The 3 Recruitment Issues Hindering Your Success Hiring Software Engineers

The 3 Recruitment Issues Hindering Your Success Hiring Software Engineers

  • Recruiting top talent in software engineering is challenging. Skill shortages are rampant throughout the industry, and employee expectations are evolving. Without the right hiring and recruitment practices, business leaders can struggle with gaps in their software development teams for months.
  • Not only does this hamper the progress of your tech business, but poor hiring practices hiring software engineers can also lead to a loss of productivity and engagement in your current team.
  • While some of the challenges in the recruitment/staffing landscape may be beyond your company’s control, there are certain issues business leaders can identify, and overcome with the right strategies.
  • Addressing common roadblocks in the hiring process, such as problematic job descriptions, inconsistent employer branding, and poor candidate treatment, could help you to fill your talent pipeline faster, and achieve your business goals.
  • Today, we’re going to look at the 3 most problematic hiring practices hindering your recruitment success, and what you can do to overcome them.

Problem 1: Poor Job Descriptions for Hiring Software Engineers

  • There is one crucial resource a candidate will use to determine whether a role is suitable for their needs: your job description. A job description is often the first insight your ideal candidate will get into not just the responsibilities of the position you’re offering, but your company culture and employee value proposition. As such, you can’t afford to make any mistakes.
  • A job description needs to highlight the tasks and projects performed by the person in a specific position, expected performance metrics, key characteristics of your ideal hire, and the benefits you can offer as an employer.
  • However, it also needs to show candidates why they would want to work with your company.
  • Unfortunately, many tech businesses struggle to write effective job descriptions.
  • Many posts listed on company websites, forums, and job boards feature vague language, making it difficult for candidates to visualise themselves in a specific position. They may also highlight unrealistic expectations, or in some cases, use biased language.
  • One study found 60% of businesses unintentionally show significant bias in the wording of their job adverts, using masculine terms, or phrases that show a preference for candidates of a certain age or background. A poor job description can immediately deter top candidates from applying for your role, giving you fewer candidates to choose from.
  • Fortunately, working with a recruitment partner can improve your job descriptions, using strategies like:
  • Clarity: Ensuring your job descriptions clearly outline the responsibilities of a role, and your expectations of new employees is crucial. Avoid using vague language, and be realistic when it comes to showing candidates what you expect from them.
  • Inclusivity: Eliminating any examples of bias from your job descriptions is essential to ensuring you can attract a diverse selection of potential applicants. Avoid any language that shows a preference towards a specific race, gender, or age group.
  • Enticing benefits: Use your job descriptions to demonstrate your employee value proposition. Show your potential software engineer hires what specifically they can get from working with your company, such as great development opportunities, or access to flexible working.

Problem 2: Ineffective Employer Branding

  • Now that tech employees have more options when it comes to choosing where they want to work, and which businesses they want to associate themselves with, employer branding is more important than ever. LinkedIn shows 72% of recruitment leaders worldwide say employer branding has a direct impact on hiring success.
  • As your company brand serves to differentiate your company from competitors to consumers, your employer brand aims to engage the right talent and convince potential candidates that they want to work with your organisation.
  • With the right employer branding, you can ensure you’re targeting the right audience of candidates and boost your chances of earning interest from talented applicants. Unfortunately, developing and showcasing a strong employer brand can be difficult.
  • Some companies fail to clarify their unique value proposition on their websites, job descriptions, and social media posts. Others don’t fully understand what SaaS candidates are looking for in the current workplace.
  • Here are some suggestions to ensure your employer branding supports your company to stand out:
  • Define Your Employee Value Proposition Aligned with Your Employer Brand
  • Start by defining your employee value proposition. In other words, what can you offer to candidates in terms of not just remuneration, but unique benefits and experiences? Do you offer flexible working opportunities, access to development and training experiences, or a supportive company culture?

Showcase Your Company Culture

Find ways to draw attention to the unique aspects of your company culture. You can highlight your flexible working options in your job descriptions or show employee stories on your websites. You could also ask employees to write reviews for websites, like Glassdoor.

Activate Your Advocates

Ask your team members to work with you to demonstrate the unique aspects of your employer brand. You could ask employees to post about training days and team accomplishments on social media or create videos for YouTube.

Problem 3: Poor Candidate Treatment

Finally, one of the biggest issues companies face in the tech recruitment landscape stems from a lack of focus on candidate experience. While it’s important to ensure your employees feel supported and respected when they join your team, it’s also crucial to demonstrate your commitment to staff care during the hiring and recruitment process.

