Tips to attract the best software engineering candidates

Ghazal Mayahi our consultant managing the role

The UK tech sector retains the number 1 spot in Europe and number 3 in the world as sector resilience brings continued growth. With this demand comes stiff competition.

London offers a wide range of opportunities for Software Engineers in various industries, including finance, startups, and tech companies. 

In my role, specialising in recruiting Software Developers, I engage in numerous daily discussions revolving around technology recruitment. 

Within a market largely influenced by candidate preferences, factors such as record-high salary expectations and a diminishing interest in office-based work prominently shape the tech recruitment landscape.

The choice between companies for software engineering candidates often revolves around not just competitive compensation but also the array of incentives offered, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive benefits package in securing top talent.

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 

We successfully filled a Full Stack Developer position for a time-sensitive project after a stagnant period of low interest. 

The key strategy involved modifying the requirements from specific skills in Python, Flask, JavaScript, TypeScript, and React to a more flexible combination of Python and JavaScript. 

This created an opportunity to upskill in other areas and expanded the candidate pool approximately tenfold. It highlights the significance of adaptability in attracting qualified candidates and meeting project needs effectively.

Competition 

Consider how much competition there is in London, how many technology organisations are looking for the same skills? 

A Tech Nation report revealed that there's been a huge push to encourage talent to enter the industry, with over two million open vacancies in the UK. 

Despite London's prominence, other markets such as Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, and Manchester emerge as excellent alternatives, offering favourable conditions with substantially lower average salaries. 

This dynamic showcases the evolving geography of tech opportunities, emphasizing the attractiveness of diverse tech hubs beyond the capital.

Navigating the tech interview process

Moving on to the ever-debatable 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 to hiring someone. 

We have seen 5+ interview stages with 2 to 3 technical rounds, and some processes with no technical rounds. To find a good medium, I would say 3 stages are standard:

  1. Introduction 
  2. Technology test (competency-based interview)
  3. Culture fit

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 

My final point underscores the often-overlooked importance of speed. Recognised as one of the top 10 careers in 2023, software developers typically take only a few weeks to secure new tech jobs. 

Likewise, the swift handling of CVs and interview feedback is crucial; ideally, this process should conclude within 24 hours. 

The speed at which you navigate the hiring process conveys a lot about your organisation.

To attract top talent, it's imperative to demonstrate a quick and responsive approach, reflecting genuine interest and enthusiasm. Achieving this enables you to extend a competitive offer before the candidate explores other opportunities in the market. 

Elevate your tech hiring strategies with Marks Sattin's expertise 

Marks Sattin stands out as a specialised recruitment firm, offering unique insights tailored to benefit your business. Our expertise goes beyond merely finding your next hire; we provide guidance on effective hiring methods and strategies to enhance candidate attraction.

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.

19/03/24
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