• Andrew Gunderman

Technical Recruiting with a Touch of Self Development

We all know the story.

You hire a brand new developer. They spend a few months with your company, get a better offer, and then leave. You're left wondering what you could've done better to retain them.

Here are some things we do know: software developers are often extremely passionate about their work, they love what they do, they're good at it, and they have the raw talent to excel.

Passion is a big driver.

So is recognition.

And advancement.

When a software engineering job is great by most people's standards, why would anyone move? I want to suggest some changes.

The 3 major things I want to talk about are these:

Firstly, why do you think all of these big companies (Google, Amazon, Microsoft) steal all of your good developers. Isn't it obvious? Branding. These are companies with excellent branding. If you're a smaller company - don't forsake your branding. It'll help you in terms of revenue + your developer retention because everyone wants to work at a company that everyone's heard of. Utilize LinkedIn for brand building and post obscene amounts of content.

Secondly, your pipelines are huge. Your pipeline will help you find great talent when they're young and develop relationships for the future. If you're not offering high school internships, or developing relationships with them, in some form or another you're missing out on a fantastic, and cheap, pipeline. If there are issues in terms of legal work utilize the services of nonprofits such as the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati to contract the kids for you. If you're only bringing college juniors in for internships you're hurting your company. That's not nearly enough time to create a real relationship between the candidate and your business. I would also closely watch the actions of any recruiters your business employs. If a candidate asks for feedback and you don't respond -> congratulations you just broke their trust and lost a candidate. Your recruiters are your front line of contact and should be treating candidates like their own children. If a candidate feels like they can go to your recruiters for anything imagine how likely it is for that developer to want to work at your company long term. I understand that recruiters are busy, but they are helping to build the brand of your company, and one upset candidate can ruin that brand for plenty of other candidates you might've otherwise employed. Invest in the younger generations because they will be your future. Host events locally such as hackathons, workshops, etc and you'll be surprised to see what happens over time.

Lastly, you need to take a look at the amount of innovation that's happening in your company. You have to allow new ideas to be created and carried out. Even if it's a developer you hired 2 days ago. Developers love to learn. That is, by definition, their job. If you are forcing them to code the same stuff everyday they'll grow bored and look for opportunities elsewhere. To combat this, build internal programs where your developers can switch teams and try out other technologies. Make it easy to move around. Yes, this may cause you to switch up teams rather often, but imagine that instead of moving to Google your developer simply moves to a different team in your company. Much less expensive, right? You have to ensure that your developers feel they can move up the ladder and give them the freedom in their jobs to ensure they don't get bored.

Let's look at technical recruiting with more of a self development touch. Figure out what each of your employees' ambitions are, and give them the tools to achieve them. They have their own goals too, y'know.

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