What Software Developers Want From a Recruiter Contact and a Job Interview

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.01.22 AMDon’t call me.

I mean — you can email me. Just don’t call me.

That’s what quite a few software developers say, at least.

Stack Overflow Careers recently released our Developer Hiring Landscape, a report that incorporates the opinions of 26,000 developers in over 150 countries. These survey results focus on how recruiters and employers can effectively contact, interview, and retain developer talent.

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65 percent of developers said email is a “great” way to hear about new job opportunities. Apparently the phone’s not as great. 44 percent say of developers they “hate” to be contacted this way. 52 percent feel the same hate about being contacted via Facebook.

As for the interview process, in the eyes of the developer community, the top three ideas developers would like to see implemented include: recruiters introducing them to the team (47 percent), being shown the exact space where they will work (37 percent), and being better prepared as to who they’ll be speaking to and what is on the agenda (35 percent). 

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2 Comments on “What Software Developers Want From a Recruiter Contact and a Job Interview

  1. And yet there are some developers out there, who will feel personally insulted if you don’t pick up the phone. Not to mention self proclaimed ‘old school’ recruiters who insist the phone is the only option, and decry younger recruiters and email because it’s not an acceptable way to ‘build a relationship.’ The reality is you exploit all means of communication to get the right person; you don’t pick one over the other or insist one is inherently better than another, the one that works is the best.

  2. There is no substitute for building a relationship and you can’t do that over email. However, I think the thing that most engineers, or anyone for that matter want, is to know that recruiter has some idea of what they do and aren’t just #DialingForDollars – not unreasonable. Once you start initial contact via a less intrusive method, if you demonstrate your value and knowledge, most engineers will start to trust you.

    The problem remains that because of the EXTREMELY low bar for agency recruiters and the sheer number (at last count over 5500 firms in the US alone), plus the structure of fee agreements, where getting priored is death, it has created perverse incentives, not of building great matches, but throwing enough shit at the wall and hoping that it works.

    HIRED is an agency business at more scale and smarter (for them) because they still earn 15%, but offer companies very little help. I applaud the founder for really understanding a marketplace and making it very lucrative. Hopefully, their product development and UX (both of the website and how they actually treat users) improves. I’d argue a good agency is def worth the 20-25% of base salary, as they’re supposed to be saving time, getting access to passive talent etc, but we know that most recruiters out there suck and make it more difficult for professionals of the craft to wade through the mediocrity.

    That is all.

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