By Shahla Aliyeva

Photo by Tim van der Kuip on Unsplash

Figuring out how to attract and retain developer candidates is a fundamental human resource management objective. Based on the dynamics and nature of software development jobs, it is a known fact that developer teams are often subjected to constant personnel changes. And when a team has to deal with random employee changes, it ends up hurting the morale of the group, especially if each player complimented the competencies of the other.


From a manager’s perspective, retaining a developer is easier and less expensive than hiring a new one. The key to attracting and retaining developers, thus, is to keep them motivated. Creating a friendly work environment, rewarding them, welcoming their ideas, and offering flexible schedules could help keep them motivated. Assuming that you offer all essential complimentary perks, you also need to pay attention to the developers’ careers. Here are some proven ways to attract and hold on to top developer candidates.


Bringing New Developers Onboard

Lack of a clear and objective strategy is one of the critical reasons for employee attrition. Developers are often stereotyped as introverted, an observation that reinforces further the need to have a strategy.


Whenever you bring a new developer on board, the first thing should be to let them get a feel of how the team works. This does not mean that you give them a lecture; instead, let them find out how things are handled by throwing them into the heart of the action.


With firsthand experience, albeit not that much, you also need to enroll the developers under a mentoring program. Mentors have a responsibility to make new developers feel like part of the team and offer them any possible assistance when in need. Depending on your organization’s structure, you can ascribe to different mentorship styles ranging from personalized mentoring, e-mentoring, to group mentoring.


Finally, if you prepare your new developers well, their job satisfaction and confidence will improve greatly. It would be best if you had an objective learning plan to arm new team members with both the skills and key competencies needed for the job.


Have a Culture and Vision

Once you have the right team on board, the next step should be to make your employees identify with the organization’s principles. Having clear core values goes a long way in promoting talent retention. It is a known fact that wages are not the only things that attract developers. In fact, most developers are willing to stay with an organization that commits to a clear vision.


The fact that mission-driven and socially impactful organizations attract and retain top developers is a testament to the importance of having a strong culture. If your organization’s corporate mission does not allow developers to engage in socially impactful projects, you can always encourage them to devote some of their time to such schemes.


Offer Them Room to Grow

Career prospects are often a key attribute of growth. As such, employers should be in a position to make room for professional development. Besides just making allowances for growth, most developers are also keen to see whether there are incentives offered to them. As a tip, management should be eager to engage developers to understand what their career preferences are to ensure that they stay on board.


While earning the market-rate is a crucial retention factor, most developers are less likely to engage in “back and forth” discussions over their pay. A decent wage plus room for growth goes a long way in establishing a good fit.


Create an Environment That Allows for Autonomy and Flexibility

The last thing a developer wishes for is the existence of limitations concerning what he or she can do. Micromanaging curtails the creativity of a developer. As such, managers should create an enabling environment that allows developers to choose their own approaches to solving problems.


When you allow your team to come up with a solution without confining them to a particular architecture, you encourage them to do what they do best. Offering your employees autonomy and freedom to work is critical in helping your organization attract and retain top talent.


Invest in Technology

Finally, yet importantly, always ensure that your developers are working with the best tools. Any developer would fancy using a technology that makes their work easy. It has been established that most developers are willing to look for a new job elsewhere when they foresee that the company is not making plans to invest in technology.


Once you have worked in a company that continually deploys new technologies, the chances are that you would not work in an organization that does not. Nothing infuriates a prospective developer than using the same tools he or she used a decade ago.


Final Thoughts

Assuming that the terms of service are competitive, the intangibles keep top developers around. As such, make them feel like they are learning, give them autonomy and flexibility, a platform to impact society, and provide them with the best tools. The key to holding on to a developer is to invest in and for them.