7 Steps to Crafting the Perfect Candidate Experience for Developers

When it comes to hiring tech talent, it’s very easy to get bogged down in the technicalities (literally!). With so many required skills and abilities of critical importance to a developer’s role, many companies dwell on finding the best of the best without worrying about how the candidates perceive them or whether or not job seekers would actually accept a role with them. However, with the war on tech-talent raging and 1 in 10 new jobs now being tech-related, can you really afford to lose the best developers because of a poor candidate experience?

68% of candidates believe the way they’re treated in the hiring process reflects how a company will treat them as an employee, so it couldn’t be a more vital part of attracting talent to your business. When a company invests time and effort into refining the candidate experience, they can improve the quality of hires by 70% whilst simultaneously reducing their cost per hire.

But how do you create a candidate experience appropriate for the brightest and best tech talent?

Clarity is key

Be clear about the type of developer you want, the projects they’ll be involved in and the technical skills that will be required. If you’re unsure of the type of developer you need, or the skills your project requires it’s time to research or even enlist the help of external recruitment services.

When crafting a job description, make sure this information is clear and easy to find. This will ensure that developers know exactly what you want from them, whether they’re suitable and what the role will entail, reducing the number of unsuitable applicants. A job description is the first stage of attracting talent so make sure it combines the right amount of tech-talk, human elements and your brand message to paint a picture of the role and your business.

You should also try to be clear about the stages of the application and interview process so that developers know what to expect. If it’s clear from the beginning of an application that candidates will be expected to complete a test, multiple interviews or even a project, they’ll be better prepared and more willing to put time and effort in than if you throw it at them last minute.

Do your research

When you interview a candidate, you’d expect them to research your company, the role and the industry you work in. For a better candidate experience, treat developers with the same respect. Take the time to read their CV properly before the interview; know what they’re capable of, their experience, the programming languages they use and even any previous projects they’ve been involved in.

 This reduces the need for unnecessary questions which means you can get into the technicalities and learn what you want to know! It also gives you more time to find out about them as an individual and how they’ll fit with your business. Plus, it shows you’re a considerate employer. Treat them with the same courtesy you’d expect them to give you and you’ll already be on the path to creating a great candidate experience.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Whatever role you’re recruiting for, communication is key. Understandably, recruiting tech talent can take time as you’re looking for a specific skillset which isn’t always widely available, so ensure you keep candidates updated every step of the way. Try and provide a clear timeline for the process, and if you can’t stick to it, ensure you notify applicants.

50% of candidates never hear back from a job they’ve applied for and this includes acknowledgement that an application has been received. When they don’t hear back 85% of candidates assume their application hasn’t even been seen by a real human. Is this really the impression you want your business to give? Tech talent is in high demand, so if a developer doesn’t hear a peep from you, you can guarantee they’ll apply elsewhere and you risk losing out!

Whether it’s a rejection, the application process is taking longer than planned, circumstances change, or the applicant is successful; a simple email to notify developers is not only polite, but it doesn’t take too much time out of your day and will have a huge impact on how candidates perceive you.

Time is of the essence

It’s reported the best tech-talent on the market is snapped up within 10 days. Developers are busy people, they won’t be hanging around waiting for your response when other companies are responding instantly.

Make your initial application process is simple and easy; a drawn-out application process is one of the most common ways to deter talented people. It’s reported that 60% of job seekers have quit online applications due to the time it takes to complete them. Make sure you’re only asking for the essential information, everything else can be found out later down the line.

However, a simple application process doesn’t mean you can make developers wait a month for an interview. Most candidates expect to be interviewed within two weeks of applying for a role, so a quick recruitment process is key. Don’t be naïve and think developers are only applying to your business, if you don’t act fast someone else will!

Be relevant and reasonable

When hiring a developer, it’s understandable you’ll need to ask them about and test them on their technical ability; which programming languages they use and how skilled they are. Make sure you’re only asking them questions that are relevant to their experience and the role, don’t talk to them about an outdated language no one cares about anymore unless it’s essential. For one thing you’ll look out of the loop, but you’re also wasting time.

If you need to test, be reasonable. Don’t expect developers to complete a lengthy, complex project before you’ve even had a conversation with them and similarly don’t give them a test that isn’t relevant to the role. Make sure you test at the appropriate stage of the application process, so that the candidate knows if they want to work for you before they dedicate any time and be transparent; if they want to chat to you more about what’s expected, make time for them! The results will often be better, and you’ll be hiring dedicated people that are ready for the role.

Treat them like a human

Yes, developers are very technical people and yes, you’re hiring them for their technical ability but that doesn’t mean they aren’t human. When it comes to an interview, get to know them on a personal level, find out who they are outside of work and what makes them tick. 

Consider showing them around the office so they can meet future colleagues and feel like part of the team. Ask about how they want to progress in their career and what their future goals are. A company that considers these factors will provide a much more positive candidate experience than one that is constantly asking about JavaScript and CSS.

Offer a tempting work-life balance

Developers in 2020 want a work-life balance as much as the next employee. 53.3% said remote working was their top priority when looking for a job. When you think about it, with quality technology and high-speed internet, a good developer can work anywhere.

If it’s feasible for you to offer flexible working, make sure this and other perks are made clear throughout the application process. If you have a spacious office, show it off. If you have the latest tech, discuss it in the interview. If you have generous benefit scheme, let them know. This will not only enhance your employee value proposition but should set you apart from the competition at a vital stage in the talent attraction process.

Improve your candidate experience for developers and you should have no problem hiring the best tech talent for your business. Remember to hire the best developer, simply think like one and give them the experience you’d expect yourself!

Talent Works has put together an eBook, Decoding developers; as a guide for connecting with the right developers and attracting them to your business. Decoding Developers is available to download here.