Tips to attract the best software engineering candidates

Alex Simmons our consultant managing the role
London is Europe’s top destination for Software Developers. According to London & Partners, London is home to 357,900 Software Developers across all businesses. 

However, software engineering is a tricky market to recruit for because it is full of competition. IT in the UK is growing up to 2.6 times faster than the economy as a whole and despite widespread concern over Brexit, London still remains the second most connected city for technology in the world. As a Senior Recruitment Consultant with a focus on the FinTech industry, I have several conversations a day concerning technology recruitment. 

We work in a market that is mostly driven by candidate desires, whether that is salary, which is at an all-time high, or office-based work which is at an all time low! The pandemic has drastically changed business operations, and by now it should be fairly well known that increasing salary and increasing working from home flexibility will attract more candidates. Aside from those, there are some not so widely known benefits that are turning heads, such as:

• Work from Anywhere

• Unlimited holiday 

• Research and development days 

 To attract the best software engineers, you must offer the most attractive benefits package. With software engineer salaries already at all-time highs for the industry, potential applicants are placing a greater emphasis on the employment benefits than ever before. Meaning their decision to work for one company over another is frequently based on who offers the most incentives in addition to a competitive compensation.


What does this mean for hiring managers in the technology industry? 

In essence, a candidate-driven market translates to increased competition by employers and increased talent competition results in workers leaving their current positions in search of jobs with higher salaries, more advanced opportunities and greater benefit packages. Candidates are on and off the market in as short as a week. So as a hiring manager, you have to ask yourself, what can I be flexible on? 

Requirements 

Recently we closed off a position for a Full stack Developer skilled with Python, Flask, JavaScript, TypeScript and React. A time sensitive project that had seen little attraction for a couple of months. By changing the requirements to Python and JavaScript and allowing this candidate to upskill in other areas opened up the candidate pool by around ten times.

Competition 

Consider how much competition there is in London, how many technology organisations are looking for the same skills? Approximately 658,275 of all jobs advertised in London were for digital or technology positions in 2019, according to Tech Nation’s 2020 Jobs and Skills report. Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester are all excellent markets with substantially lower average salaries as studies have shown.

Tech Tests VS the Tech Job

Moving on to the ever-debateable interview processes. I am sure we have all seen the funny memes, "Tech tests VS the Tech job”, and quite rightly. As a hiring manager, you want to reduce obstacles from hiring someone. We have seen 5+ interview stages with 2/3 technical rounds, and some processes with no technical rounds. Find a good medium, I would say 3 stages is standard:

 1. Introduction

 2. Technology test 

3. Culture fit/competency based interview

In my opinion, it is best to be versatile. If a candidate has other interview processes and tech tests, can you be flexible? Would you consider skipping the tech test and moving to competency-based questions?

Don’t hold up the hiring process 

The need for speed is my final point, and it’s arguably the one that gets overlooked the most. CBNC ranked software developers as the top career for 2019, which explains why it usually takes software engineers no more than a few weeks to find a new tech job. It should not take more than 24 hours to receive CV and interview feedback. The pace at which you move indicates a lot about you. This means that you must ensure your hiring process is fast, reciprocate the interest and excitement. If you can do that, you should be able to make an offer, preferably one that is competitive, before the candidate leaves the market.

Get in touch to discuss your options 

Marks Sattin is a specialist recruitment business, uniquely positioned to offer insights to your business.  We understand not only how to find you your next hire, but we also advise you on hiring methods and how to attract more candidates. Our technology recruitment consultants make sure to keep you abreast of the latest trends in their markets, whether that’s FinTech, technology transformation, business analytics or software development. If you would like to discuss any of the above and understand what a technology recruitment agency can offer you, please reach out to me.  Alternatively, if you are looking to start your UK software engineering career, check out our latest technology vacancies

01/06/22
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