Written by Agnieszka Szczerba Recruiting

The best way to get your job proposal noticed by a programmer

I had a chat with Tomek, a Java programmer. Tomek has been working for a bank for 7 years. 

- Tomek, tell me, how many messages have you been getting on LinkedIn from recruiters lately?

- A few, well...  like five or six, you know, I don't count it exactly.

-  Weekly?

-  No daily.


On Linkedin, this is your closest competition. These 5 messages that land in the inbox of incoming messages. Perhaps you think that Tomek reads them carefully and writes back. He doesn't write back to yours, but he probably writes back to others with better rates and projects...    
Well, actually any of these happens.  Tomek just 'unclicks' the messages, without even reading them. He does this, let's count, for 365 days a year for 2 to 3 years, in other words about 720-1000 days. And exactly to the moment when he decides that it's time to change the job. 


I've been talking to programmers for years. I listen to what recruiters in my industry say. I read reports. The conclusion?    Programmers do not look for a job for the most time of their professional life. In fact, they do not even look for a job and do not follow the IT job market. Am I generalizing? To some extent yes, because there are some exceptions, i.e. people who are keenly interested in their market value. But these are exceptions.     
So how is it possible that the toughest people, who have been in their companies for years, finally change their jobs? The turnover in IT is not lower than in other industries, although HR people work hard to make it as low as possible.     
Looking for a job does not mean changing job in this case. Programmers are able to change jobs without looking for them actively.    

So how can you catch the attention of a programmer?   When you approach a programmer with a  job offer, you have two options. There is 0 and 1, like in the binary system.  Either you reach him out, when he is considering a change. This thought has already appeared in his head, and maybe he is even mentally ready for a change. Or you come with a job offer at the moment when he is not considering it at all and is not ready for a change.  The next steps will depend on which moment you "hit".     

The first case. The programmer does not want to change job.

  Don't count on getting a reply to a message sent through Linkedin or any other platform. If you do, it will be a brief „thank you”  with a note that  a candidate is not interested now. In many cases, he will simply click on the message without even reading it to avoid flashing the notification.  The same will happen with a message sent by email.

3 seconds - that's how long it takes to interact with your text. A programmer scrolls through it scanning it with his eyes and archives it.  What does he focus on?
  • Remuneration 
  • Contract length 
  • Remote or stationary work (from which geographic location) 
  • Domain  in which the developer plans to develop his skills

Is there a chance, that he will one day come back  to your message? Yes, if he is ready for a job change. Then he will review the last dozen archived or un-clicked messages.

In other cases, a programmer will notice a job offer or information about an employer  if you put it  into substantive content such as an article, podcast, or YouTube video. Then you have a chance that your website will be bookmarked and viewed more often.  What is a „substantive content”  for an experienced developer? What does he look for in the internet?  He looks for answers to his questions:

  • How to ...  (do something)?
  • Where can I find …?
  • Which one  is better ... ?
  • This or this solution … ?

The other type of interesting content  is something new or related to a developer's specialization such as a new role that he hasn’t heard of yet: i.e. AI Engineer, MLOps.  Or content from a nearby area, which is in many cases a natural direction for career development like cybersecurity for system administrators or Golang language for PHP / Python or C/C++ developers. To create such content,  very useful will be for you a general understanding of technology and knowledge about possible career paths in IT.   

The second case. A programmer wants to change job. 

His first steps, apart from discerning among friends, will be directed to Linkedin. According to a survey conducted by Hackererth in 2021, 49.5% of working professionals and 57.7% of student developers search for jobs on Linkedin.   HackerEarth conducted the survey in 171 countries and received 25,431 responses.   Linkedin is therefore still a great place to find and approach developers.
Some paid Linkedin products provide insights on the activity of Linkedin users, like who has recently updated profile or became active on the platform (commenting, posting).   Updating profiles is one of the first steps, candidates make when starting an active job search. It's the moment when they respond to messages and even review the last 25-30. It happened to me that a candidate got back to me after a year, asking if my offer is still valid.    
On top of that,  a  programmer will read offer emails with more care. Example?  Thanks to a follow-up email I sent after 2 months after my first approach, I made a placement. The additional offer I mentioned in the email was much more attractive, and the candidate had just begun to think about the job change.
What else?   
This is the moment when a  programmer will visit dedicated job boards so make sure that your published offers are presented in an attractive way.  The salary rate is an absolute must-have. Also make sure, that you keep good contact with a candidate from start to the end of the recruitment process and have it standardized and as fast as possible.  In short, take care of the best possible candidate’s experience. Even if a developer doesn’t get hired, he will keep your company in mind.
PS. If you want to learn more about technology concepts  for non-tech people, check out my  training  on Learn IT Recruitment

Photos and resources:


www. buzzfeed.com

www. dumpaday.com



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