If a candidate feels the hiring process was negative or unprofessional, they’ll be more likely to reject your job offer and look for an opportunity elsewhere. Up to 64% of candidates would even share their negative experiences with their contacts, advising them not to apply for the same roles.

The complexity of the hiring process for software engineers means it’s easy for candidate experience to be negatively affected by a range of different issues. When sorting through a range of applicants, businesses can take too long to respond to their existing candidates, leading to frustration.

Similarly, when rushing through interviews and onboarding steps, companies can often lose the respect of the candidates they may want to hire.

The easiest way to improve the candidate experience is to work with a tech recruitment agency on a strategy to improve the hiring process for everyone. Think about:

  • Consistent communication: A good candidate experience relies heavily on consistent and clear communication. Candidates expect rapid response times, and feedback from hiring managers, to keep them in the loop through the recruitment process.
  • Interview strategies: Disorganised interview processes hurt your employer’s brand and limit your ability to attract new candidates. Ensure you have strategies in place to create a comfortable, effective interview process for everyone involved. Use scorecards to reduce bias, and train your hiring managers on how to use body language.
  • Onboarding: An excellent onboarding process is crucial to improving the relationship new candidates have with your company. Make sure you welcome your team members into your business with the right training, guidance, and consistent communication.

Upgrade Your Hiring Strategy For The Long Term

Companies have long struggled to implement the most effective recruitment strategies for hiring software engineers. However, as the talent market grows more complex, it’s becoming increasingly important for business leaders to address the major challenges in their hiring strategy.

Addressing common problems like poor job descriptions, inconsistent employer branding and problematic candidate treatment can have a significant impact on your recruitment efforts. Now could be the perfect time to reflect on your current practices, and make some essential changes, so you can attract and retain the best talent that the tech environment has to offer.

Remember, a recruitment agency specialising in hiring software engineering can also help you upgrade your hiring processes, assisting with everything from writing job descriptions to screening candidates.

If you’re looking to overcome these recruitment issues, get in touch with James Shenton by calling us on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

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5 Strategies for Enhancing Employee Experience For Software Engineering Technology Companies

5 Strategies for Enhancing Employee Experience For Software Engineering Companies

In recent years, the workplace has changed on a comprehensive level. According to McKinsey’s study of over 1,000 individuals, today’s employees are eager to find trust, purpose, and social cohesion. Staff want to feel their contributions are recognised, and are keen to access comfort and opportunities in the workplace.

Developing an exceptional employee experience is now crucial for businesses to attract and retain valuable software engineering talent in a skills-short landscape. Companies face an “exodus” of overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned-out employees looking for better opportunities.

Failure to adapt to the evolving needs of the modern workforce places businesses at risk of lost productivity, damage to their employer brands, and rapid turnover.

Fortunately, business leaders can invest in more robust employee experiences in various ways.

The Benefits of Improving Employee Experience

Developing incredible employee experiences is essential for a variety of reasons. First, it ensures tech companies can nurture the well-being of their teams, reducing absenteeism and burnout and contributing to better workplace performance.

Several studies from Gartner indicate that employers who support the well-being of their team members see a 21% increase in their number of high performers. This directly influences the overall productivity and growth of the business, additionally improving employee experience:

  • Reduces turnover: Companies struggle to retain the needed talent in a skills-short marketplace. Around 79% of employees who quit their roles cite a lack of recognition and positive experiences as a critical reason for leaving.
  • Improved engagement: Employees who are happy in their workplace are more engaged and more committed to facilitating business growth. One study found that organisations in the top quartile for employee engagement achieve up to 21% higher levels of profitability.
  • Greater access to talent: A positive employee experience shines through in a company’s employer brand, helping to attract talent. This makes recruiting the essential team members you need to facilitate growth and new opportunities easier.
  • Enhanced productivity: Engaged, happy employees put up to 57% more effort into their work than their counterparts. Greater productivity leads to enhanced performance in the workplace, accelerating the completion of critical tasks.
  • Improved company culture: A better company culture, built on satisfied and engaged employees, not only strengthens your employer brand but also leads to more collaborative, cooperative teams who can work together to innovate and unlock new opportunities.

Key Ideas and Strategies for Employers

According to McKinsey, improving employee experiences in the modern world requires a systematic approach that considers the workforce’s various “employee personas” and their unique needs throughout their lifecycle in a technological environment.

1. Identify and Transform Employee Journeys

The first step in developing an incredible employee experience is identifying the key elements of the “employee journey” and how staff members interact with your business. Leaders in the tech industry should have a clear and aligned view of the key elements of a great experience, based on their knowledge of their team members and priorities.

