The tech hiring scene is an ever-changing landscape, but there are a couple of trends that have emerged over the last couple of years. Techies are turning their backs on ‘traditional’ job boards and recruiters, and are now more demanding than ever in their expectations of a company - even before they apply. We recently surveyed over 50,000 techies to find out what’s important to them in both their job search, and once they’re in a role. If you’re struggling to attract the best talent to your role, we can give you a few pointers as to where you’re going wrong, and how to ensure you’re attracting and retaining the best techies.
With over 89% of our users open to exploring new opportunities, there’s a lot of talent to go after. The best place to start is probably at the beginning of the process - your job ads. Your job ad essentially serves two purposes; providing the techies with enough detail about the role that they feel comfortable making an application, and presenting your company in a way that makes the techie feel like you’re the right place for them to take the next step in their career. When it comes to job ads, it’s pretty evident what techies want to see.
It’ll come as no surprise that salary tops the list - so much so, we’ve found that job ads with salaries attract eight times more applicants than those that don’t. We know there are a number of reasons why you’re not able to include the salary in your ad, and that’s exactly why we introduced our hidden salary feature. We’ll hide the salary on your ad, but we’ll let users know if it falls above, below or within what they’re looking for. This could be key to your job ad being a success, as 59% of all our users, and 69% of senior techies, told us they wouldn’t consider applying for a role where they didn’t know the salary. That’s over 2/3rd’s of the top tech talent you could be missing out on, just by being unable to let them know what they’d be getting paid. Salary was far and away the most important info to a techie, so if you can include it in your ad, either visibly or hidden, you definitely should!
Other information techies told us was important to them was opportunities for progression, company culture, and the projects they'd be working on. There was a particular desire to be involved in innovative and challenging tasks that would allow them to grow and develop their skills, and subsequently be a greater asset to your company. Interestingly, company benefits and company size were deemed among the least important, so there's no need to let them know about the cliched and overused drinks fridge and ping pong table. In fact, those superficial perks are often met with eye-rolls and shrugs, indicating a preference for substance over flash.
Transparency is key, so tell them about what the job actually entails, the team they'll be working with, the technologies they'll be using, and the rewards they can expect for doing the role. Emphasize the real opportunities for learning and advancement, the collaborative environment, and the meaningful impact they can make. This will resonate more with techies who are looking for a fulfilling career, rather than just a flashy workplace.
So, you've nailed the job ad, and you've got a stack of great techies ready to be interviewed. But the journey to convincing them that your company is the ideal place to advance their careers isn’t quite done yet. Our research has shed light on what techies truly value during the interview process: informative and concise procedures.
Techies desire an interview process that provides them with relevant and useful information without unnecessary delays. Failure to meet this expectation often leads to disengagement, with 47% of our users citing poor communication as the most significant red flag in an interview process. Other concerns include an excessive number of interview stages and a lack of clarity regarding the projects they would be involved in.
The technical test, often dreaded by candidates, was also a point of contention, with 73% deeming it an inaccurate way of measuring suitability for a role. Clearly, putting techies to the test should only be done if it's absolutely necessary. You can likely gauge their skill level just as accurately by examining a GitHub profile or portfolio website.
Once you find the perfect techies, don't delay in sending out an offer. A staggering 64% of our users told us that a delay would be a significant red flag in the interview process. By prioritizing informative communication, a concise interview process, and timely offers, you'll not only attract the best tech talent but also demonstrate that your company values their time and expertise. This approach will help you stand out in the competitive tech market, and ensure that the top tech professionals see your company as the place where they will truly thrive.
The landscape of tech recruitment is evolving, and it's crucial to adapt accordingly. If there's one thing that's become apparent from our research, it's that techies have lost trust in traditional tech recruitment. One of the most striking stats from our survey was that 94% of techies believe traditional tech recruitment methods are becoming increasingly outdated, and 82% don’t think spending time on traditional job boards is a good use of their time. If you want to attract the best talent, commission-hungry tech recruiters peddling irrelevant roles just aren’t going to cut it in the modern hiring market - in fact, 66% of our best users won’t engage with them.
It's clear that in order to attract the top talent to your role, embracing new methods of engaging with the tech community and providing them with the info they seek is essential. By aligning your recruitment strategies with the values and preferences of today's tech professionals, you'll not only stay ahead of the curve but also create a more meaningful connection with potential candidates, thereby increasing your chances of securing the best talent in the field.
Once you’ve got them through the door, you then have the challenge of retaining them. This is particularly difficult at the moment, with the pressures of the economy and the widespread layoffs we saw in the industry over the last couple of years weighing heavily on their minds - in fact, the state of the economy was given as the primary reason for techies feeling insecure in their roles. The blame can’t be placed entirely on the economy, however, as the behaviour of leadership was the 2nd biggest reason, and layoffs within and the performance of their company came in at 4 and 5 respectively. Looking after your existing staff is just as, if not more, important than attracting new ones, and retaining staff is far more cost-effective and valuable to your company than constantly hiring and training new staff.
A large part of the responsibility for this falls within your company; whilst you can’t influence the economy or big tech layoffs, you should be doing everything you can to ensure your leaders set a positive example, and they’re left in no doubt about how well your company is doing. This comes back to something we previously mentioned - transparency. If a techie feels their job may be in danger, we know they won’t hesitate to start looking for a new one. It’s your responsibility to keep them informed and ultimately engaged with their role and your company.
One of the key ways you can keep an employee engaged is by working with them on their working preferences. Only 1.4% said they prefer working in an office, and 45.9% said working fully remotely is their preference. Furthermore, 79% of techies told us their current employer supports their working preferences, and only 12.2% wanted to spend more time in the office in the rest of 2023. Clearly, if you won’t support how they like to work, someone else will. We understand that it’s not always practical or beneficial to have your tech team working 100% remotely - we’d suggest working with them to come to a compromise. An old-school attitude of believing they have to be in the office to get the best results is ultimately going to result in you having a significantly smaller pool of techies that will be interested in working with your company.
In conclusion, the tech recruitment landscape is not what it used to be, and the old ways of attracting and retaining tech talent are rapidly becoming relics of the past. Our extensive research has provided a clear roadmap for what today's techies are looking for, both before and during their employment. From transparent job ads that include salary information to a streamlined and informative interview process, to a flexible and understanding approach to work preferences, the modern tech professional seeks authenticity, clarity, and respect.
The key takeaway from our findings is that techies want to be treated as individuals, not just another cog in the machine. They want to be engaged with, understood, and valued. They want to know that their time, skills, and preferences are respected. And they want to feel secure and supported in their roles, with clear communication and positive leadership.
By embracing these principles and adapting your recruitment and retention strategies accordingly, you can position your company as a desirable destination for the best in tech talent. The days of relying on traditional job boards and outdated recruitment methods are over. The future belongs to those who recognize the evolving needs and desires of tech professionals and respond with empathy, innovation, and integrity.
Remember, it's not just about getting them through the door; it's about creating an environment where they want to stay. By focusing on what truly matters to techies, you can build a team that's not only talented but also engaged, satisfied, and loyal. The success of your company depends on it, and the insights we've shared here are your guide to making it happen. Happy hiring!