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This article was published on August 22, 2019

A developer’s guide to hiring good developers

Get it right, and you'll never have to worry about a dry hiring funnel again

A developer’s guide to hiring good developers Image by: Made with icons8
Pablo Román
Story by

Pablo Román

Former CTO, TNW

Pablo was formerly in charge of building the technology and the engineering team that powers all the business units of TNW: Media, Events, S Pablo was formerly in charge of building the technology and the engineering team that powers all the business units of TNW: Media, Events, Services, and Workspaces.

Last week, a good friend approached me with a question. The organization he works for is struggling to attract engineers for their technical team, and he was desperate to find ideas. As a developer myself, I appreciated that he came to me to understand what motivates technical minded people to consider switching jobs.

The hiring funnel

The process of recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees would be too long to explain in here. Let’s just say that people smarter than me have identified the four majors steps of the hiring funnel:

  • Identifying candidates
  • Motivating them to apply
  • Evaluating them for your company
  • Closing and get them to join

This article focuses on the second step: How your organization can send positive signals about the engineering culture of your organization for recruiting purposes.

In other words, how do you put your company on the radar of all the talented people that might not be looking for a new job right now, but might consider switching? So without further ado, here’s how you motivate developers to apply for a job:

1. Have a bold vision

Build a great product, a rallying point, an awesome brand. Have a bold vision for your company and make sure the world knows about it.

Talented people want to do jobs that are meaningful, ethical, technically challenging, or genuinely useful. Make sure your organization can provide something your people can put their heart into.

2. Let your engineers speak for you

There are a lot of companies I love just because of the people that work there. They are active members of the community, share their knowledge with the world, contribute in open source projects, go to meetups, and speak at conferences.

Put your engineers in the spotlight and let them be the best ambassadors of your company, as technical people trust other technical people the most. Build that trust early on within the wide developer community and don’t worry again about a dry hiring funnel.

3. Become a haven for engineers

Invest in your technical organization and leadership and give them the time and the space to build awesome things for your company.

The 2019 Stack Overflow survey ranked these factors among the top five most important decision points for developers when considering switching jobs (salary, benefits, and location being equal):

  • Office environment or company culture
  • Flex time or a flexible schedule
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Remote work options

From the same survey:

Developers who belong to gender minorities in tech rank the office environment and company culture as their highest concern when assessing a new job, and are more likely to say the diversity of an organization is a top concern for them.

In short, making sure your company creates the conditions for happy, productive engineers and is welcoming towards under-represented groups in the industry is a safe bet to convince developers to join your ranks.

Whether you’re a developer or not, I would love to hear what you think of this post. Please reach out on Twitter!

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