Why You Are Losing The War For Tech Talent

by John Hazelton — UK Country Manager of talent.io

There is high demand for software developers as more and more companies continue to grow their tech teams. However, despite what everyone says, the talent is there, you just need to know how to find it.

Are you posting job adverts and simply asking if your friends or colleagues know anyone looking for work? Are you putting a few posts on Instagram and LinkedIn? This isn’t recruitment and it most certainly isn’t how you win a war on talent.

Let’s briefly explore 4 main points today: Strategy, Pipeline, Interview Process and Employee Engagement.


When you go to market with a new product, try to win more business for your company, create social media campaigns etc you have a strategy. Alastair Campbell explores this in his book ‘Winners and how they Succeed”, talking about how there should be a Clear Objective and Strategy with everything.

Your objective is to hire the best possible talent for your team/ company. And the strategy involves many different aspects.

Why is recruitment treated differently? This is the vessel that brings new employees and will shape the culture and growth of your business.

Are you reactive or proactive? What channels are you using? Why are you just using free channels? Use paid channels, know how much its costs per hire in time and money. Remember you get what you pay for. There are some good free sites out there but they don’t compare to the paid ones.

You must think about your perception in the market. If you are talking with x number of people never give any feedback after interviews (positive or negative) this is not good for your brand. Do not underestimate the power of your employer brand, make sure you have a feedback process. Most people are scared to share people negative feedback, but I assure you they will respect you a lot more and speak about you positively in the marketplace compared to if you simply ignored them.


Do not put all your eggs in one basket. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen is when a company finds an awesome candidate and pins all their hopes on them. If you think this person is awesome, chances are someone else does. So make sure you give yourself options.

Did you know that the average length of a role for a software developer in a permanent job is between 18–20 months? Therefore, you should reach out to people around this time and then try and stay in touch. If you don’t hear back after the first time don’t give up as on average it takes 5 messages before you have a meaningful conversation.

Consider getting an ATS such as workable to post jobs and manage the workflow.

Employee Engagement

Once you have your people they are your best advocates so treat them well. Keep them motivated and if they are on the journey with you they will be the ones that help attract the next hire.

Interview Process

Take people on a journey with you. Explain where you came from, why and where you are going.

Do not oversell your company or the role, clearly define the good bits and the bad bits, this will help with retention rates also. You want this person to want to work for your company not the one you invented to get them to join.

Thanks for reading! You can find out more about how to recruit great developers on talent.io

If you found this article interesting, check out Part 2 on Why You Are Losing the War for Tech Talent which explores Employer Branding, Social Media and Storytelling, Time Wasting.