We all know about the serious skill shortage out there for talented developers, so how do you attract, select and hire the top talent? Also: how to keep them happy once they’ve joined your team?

Here are our top 7 tips:


  1. First of all, always be realistic with your list of essentials/must have skills – You don’t want to put people off from applying for your job because they don’t have skills you could easily train on the job, and let’s be honest, the kind of developers you want as part of your team should be able to pick up new technologies fairly quickly. In fact, here at ADLIB we find that the desire to keep on learning new technical skills is the main attribute our clients ask us to find in their new developers.


  1. React quickly – Failing to feed back quickly after receiving a special application could leave you way down the pecking order in the eyes of the candidate. The majority of candidates we talk to receive as many as 15 job opportunities to consider and on average only want to focus their pursuit on a few of those, so in this case, the early bird most definitely catches the worm! Show your interest all the way through the process and it’s likely you’ll be their favourite throughout too.
  1. Get them on the phone – Time is precious for everybody, certainly somebody considering multiple jobs at once. So this is your quickest chance to form a relationship, ask key technical questions and assess their motivations. Plus you’ve the opportunity to really engage with them, explain your culture, way of working, and the business aspirations to really get them excited about joining your team. If you can, aim to get the call scheduled within 24 hours of receipt of the CV.

“They’ll want to know everything about the company they are considering, so you need to show you are a company that will support their ambitions and push their abilities”


  1. One stage face-to-face – If you’ve heard enough, get a face-to-face meeting booked there and then. Ask them to bring some examples of projects they are proud of so you can see what they can do, and what they love to create. Prepare for an extended one-stage interview, but remember this is a two-way decision. Sure you’ll want to know about their technical skills, their cultural fit and their aspirations but they’ll also want to know everything about the company they are considering, so you need to show you are a company that will support their ambitions and push their abilities.
  1. Have the team on standby – Nobody wants to take a job without meeting some of the people they’ll be working closely with. Remember to promote your working environment and benefits, your competitors certainly will. Talk about R&D time, early Friday finishes, project bonuses, profit shares, tech events/conferences, certification opportunities, greenfield projects, breakout areas, socials, free fruit/coffee/lunch, choice of laptop/kit, flexible or remote working – anything that sets you apart!


  1. Sign them up – When a candidate leaves your office, you have the momentum and buy in (providing everything’s gone to plan!). This momentum ends when they turn up at another company’s interview. If you like them and want them in your business don’t worry about appearing too keen – developers know they’re in demand and expect/appreciate quick decisions. They’re also generally a polite bunch and won’t want to keep you waiting long for a decision.

Now keep them:

  1. And last, but certainly not least, once you’ve got them on board, incentivise them to stay! – The last thing you want is to launch another big costly recruitment campaign 6 months down the line because your new developer has left the team – so talk to your team, find out what they think could be improved and ensure your developers are constantly challenged so they really feel appreciated.

Certainly not an exhaustive list and we know as well as anyone that these things don’t always go to plan! But if you try to follow our tips – be really clear on what you want, act quickly and big up everything you love about your company whenever you get the chance – then you’ll find your technical recruitment runs a lot smoother in the future.

You can see more tech news and analysis on the ADLIB website and can follow ADLIB on Twitter here: @AdLibRecruit 

Image credit: Markus Spiske / raumrot.com / CC-BY 

Bex Tilling