Why is it hard to hire software developers?

It might potentially have never been more difficult to hire software developers, and they know this - which is why they hold all the cards. It could be for a few reasons, a combination of, or other things but most of the common reasons are:

  • Lack of tech employer branding - no one has heard of you!
  • Poor company culture or a bad reputation
  • Uncompetitive salary, or lack of employee perks and benefits
  • You’re only wanting to hire a developer with a degree - tonnes of them are self-taught

So how can you stand out and find software developers to recruit?

Expand your potential reach

There’s a skills gap, this is common knowledge - there aren’t enough developers with the right skills to fit all the job vacancies out there at the minute. Our data analysed the techs with the most job mentions but don’t have enough job seekers in the industry with the experience to meet the demand. These could be among some of the most hard-to-fill developer roles because there is so much competition out there.

  • AWS
  • Azure Stack
  • Kubernetes
  • Java
  • React

So what can you do?

Firstly, why not look at hiring remotely if you don’t already? By hiring locally, you’re hugely constraining your talent pool geographically. If you also offer flexible working hours or operate a hybrid working model - these things should be obvious from your job descriptions.

What are you doing to nurture talent internally as well? Companies often neglect to look internally first, offering learning and development opportunities will not only encourage your existing techies to upskill, but it could also harbor a more positive working environment as you’re investing in your employees.

The difference between finding a job and changing a job

One of the reasons it’s hard to hire software developers is that only 1.7% of developers are unemployed and looking for a job! So you’ve got to change your mindset in order to stand out from the crowd of employers that are also hiring. One way to do this is by investing in recruitment marketing and evolving your tech employer brand.

You need to create content and showcase why you’re a great employer - share this on your careers page, on social media, and include it in your profile for third-party review sites or job boards like Haystack. Companies like accuRx have this nailed, with their video content and thorough employee handbook.

If you have awards talking about what a great employer you are - this is a good place to start. If you can ask your employees to leave reviews online or share things across social media within their networks - even better! The more organic this looks, the better. None of the corporate bs, just real people shouting about what a great company you are.

Candidates really want to picture themselves working at your company, and they already have a job, remember? So they may only move for a perfect opportunity. It may not be that you've got hard-to-fill developer roles, but more it's a company misfit.

Build your talent pool

Why don’t you constantly advertise that you’re open to speculative applicants? You may miss out on a perfect candidate because you advertise a role 2 weeks later than they were initially looking. Generate interest in your company when you aren’t even hiring.

With Haystack - users get matched to opportunities and companies that match their tech stack, values, and interests. So even if you aren’t actively hiring, users have the option to join a company's talent pool to show they’re interested in any future job adverts they may put out. This saves time and effort and could even mitigate the need to write the job description in the first place.

Meet them in the middle

Go to where the developers are. Don’t just stick up one job ad and expect it to yield amazing results. For example why not try:

  • Developer meetups either digitally or locally
  • Location-based slack groups for techies
  • Social channels like Twitter have a huge developer community
  • Can you utilise micro-influencers you can ask to share your role?
  • Ask your own techies to share the roles in their networks
  • Developer-specific job boards - like Haystack!

Haystack is trusted by thousands of developers, designers, data scientists and testers to find their next opportunity. Create your free account today and start attracting top tech talent.

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