It’s been a tough role to fill in recent years, but a few smart steps will land the talent you need
In a world where the future will be built on technology, software engineers are the architects. They’re the creators and problem solvers and their importance will only increase. As it does, your need to know what they want from an employer must do the same.
The next eight years are set to be a time of job growth for software engineers. Employment is projected to increase by 24 percent from 2016 to 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; a far swifter rate than average. If you need to recruit software engineers to your team, this means the race is on between you and your competition.
Since software engineers are problems solvers, they like things to run smoothly. You’re going to want to have your business in order if you want to attract them. A messy corporate culture, ineffective management and uncompetitive pay all add up to scare away the talent.
Become a mentor to tomorrow’s engineers
Your company may choose to play the long game and nurture its own software engineers. There are fewer tech graduates than there are jobs to fill, so consider opening your doors to students and offer information and experience to any who have an interest in the field.
You’d be ahead of the curve by focusing on/nurturing female applicants. The role is dominated by males despite many women being more than capable of excelling as engineers. It’s a talent pool your competitors may be ignorant of or unwilling to cultivate so don’t let it pass you by.
Prioritize skills alongside qualifications
Focusing on those engineers who offer knowledge of Python, Linux and Java is a sure place to start. When you know which of the most popular coding languages are ideal for your business, prioritize applicants with a proven track record in those codes. There are also more modern ways to land talent.
The limited number of talented tech workers is driving a new way of recruiting that incorporates prizing problem-solving and communication skills over degrees. It’s an outside of the box approach to recruiting that considers non-traditional candidates and interview techniques.
It can greatly increase your chances of finding the right people, especially if you combine it with the mentoring approach above.
Develop a strong corporate culture
There’s no particular model of corporate culture that will attract software engineers, specifically. They want everyone wants in this regard:
- Collaboration – It’s the word that defines culture, and software engineers are also diplomats around the workplace. Whichever department has a problem, the engineer must communicate and repair. If your business isn’t a cohesive and supportive entity, it will make the naturally collaborative role of the engineer much more difficult.
- Diversity – Racial and gender equality should be on the priority list for every work culture (especially with the male-centric nature of the job). What would attract any software engineer is if your company is open to diversity of thought and approach. Both are integral to an engineer’s job and thought process, so they’ll be a better fit if your whole work culture does the same.
- Let your people work – Software engineers have high-stress jobs with people wanting it fixed now, if not sooner. They know they’re going to be under pressure with any employer. If your company culture let’s people do their jobs and respects their abilities, giving time without pushing or interfering, it will be a more relaxed and attractive environment for engineers.
- Have set business goals – Software engineers love to see things developing, being deployed and making positive changes. If your business isn’t doing the same, they won’t like it. You’ll have to show that you have plans to improve and the energy to do it.
Make sure the job is challenging
If you’re not providing work that challenges your software engineers, you’re at risk of losing them. Retention is a big factor in the shortage and you can be sure that, with the role in such high demand, an unfulfilled engineer will know there are other companies out there who’ll hire them.
A good way to provide a challenge is to make sure your software engineers don’t stagnate on one kind of project. They thrive on creative solutions; even being highly placed in their department could become unrewarding if they’re working on the same type of thing day in and day out.
Due to their high level of input to your company’s success, consider involving your software engineers in wider operations. Include them in meetings, seek their opinions and feedback and develop them to be part of the business as a whole, not the stereotype of the tech guy in the basement.
Compensation and pay
Let’s consider pay and rewards. The median pay for a software engineer is more than $80,000 per year up to more than $120,000 at the high end. They expect high job satisfaction. Their market worth has soared over the years and will continue to do so. If you’re offering an uncompetitive wage, don’t even bother posting an ad.
If you’re offering below the median, you could entice software engineers with other benefits. Physical fitness is a great plus due to the sedentary nature of IT work. Offering exercise equipment or even a recreation area will keep your engineers mobile.
Emotional and mental health are every bit as important. Software engineering can be performed remotely, and if your company embraces the remote working model it will be in step with a growing trend. Working from home can help engineers structure their lives around their jobs. This promotes that golden feature of jobs: the work/life balance.
This will promote flexibility, better time management and lower stress. In short, the job and the person will integrate and operate far more smoothly; two things which are just what software engineers love.
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