How to make great developers fall in love with your company
🤙 Developers can pick and choose where they want to work these days.
So how does a company stand out in the sea of available developer positions?
Some companies think it’s the cash. But we talk to developers every single day, and we know that the ones who are motivated by paycheck alone usually roll in at 9:20, do the minimum, and head home at 5:59.
Nothing wrong with liking a good salary, but the best candidates we come across want something else. Something beyond cash, beyond foosball and fresh fruit and pizza Fridays.
What are these sexy perks that lure the brightest and most motivated developers?
They are not out of reach. And trust us, making sure your company offers these will change everything about your business.
There’s a two-factor theory, that splits job satisfaction factors in two categories – “hygiene” and motivation. Hygiene factors are just working conditions – company policies, salary, insurance. Motivation factors are the goldmine – things like level of challenge, sense of responsibility, recognition for work done well, potential for growth and learning.
Since tech companies need teams that are fabulously motivated, that write code in their sleep, that can’t stop thinking about how to resolve your customers’ problems, you need to score big on the motivation factors.
Here’s our list of the 7 things your company should do if it wants to be a top developer magnet:
1 – Cultivate exceptional managers.
This is entirely fixable if management is a weak link at your company. Good management can definitely be learned. And we know how management quality can make developers thrive and hustle, rather than shrink from being micromanaged or neglected. Check out Fred Kofman’s LinkedIn courses on Conscious Business. Good management is truly the secret sauce of any great company.
2 – Listen to your developers.
Take them seriously. A developer who is not taken seriously is a developer who is shopping around on LinkedIn for a better gig. Talk to your developers. Ask them what they need and want. Chances are what they ask for – a little more free disk space, some flexibility – is a small price to pay to encourage the people who build what you sell to build it exceptionally well!
3 – Keep them growing.
It’s not always easy to spot if your developers feel under-challenged. If they seem slow or distracted or complain-ey, give them a new framework to tackle, send them to a cool training, ask them what they like to do and what they do best. You may be neglecting some brutal skills they can bring to your company. We’ve heard this time and again from developers.
4 – Acknowledge.
Encourage. Appreciate. It’s amazing how many companies neglect this. And even more amazing what a positive effect simple praise and acknowledgement has on a company. Making it clear that you appreciate their hard work will inspire hard work. Acknowledging a good idea will encourage new ideas to sprout. The companies that developers invariably say are best to work for, all do this well.
5 – Improve your hiring etiquette.
Your hiring squad is the face of your company. You don’t want Donald Trump out there recruiting for you. He’s a hack. You want someone with amazing interpersonal skills who can really connect with developers, evaluate their skills, show them the glory of your project and your company culture and make the hiring process easy and smooth for you and for the developer. Hiring etiquette can really make or break your reputation in the developer community. Believe us. Developers do talk.
6 – Pay them slightly above average.
We said slightly. You need not be a top paying company, but do expect to feel a tiny pinch if you want to attract and keep the best talent. It’s only fair. And if you absolutely can’t, then tackle the other 6 wins in here. This is just one in 7 and, as we said, the developers we know are far more motivated by working for a great company.
7 – Set developers up for success.
We know you need to speed up time to market and get things out the door, but it’s vital that you value your teams at least as much as you value your customers and investors. You’ll pay the price if you don’t – buggy software, unimpressed stakeholders, unhappy developers. Give your teams realistic deadlines and clear project scopes. They’ll crank out the kind of crazy good software that will make your company shine.
Living by these 7 rules will not only get you in bed with the best talent, it will make your company soar.
If you’ve already got most of these boxes ticked, we want to talk to you! Because we have a whole pool of bright and capable developers who would absolutely love to work for your company.
And if your company scores low? Don’t feel discouraged. Everything is improvable. You may need to just do a little leadership soul searching to get back on the right track.
Because without good talent, you just can’t do good business.