An improved economic climate appears to be giving Britons itchy feet – and in some sectors, this malaise appears to be more keenly felt than in others.
Take technology, for example. Earlier this week, Glassdoor posted the results from a survey of some 1,400 software engineers, showing a whole quarter (25 per cent) of them planned moving to pastures new within three months’ time.
Some might argue this turnover is reasonably standard for the sector, where contract work is common, but further figures from the poll show this isn’t the case. The number of software engineers who’d been in their jobs for between and eight and ten years and gave themselves a three-month timeframe for career advancement was higher than any for other demographic, with 38 per cent saying they’d be jumping ship this side of June.
If you work in the recruitment sector, it doesn’t take much to put two and two together and realise you’re looking at a tsunami of technology talent about to hit the jobs market. Good news, perhaps – but good news tempered by the foreknowledge that recruiting software engineers is one of the talent acquisition trade’s toughest challenges.
Do you have industry insight and people power to come out on top? Here are our tips for recruiting the mavericks and mavens who make up modern-day IT.
Target the right channels
The Glassdoor survey went on to poll participating software engineers on the channels they used to find new job opportunities, resulting in a goldmine of data for recruiters.
It turned out old-school job sites are still number one for forward-thinking technology professionals, with more than two thirds (71 per cent) saying they browsed boards like Monster. However, only marginally fewer (70 per cent) told Glassdoor that recruitment agencies were their preferred destination – so if you have a handful of developers on your books, now’s the time to know if they’re looking for work elsewhere.
Meanwhile, a third (34 per cent) of respondents said they used social media to get in touch with employers and recruiters, showing that while it’s an important channel, it’s not the be-all and end-all of IT sourcing.
It’s not all about salary
Though skilled technology professionals attract high salaries, it’s important to remember the prospect of career progression could be equally as important as financial rewards – if not more so – to these candidates.
Back in 2012, Webrecruit polled 500 people who applied for IT jobs and found that more than half (57 per cent) said they’d rather work in a place where they’d be able to grow their talents than one with a high salary.
The company’s founder, Phil Roebuck, summarised: “If your job advert doesn’t allude to the career opportunities available but has a high pay bracket, you might actually be putting off potential talent.”
Understand what your candidates do
While it might sound simple, one of the reasons recruiting software engineers is so tough is that it’s easy for an agency to misunderstand what they do, or misrepresent the requirements of a client. One programmer’s proficiencies can be a million miles from another’s, even if both their CVs look like a roughly equivalent jumble of acronyms.
To return to the Glassdoor survey, some 63 per cent of respondents said they valued recruiters who were knowledgeable about their experience, while an estimable 42 per cent told researchers they’d prefer to work with someone with a strong technical background. If you’re interviewing software engineers for a client, do some legwork beforehand so you’re all on the same page.
Company culture is important
Finally, the Glassdoor survey shows how company culture, like the prospect of career progression, is often more important to technology professionals than the job’s financial rewards. Some 52 per cent of respondents said they’d accept a lower pay packet if it meant working for a vibrant, innovative employer, while 53 per cent told researchers an undesirable company culture would prompt them to move elsewhere.
Of course, these are near-even splits, so by the same token you shouldn’t take for granted that one size fits all when it comes to recruiting for software engineering roles. Perhaps the most important thing is to be transparent about the relative perks of each of your clients, showing candidates you trust them to make the call themselves.