When hiring for a developer role, you would expect candidates to endorse their best skills and characteristics. However, with the demand for technical talent far exceeding the supply, this puts developers in a very positive position. To secure the very best talent, businesses therefore need to seriously consider their offering and ensure they stand out from the crowd.

Before jumping straight into the recruitment process, take some time to understand what developers are looking for in their next career opportunity. The more you know about what they want, the better chance you have in successfully recruiting them.

One mistake businesses can often make is assuming money is all it takes to attract a top developer. However, research by Imperative shows that candidates are often looking for a sense of purpose, rather than a fat pay cheque, particularly millennial workers.

Here are 8 things developers are really looking for in a company when job hunting:

Something different – Developers are looking for something different to their current job and want it to be engaging and challenging. On your career web pages, don’t just use plain business copy. Make these pages stand out. Excite candidates by explaining why you’re different to other businesses. Have you won any business awards? Have you worked on any unique projects? Or do you offer something that your competitors don’t?

To make an impact – Developers are not just interested in their pay cheque at the end of each month. They want to know that what they’re doing is making a difference, to the business and its customers. In your job description, share your company mission statement and explain how their role fits into this. Of course, if you’ve worked on any ground-breaking projects, don’t forget to mention these too.

Opportunities to explore new ideas – With technology constantly changing, developers often look for opportunities where they can exercise their skills, be innovative and test out new ideas. They don’t want to be in a role where their creativity is stifled.

Acknowledgement for hard work – It can be demoralising working for a company where your efforts simply aren’t being noticed. Developers want to know that what they do and how hard they work matters. Therefore, make it clear that every employee is a valuable part of your team and explain how you acknowledge and reward hard work.

Opportunities to grow – A key area developers are looking for is the opportunity to grow within their role, not stagnate. Professional development opportunities such as training and skill sharing are therefore important. This gives developers the opportunity to become even better at what they do and potentially see a promotion in the future.

Company benefits – A key factor in the decision-making process is what benefits are provided by a company. This could include the ability to work from home, to have flexible hours that fit around personal commitments, top of the range computer equipment, or even Friday afternoon work drinks.

Great colleagues and leaders – A developer wants to work with other highly skilled developers, so they bounce around ideas and even learn from them. They also want leaders who provide a sense of freedom and trust, not micro-management. Your existing employees can be great ambassadors for your business and so consider introducing candidates to your current team or involve employees in the interview process in some way. You could also add a ‘team’ section to your website, with fun and informative profiles for each of your existing employees.

A good work-life balance – Whilst a developer may love their job, that doesn’t mean they want to be stuck in the office 24/7. They’ll want to know that having a good work-life balance is both possible and encouraged.

Highly skilled developers are currently in a very positive position. They can afford to be pickier, whilst seeking out a company that ticks all their criteria. It’s therefore important for your business to address all 8 points above, to help ensure you provide a job proposition that developers won’t want to turn down. Of course, it’s worth remembering that not all developers will rank these points in the same order of priority, so it’s important to get to know each of your candidates better and understand what is most important to them.

By ticking these boxes, you’ll not only attract the best talent for your team, you’ll also have happier and more productive employees, who will stay at your company for longer.

Have you come across any other factors which have helped to attract talented and experienced developers to your business? Tweet us @Consortia.

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