Hiring & Retaining Great Developers

Request Full Whitepaper Guide

Hiring & Retaining Great Developers


Identifying true engineering mindsets and solution-driven developers

In a recent roundtable with North West tech leaders, we uncovered two main issues businesses are currently experiencing when hiring software engineers and software developers. The first is that lots of developers choose companies primarily based on their preferential tech stech, which means companies who are in the middle of transformations, migrations, or who are using outdated tech will struggle to hire top developers. 

The second, ties in closely to the first issue. And that is finding candidates with that ‘true engineering mindset’, who is passionate about solving problems, increasing efficiency, and using creativity to deliver value. It’s then about nurturing this type of talent to retain them at your business. 

The following document explores what employers can do to attract, hire, and retain software engineers with that true engineering passion, regardless of the current utilised tech stack.

Tech Stack Over Value

A lot of developers are looking for jobs, with a focus on what technology businesses are using rather than what the impact of the technology and the wider business is. Stack Overflow recently reported that “out of over 80,000 respondents in our recent survey, 54 percent of them said that the programming languages, frameworks, and other technologies they’d be working with were the biggest criteria for choosing an employer.”

So, what can businesses do to attract talent, regardless of their technology?

Selling your Business: Know what to Highlight during Hiring

Regardless of what technologies your team does use, to be a place where developers of all skill levels want to work, you need to create an open, collaborative space where your development team can discuss and share new programming languages, frameworks, and tools that they see potential in, and then support them in training their teammates on how to use them.

You can’t stop developers choosing what company to work for on the basis that of their preferred tech stack, but you can make sure you are offering other benefits that would make them consider your business including flexible working, higher salaries, and collaborative cultures.

The Journey: Let Employees Really Understand Your Business 

Businesses want to employ people who understand the full business vision, scope, and goal and to become invested in the value that the business wants to add to society. But some companies have a structure which is counter-intuitive to this. 

For example, tech leaders will often modularise work and make sure everything is neatly separated before assigning teams to very specific work tasks. The team is then so focused on their specific role, that they have no need to explore further than that, leaving them with little to no information on how their work truly impacts the business as a whole. 

In order to keep developers engaged and aligned with the business’s overall vision, values, and goals it’s important to allow them to be part of the bigger picture. You need to allow developers to understand what they’re building, why they’re building it, and the value that the product will be adding. 

Average Tenures: Be Open Minded

By ruling out developers with a short average tenure, you could be cutting out a lot of exceptional candidates. The average tenure for software developers, tends to be shorter. So rather than just looking at the average time in any one job, there are other focal points which might be more beneficial to your candidate search, so decide what’s important and focus on that.

Ads & Interviews: Be honest about where you are

Be exciting in your adverts. Talk about your tech stack and your mission with a passion. But also, be transparent about where you are on your journey: the tech opportunities that are and aren’t there. If you accurately depict your company and your company journey in the first instance you will only be receiving applications from candidates who are passionate about joining your business in its current state.

Partner with Maxwell Bond | Software Engineering and Software Development Recruitment, Manchester & Berlin

The difficulty of candidate attraction will vary from business to business depending on a variety of things including size, branding, tech stacks, product, vision and available benefits packages. However, there are some steps that businesses can take to ensure they are widening their candidate search as much as possible to find that perfect candidate who is passionate about problem solving and engineering. 

Maxwell Bond are the recruitment specialists of choice for technology across the UK and Europe, having helped a variety of businesses build and mature their tech functions to drive digital growth internationally. If you’re looking to hire exceptional tech talent for your team, from junior level to executive search, Maxwell Bond can support you through the full recruitment process. Get in touch today for more information on our products and partnership packages.

Get in touch for the full whitepaper which includes all the challenges, solutions, and advice in more depth, or to discuss other prevalent software topics you want to hear more about!