Software Development

As the technology industry continues to experience some turbulence while also navigating a candidate shortage, it is becoming increasingly challenging to hire top tech talent, especially for SMEs. Layoffs are top of mind for many of these professionals, which fosters a hesitation to make any immediate job changes. For an organization without widespread brand recognition, it’s an even harder task to convince a standout candidate to make a move. 

Even so, SMEs can hire best-in-class software developers. With a track record of partnering with many SME clients, Michael Page Technology is well-placed to share how businesses can successfully hire skilled software developers who are currently on the market, as well as those who could be open to the right opportunity.  

A Scaled-Down Interview Process Helps to Keep the Best Talent Engaged 

Competition for software developers is high, and candidates are not on the market for long. This is why an efficient hiring process is key to success; a scaled-down interview process mitigates the risk of a competitor acquiring the candidate who is at the top of your list before you can make an offer.  

Peyton Raleigh, an Associate Consultant at Michael Page Technology says:

An optimal tech hiring process includes two to three rounds of interviews in quick succession. The first round should focus on evaluating culture fit, personality, and technical skills like proficiency with specific coding languages. If that goes well, then the second, and then possibly the third and last round, should ideally be technical with somebody like the CTO, VP of Technology or an Engineering Manager, who would be more involved in the hands-on environment.

Raleigh emphasizes the importance of transparency and clarity around job duties and where the process the role fits, as well as sharing the details of the company’s mission and its products. This will give the candidate a clear picture of the skills needed and the value they can add to the projects being worked on, and therefore instill confidence and assurance in the opportunity at hand. 

Raleigh says:

When it comes to pitching the software developer role, showcase the project that you're working on and why it's important. Developers want to see something exciting. Growth and potential are the factors that grab them. So, whether it’s the plans to scale the platform itself, features needed to expand the platform, or integration of a new a software, progression of the product and company are very important to demonstrate.

This has worked well for one small SaaS company Raleigh has been partnering with over the last several months. We helped this company grow from 15 to 22 developers. She and her team have made seven placements at this small, but growing, organization and have found a streamlined recruitment process very successful. 

Here is how we found developers for a sports SaaS company

Highlight the Opportunity to Be Part of Your SME Growth Story  

After you’ve developed an expedited, efficient interview process, you’ll need to think about how you will use it as an opportunity to show top software developers the advantages of working for your SME. After all, interviews these days are just as much about a candidate evaluating a potential employer as the other way around.  

As many of these candidates may come from bigger organizations with some level of brand recognition, they may have misconceptions or hesitations about working for an SME. Some may think that a smaller organization means fewer projects to work on, or fewer people to collaborate with. As most software developers like to work within a community, it’s important to show them that they won't be working ‘on an island’ and will instead have the support of a talented team around them.   

Once you’ve addressed these potential points by demonstrating your project pipeline and stellar team, you can emphasize the other benefits of moving to a smaller company.  

Raleigh says:

As SMEs have a more optimized headcount, they’re less likely to need layoffs. Roles at these companies offer more stability, which is better for the mental health of the people who work there. This makes a smaller organization much more attractive to candidates coming from the larger players in tech.

While the base pay may be lower than a larger organization can offer, it’s key to discuss the value of the overall package your business can offer to new hires. Some of the benefits software developers look out for include a reliable healthcare plan, generous PTO, parental leave plans, and a 401K match.  In addition to these monetary factors, employees of an SME can expect a larger role with more responsibilities in their remit, the opportunity to wear multiple hats and be across more elements of a given project, increased exposure to senior leadership, and a higher number of greenfield projects introduced into their pipeline. All of this is an excellent boon to career growth, which we know is a priority for many professionals in this space. 

Access our Tech Salary & Hiring Insights 

While some companies can hire on reputation alone, an SME may have to include some education in the hiring process. Through her continued partnership with that SaaS company, Raleigh has seen first-hand that culture is also an important part of the package you offer, especially because of the smaller size of an SME. A new hire’s proximity to their coworkers, and even leadership, means that personality fit is very important to the day-to-day experience. Software developers seek out collaborative environments where they know their contributions will be valued. They also find value in connecting with their teammates on more than just a superficial level so that they can more effectively develop, learn, and grow their careers.  

Software developers also place importance on being a part of an SME’s growth story, as they can take ownership of and pride in the way their efforts contributed directly to the organization’s success and product expansion. Ensure that candidates can see how they fit into the company’s growth ambitions to get them excited about the opportunities you offer. 

Work with the Right Recruitment Partner 

All of this may seem like a tall order, especially for a smaller organization. That is where Michael Page can come in as the perfect partner throughout every step of the hiring process. Because we are localized and focus on permanent placements of tech roles, we are perfectly placed to find top software developers for SMEs.  

Michael Page also has connections to and relationships with talent working in Big Tech, making it easier for us to approach professionals in this space on your behalf. We advocate for our clients when we speak with top professionals, showcasing the organization’s value, ways of working, and the career progression opportunities they can offer to candidates. We also help to expedite the hiring process by streamlining communications and acting as a liaison between the organization and candidates, always ensuring that expectations around factors such as salary are aligned.  

To find out more about how a partnership with Michael Page can fortify your hiring efforts, please reach out to us today. 

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