Where are All the Software Engineers? 

With record-low unemployment in the US, tech recruiting has never been more difficult. In 2019, we faced a national shortage of tech talent to the tune of 472,000 jobs! On top of that, it’s been predicted that 1,000,000 programming-related jobs will be unfilled in 2020. So, if 2020 is the year to hire developers and engineers, it’s time to figure out exactly what’s going on in the market and what you can do to find and retain the talent you need. Luckily, we’ve put together a few notes to help you with this task. 

What’s More Important than Salary?

A report by Coding Sans in 2019 tackled the state of software development by surveying almost 700 industry professionals, ranging from software architects to CEOs. When it came to attracting top talent, they found that these things were more important than salary:

  1. Team Culture
  2. Interesting Tasks
  3. Flexible Work Hours
  4. Opportunities for Professional Growth
  5. Company’s Potential

If you’ve been keeping up with statistics on Millennials in the workforce, this may not be that surprising. 64% of Millennials would rather make less at a job they love, and the same amount would leave jobs without opportunities for career growth

This is great news for you! In another decade, you may just have to give up hope if you couldn’t offer the most competitive salary on the market, but in 2020, the data is telling you to focus on people. Creating a welcoming, rewarding, and flexible work environment may just be the best thing you can do if you want to attract new tech talent, and you may not have to spend a dime to do that.


Does the Technical Stack Matter?

When building your product and deciding on your technical stack, your technical requirements aren’t your only consideration. If you want to build and maintain a sustainable team of developers, you need to make sure that the languages and tools you’re using are attractive to the current talent pool. Luckily, there are ways to get insight into this. StackOverflow, a reliable resource for all things programming, polled developers in 2019 and compiled a list of what languages are trending right now. Pay attention to these lists as they’re updated over time, and you’ll know what languages and methods to focus on to keep your projects attractive to relevant talent.

Who Should I be Targeting?

At any given time, only 30% of the workforce is actively looking for a new job. For positions such as Senior Full-Stack Developers, this percentage is even lower. So, don’t make the mistake of simply posting your job and hoping that the right talent finds it and applies; the right talent already has a job! If you’re going to find the right candidate, you absolutely need a strategy for capturing passive candidates (candidates who aren’t actively looking). This is where an internal or outsourced recruiter comes in. You need someone who is taking action and making personalized contact with candidates who wouldn’t otherwise see your job. Luckily, tools like LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, Github, and Meetup aid this process. These are your most reliable resources for finding people in the tech space (it probably isn’t feasible to research 38 different recruiting tools).

How Do I Advertise?

If you’re looking for job boards, you can’t go wrong with the big names (Google, LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and a few more), and you definitely should have a listing on your website, if nothing else. But this doesn’t address the 70% of passive candidates in the marketplace. In fact, only 14.9% of hires are made from job boards!

Given that 68% of Millennials use social media to evaluate a potential employer’s brand, it’s essential that some of your company’s marketing content is targeted to these applicants. In the tech space, this is doubly important, given what we’ve learned about how perks and culture are the keys to attracting talent. Ensure there is tailored content on your website and social media channels that shows off your work culture and that your network is seeing it! Have your employees and brand advocates share your job listings and relevant content with their networks to attract referral candidates.


Key Takeaways to Attract Tech Talent:

  1. Figure out what the candidate pool wants, and use that info to build your tech recruiting strategy. Without this, you won’t stand out, and that won’t fly in today’s tight tech job market.
  2. Make sure your perks and benefits appeal to job seekers.
  3. Choose your tech stack with hiring in mind.
  4. Target passive candidates.
  5. Advertise your work culture with social media and marketing content.

Find out more about recruiting top tech talent from Alpine Talent Partners at: https://alpinetalentpartners.com/