It makes sense for most organisations to start with the onboarding experience. An excellent onboarding journey can improve new hire retention by up to 82% and increase productivity by more than 70%.

Create a comprehensive plan for the employee’s first few weeks within the company, focusing on making them feel connected to the company culture and supported by the business. Look at cultivating relationships between teams, making them feel at home in the office environment, and answering any questions they may have about the business.

2. Create a Positive Work Environment

94% of business leaders and 88% of job seekers say a healthy culture is crucial for success in the workplace. Creating a positive work environment goes beyond simply designing contemporary offices.

Businesses today need to focus on nurturing inclusivity, diversity, and psychological safety. Excellent DEI initiatives are critical to creating innovative, forward-thinking organisations, where team members thrive. Train your managers and other team members to demonstrate inclusivity in everything they do, and watch for instances of unintentional bias.

Other factors that can improve a work environment include:

  • Transparent leadership: Ensure leaders in the tech space consistently share insights and knowledge with team members. Focus on ensuring staff members are informed and have a clear view of the vision and mission of the business.
  • Constant communication: Commit to facilitating open and consistent communication between teams. Invest in tools that allow remote and virtual employees to connect with in-person employees on a deeper level.
  • Collaboration: Facilitate the development of cross-departmental relationships by encouraging collaboration between teams. Introduce regular team-building exercises that bring people with different perspectives together.

3. Commit to Employee Development and Growth

In all environments, including the tech landscape, employees value access to resources, training initiatives, and experiences that facilitate growth. Up to 69% of employees say they’ll stay with a company longer if that business invests in their professional development.

Investing in mentorship opportunities, career development plans, and training strategies helps to empower every employee to achieve their full potential in any role. These initiatives help deepen relationships between team members and increase “buy-in” for the business.

Plus, developing and training your team members ensures your organisation can stay competitive as the marketplace continues to evolve. Even giving team members access to short courses and classes online can make a huge difference.

4. Recognise and Reward Team Members

Currently, 92% of millennials say recognition of their hard work and accomplishments is either important or very important to their satisfaction. Regularly recognising team members for their work is crucial to cultivating long-term engagement and a positive culture.

There are various ways to show employee recognition, from creating bonus (monetary) schemes for team members who achieve specific goals to simply thanking staff members for their work.

The key to success with employee recognition is adapting to the expectations and priorities of your individual team members. Find out what motivates and engages each team member in your workplace. For some, the ability to work more flexibly will be a significant incentive.

For others, public praise will drive engagement, and positively reinforce valuable behaviours.

4. Invest in Work-Life Balance

Research shows people who believe they have a good work/life balance work up to 21% harder than those who don’t. This increased effort comes from increased feelings of engagement with both the company they work with and their role.

Investing in work-life balance can include everything from implementing remote work policies for team members who can operate outside of the office, to offering flexible schedules to those who can’t. Encourage team members to take regular breaks and take advantage of paid time off.

Additionally, consider implementing wellness programs into your technological service, delivering resources that help to support good mental and physical health. This will reduce absenteeism and enhance workplace morale.

5. Introduce the Right Technology and Tools

The right technology can make a massive difference to an employee’s experience, eliminating frustrating and time-consuming tasks, and improving productivity. For instance, updating critical tools in the SaaS spaces with more user-friendly solutions reduces the risk of bottlenecks in crucial processes.

Collaborative tools and solutions for communication, such as video conferencing and file-sharing software, can also help to facilitate business-wide innovation and feelings of inclusion.

The right tools and technologies for your business will vary depending on the workflows of your team members. Asking for their feedback on the solutions that will benefit them can help you to make intelligent investments that drive business success.

Unlocking the Value of Employee Experience

Investing in excellent employee experiences isn’t just crucial to enhancing your employer brand and attracting critical talent. It’s vital to ensuring high levels of engagement, increased innovation, and reduced turnover.

With the help of a tech recruitment team, you can bring a focus on employee experience into every aspect of your recruitment and retention journey, paving the way for business growth.

When your employees are happy and engaged, your business thrives. Implement the strategies above, and remember to collect regular feedback from staff to take a data-driven approach to constantly optimising the employee experience.

If you’re looking to enhance your employee experiences for software engineering, get in touch by calling James Shenton Managing Partner for Technology on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

Book a Call with James Shenton

6 Undeniable Signs it’s Time to Look for a Software Engineering Role

6 Undeniable Signs it’s Time to Look for a Software Engineering Role

Naturally, we all go through periods of having exciting projects on at work which make us fall in love with our roles again; and times when finding motivation is harder.

