Attracting and Engaging Software Developers

March 19, 2024 in Uncategorized

“If you hire good people, give them good jobs, and pay them good wages, generally something good is going to happen.” – James Sinegal

How to Detect the Right Talent

Surpassing the coding skills, some qualities might not be straightforward when looking for the next hire. At Commit, we consulted technical founders at OpenDoor, Dapper Labs, HoneyComb.io, and Divvy Homes about what aspects we should gauge when we want to make a new addition to any team: 

  1. Prioritize Optimism: Seek individuals who tackle challenges positively. Constructive communication fosters a healthier, more collaborative environment than negativity or snark.
  2. Value Growth Mindset: Opt for candidates eager for rapid learning and development. They should believe that the team’s collective efforts can yield better results tomorrow than today.
  3. Look for Leadership Potential: Beyond productivity, candidates should be able to lead, mentor, and guide. Leadership involves uplifting and progressing alongside one’s peers.
  4. Emphasize Ownership: Candidates should demonstrate an ownership mentality, understanding and investing in the broader context of their projects, not just the immediate tasks.
  5. Assess Passion: Ensure candidates are aligned with the company’s vision and mission. They should be resilient and passionate, able to weather the ups and downs inherent in any start-up.
  6. Insist on Clear Communication: Technical expertise is a given, but the ability to articulate complex ideas and engage in open, collaborative communication is equally crucial. Seek those who can both ‘do’ and ‘teach’.

Assess Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

Most of the time, companies consider the hiring process a one-way street, only considering what’s in it for hiring the right employee. But this process is so much more than that – and forward-thinking businesses understand that they must offer something equally valuable to attract the best talent. 

After all, companies that excel with their EVP reduce yearly employee turnover by 70% and improve new recruit commitment by 30% (Gartner, 2023).

Unattractive EVPs have caused 65% of applicants to quit a recruiting process, while just 31% of HR executives believe their personnel are happy with the company’s EVP. 

Your company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) defines its identity and values. It includes the exciting goal and unique culture that make employees proud and motivated. You need a distinctive, relevant, and engaging EVP. Solid EVPs assist in preserving top performers and recruiting top talent when incorporated into all elements of a company.

Risk Evaluation: For any company, especially burgeoning start-ups, evaluating risk is paramount. This isn’t about pessimism; it’s about pragmatism. Delve into their performance metrics and market position. This knowledge informs the EVP and shapes the narrative around job security and growth potential.

Financial Fortitude: Platforms like Crunchbase are invaluable when examining a company’s fiscal health. Financial robustness is critical to any EVP, assuring employees of the company’s longevity and their compensation’s stability.

Vision and Impact: A clearly articulated company roadmap aligns employees with the organizational mission and clarifies their individual roles in the grand narrative. Understanding this allows for crafting an EVP that’s not just about compensation but also purpose and impact.

Cultural Compatibility: Culture isn’t an abstract concept; it’s the lived experience within a company. It’s important to deep-dive into this realm, utilizing resources like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and direct engagements. Aligning a company’s culture with employees’ values is a cornerstone of an effective EVP.

How to Improve Your EVP

What makes your organization the employer of choice? Step by step, these practical strategies can transform your EVP into a magnetic force for talent.

1. Strengthen Employee Benefits Although big companies often allure extensive benefits like medical and pension plans, smaller enterprises can also cultivate a competitive edge. Launch a 401(k) plan to aid your employees in their financial planning. Freelancers and contractors enrich their knowledge by organizing seminars where experts guide them in securing their futures and selecting insurance plans.

2. Embrace Remote Work Flexibility Creating a conducive environment is key for developers. By endorsing telecommuting, you enhance their productivity and boost job satisfaction, promoting retention. Plus, this approach also broadens your recruitment horizon, enabling you to onboard experts from regions with a lower cost of living, leading to cost savings.

3. Energize with Gamified Incentives While office recreational areas can divert attention, gamifying targets can foster a focused, enjoyable work environment. Implement gamification tools that spur competition among developers, rewarding them with tangible incentives like gift vouchers or extra days off. Such strategies invigorate daily tasks and can reduce employee attrition by fostering engagement and camaraderie.

4. Foster Seamless Team Synergy Since many projects involve multi-member contributions, fostering collaboration is paramount. Especially in a mixed workforce of contractors and full-time employees, streamline communication using collaboration tools. Ensure team members remain accessible during work hours for swift resolutions, irrespective of their geographical location.

5. Surprise with Occasional Perks While hefty paychecks might be out of reach, there’s no shortage of ways to delight your team. If your business offers products or services, sporadically gift them to your developers. This serves as a token of appreciation and familiarizes them with the product they’re enhancing. If your offerings don’t align, tap into your business network to procure exclusive deals or event passes. As your business evolves, these connections can further amplify the perks you can bestow upon your team.

To truly flourish, businesses require top-tier software developers. While their expertise often comes with a hefty price tag, fostering an enticing work culture.

Why You Should Care as a Hiring Manager:

As a hiring manager, ensuring your organization’s environment is where software developers will feel valued for their work and get advancement opportunities. This helps attract and retain talent as they’ll likely be more productive and loyal to the organization, which is a win-win for both the employees and your organization’s team performance and ability to innovate.

Check out our next blog post in the Hiring in Tech series on Best Practices for Hiring Software Developers here.