How to attract/retain the best software developers in South Wales
In an ever-growing market, which in all honesty is currently like a force of nature, it’s scary how the demand for talented developers has risen over recent years. The average life cycle of a software developer is now circa 2-3 years, 4 if you’re lucky, with a recent statistic reporting 58% of software developers are open to new opportunities. This churn drives market rates up as businesses aim to hire and retain the very best staff over their competitors. So, why do these developers bounce from company to company?
Access to the latest technologies
As a hiring manager and someone who controls the recruitment process, you need to know what is important to these savvy developers. Generally speaking, most developers like to keep up with the latest technologies and know their employer is on board with bringing the very best tech into the team whenever possible.
Devs speak to each other, a lot! They communicate through various social media channels such as Slack, MS Teams and Git so they are always aware of the current market and who’s using what tech. If a developer is shouting from the roof tops about the technologies they are using, I bet my bottom dollar it will spark interest from others which will start a chain reaction. Hey, right now your very best developer might be interviewing with your competition and you won’t even know it!
Salary and benefits package
Along with the very best technologies another thing developers look for is salary and benefits package. Offering the highest salary isn’t always the best route. We have recently seen a company offering “£100,000” for software developers in Cardiff, yet they couldn’t attract much through the front door. Developers want a good work-life balance; a large percentage have families at home and being shackled to a desk between the hours of 9-5 just won’t cut it anymore. Flexibility around working hours along with remote options is something that comes up time and time again, with 70% of millennials currently looking for this benefit on offer. I completely understand how an office-based team may be more productive on paper but in a world where technology is king, with the likes of Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime available, there’s now no reason for developers to be chained down writing lines of disengaged code.
Something else that comes up often is motivation, progression and communication. How do you think start-ups lure talent? A large amount of them sure won’t have the cash flow to offer above average salaries, it’s all about understanding what motivates them. Giving software developers interesting and challenging tasks, a strong team and culture goes a long way. As with all industries career progression is also high on the agenda. I see it more often than not, developers who have been stuck in the same position for a while usually say they are undervalued and underpaid.
Developers are people with ambitions and long terms goals, just like everyone else. Sitting down with your team on a 1-2-1 basis and showing an interest in their personal life and objectives will enable you to build a positive relationship with your team. This in turn opens dialogue, makes them feel valued and will help retain these special individuals.
Being forced to make ongoing changes in the team will only result in disruption, and time and money wasted, so it is critically important you keep up to date with hiring trends in the market.
If you’d like to find out more about retaining your team and how you can stand out from your competitors, please feel free to get in touch with me for a chat. I’m more than happy to give you some free advice on the state of the South Wales developer market.
About the author
Nathan Handley, SDLC Recruitment Partner (South Wales).