Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

5 Tips for Recruiting and Hiring Top Developers

How to Hire and Recruit the Best Developers

Recruiting is challenging in all niches, regardless of the profession. But when it comes to an in-demand skillset like software development and programming, the stakes are even higher. If you want to attract the best talent to your organization, you need a strategy that allows you to recruit and hire with a plan.

5 Tips for Recruiting and Hiring Success

Every organization is looking for something specific in a developer, but the approach is largely the same. If you want to be successful, you need to be intentional. This will allow you to build a list of qualified and engaged prospects who are ready to sign on the dotted line.

1. Know What You’re Looking For

If your approach to recruiting is too broad, you’ll end up swinging and missing on good talent. In order to hire the right person for the job, you must have a way of filtering out the ones who don’t fit your needs. And this requires you to know precisely what you want.

For best results, don’t get too focused on a specific skill. While there are times when hiring for a skill is necessary, you’ll benefit from taking a more expansive view. 

“Why look for experience with a specific programming language when a competent developer can pick up a new program in a week or two?” software developer Vangos Pterneas asks. “With new development tools and libraries being released daily, you are better off hiring for talent, not skills.”

Regardless of the approach you take, get really clear on what you want. An objective hiring profile will help you make wise decisions that benefit you for years to come. 

2. Know Where to Look

According to a recent survey of tech professionals, developers spend most of their online time hanging out on Reddit, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook. Thus, if you want to be top of mind for these developer candidates, you need to spend more time on these platforms. 

The key is to invest in relationships. Don’t waltz into a Facebook group and introduce yourself as someone who is looking to recruit developers to work for your business. (You might get a couple of quick bites, but they’ll probably be from developers who aren’t worth hiring in the first place.) Instead, watch, listen, and engage. Then, over time, people will naturally be drawn to you and express interest in opportunities.

3. Develop a Referral Program

Deepen your prospective talent pool by creating a referral program that incentivizes people within your network to send you qualified candidates. Studies show that referrals offer (a) a shorter time to hire, and (b) a higher retention rate than those who randomly apply to a job listing.

4. Think Outside the Box

The typical approach is to hire a full-time developer onto your team. And while that’s what the bulk of this article has been about, it’s also important to note that there’s a major talent shortage in this industry. And with the high cost of recruiting (including both time and money), it’s not always practical to make a full-time hire when you need help.

If you’re willing to think outside of the proverbial box, you may find it useful to turn to a software development staffing company. These organizations give you access to top-flight developers without requiring expensive recruitment and hiring expenses. Think of it as a scalable way to partner with developers.

5. Sell the Culture

Whether you’re recruiting developers or salespeople, you need to invest in your “employer brand.” This is how you communicate your culture, vision, and values in a way that connects with prospective hires. And if you do it well, you’ll see an uptick in the number of developers you have applying for open positions.

The biggest key to employer branding is to be 100 percent honest and transparent about who you are. If there’s any misalignment between what you say and what you do, it’ll create major problems down the road.

Sell the culture – but make sure you’re selling the real culture. And if it’s compelling enough, you’ll find it easier to attract loyal talent that wants more than just a paycheck. 

Adding it All Up

If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be surprised by how much qualified talent you’re able to engage with on a recurring basis. Keep adapting your plan over time and build up a steady pipeline of talent that you can tap at any given moment to grow your business with exceptional efficiency. Good luck!