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What Really Attracts Top-Tier Developers?

07/11/2017 By Patrick Morton

Attracting world-class development talent can be one of the hardest challenges facing any technical team in 2017. These days developers are in such high demand that the best will have a seemingly unlimited number of opportunities to choose from, and many developers I speak to have 10+ approaches per day about new roles. With this much demand, how do companies ensure they stand out from the crowd? 

Sure, the Facebook’s, Google’s and Amazon’s are all well-renowned for attracting world-class talent, and more often than not a brand name in itself can bring a flock of CVs to your door. But what about the start-ups of the world? Or the charities? The lesser known companies that need to be at the bleeding edge of tech just to survive? Arguably, for them attracting the best talent can be the difference between failure and success. So how do they attract the best?

With this is mind, I put together a short survey to send out to over 1000 leading developers, across all tech stacks, contract and perm, to answer one simple question:

What really attracts developers to new opportunities?

 

Question One

 

Interestingly enough, whilst Tech Stack was the overall winner, this largely depended on the level of the developer; Junior Developers were more likely to factor in Location, whilst at the other end of the scale, CTO’s and Development Managers cared more about the Level of the Role.

When asked ‘How important is it when moving roles to move up the development career ladder?’, Lead Developers found this most important, with CTO’s caring the least about moving on up.


When asked what technologies developers would like to be working with, here are the top 8:

Machine Learning
Big Data
AWS
Scala
.Net
AI
Apache Spark
MongoDB


Other high-performers included ElasticSearch, Haskell, React, NodeJS, Hadoop, IoT and Python.


Question Two

With Flexible and Home Working as clear winners, this also varied greatly by level, with the most important to each being:

Junior Developers - Holidays
Developers - Flexible Hours
Senior Developers - Work from Home
Development Managers - Flexible Hours
CTO’s - Pension


Funnily enough, you can’t just put out office food and drinks and expect millennials to flock to your desks – it was actually Senior Devs and above that this bonus appealed to most!

Question 3

CTO’s and Development managers certainly think so – however everyone below either chose ‘Important, but just to feel like I’m progressing’ or ‘It’d be nice, but not necessary’. What’s important to remember though, is that no one said they were ‘not bothered’ about a pay increase. 

Question Four

Finally, something that can’t often be summarised by a chart, What Is Your Ideal Company Culture? 

In one word, here’s what we had back: 


I hope you found the results to this survey useful in learning what really attracts developers; of course these replies are from a fraction of the dev community – so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is it all about money, projects, tech stack? Get in touch with me at patrick.morton@lafosse.com



Patrick Morton is a specialist development recruiter, working with top-tier talent and taking this market information to clients and candidates alike. If you’d like to talk through finding your next role, or how to source the best development talent, please get in touch at patrick.morton@lafosse.com, or give him a call on 020 7932 1669. 

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