How to Write a Job Listing to Attract the Best Developers

developers

In today’s busy tech world, one of the most difficult tasks that managers and business owners need to handle is how to infatuate developers and attract them to work in their teams. You might say it requires a lot of charm – and saying the right words, of course.

The most well-known and proven way to find qualified developers for your company is to post job offers on reputable websites. There are plenty of boards where you can post your listings – but how to make yours stand out?

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The truth is, developers won’t be particularly impressed with your offer if you just present your requirements and payment rates. Your listing should be more like an ad rather than a selection criteria list, so that it catches the right eyes.

You shouldn’t forget to mention important details such as perks, company culture, and office space. In order to reach a developers’ hearts, you have to understand what they care about in a workplace.

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To illustrate this for you, that’s how a boring listing looks like:

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And that’s more like how yours should be:

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Here’s our list of proven tips for attracting developers with an effective job posting. It’s all about the details!

Choose the right format and words for your job listing

A great job listing is not about the looks only, but they do matter. It’s important to craft an effective title that provides potential candidates with attractive details about your offer, and to use language and format that appeals to a busy reader.

For example, instead of naming your listing “Senior .NET Developer,” you can go for something more descriptive that has a flare: “Experienced .NET Developer – Join a Small Innovative Team.” The second option performs two to three times better on job boards. As you can easily see, it gives out something about the position and the team without being overly long.

Another factor to consider is your use of bullet points in the listing. Experts advise to use up to five points, as their readability diminishes afterwards. How to reduce their number? Be critical about your text and consider whether you need to include every single point, or you can keep it short. Think which points may be obvious and don’t even need to be mentioned, so that your listing does not sound redundant and boring. And avoid using cliche phrases like “motivated self-starter,” as this makes developers cringe on the inside.

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Give enough details about the technology and the work process

One of the biggest don’ts when it comes to job listings for developers is going for the dry approach. Presenting potential candidates only with job requirements is guaranteed to ditch your listing in the furthest corner of the internet.

Make sure to consult senior developers in your team and include expert information about the technology that team members will work with. Note if your company is using automated tests or continuous integration, and if you have a QA department.

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It can also help to list the environments you are using (such as testing, staging, and beta) and the version of your control system (Git, SVN, Perforce, Mercurial, and the like). If developers can contribute to open-source projects, don’t forget to mention it in the listing. Technical details can make a difference for passive candidates, or developers hesitating between job options.

Besides the type of work they’ll get to do and the technology at their disposal, developers care a lot about the processes and management style in the team. Most professionals would prefer to have another developer as their direct manager, rather than a non-specialist middle-manager. If you’re using Agile, Scrum or another effective development methodology, underline it in the listing too. Name which project management and issue tracking software you have, as well as whether you hold daily standup meetings where every team member can have a say.

Are you searching for your next development position? Check out these 7 tips to help you land your next gig.

Include perks that make your listing stand out

If you decide to only list your requirements in your job offer, I promise you this won’t keep the unqualified candidates away. What it will achieve, though, is that it will make for an uninspiring posting that has a low chance of attracting talented developers. But if you want to avoid this, go for the perks. Allure top talent by underlining the most impressive benefits that working in your team offers.

Developers care about the computer and office equipment that will be at their disposal. After all, they will be spending their days using them. Make sure to list the gear, especially if it’s top notch. In case there are interesting features in your office space, you should also describe the tools and amenities that team members can use. For example, if you just renovated your office, you should definitely mention this and outline the great perks that developers can use in the new space.

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If you have a budget for industry events, list this and note that you encourage your team members to attend and even speak at conferences. The same goes for free or subsidized meals that you can offer, as well as the availability of an office gym, or free sports classes.

In case you provide a more flexible holiday schedule or above the average amount of vacation or paid time off days, that should also go in the perks section of your listing. And most importantly, if your company is a proponent of remote work, don’t forget to list that! It makes a big difference for developers who often prefer telecommuting.

Don’t forget to present your company culture

While company culture is not as specific as office and financial perks, it is important for most developers looking for professional and personal development in a new setting.

For many tech specialists, it makes a great difference how formal the office environment is. Many would prefer a more casual setting, where they can come to work in a T-shirt, shorts, or sandals and are not bound by a strict dress code.

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As noted in the perks, if you are open to remote work, that’s simply great. Job listings that allow telecommuting receive 250% more applications on average. Developers prefer to have more freedom and flexibility in their work schedule. They would also be interested to know whether team members in your company get to do fun stuff at the office, such as playing video games, ping pong, or foosball.

If you have a close-knit team that often goes out for lunch or hangs out after work, that’s definitely something that should go in your listing. Do you organize team building days or trips? Make sure to write this in the posting as well. In case you have a company blog post or a story you can share that exemplifies your team’s culture, link to it. This can help potential candidates get a better idea of what it’s like to work with you.

Start crafting your effective job listings

The key to better job postings that attract qualified developers is to understand what matters to potential candidates. Put the focus on the perks you offer, the company culture they can be a part of, and the exciting technology that they can work with and contribute to – and you’ll soon see better performing job listings.

What is the most important feature of an effective job listing for developers? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Daniel Rajkumar

    Couldn’t agree more Jared, the job advert needs to sell the company, the role and the team. At rebuildingsociety.com, we have recruited hundreds of freelancers over the years and putting effort into the job ad to make it read interesting and fulfilling makes a huge difference. Companies should support this with well prepared pages on the website about how they support tele-collaboration and think about investing in various videos to help onboarding of new talent.