17
Apr

10 tips on how to recruit amazing developers for your company

Romania (and the world) faces today a crisis on tech development workforce. There are more jobs than programmers. These leads to senior developers receiving a lot of emails with job opportunities, many of those being ignored.

I decided to write this article based on my own reflections on this problem. I am receiving every week several offers from companies in and outside Romania. I’ve seen several patterns on this offers, both good and bad. I warn you from the start, this article is a subjective view on the problem, based on my own experience. It might or might not be true for others.

Talent in a technology company is very important. In programming, we call talented people senior developers/rockstars/gurus/hackers. These are the guys that besides coding anything you give them, have the vision on how your software should be expanded in the future and architect it for further development and scalability.

These people are hunted by a lot of companies and receive a lot of offers. They never have to worry about losing their job or finding a new one. While they work for a company, they receive a lot of offers from others. But most of these fail because their offers are not attractive. More than that, most of the offers look the same.

Below is a list of things I think would trigger a senior developer to become interested in your company. They would work for me.

1) Be interesting

If your company, culture and projects are not interesting, then whatever you do, it will fail.

Why is your company better than others? Why should I work for you and not your competition? Work on this. Think what would trigger developers creativity and productivity. Most good programmers like to work in challenging projects, taking them from the very beginning to scaling them to millions of users.

2) The office  as a home

We love flexibility. Some of us work best from 7 am, others wake up at 1pm and start to work at 4pm. Offer us flexibility in schedule and an attractive office where we would love to spend our time.

Personally,I love the comfort of my house. During the summer,  I like to be able to take my laptop outside and work from my patio, feeling the warm breeze of the air and hearing the music sang by the birds. I like to take short breaks and lay down on my rocker.

If you are a startup, don’t rent an apartment. Rent a house. Have beds, rooms, a yard where people can take a short break. Think of the days when you will need your team to stay over the schedule and work on the project. We don’t mind staying more if needed, but we do if we don’t feel like at home.

We spend the entire day at your office. Make it a loveable place. Make it feel like home. You will see how our productivity raises.

3) Make us feel important

We are not robots. Don’t act like we would be. We are intelligent and creative people who can come up with solutions to problems that people don’t even see yet.

When you tell us about your projects and explain the role we will take, make sure you explain how important these roles are for you, the company and us. This will make us responsabile and let us understand that our talent will be used for something important.

4) Have a Team page on your website

and create a custom profile for each member of your team. Show the world how important everyone is. Then, after we will help your company get big, we will be proud to show our friends that we’re part of that. It’s simple for you to do that page, but once we get the feeling to be part of something big and the world can see that, well…we will really be part of it. There will be very few chances that other companies will attract us.

5) Linkedin – don’t send email templates

If you approach us with an email template, changing only our name (like most newsletter system do), we will think you are cheap and treat your email as spam. If you don’t take the time to write us a specific email and do your research about us before contacting, then we won’t take the time to reply. Write a short email, telling us where you found out about us and what opportunity you are offering. Use one sentence for each. Make us feel important and show us why we are a great fit for your project.

6) Be careful on calls

Some developers don’t like to be called directly, without any other introduction. Others will only respond to your calls because they are too busy or to lazy to write emails. However, when you call, make sure they understand from what company you are calling. In 95% of the calls I receive I need to ask again what company contacts me because the operator skips very fast over this important detail.

7) LinkedIn – Use InMail, don’t add us as friends

Again, like stated in point 6, don’t be cheap. We will make a false (or true)  impression on you. When you add us as friends, we will think that you’ve added a lot of other developers and are not interested in who replies. That’s called spam. Spend those few cents to reach us because we will consider you really wanted to contact us. I know a lot of my friends who reply only to InMail and ignore all friend requests from HR.

8 ) Be serious

Once I’ve replied to your email, set up a discussion as soon as possible. Don’t let time pass by. I will get less interested by your offer and consider you unserious. You don’t want to disappoint the people you want to recruit. Set up the discussion in 2-3 days, not 2 weeks.

9) Offer competitive benefits

You want to recruit someone that is contacted by a lot of companies? Well, you need to be different. Just writing in your job description that you offer a competitive salary package won’t work. Especially if that competitive salary is exactly like the one offered by all the companies.

Benefits include the working environment, company culture, break & free time opportunities.

Startups have an ace in their hands above all established companies, of which i will talk about in the next point.

10) Startups – Talented people are your investors

In a startup, talent is extremely important. In the seed and angel stage, the investors look mostly at your team. They want to know that you have the talent to make your dream possible. But talented people are also investors in your company. They trade their time and talent, the safety of a job at a big company for your dream. They believe in you and your dream and are offering to help achieve it. They become “smaller” company founders and as a consequence are offered stock options. These are worth 0 in the beginning, but can be worth billions. What gets them there is execution. And you can not execute great without an amazing team. That’s why you should treat your team members as investors. They don’t offer you money, but are offering something thats worth the same as money.

Recruiting developers is a hard job today if you are making something normal. Work hard, offer extraordinary conditions and challenging projects, be different and you will become a magnet for both developers and clients. Stay unique!

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What other tips for recruitment would you add to the above list? Write them in the comments.

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