Should we rethink the Employer Branding strategy when attracting software developers?
November 16, 2020
min read

Should we rethink the Employer Branding strategy when attracting software developers?

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova
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With the overall acceptance of remote working as a dominant practice, the employer branding concept must change to go alongside the ongoing business reinvention. The importance is especially pronounced in the tech world. 

Not long after companies and startups have found the way to conduct their business operations within the newly given limitations, it is crucial to ask ourselves: Should the approach to employer branding change alongside, or should it stay as it is and simply wait for the better times?

Since the crisis has affected ways of conducting business fundamentally, our answer is yes. We felt the loss of job situations, grief, financial hardship, and, of course, isolation. It’s fair to assume that core values recognized by potential employees in the tech industry are now different. 

Inside-out approach to rethinking Employer Branding

First of all, we would like to underline what the theory has already recognized. During the crisis times, the employer brand becomes your brand and should align with the corporate brand. It doesn’t mean that it should be immediately copy-pasted. Still, corporate philosophy should be a starting point to develop a successful employer branding strategy driving the employer branding towards its success - attracting software developers. 

To conduct rethinking of the employer brand, companies or startups should start from within. Meaning, organizations should begin from inside-out with an overall improvement of employee experience acknowledged in the tech world. The way organizations treat employees and arrange their workplace will induce improvement of the general impression of working for your company or a startup. 

Crisis or normal times, onboarding is still the first point of contact with your team and organizational structure for any newcomer. If this is converted to a positive experience, it will drive software developers within your company. In short, the employer branding strategy is definitely to stay as the most important step in building a strong tech brand that attracts software developers. 

According to WeAreDevelopers market insights, tech organizations haven’t stopped marketing activities related to employer branding due to lower hiring volumes or hiring freeze situations. During this period, it is advised to stay focused on delivering brand messages, highlighting what organizations are doing to support them. 

We assume that you consider human assets a fundamental part of your Employer Branding Proposition (EVP). If you don’t take care of them with honesty and compassion during these times (i.e., layoffs, furloughs, or freezing benefits period), then recruiting professionals shouldn’t expect tech talents to forget once you try to hire them. 

According to our recent study findings, software developers are used to having a work-life balance on their terms. Establishing honesty based relations will be well-received due to pronounced sensitivity to openness inside the target group. 

4 steps to start immediately improving your Employer Brand

Start adapting now with a little bit of help from WeAreDevelopers talent advisors to steal tech talents attention: 

1) Stay open

No matter what concerns you have, being open to your employees is crucial in good and bad situations. Besides expressing your vision, concerns, and incentives as an employer, you should listen to employees on a 24/7 basis. Be sure to capture their feedback and perceptions carefully. Maybe at this stage, your recently established Head of Remote Work could help collect and digitalize all the information in one place and make it available to all decision-makers inside your company or a startup. Don’t hesitate to gather valuable input anyway you can get during one-on-one or team meetings, in-house workshops anytime, anywhere.

2) Celebrate success

Small or widely noticeable, success should be communicated. Underline what the organization has achieved to maintain optimism, preserve jobs, or contribute to making its employees safe and well covered. It shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Think ways to communicate how the HR team internally guides tech talents to retain stamina as they prepare to return to the workplace soon. You will notice that new employer brand communication will start to communicate for itself.

3) Revisit employer branding messaging

It’s probably the most obvious advice that we can give, but it sums up why this important question has to be answered. “Work from home” is the new normal and not the feature anymore. In case you didn’t stop, avoid communicating it as of now. Start thinking of new features that are more responsive to the moment. 

Bravo, you are already rethinking your employer branding strategy!

4) Develop stories

We are aware that organizations have been doing it, but it’s still good to underline. Let everyone know what you are doing today to share inspiring stories through social media, blog articles, rewards, and recognitions! Don’t forget to emphasize how your organizational leadership has supported employee collaboration, creativity, and innovation during remote activities. 

Managing the employer brand during a crisis can be extremely difficult, but adopting an authentic and consistent approach is about helping organizations to stay up to employee expectations and other stakeholders. This is an opportunity for recruiting professionals to positively build employer brands and steal the attention of software developers that aren’t actively looking to change their job at the moment.


5 Steps to Improve your Employer Branding Strategy

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