If found this post, then chances are you’re one of the many employers who can’t seem to hire developers. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the need for software developers is growing much faster than other positions. Though US colleges and tech institutes have been awarding computer science degrees at a decent pace (42,000 in 2017), this is nowhere near enough to keep up with the whopping 250,000 software development openings that are currently unfilled.

Translation: If you need to hire developers, you had better build a solid plan to retain and recruit them. Luckily, we can help you with that. If you’re having trouble retaining or hiring developers, then consider these steps below and try integrating them into your hiring process.

Step 1: Figure Out What Developers Want.

Many assume that salary is the end-all-be-all of employee retention, but data doesn’t support that. A report by Coding Sans shows that the surveyed developers considered these things more important than salary:

  1. Team Culture
  2. Interesting Tasks
  3. Flexible Work Hours
  4. Opportunities for Professional Growth
  5. Company’s Potential

This list is just a starting point for your employee retention strategy. If you already have a team, survey the key players and start building a candidate profile based on the needs and wishes they communicate. During interviews with candidates, also give them a chance to express what would keep them committed to a new role. Over time, you’ll start zeroing in on exactly what makes the developers in your area tick. 

Step 2: Figure Out What Developers Don’t Want

A recent survey found out that approximately 60% of tech employees at big-name companies were experiencing burnout; this is an impressive statistic, especially considering all the benefits and privileges that huge companies can offer. Burnout isn’t the only reason why developers quit; it’s a huge problem in the industry. Others have identified that issues like nontechnical management, few opportunities for growth, and lack of communication may account for this trend. 

As before, this problem requires further investigation within your own company, and though it may be uncomfortable, the best place to get this information is from the developers who leave. Make sure you conduct exit interviews and ask for honest feedback. If you find that multiple developers have left your company for similar reasons, then you can use this information to make changes. Chances are, the grievances you hear in these exit interviews also apply to your current employees, so it’s absolutely crucial that you’re also communicating with your staff before they get burnt out.

Step 3: Build a Company that Developers Enjoy

Now that you know what developers do and don’t want, it’s time to use that information to organize your company, culture, and environment. Since developers are in such high demand, it’s absolutely essential that you take this step. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your team.

Even if you don’t fear that rather dramatic consequence, data shows us that satisfied employees drive better financial performance for companies, so the obligation to focus on the wellbeing of your employees remains the same. 

At the risk of being redundant, it’s worth driving the main point home: You can only retain and hire developers if they like their work and their work environment. Find out how to offer employees what they want and remove the barriers to their satisfaction when possible. Not only will this ensure you have the talent you need, but your company’s overall success will be nurtured.

Step 4: Let Developers Know What You Have to Offer

Your advertising isn’t just reaching prospective clients; it’s reaching potential candidates as well. Connect with your marketing team and make sure that some candidate-facing content is developed. Given that 68% of millennials say they use social media to evaluate a company’s brand, this is absolutely essential, especially for younger talent. If you have especially desirable perks (like flexible work arrangements), make sure that you advertise this! You’ll scoop up more active candidates with targeted advertising like this.  

Step 5: Actively Search for Developers

Only 15% of hires are made from job boards, and only 30% of candidates are actively looking for a job. This percentage is even lower for Developers. That means that the majority of the market is untapped if you begin and end your recruiting strategy by posting the job description on your website. If you’re looking for developers in a market like this, you need to be finding the candidates who aren’t actively looking. 
Fortunately, there are many ways to actively recruit. If you already have an internal hiring team, make sure that they’re using tools like LinkedIn Recruiter to reach out to passive candidates or a tool like Stackoverflow. If you don’t have a team like that, or they’re too swamped, then a contracted recruiter may just be the ticket. Alpine Talent Partners and similar recruiting firms with flexible models can be huge helps during stressful periods when you need good candidates yesterday.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Given the gap between the supply and demand for coders, you need to form a solid strategy to retain and hire developers.
  2. Conduct your own research. Find out what makes developers in your area tick; stay plugged into their needs and wishes.
  3. Make meaningful changes based on your research so that developers are more likely to come to your company and stay.
  4. Advertise what you offer! Make sure potential candidates see what makes working for you worthwhile.
  5. Actively search for passive candidates. The candidate you need probably already has a job.

Learn more from our hiring experts at AlpineTalentPartners.com