Tips & Tricks

5+1 tactics to attract IT developers in CEE

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Software developers are the gasoline of the new economy – hard to find, companies across industries are fighting for them and their price tends to rule the market. That’s a fact everywhere and the tactics are similar. EU countries are estimated to suffer a shortage of 500 000 software engineers by 2020. So it’s now more than ever the time for businesses that rely on them to be tactical and smart.

At the end of July DEV.BG, the biggest portal for IT developers in Bulgaria, published its study on the preferences of IT specialists when choosing a company to work for. Hint – salary and table football are not among the top priorities. Trending Topics also asked IT recruiters from Bulgaria who estimate that there are over 65 000 developers in the country, to put together the whole picture and here are the top tips:

1. Get the difference between java and javascript… finally

It has evolved to an anecdote but still happens in reality. Technologies and the program languages are the essence of developers work life, and among the top priorities when choosing a company to work for, the study shows. Therefor they should be communicated clearly and by someone who has at least basic understanding for them.

“Recruiters should spend at least a week to study the differences between programming languages and technologies. In order to attract developers you need to tell them what you’re offering”, Atanassov, an IT recruitment consultant with 10 years of experience, told Trending Topics.    

DEV.BG’s advice: Don’t talk about hype technologies to attract developers to only disappoint them a month later. Be fair and list the technologies the company uses on regular basis.  


2. Say what is so cool about your company, and better be specific


Project and product are what makes people willing to work with you. That’s also their way to gain more knowledge and experience, explore new technologies and areas. Participants in the survey admit that companies rarely explain their products, the meaning and benefits of this product or the vision for further development. However, but the ones that do are seen as a trustworthy and desired employer.

“Developers, especially the senior ones are attracted by the complexity of a project. They need to know what is the product they would be working on, why is it important, what are their perspectives. They simply need to know that’s a prestigious product”, Atanassov explained.


3. Have quality online presence, look through their Harry Potter glasses if needed


In other words companies need good branding and marketing specialists that work together with their recruiters. To attract the right people businesses need to produce the content their potential employees are interested in (a survey among the current team might help a lot) and distribute it through the right channels.

“In this region we rely a lot on LinkedIn. It gives us great opportunity to contact people, especially freelancers who are looking for new projects. Regarding the tone of communication – you need to understand the humor of developers, this captures their attention naturally”, Diana Stoyanova, HR specialist at the young IT company  HyperAsect told Trending Topics.

“Talk to people in their language and make sure they’ve heard about you or seen you somewhere online. My approach is to produce content that is interesting for developers, share it, make people reshare it. For instance, based on surveys, I know that java developers like Harry Potter or Deadpool, so we use element from the movies in banners and illustration designs. If there is something interesting around the company we’re recruiting people for, then I call the specialized IT media and arrange publications”, Yordan Atanassov, explained.

DEV.BG tip: The atmosphere, company culture and the team of the companyare a very important factor for the choice of developers. So post photos and videos from the office, of the team from team buildings etc. across social networks. Make sure to present the IT experts of the company – share their achievements, interviews, articles. If a company needs to recruit IT specialists, there’s no point in posting photos and biographies of the smiling PR executives.


4. Be there offline and talk to the people behind the code


Another very important rule for companies is to be present at events where their desired new team members are – developers meeting and conferences, hackathons, even sports events. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your people as speakers who share expertise and try to be active in the networking part. Also make sure to have some branded T-shirts, backpacks, hoodies etc. so your people are visible.

“Don’t recruit, make friends, ask about interests. After two years in the sector developers are rarely seduced by salaries, but by products, visions, common values and activities. If you establish a quality connection to people from the dev community, they would also recommend other specialists, in case they are not available”, Atanassov told Trending Topics.


5. Get the special benefits and flexibility right


The benefits such as office atmosphere (couches, table football, nice view, colors, kitchen corner, gym) that used to be catchy three years ago are something regular now. Plus, according to specialists that kind of perks make people stay in a company, but doesn’t play a role when choosing it.

“As everyone else developers value their time, so a lot of them want to be flexible and work from home. They are far more effective, when they manage their time and could work focussed”, Stoyanova shared her observations. It’s, however, important as an employer to keep your promise once given and really let people work from where they want to. That’s a matter of good management.

DEV.BG’s survey also showed that developers are attracted by longer paid holidays (the standard in Bulgaria is 20 days) and additional healthcare insurance.


Bonus: Open up a bar


It’s not a joke, but a proven concept. That’s what Yordan Atanassov did – a bar for developers called CPC in the hearth of Sofia. “I’ve recruited a lot of people from the bar. At the end of the day, developers are normal people who want to be among like minded, drink beer and have fun”, he explained.

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