Attracting and Recruiting Talent for Software Developer Jobs

5 min

Businesses across the globe spend a great deal of time focusing on their talent acquisition strategies. With the digital skills gap biting across all industries, leaders have recognised the integral role of discovering and onboarding new employees in long-term resiliency. Attracting candidates for software developer jobs is crucial, but retaining those employees once they’re embedded into the company is equally important. 

Hiring is generally more expensive than strategies for employee retention, with the average recruitment exercise costing companies between 30% and 150% of an employee’s annual salary⁠—with some analysts reporting that for c-suite and executive-level roles, this figure can creep as high as 200% of average salary. 

Codility, a leading online technical testing platform for Developers—similar to services such as HackerRank, CoderPad and TestGorilla—releases a yearly Developer Report, which covers the challenges facing organisations looking to hire and retain technical staff. The main takeaways from this report are that companies that aren’t covering all bases in terms of the candidate and employee experience will face stiff competition from those businesses which do.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the key insights from this report and offer our own insights on how businesses can attract and retain talent for their software developer jobs. 


Enhancing the Application Process for Software Developer Jobs

Some of the key discoveries which Codility’s 2023 report offers are:

  • Careers in coding are still heavily male-dominated, with over 83% of respondents to their survey identifying as male.

  • Over 70% of engineers note that the software developer jobs they’ve held have failed to challenge them intellectually.

  • Over half of software developers noted that professional development and training were of major importance when they were looking at new roles or considering staying at their current jobs.

  • 37% of engineers don’t feel like their businesses recognise their contributions.

In short, businesses within the tech sector are failing to develop robust diversity, equality and inclusion strategies—integral to recruiting younger generations and attracting the talent that can enter apprentice programmer schemes—and many are simply relying on their ground-breaking product, platform or service to sell themselves to candidates. 

Attracting and retaining developers in 2023 demands more commitment from business leaders. 

This begins with the application process, which still needs to be enhanced. So many companies make mistakes when it comes to recruitment, such as: 

  • Utilising irrelevant testing procedures to ascertain the skills of potential new recruits.

  • Poor communication of the duties and responsibilities entailed as part of the role in interviews and communication with candidates.

  • Being slow to forward salary and job offers to candidates.

One thing is clear: the companies that are attracting the best candidates are the ones that have the best hiring practices in place. These processes give a candidate insight into how a company works, what its culture is, and how their career will progress if they take up a job offer with them. Conversely, companies that rely on the tech they’re working on to attract candidates will struggle to recruit the high-quality experts they need to drive innovation. 

Within the report, there is also a key finding on the importance of giving in-depth candidate feedback. Many organisations miss out on this easy way to score points with jobseekers, failing to deliver timely positive or negative feedback or letting the candidate know what they liked about their responses to interview or tech test questions.

Candidates who receive this feedback almost always respond that they’re impressed that the company they’ve interviewed with have offered detailed feedback since ghosting is still unfortunately common within the industry. Doing this enables your organisation to highlight your values and integrity. Even if the candidate is unsuccessful, it will encourage them to re-apply when they rectify the issues with their application or test. 

Something seemingly as small as offering in-depth feedback and suggestions where candidates can improve their skills will enable businesses to differentiate themselves positively from the average company within the tech sector. This is particularly important if you’re offering the candidate the job. When they receive your offer, you have to think about how they’ll reflect on their application, testing and interview process with your company before they make the decision to accept or reject it.

Software Engineer Training: How to Utilise Learning & Development

Businesses that offer a robust learning and development programme for new recruits and their experienced staff will quickly discover the benefits of attracting and retaining software developers. Company leaders from non-programming backgrounds may assume that software engineer training ends once that candidate has earned their degree, but this could not be further from the case. 

Any business operating within the tech sector must understand that there must be a balance between attracting new talent and supporting the existing workforce. When organisations build and implement a strong learning culture, retention rates for software developer jobs rise by around 30% to 50%. Learning and development are crucial to retaining employees and building a positive reputation within the industry, which can empower attraction, especially when aligned with long-term business strategies. 

There are several ways in which companies can build a strong learning and development culture, such as:

  • Pairing new recruits with experienced employees in a mentorship programme can help recent hires understand the technical aspects of their role, embrace company culture and values, and build strong relationships with their colleagues. 

  • Assess the budget to see if you have the room to offer professional development support for new and existing workforce members in the form of certifications, one-off classes, and networking events. 

  • Utilising consultants from a training company to understand knowledge gaps within the business and provide bespoke, tailored learning programmes for staff.

Most ambitious candidates for software developer jobs demand opportunities to learn and progress in their careers. So whether they want to become leaders or subject matter specialists, offering opportunities for your staff to upskill is key to retaining them and building company loyalty, as well as recognising areas in which the current workforce is under-resourced.

Similarly, it’s important that employees who have engaged with training opportunities are given the time and space to carry out high-visibility assignments, enabling them to see how their contributions are valued and recognised by their colleagues and the internal management team.

Beyond staff retention, however, building a robust culture of learning and development within your organisation can also offer some significant benefits, helping to fill areas where existing staff lack knowledge. 

This skill-building is crucial in helping employees to be more productive and efficient, helping to increase revenue generation and innovation across the entire organisation, as well as reducing overall exposure to the risk that can arise when staff are unfamiliar with matters of legislation, compliance, and wider industry standards and codes of ethics. 

Helping Your Business to Offer Cutting-Edge Careers in Coding

Recruiting and retaining the talent you need to innovate with your product or service offering can be challenging. Because of this, our expert consultants are dedicated to discovering candidates and supporting your organisation throughout the hiring process, from creating the job description to onboarding the successful candidate. Contact us to discuss your needs and long-term strategy today, and we'll connect you with the right candidates.