How to Be the Company Software Talent Wants to Work For

How to Be the Company Software Talent Wants to Work For

The demand for software talent isn’t exclusive to IT organizations anymore. Government agencies, firms, and schools are seeking software developers to modernize antiquated systems and prepare for the future. Is your organization ready to compete with compelling job offers and exciting opportunities?

Develop your offer package by stepping back to analyze just what makes your organization great. Tap into your marketing team to identify your key messages. Make sure your recruiting efforts get the same attention that your potential customers do.

Just as you have to sell your product or service, you must sell the idea of working for your organization. Get started by targeting the most powerful factors software professionals are looking at when searching for a new role. 

1. Train Strong Leaders People Want to Work With

There’s a reason so many movies, memes, and office novelty items feature horrible bosses. Sadly, there’s no litmus test for becoming a supervisor. With weak or poorly trained leaders at the helm, teams can feel devalued, demotivated, and disenchanted.

Help your software team leadership be in the best place possible before recruiting. Analyze established systems, feedback methods, leadership styles, and communication practices. If managers could use additional training or an org chart shuffle, make those moves as soon as you can. 

Support your leaders with the right tools, coaching, and resources so they can do their jobs well. Partner less experienced managers with accomplished leaders in a mentorship program. Mentorships can help fledgling managers address the skills gaps that could otherwise get neglected in the hustle of the workday. 

2. Take Note of What Top Talent Wants in Today’s Market

Ten years ago, the hottest workplaces boasted beer on tap, ping-pong tables, and nap pods. Today, software talent has less of a need for creature comforts and rambunctious atmospheres. Instead, hiring experts say workers want better work-life balance, mental health support, and remote work opportunities.

The pandemic shifted many professionals’ priorities, moving away from vanity-focused offers like titles and sleek offices. Instead, they prefer a human workplace that values the whole of the person, not just the output.

Reference leading human resources journals to stay abreast of trends related to company culture and compensation packages. Compare their findings to your organization’s offer to see where you can improve. Monitor career-focused social media chatter on sites like LinkedIn where job seekers and career experts share their take on the employment landscape. Use your observations to start conversations with your leadership and staff to make continuous improvements for new and existing talent. 

3. Be Clear on Your “Why” and Sell It to Potential Candidates

When you’re competing with nearly every organization for the same software experts, you have to know what makes you different. If your team pursues the most advanced technology, package your offer to attract candidates who salivate over early adoption. For organizations focused on a human or environmental mission, convey the “why” behind what you do. Chances are, there are software professionals who share your values and hopes to have their work contribute to a bigger purpose.

Position your mission and values alongside the technical requirements of the job opportunity. Highlight how candidates’ efforts can support and advance your mission and why it matters.

You don’t have to be solving world hunger to make this pitch. Worthwhile missions also include improving corporate efficiency, enhancing relevance among sales teams, and ensuring high-quality organizations have a voice in the market. Show potential hires how they can make an impact at any level on your team.

4. Show Evidence of a Healthy Organization With Growth Potential

From the dot-com bubble to the latest startup flameout, the tech industry’s volatility gives software developers plenty of cause to be wary. Show your organization’s strength and growth potential by being transparent about earnings, goals, and market share. While tech talent often has its pick of employers, there’s nothing like feeling secure in your employment status. Beat out the competition by showing that your company is on solid ground.

Underscore compelling data in your most recent annual report, connecting how the open position can contribute to organizational success. Show how staff can also grow within the organization via internal promotion and proven career paths.

Many software professionals want the option of growing within an organization, instead of hopping employers every time they’re due for a promotion. Emphasize your training and development program to let candidates know that they’ll be well taken care of on your team.  

5. Seal the Deal With a Streamlined Recruiting Process

The best software talent is in high demand. Companies are starving for high performers who can help flesh out their often understaffed teams. To capture this specialized talent pool, your recruiting process has to be locked in.

Top candidates are often weighing competing offers just weeks into a job search. Upgrade your process to prioritize quality, speed, and clarity to get the best talent to choose you.

Open roles for fixed periods of time, but reach out to the most promising candidates the moment their résumés arrive. Screen candidates with a simple questionnaire or call, being respectful of their time. Narrow down your list to a manageable number and aim to do no more than two rounds of interviews. Too many interviews can wear a candidate down, while the drawn-out timeline can leave an opening for a competing offer.

When making a play for software talent, offer the best package you can at the outset. Acknowledge the top-quality role you’re offering, your solid leadership team, and your attractive compensation. After candidates experience your efficient and respectful recruiting process, saying yes to your offer will be the easiest choice they’ll ever make.

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.