The current job shortage of IT specialists is the highest it has ever been, and it looks like it’s not going to get better any time soon. Recently, it was reported that there are over 10,000 IT specialist vacancies in Austria, 19,000 open positions in Switzerland and over 82,000 openings in Germany!

The competition to attract top developers is at an all-time high, where according to a study by Bitkom, 7 out of 10 firms are presently struggling with finding IT specialists. So, how can firms attract top developers and enhance their recruiting strategies?

WeAreDevelopers exclusively connects and matches top tech talent to companies who are hiring specifically for developers, which has provided us with valuable insights in how to attract developers. We have pinpointed the main oversights in today’s developer recruiting practices and have identified 7 ways to attract more talents and achieve better results.

1. Increase your salary offers

Developers will always take company culture and side benefits into consideration when picking a job, but at the end of the day, the salary that is offered to them will be their ultimate deciding factor. With the shortage of IT specialists, developers are receiving countless offers and are aware of their worth in companies. According to studies by WeAreDevelopers and StackOverflow, the offered salary is still most important motivation for developers for a job change. So, if you’re looking to hire top developers, be proactive, increase your salary offers and openly handle salary structures – recruiters won’t always be able to convince developers to choose a company based solely on a ‘great work environment.’

2. Accept international candidates

The current and foreseeable shortage of IT specialists in Europe means that international developers need to be considered as candidates in your recruiting strategy. There are not enough local developers to fill the gap and even with upcoming reforms in education, the gaps won’t be closed any time soon. Hence, if you want to drastically increase your pool of candidates, you need to hire internationals. Companies can attract international top developers by offering visa support, providing relocation bonuses and removing any mandatory language requirements. Currently, companies that are offering these benefits are growing and hiring incredibly fast!

3. Remove any mandatory national language requirements

Another way to improve your recruiting strategy for hiring top developers is to get ahead of the curve and remove any local language requirements such as German.

Developers are hired to develop software and speak their coding languages.

Not only do national language requirements prevent companies from landing IT specialists, but also it can be considered as unnecessary since the lingua franca for developers is English.

If another language other than English is deemed absolutely necessary in your firm, don’t reject developers if they have the required skills and know the appropriate coding languages, provide them with a language course! Many large firms have still not started to adopt English as sole language requirement for their IT department, which hinders and lengthens their recruiting process. Sooner or later every IT department will have their working language as English, and currently start ups are catching on and using English as their company language.

So, get ahead of the competition and realize that offering a language course may be more cost saving than going through a longer recruiting process to find a developer who is, or is nearly, a native speaker of the national language.

4. Realize that team fit isn’t always obvious

A good team culture is important for the overall success of a team. Therefore, many companies are emphasizing the importance of hiring employees who are a good team fit. However, checking this aspect is not always obvious during the hiring process because interviews are unique situations. It is challenging to accurately identify team fit and passion in just a few interviews, and unfortunately it has become common that the final say for hiring or rejecting a developer relies on it, even when that applicant fulfills all the other job requirements!

Recruiters need to consider the likelihood that a candidate might be nervous in an interview. Hence, give developers who meet all other requirements a chance to acclimate to your company culture and let them be in the actual environment to develop a passion for your mission.

Enhance your recruiting strategy by ensuring that talented developers are not rejected based on artificial situations when there is a chance that they can be a team fit.

5. Be open to new locations

Developers are truly passionate about their jobs both in and out of the office, so when they leave work they still dedicate their time to do what they love by developing or meeting up with peers. Developers are attracted to larger cities with existing development communities where they can share and contribute to their passion. Therefore, companies who have their development teams in tech-hubs have a greater advantage because candidates are more likely to relocate to cities with existing developer communities.

Hence, if you need to build up a larger IT team, reconsider locating the team in existing hubs such as Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Vienna, Zurich, Barcelona, etc. While building up a team in a new location may require a larger investment at the beginning, it will pay off in the end.

6. Create a specialized recruiting process with your developers

Recruiting developers means recruiting specialists. You can boost your recruiting strategy by creating a specialized process for hiring developers in order to gain competitive advantages in the war for talents. Initially, you need to define the recruiting process together with your CTO so that it covers all of the relevant steps and requirements needed to be able to reach your hiring goals.

Our next vital suggestion is to include your CTO or Lead Developer as early as possible when considering a candidate, preferably starting with the first interview. Your own tech staff will be able to constructively identify the specific skills or background needed for the job position. Overall, a specialized hiring process will make the procedure not only more efficient, but also more effective in attaining top developers.

7. Position yourself in the developer ecosystem

WeAreDevelopers-World-CongressIn order to attract top tech talent, you need to become part of the developer ecosystem. So, how do you do that? Firstly, you need to raise awareness about your company by contributing and sharing your knowledge with the developer community. Then you can build up credibility in your target audience by showing your tech expertise at large events, meetups or workshops and by publishing developer-relevant content throughout your channels. Not only will this enhance your recruiting strategy, but it also will strengthen your employer branding activities. Developers will be more interested in your company when they know that you have real experts working on your projects.

Therefore, be present in the developer community, go to events and use your best developers as brand ambassadors.

Sead Ahmetovic (CEO/Co-founder of WeAreDevelopers)
@seadahmetovic

Sources:

  • https://www.bitkom.org/Presse/Presseinformation/82000-freie-Jobs-IT-Fachkraeftemangel-spitzt-sich-zu
  • https://ubit-oesterreich.at/2019/01/31/it-studien-absolventinnen-sind-das-rueckgrat-fuer-die-digination/
  • WeAreDevelopers Developer Survey 2018/2019
  • Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2018/2019

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