Recruiting developers: The top 15 DOs and DON'Ts
April 17, 2020
min read

Recruiting developers: The top 15 DOs and DON'Ts

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova
Auf der Suche nach Entwickler*innen?
Sparen Sie Zeit und vermeiden Sie Fehleinstellungen, indem Sie mit WeAreDevelopers rekrutieren.
Anzeige erstellen
Hiring Developers?
Save time and avoid mis-hires by hiring with WeAreDevelopers.
Create job ad

Recruiting software developers is competitive and cutthroat at times. But what should you really be doing to get ahead of the competition? 

It can be tempting to do all of the things you can think of (or find on Google) to land a candidate. But here are our proven DO's and DON'Ts that contribute to the success of recruiting developers:


1. Involve senior developers & CTOs

In the world of developer recruitment, you're looking to find specialists and who’s better to choose one than specialists themselves. Be sure to involve your CTO and senior developers when setting up the recruitment process to ensure all the necessary steps are taken. This will both ensure that your candidate is a good skill fit and the team feels involved in the hiring process. 

2. Be transparent

Keeping things from candidates will backfire at some stage – whether at the end of the hiring process, and your candidate is ready to sign, or when the person ends up quitting after two months. You will end up either wasting a ton of your time (and we all know how valuable that is) or having unhappy clients who'll never sign with you again. Being transparent will build trust with potential clients and give them a genuine good gut feeling.

3. Have a career page that will wow

Your career page, company profile, and job descriptions will be the first impression potential developer candidates will get. What you write, what images you choose to use etc. have a significant impact on your company image. Luckily, you have many options to ensure a great online presence among developers. Investing in a developer-focused online employer branding page can make a huge difference to attracting the right developer. If you aren't sure where or how to do this, check out WeAreDevelopers to start.

By the way, if you're not good at writing – consider working with a copywriter. Written words can persuade a potential candidate interested in your company to want to apply in seconds. 

4. Show off your projects and tech stack

What developers really want to know is what projects they will be working on, with whom and what kind of technology they will be using. This is why it’s a good idea to show them, by creating case studies on your website or even providing sneak peeks behind the scenes through interviews. Developers need to keep their skills up to scratch and work with the latest tech stack – be sure to let them know what you're working with.

5. Keep the big picture in mind

When hiring developers, be sure to know the ins and outs of the community – where you can find developers and what's going on in the developer world. Regularly attend events for developers such as the WeAreDevelopers World Congress, stay in the loop online by signing up to our online community and continue to learn more about recruiting developers in our online magazine and other useful online resources.

6. Make use of visuals

Video is probably the most effective way of getting a company's personality across – even before the candidate has set foot in your office. Create an image/about video and social media snippets you can share across channels so developers interested in your company can get a feel for what you're about. Interesting content could include anything from snapshots of the coding life that goes on behind closed doors or extensive videos outlining projects and successes. 

7. Track KPIs

Although you're all trying to hire developers – what might work and not work will also depend on your industry, what country you're operating in, and more. Long story short – every company and potential candidate has different needs and wants. We generally encourage trying out different strategies (while keeping things professional) and measuring successes and failures along the way. Figure out how much a hire is costing you on what channels – and keep optimizing to try to hit the best possible return on investment.

8. Get developer feedback

Didn't land that developer you were pretty sure you were going to sign? Bummer – we know, but it happens. A lot of things can influence a candidate's decisions, so don't be afraid to ask for feedback. That way, you can adjust your strategies accordingly and know better for the next time. A quick and easy tool to create and carry out surveys is Typeform.


9. Throw all developers in one pot

Just because you hear someone mention they are a developer does not mean you can hire them on the spot. Nor does it mean they fit into the common image of a nerdy guy coding in a sweater late at night. Times have changed, developers are becoming more and more specialized when it comes to technologies and the areas they apply them in. Developers are humans, and employees, just like any other candidate they can have any gender, background, and personality – so be aware of any subtle discrimination.

10. Neglect interaction with candidates

You snooze, you lose. Keeping track of and following up with candidates is essential to ensure you land that dream developer, which is why we have integrated a candidate dashboard in WeAreDeveloper company profiles. This dashboard provides you with a clear overview of which phase which candidate is at and more.

11. Spam candidates

Developers get contacted a lot. And by a lot, we mean A LOT. So when you do contact them – make sure to make it count. No mass emails, no spamming them with generic social media messages – this just isn't going to cut it. Do your research, send positive messages and find the balance between not giving up too quickly and being pushy.

12. Focus on either online or offline recruiting only

At WeAreDevelopers we have found that both online and offline recruiting are effective means of getting the job done. Sure, online hiring can be more efficient and scalable but don't underestimate the power of having a face to face conversation. We recommend finding a balance, having a robust online presence, and having a good standing at developer meetups and tech events.

13. Forget the passive job seekers

Over 73% of candidates today are only passively seeking a job. We have also found that developers are a target group that typically doesn’t need to go out looking for opportunities and would rather be asked along the way. Although a developer might be otherwise engaged, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are not open to stepping up in their career. Communities like WeAreDevelopers can tap into passive job seekers through social media and more.

14. Dehumanize online recruiting

Recruiting is, after all, still a human interaction and will prove fruitful when both parties remain vulnerable and authentic. An online presence can pose its challenges. However, we've introduced  options, such as adding a video to your profile to personalize the experience and put a face to the company. Keep this in mind when strategizing your online recruiting.

15. Contact someone without doing the research 

This is probably the most underrated step of the recruiting process – putting in the work before you even exchange a word with the candidate. Developers are the picky kind when it comes to jobs, and I believe we’ve already mentioned they get contacted several times a week (if not per day?). So, make that first message count. Figure out their career path, what might be relevant to them – whether they seem willing to relocate, and more, before wasting both of your time.

That's it! Our top DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to recruiting developers. May the games begin.


5 Steps to Improve your Employer Branding Strategy

Download now

5 Steps to Improve your Employer Branding Strategy

Jetzt downloaden