for candidates and their skills. Other sources of qualified candidates are GitHub and LinkedIn. GitHub allows you to look at projects that your prospective candidate has been involved in (also giving you some solid talking points!), as well as a look into what skills they have. LinkedIn’s filterable searches also make finding candidates based on proficiencies a breeze.
If all of this still sounds overwhelming or you haven’t been able to find great success using these avenues, take a look at Happie! Our tech-enabled recruiting service makes finding and screening candidates a breeze. We’ve helped companies across the country hire for tech related roles, and would love to help you do the same. Check out this customer story to learn more!
4) Do your candidate research before reaching out.
In order to attract a candidate enough to make them want to choose your opportunity over others, you also have to be sure to do your background research on whoever you reach out to. It’s pretty apparent to candidates if you just hit them with a random email blast, so make it more personal. Comment on a project they worked on that you saw on GitHub, a connection you have in common on LinkedIn, or something on their website that stood out to you. They likely get many messages a week, so take the extra time to make yours stand out.
Asking about their goals and future plans is also a good way to further connect with your prospects when chatting. It is unusual for people to stay at the same job for more than a few years nowadays, and demonstrating that you understand this and want to set them up for success for their future will draw them to your opportunity.
5) Ensure they’re both a cultural and a technical fit.
So by now, you’ve ironed out your job requirements, found a few high caliber candidates, and now you have to interview them! The final piece of the hiring puzzle is to make sure your candidate fits in your office culturally and technically.
Technical interviews are common for developers, but make sure your test is relevant to what the developer will be doing in their role. Instead of a generic coding test, give them a bug you have in your queue to take a look at, or as them to look at a problem you’ve come across on the job. These role-specific tests will give you the chance to test their skills that they’d be using on the job in action, and who knows, maybe they’ll give you some clarity on a bug you or your team has been struggling with!
In addition to technical fit, culture fit is a huge consideration when hiring someone new for your firm. You could have the most technically sound software engineer in the business, but if they’re a culture clash they’ll create more problems than they solve. During the interview process, have them chat with other developers on their potential team or the CTO. You want to be sure their working style and temperaments fit well together, so make that a priority during your hiring process as well!
There you have it! Recruiting the best developers doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, following the five steps listed above will help set you up for success. If you need further assistance finding that perfect developer, Happie can help you find the best hire for your open roles. Schedule a 15 minute consultation here, and happy recruiting!