What the Developer Market is Really Like

Passive vs Active Candidates 

When it comes to recruitment, especially within the developer market, it is essential to recognise the differences between passive and active candidates.

Software Engineers / Developers are known to be, and from our facing, there are more open vacancies than there are developers. This means Software Engineers have the privileged experience are, passive by nature. Thanks to the incredible digital boom the world is currently ability to pick and choose roles and employers as they please. This makes the developer market incredibly competitive and positions developers as a passive audience for recruiters.

Understanding Passive Candidates

In order to successfully acquire and place developer candidates in today’s world, it is crucial to understand their unique motivations and aspirations as well as their own personal requirements. Passive developer candidates think, behave and work differently and also act differently so need to be approached and nurtured throughout the recruitment process in alternative ways.

More often than not, passive developer candidates:

  • Are currently in a job they are happy with
  • Won’t actively apply for jobs thus you need to go to them
  • Prefer email over phone calls as it’s less intrusive, however they are bombarded with job offers all the time so don’t often respond
  • Know through experience that they do not need to jump through loads of hoops to secure a new role
  • Refuse to engage unless something really catches their attention and their interest
  • Frequently reject interviews or offers if they feel its not right for them

This passive nature of developer candidates ultimately comes down to the surge in demand for their talent in the current tech market. Essentially, if you and your skills are in high demand, people will go to you, not the other way round. Thus, it is up to employers to woo passive candidates in specific, exciting and inspiring ways to ensure that they stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The key signs that the industry you are working and hiring in has a very high supply and demand for talent can be demonstrated through several different trends in behaviour that you may have noticed, such as:

  • Very few job advert responses
  • Minimal and/or low quality CVs
  • Candidates cancelling or not showing at interviews
  • Salary negotiations or salary ‘jumps’ throughout the recruitment process
  • Offers extended but rejected by candidates
  • Candidates already in a position and not actively looking for a role

If you are working and hiring within an industry that is in ‘low competition’, you will notice that there are more active candidates and you see:

  • Numerous CVs with varying widely in quality
  • Several responses to your job adverts
  • A large pool of candidates all within very similar salary brackets
  • A higher percentage of candidates who are out of work and actively seeking a job

Are you lacking in high quality CVs for your developer roles?

The reason why you are receiving low volumes of CVs and those CVs are lacking in quality is because of the current demand for developers. Moreover, developers are constantly inundated with job opportunities on a daily basis via email and phone.

Therefore, to get software engineers actively engaged with your job adverts and opportunities, you need to talk to them in their unique language. You need your communications to deeply resonate with them and their pain points, encouraging them to read on and learn more about what the opportunity could do to improve their lives and their careers.

What do developers really want?

The answer is: every developer is different and has different requirements and expectations when it comes to a role and an employer.

By taking a quick glance at our ‘developer needs wheel’ you can begin to understand how many elements go into the decision-making process for developers when considering a new role and a new employer. Therefore, it is crucial for recruiters and hiring managers to cover as many of these requirements as possible, and in detail, when posting a new developer job listing.

From our in-depth knowledge and insight into the developer landscape, we know that written content is the preferred choice for developers in terms of approach and communication. So, your job specification/job advertisement needs to be spot on to really engage and grab the attention of those in-demand developers as it will be their first touchpoint with your company.

Consider this:

  • Is the level of detail included in your job descriptions exactly what your ideal candidate is looking for? Or are you only including as much as you think you need without explaining fully what’s in it for the developer?
  • Do you thoroughly understand the needs of your current developers and are you using this knowledge to attract new ones?

  • Developers are highly sought after and as a result, there are a lot of companies competing for the same talent. Do you stand out enough right from the get-go?

  • How do you speak to the developers you are looking to hire? With over a decade’s worth of conversations with developers, we know that developers don’t want to be bombarded with calls and emails, instead they want detail and insight into your company and the projects you are working on. Moreover, have you considered the impact on the reputation of your company’s brand by mismatching candidates with roles? This often results in candidates feeling that a role isn’t quite right for them, turning it down after an offer is made. Developers are quick to form an opinion and slow to revert back. Once they become disengaged from your brand, it’s unlikely they will re-engage and you risk losing them forever.

For the past decade at Nixor, we’ve been growing our network of developers whilst at the same time nurturing our relationship with them, so we are always in the loop of what they are looking for in their next role, what their requirements are and what their career aspirations look like.

Therefore, it is highly likely we have a potential developer candidate that suits the needs and demand of your company and also fits your way of working to a tee. We’re ready to encourage them on board, ensure they are buzzing about your role and your business and get them signing on the dotted line.

But how do we ensure they do sign on that dotted line?

We “redesign” your job specification to ensure all the elements that really matter to a developer (as outlined in our developer needs wheel) are referenced to and highlighted clearly. Our job specifications include key references to your company's cultural alignment, upcoming projects and products you are working on, opportunities to learn new technology, your team dynamic and your working environment and of course the opportunity for career progression within your company.

On average, when we help internal recruiters and hiring managers ‘redesign’ their job specifications, we receive 4 times as many interested candidates. This comes as a result of your refreshed job specification effectively highlighting your business and the benefits of joining from a passive talent perspective and also deeply resonating with the ‘right’ developer talent that are directly aligned to your ethos.

Speak to us today for more information on how Nixor can help you find the perfect candidate. Click here

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