How the UK will meet the software engineer hiring challenge

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Despite the impact of the national lockdown and economic downturn, there is a silver lining for organisations attempting to hire software developers. Finally, the UK’s record low unemployment number has increased, meaning more candidates, and more successful placements… right? Ah, if only.

In reality, the number of people looking for work does not change the overall percentage of qualified individuals. An increase in applications does not mean an increase in talent. Unfortunately, if a sector was experiencing a skills shortage pre-pandemic, it will still be facing that skills shortage post-pandemic.

This doesn’t mean that organisations can’t find the perfect candidates – it just means you need to use the right tactics.

Build your brand

Tech giants – Google, Microsoft, Apple, to name but a few – spend thousands on boosting their brand reputations. This includes not just promoting themselves as having quality products and services, but as being excellent organisations to work for. We’re not saying that every business wanting to hire a software developer needs to spend as much as these companies, but you do need to be aware of your competition. They might not be selling the same products and services as you, but they will undoubtedly be looking for similar candidates.

Think about what it means to work for your organisation. How would your employees rate you as an employer? How do you want to appear to prospective candidates? Consider what you want your employer brand to be, and how you will communicate that to your talent pool.

Think long term

Part of building your employer brand is demonstrating the career opportunities that employees will have with you. What are the chances for development and progression within the organisation? Or, for a temporary role, how will working with you advance the individual’s career? To the candidate, a job is never just a job. Show you understand their aspirations by indicating the career paths open to all potential employees.

You should also consider how you will stay connected with high-potential talent. Imagine you meet a highly skilled candidate who isn’t quite right for any current positions, but who could be very useful in the future. How will you ensure you can re-engage them when the time is right? By staying in contact with talented candidates via email, industry events or social media, you can find the skills you need more easily, and reduce your time to hire.

Craft the right offer

Businesses sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they can make a reduced offer to a candidate in times of crisis or downturn, while the market appears to have employers at an advantage. This isn’t the case, and candidates will know – and remember – if you try to lowball them.

This doesn’t mean you have to be offering the highest salaries, it means creating well-rounded and exciting offers. There are several factors to consider, including pay, but also career and development opportunities, flexible working options, holiday allowance, health insurance – the list goes on. Building an attractive offer means creating the right mix of benefits and highlighting the specific details you know will appeal most to the candidate.

Work with experts

Not all recruiters were created equally, and it is important that you choose the right team to partner with to enable the growth of your software team. All recruiters will tell you that they are an ‘expert’ in their market, but too many are juggling multiple specialisms or are too broad in their approach. At develop, all of our consultants learn to code in the language they specialise in hiring for, so they can be true masters of their craft.

develop engage with the best and brightest candidates within software engineering, because it’s clear to them that we know what we’re talking about. Our candidate networks are unrivalled, and we know how to present your business and your offer as an exciting opportunity for them. For more information on our specialist areas or how we can help to scale your software team, please get in touch on 0207 733 0430. 

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