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How to attract top quality candidates

Here are some quick tips for making sure you get enough good quality applications for your software engineering roles.

Step 1: Identifying the problem

Whether you're looking for a replacement for someone that's leaving, or you're actively growing your tech team, there's two different ways your problem could be manifesting.

Not enough applications

Tumbleweed. You literally haven't had any applications.

Low quality applications

You're getting a steady trickle, but the quality isn't up to scratch.

If your problem is quantity, then your first easy win is to open the floodgates

It likely starts with your job description. Ask yourself:

  • Do we really need someone with 6 years experience?
  • Am I accidently describing a person, instead of a role?
  • Am I accidently optimising for Computer Science graduates?

The more specific your job description is, the smaller the pool of talent that's likely to apply.

Think of it this way: every item on your list of specifications has the possibility to deter a potential applicant. Do you really need to include all those languages and frameworks?

Find a way to remove the bottleneck and you should start to see volume pick up immediately.

Jack Oddy

Restaurant supervisor to Junior Developer at ANDigital

Hired : 2017

Asif Hafeez

Sales Agent to Consultant Software Engineer

Hired : January 2017

Felix Harrison

Events Manager to Consultant Software Engineer

Hired : January 2017

Rhiannon Lolley Neville

Business Analyst to Consultant Software Engineer

Hired : November 2016

Joe Wroe

Mortgage Broker to Developer at ThoughtWorks.

Hired : January 2017

Merve Taner

Pharmaceuticals to Junior Developer at Spabreaks

Hired : May 2016

Mic Cassano

IT Consultant to Developer at Pi-Top

Hired : June 2016

Eleanor Vilimaite

Front end Developer to Junior Developer at Career Interactive

Hired : October 2016

Hannah Carney

3D Designer to Junior Developer at Play Consulting

Hired : October 2016

Lorenzo Turrino

Store Manager to Developer at Farm Digital

Hired : October 2016

William Bautista

PR Analyst to Junior Developer at Smart Pension

Hired : October 2016

Anindya Bhattacharyya

Journalist to Junior Developer at PensionBee

Hired : October 2016

Step 2: Strengthening your employer brand

One thing that can really help with both quantity AND quality of applications is cultivating a strong employer brand.

It comes down to increasing your reputation in the tech community. One of our hiring partners, Compare the Market, talks about how they've taken steps to raise the profile of their employer brand: comparethemarketTech

Step 3: Being creative

It’s not enough to post your vacancy on a job board and just leave it. You need to be creative to ensure that the competition doesn’t leave you far behind, and the best way to do that is to multiply your sources and think outside the box.

The wider the variety of places you’re looking, the more applications you’ll get. Come to our next employer breakfast to hear best practice from other leading employers.

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