Is your company struggling to source mid-level developer talent? If so, you’re not alone: mid-level developers are some of the most in-demand IT professionals. In cities like Cincinnati where the tech scene is red hot, finding a mid-level developer who’s willing to switch jobs is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. It’s not impossible, but it certainly won’t be easy. Is your company struggling to source mid-level developer talent? If so, you’re not alone: mid-level developers are some of the most in-demand IT professionals.

Mid-level developers are in a sweet spot of experience, skills and salary. Unlike junior developers who are fresh out of college, mid-level developers have at least three years of professional experience under their belts. They’ve deftly navigated larger corporations and smaller tech startups, honing both their technical and interpersonal skills.

Most mid-level developers are also employed and not actively looking to switch companies. To hire top development talent, you’ll need to recruit these individuals away from their current jobs with a competitive offer package. While salary is certainly important, it’s just one component of the bigger offer. This offer must present your company as the ideal place for mid-level developers to mature into the next phase of their careers. Keep the following in mind:

  1. Opportunity that sells itself. Mid-level developers need a compelling reason to switch employers at this stage in their career. While financial compensation may be part of this reason, it should never be the only factor. You want people to join your company for the right reason (a new challenge), rather than a higher salary. If money is the only motivating factor, you’ll lose out on this talent as soon as someone with a better offer comes along. Instead, sell your hire on the opportunity to create a product from the ground up, rather than just maintaining an existing system. Be clear about how your company’s culture and team ethos, including mentorship opportunities, will support the new hire’s success.
  2. Developer-friendly workplace and recruitment process. In the tech world, there’s a lot of talk about the “developer-friendly workplace”– a place where employees wear jeans and sneakers, there’s a foosball table in the break room, and flexible hours are encouraged. While this corporate culture will certainly appeal to Millennial tech talent, I’ve found that a developer-friendly recruitment process is even more important.
    A strong mid-level .Net or Java Developer is in demand and companies risk losing top talent by having candidates do phone screenings with folks who are not the technical hiring manager. Save the HR screening for later in the recruitment process. Instead, have a hiring manager who is familiar with the developer’s skill set make the first call. An intelligent conversation with someone who understands technology will get your candidate excited and curious about what it might be like to work for your company– and, most importantly, open to making a job switch.
  3. Access to the latest technologies. Top talent won’t risk working for a company that’s behind the technology curve: their skills would stagnate and they’d find themselves pigeonholed on legacy systems. Instead, developers seek to be part of a thriving technology culture where employees are challenged to improve their skills. Reassure your prospective hires that your company is committed to staying on top of the latest developments and investing in the resources they need to stay ahead of the curve.

Is your company struggling to source talented developers? To learn more about best practices for Cincinnati’s competitive tech market, contact me at KMartin@lucasgroup.com.


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