Will you be hiring permanent developers in 2019? Here are my top tips from 2018

In 2018, hiring permanent software developers continued to cause difficulties for many tech companies when it came to upscaling and launching new products. Offer rejections, candidate dropouts and a lack of candidate attraction can lead to a waste of time and resources, which is commonplace for those who do not follow the best processes and fail to stay competitive.

The six points below are based on what I saw in 2018 and what hiring managers should implement to stay ahead and secure high-level engineers in the coming year. Whilst these points may come as no surprise to some of you, many hiring managers and companies are simply too quick to compromise on too many of the below, without realising how damaging this can be to their entire strategy.

1. Don’t underestimate the market value

It is certainly true that developer salary expectations have become massively ‘inflated’ over the last year or two, often as the result of unrealistic pitches and promises from numerous eager recruiters. Despite this, it’s very important to note that for those engineers well versed in the most in-demand technologies, there are many hiring managers out there now willing to pull out all stops to get them on board.

Developers who are well versed in modern frameworks and tools with 3-years commercial experience can hit £75k+, and I’m not just talking about mathematical geniuses here.

In 2019, it is crucial that outdated views on salary brackets do not hinder your progress when hiring good developers – do not underestimate the cost because your competitors often won’t.

2. Don’t miss out on good talent due to unrealistic expectations

If you decide you are going to use the latest and most popular development tools, having realistic expectations about how much experience you can expect from candidates will save you time and avoid you missing out on good options. Unless you’re Google or Facebook, you may struggle if you’re expecting 2-years+ commercial experience, and you will certainly end up paying a lot more.

Let’s take Golang for example. If you decide you want to use Golang to build a microservice supported architecture then it may be worth looking at candidates who have solid experience in Java or Python, with good experience working on microservices, as well as a genuine interest in Golang and an understanding of the syntax/ideally some personal use.

By turning away these candidates you may be missing out on some incredibly talented engineers. Don’t waste your time interviewing a less talented but more experienced engineer who may end up declining your offer to accept a contract.

In hindsight, those companies who were less concrete on their requirements and ultimately hired on skill, rather than experience reaped the rewards in 2018.

3. Ensuring greater communication between recruiters and hiring managers during the hiring process.

This is a major issue that I and many others in this industry feel isn’t being addressed and can be extremely damaging when it comes to building teams. I work with great internal recruitment and HR teams every day who allow ideas and messages to spread fluidly between my candidate and the hiring manager. However, in a lot of cases, a strained HR professional or internal team who are making hires across multiple verticals of the business can shut off recruiters and limit discussion back and forth between the hiring manager. This means feedback is less accurate and often non-technical, sometimes causing the candidate to become disenfranchised by the lack of clarity.

Total transparency is needed between internal teams, hiring managers and agency recruiters. Not only does this aid with what I mentioned above but also allows for a far more refined search and ultimately a better quality of candidates.

4. Continued self-development and training options

This is one of the most important points when it comes to hiring permanent developers, particularly for juniors and mid-level candidates.

Processes and approaches are always evolving in this industry and continued training options and upskilling gives developers the peace of mind that they need to settle and commit to one company.

5. Keep tests short and discussions lengthy

Tests are certainly an important part of any interview process. Most engineers see them as a necessary evil. It is, however, important to note that long tasks before any other interview activity often acts as a filter; not only filtering out those who are incapable but also those who are simply short of time and rewarding those who are time-rich.

If you are already struggling to get tech talent on board it is important to engage with the candidate before setting them any type of lengthy task. The job market is way too fast moving and competitive and you’ll risk losing good candidates.

6. Focus on what you can offer

Don’t focus on what you can’t offer, or sell unrealistic expectations, concentrate on what it is you actually do differently. Not all companies are capable of offering remote working every week, three monitors, a Mac and consistent access to education. If you can that’s brilliant and it will certainly help with securing talent. But if not, don’t sweat it – just focus on what you can offer. 99% of the time developers are interested in the role itself and the career progression that goes alongside it, not generic perks.

Focusing on what you can offer will not only help you sell your business better but will also avoid you becoming tarnished as an employer who promises unrealistic expectations, which can be extremely damaging in the developer community.

Moving ahead into 2019

It’s not always possible to uphold each of these points. Budgets aren’t endless, time requirements and project deadlines are very real and in some larger businesses all agency communication must go through a set structure. Nonetheless, following these points as closely as possible will drive success in 2019, guaranteed.

I look after all software development vacancies here at The Change Partners. If you’d like to discuss anything mentioned above or would like to see how we can support you in the New Year, you can reach me at alfie@thechangepartners.com // 07528 846892.

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