29 June 2016

Why Developers Turn Down Your Job Offers

You need tech talent to drive your business forward, but there isn’t exactly a herd of developers beating down your door. In fact, it might feel like you’re getting turned down an awful lot. Is it your job ad? Your recruiter? Your company? Or are all those developers just spoiled and fussy?

It’s enough to make you feel as awkward and frustrated as a new online dater. But we’d like to help you take some of the mystery—and misery—out of hiring top tech talent. We’ve gathered some of the most common reasons developers are turning down your job overtures and offers.

Your recruiters make a bad first impression. Repeat after me, “One recruiter is more than enough.” Nothing is worse than receiving 10 emails from 10 different recruiters about the same job. It starts to feel a little desperate and stalker-like, and it makes your company less attractive.

While you’re at it, make sure you choose a savvy recruiter who understands what tech skills you need and can spot them on a resume or LinkedIn profile. Too many recruiters approach developers with gigs that have zero match to those candidates’ interests or skill sets.

You’re doing a little too much magical thinking. Software development is both wide and deep. It’s unrealistic to expect one person to have mastered 10 different languages and frameworks.

Instead, pare down that list to two or three must-haves. Then open yourself up to hiring based on the ability to learn. Everything in technology changes all the time, so what’s really going to drive your business forward is finding an intellectually curious developer who’s always exploring and growing.

You’re trying too hard to be cool or cutting edge. I know. You’re worried about those Silicon Valley perks. But throwing a foosball table into a sea of cubicles or having a monthly beer tasting doesn’t change your fundamental culture.

Be honest about what you have to offer. This extends to your tech stack, too. Don’t advertise for an Elixir developer (because you’ve heard that’s hot and might try it someday) when you really need a Java developer. Describe the position you have right now and start building trust during the recruiting process.

You’re not showing anyone the money. It’s still a scorching hot market for software developers. They’re constantly approached by recruiters and have plenty of market power to negotiate. Match your salary to the experience level and skill set you want.

Not sure where to start? The Stack Overflow Developer Survey is a good place to start figuring out who makes what. Then you’ll need to adjust based on your local market and the feedback you receive from candidates. Need someone to move? Be prepared to offer a generous relocation package.

You’re not watching your language. We’re not going to fine you for a cuss word here and there if that’s what flies in your office. But watch the buzz words and pronouns.

Don’t assume your new developer is going to be a “dude” or go overboard with bro talk like “crushing code.” Too many buzz words also turn developers off, especially if they sense you don’t really embrace the real meaning behind them. Opt for plain language and keep an open mind about who your ideal candidate might really be.

How many of these hiring faux pas have you been committing? Now that you know what they are, you can change your ways and find your perfect tech talent match.

Heads up! This article may make reference to the Gaslight team—that's still us! We go by Launch Scout now, this article was just written before we re-introduced ourselves. Find out more here.

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