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The past few years have been a period of substantial change and disruption for every industry, including tech companies. Many struggle to hire the talent they need. In an industry where constant innovation is required to stay competitive, the lack of skilled workers in technology proves costly, with 65% of CIOs claim that the inability to hire people is detrimental to their business.
When hiring developer talent, recruiters and companies must reassess their preconceived assumptions about what makes an effective developer. Headhunters must break through the myths, fables and misconceptions built around an archetypal yet fictional developer. Only when this has happened can the shortage of talent be remedied.
Identifying differences between developers
To attract developer talent, it is crucial to recognize the differences between developers and identify their skills and areas for improvement. No two developers are the same. Great developers come from different backgrounds and find their way to their careers through multiple paths. While some developers have been coding since childhood, others may have started coding later in life after discovering a passion and skill for it. Others may have only found a predisposition to encryption by chance or circumstance. All developers share a professional interest, but beyond that, their backgrounds and lives can differ significantly. This variety is excellent for the industry, but companies looking to hire developer talent should be aware of and consider those who come from different life paths.
This diversity applies not only to finding a passion, but also to qualifications and degrees. In most industries, the qualifications of colleagues are broadly similar; in software development the same cannot be said. While most developers hold some degree – and the subject matter of which can vary widely – this is not the case for everyone. It should also not be a requirement when recruiting candidates.
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While not the usual career path for software developers, some people come into the industry as a second career. People who make careers in software development after going through different paths often have innovative ideas and can be just as valuable to an organization as lifelong developers.
Therefore, the qualifications, skills and abilities of people in development are a broad church and not uniform. This is incredibly positive for the sector. A range of backgrounds and life skills bring different insights and skills that are essential for innovative thinking. Companies should therefore not limit themselves to strict recruitment criteria when they want to attract developers.
Soft skills to look for in developers
We’ve all seen it. Developers’ standard image of the lone computer tapping a keyboard from a dark basement. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Life as a developer means a work life of intense collaboration, discussion and teamwork, and recruiters need to take this into account.
To tackle the most complex projects, developers need to be able to collaborate and consult each other, exchange ideas and leverage the skills of their entire team. Only through teamwork can you achieve the best results. Therefore, every developer must have the ability to collaborate and work effectively as part of a team.
The best developers are the ones who can learn from others around them and take in everything they have to offer. Collaboration is also very beneficial for overcoming the most challenging problems developers face. A wide range of insights and experience, released through the exchange of ideas, is essential to tackle complex problems. The tools used by developers help facilitate the free discussion of ideas and solutions.
Developers are by no means all unsociable and introverted. As in any walk of life, their personalities range from the very sociable to the introverted. Developers are generally very successful problem solvers who work together efficiently.
Emotional intelligence and a strong work ethic are essential skills for developers. Being curious and challenging yourself to learn skills are important qualities that anyone who is a successful developer will possess.
The future of hiring developer talent
With many companies motivated to accelerate their digital transformation and the big layoff underway in the global job market, organizations need to open their eyes to the possibilities and benefits of different recruitment strategies. Qualified techies and future developers can choose from exciting and successful companies. While this means that opportunities for people considering starting a career as a developer are becoming more attractive than ever before, hiring them is becoming more competitive than ever.
The global war for talent means that software developers and those who want to work in the tech industry in general are in high demand. Highly talented and motivated employees can distinguish between a successful and a failing company. Organizations that can challenge misconceptions about a developer career and incorporate the realities of a developer career into their hiring strategies are best placed to attract the best talent.
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