But if the thought of the end of the weekend and another week in work fills you with dread, this could be a sign that something is seriously wrong.

Either you’ve outgrown your software engineering role, your workplace has become toxic, or you realise that your passions lie elsewhere in a different position or with a new company with different values. There are some signs to look out for which indicate that it’s time to look for a new job.

Deciding on a career move can be a daunting thing, and that’s why many people try to ignore the warning signs that they should move on.

Today, we share the six undeniable signs it’s time to look for a new software engineering role (and how to find one).

1.     You Have Stopped Enjoying Going to Work

​There can be many reasons people are reluctant to leave the house in the morning, from a commute that is regularly filled with traffic to a lengthy train journey.

But generally, travelling to work should not be a time where you dread the minutes counting down until your morning start time.

Have you found yourself stopping off for a coffee to delay getting into the office; have you started taking the longer route to work; does the thought of work in the morning keep you from sleeping at night?

Of course, many more of us are working from home now, and so the physical act of going to work might soon become a thing of the past in many roles.

But this feeling of dread can become present in morning Zoom meetings, when you’re on a conference call or any time work-related messages pop-up on your screen.

A sense of dread when you think about your job is not normal – if this is happening to you, it’s time to make a change.

2.    You Feel Disconnected From Your Role

​High employee engagement is a characteristic of all excellent employers.

Great employers will ensure that you have the right amount of work to do; that you’re not overworked or frequently find yourself with few tasks and unsure what you should be doing.

You should feel a passion and drive for your role, and a connection to your team and your employer which makes you want to give your best to the job – it was probably there when you applied for this position.

But over time, inadequate management can lead to employees feeling disconnected and then eventually stop caring. It is hard to find enthusiasm for your role when you have become disconnected. Will you ever trust that your employer truly cares about you even if things change in the short-term?

3.    You are Taking Extra Sick Days

​Taking extra sick days, or taking holidays simply to get away from your job is a sign that something is wrong.

It is estimated that 12.7% of all sick days are taken due to mental health problems, which can often be attributed to your current role in the first place.

If your mental health is being affected due to your job, first speak to your manager. They have a duty of care to you to ensure that your position is not causing you harm. Sadly, if the problems are out of your manager’s control, and they continue, it might be time to look for an employer who has an excellent wellbeing reputation.

4.    You Don’t Get on With Your Boss (or Your Colleagues)

​Having a great relationship with your boss and your colleagues is never a given in any role – it’s always a nice added bonus when you find a role you love, and you get on with your team.

But negative relationships with the people you work with every day can quickly become draining, and they can turn a once dream job into a nightmare situation.

There should always be avenues you can explore before it gets as serious as leaving for a different company, but sometimes that’s what it takes.

Toxic workplaces are sadly more common than you might think, and although your job might look great on paper, if your boss regularly puts you down, and the atmosphere in the workplace is continually negative and is holding you back from success in your job role and your whole career, it’s time to find a company where you not only feel fulfilled but also happy.

5.    You’re Being Underpaid

48% of employees feel that they are underpaid for the work they do – does this sound familiar?

When you start a software engineering job, the expectations might have been clear, but what commonly happens in IT workplaces is that over time, and as you become more experienced within the organisation, you are tasked with more and more duties.

And your remuneration rarely increases with the amount of extra work you are now expected to do.

It might be a simple case of your manager not realising how much extra outside of your role you are taking on – but this again is poor management on their part.

Suppose you are increasingly given extra tasks or are performing managerial duties and your employer tells you that you are not going to be paid any extra for it. In that case, this is a sign that your employer is taking advantage of you.

Not all employers behave like this – now should be the time to find one who doesn’t.

6.    You Feel Undervalued

​Aside from being paid a fair wage for the work you do, it is also important that you feel emotionally valued and supported by your manager and your colleagues.

Signs that you are being undervalued by your current employer include:

  • Your work is overlooked
  • Your performance and pay reviews are continually pushed back
  • You’re not trusted to have autonomy in your role
  • Those around you are promoted, and you get left behind

Being undervalued can be a sign that your current employer is not going to support you in your career and that things are unlikely to change unless the entire company has a management shake-up – but you don’t have to wait for this to happen.

Next Steps

Many people stay in roles that are making them severely unhappy and impacting on their mental health because they believe there is no other option for them.

The truth is there are always other options; you just might not know where to find them – and that’s where we come in.

If you find that it’s time to look for a new Software Engineering role, get in touch by calling James Shenton Managing Partner for Technology on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.