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  • Writer's pictureHeywood

Five Things Developers Look for in a New Role

Are you struggling to fill developer vacancies in your business? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Many businesses are feeling the pinch of skill shortages and those in the information and communication sector are no different:

Of all respondents in the sector, 69% reported a shortage of skills in The Open University’s latest Business Barometer report.

It’s not all bad news though. According to a Stack Overflow study, 34% of developers are either neutral or dissatisfied with their current position and 65% are either open to new opportunities or actively seeking them.

Demand is high and the reality is that your offering has to be competitive if you’re going to attract the developers you need. If you can’t or won’t offer them what they’re looking for, often they can and will go and work for another employer who does.

So, what are developers looking for?


Never underestimate the importance of a strong workplace culture when it comes to recruitment: Culture or environment was given as an important factor in a new role by 48.5% of developers. In addition, 49.1% of developers are turned off by businesses that don’t align with their own culture or values.

You businesses mission and values both form part of your workplace culture, but we believe a much wider collection of factors are at play.

Up to date technologies and professional growth

Imagine starting in a copywriting position and being handed a typewriter rather than a laptop. Or working in sales and arriving to a Rolodex rather than a CRM.

The tech space moves rapidly and the best developers want to move with it:

54.1% of developers gave ‘languages, frameworks, and other technologies I’d be working with’ as their most important job factor in Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey.

Becoming a competent coder requires a huge investment of time and effort and the most successful developers are naturally curious and typically love learning. The rapid rise of languages like Kotlin and Typescript demonstrate the need for developers to continue learning if they’re to remain at the forefront.

A study from HackerRank found that 61% of developers are looking for ‘professional growth and learning’ in their next job.

Work-life balance

Awareness and demand for better work-life balance are growing and more and more people are viewing it as a priority when it comes to finding their next opportunity; developers are no different:

Over 39% of developers in the EMEA region rank work-life balance as a priority.

Flexibility around working hours, remote working opportunities and generous annual leave entitlement can all help improve work-life balance, as can a genuine focus on development outcomes rather than hours.

Working environment

Developers often spend long periods sitting (or standing) at a desk and focusing intently on their monitors, so ergonomic equipment, appropriate lighting and the right hardware can all help ensure they remain productive.

Open-plan offices, while popular, may not be a good fit for developers, who rely on an ability to concentrate without losing time for long periods to ensure they are producing high-quality work.

That’s not to say that developers don’t need to communicate regularly. Private spaces might help developers achieve optimal productivity but it’s also important to make spaces available for impromptu meetings, preferably complete with TVs and plenty of ports or whiteboards.

Competitive compensation

I hope this goes without saying, but no number of benefits or amount of flexibility will replace the need for a genuinely competitive salary. No matter how well aligned a developer is with an employers’ mission, values and culture, they still have their own bills to pay and standard of living to maintain.

It’s more important than ever to do your research and ensure that you can budget for the role at the right level for the calibre of individual you are looking for.

Is your business struggling to source and attract the right developers? Get in touch today to find out how we can help.


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