Stack Overflow, the popular developer community and job board, released their annual developer survey last month (April 2019).

Billed as the “largest and most comprehensive survey of people who code around the world”, the survey attracted responses from over 90,000 developers.

A much respected piece of research (at the time of writing there’s over 15k news articles referencing the survey), the results provide insight into everything a developer likes, dislikes and wants from their career.

For recruiters who are keen to develop their marketing strategy to attract the hottest talent, consider these strategies.

Number one: engage with tech experts to create tech-focused content

74% of respondents indicated they were most interested in tech articles from developers and least interested in industry news.

Consider how you’re positioning your brand relative to your competitors.

Can you?

  • Engage with freelance tech writers to produce* current and relevant (this is very important) content for your target audience. Tools like People per hour have a community of expert freelancers to work with.
  • Work with your existing candidates? Do they produce content? Can you share it?
  • Curate content. Sign up to tools like Feedly and Medium to find interesting and relevant content from a variety of sources to share with your target audience. To maximise your reach with minimal effort, take a look at our article which lists tools every recruiter should use.

*The content marketing mix is varied and encompasses everything from blogs to whitepapers. Think about your target audience. How do they consume content? What channels? And then select the right type of content to produce.

Number two: educate, advise and engage with your clients about courses.

Developers are naturally curious people who want to continually develop their skills. 63% of developers indicated they were interested in receiving information about courses.

The aim for progression is highlighted throughout the survey:

  1. Openness to new opportunities (58% “I’m not actively looking, but I am open to new opportunities”)
  2. Want to work with the most current tech (54% responded to Most Important Job Factors? “Languages, frameworks, and other technologies I’d be working with”)
  3. Want to develop their skills (43.5% cited opportunities for professional development as one of the most important job factors)

Are you?

  • Advising your clients about ‘what developers want?’
  • Helping to provide your clients with information about the courses / training and qualifications that developers want?
  • Educating clients about the pros and cons of courses / training and qualifications in respect to attracting and retaining the best talent?

Number three: be active in the tech community

The most successful recruiters are those who can access the best talent. 55% of developers indicated they were interested in tech meetups or events in your area.

Being active in the tech community is a long-term play and one that requires genuine interest and respect for the audience and rules. An excellent content piece from Hello Talent, provides some great advice on how to use tech meetups to recruit best talent.

Could you?

  • Sponsor events. This is typically reserved for large scale businesses. However, if you’re recruiting in a specific niche there may be opportunities to partner with or sponsor an event. Attributing straight-line ROI to events is tricky, but if you’re confident that enough of your target audience will attend, it’s worth running the numbers.
  • Attend events. This a no-brainer. However, with so many events happening, selecting the right events to attend is key. Again, check out attendee lists, alignment to your specialism, reputation, social reach before committing. Most meetups are evening events that combine speakers with networking, so they’re quick and easy to try. Tech nation provides excellent lists on tech meetup events split by region. Take a look here.
  • Host events: If you have the right infrastructure, time, effort and vision, creating an events program can offer significant marketing and candidate acquisition benefits.  A number of our customers have expanded their marketing strategies to include events and meetups:
  • Trust in Soda created SODA social and have hosted multiple tech events attracting close to 3k followers on their meetup page.
  • Harrington Starr host a series of Fintech events, featuring expert speakers including: Matt Smith of Steel Eye, Sylvia Carasco of Goldex Technologies, Sonal Rattan of Exate Technology and Panos Savvas of AkoniHub.
  • Maxwell Bond host events which address key industry talking points. Two of their recent events; The DNA of High-Performing Teams and Attracting, engaging and hiring Generation Z attracted 80-100 people per event.

Creating events is a long-term play, requiring dedication. However, the payoff for generating a captive and engaged audience is huge.