Coder Onboarding 101: The Definitive Guide to Recruit and Retain Top Coders

Recruit and Retain Top Coders

The market for programmers is becoming more and more competitive while at the same time the number of great coders is growing smaller, so it can be very difficult for companies that need these kind of employees. In such situations, it’s necessary for a company to learn better how to recruit their employees but also how to retain them.

Developers like to say that there is no lack of talent. It’s just about the fact that they can choose from many places to find work and they want their talent somewhere it deserves to be. However, it can be very difficult to find good employees with the right talents and even more difficult to make them want to stay for the long haul.

Today we are going to share with you a few fundamentals when it comes to hiring and retaining coders.

Learn about their position and  work

A lot of companies make mistakes when hiring programmers because they simply don’t have a clue about programming and what it includes. This is both crucial for recruiting and retaining them. To put it simply, a person will never be satisfied working for a company where his work is unappreciated and where the organization doesn’t even understand what the person is doing for them.

A lot of hiring managers mistake development for clerical and manufacturing work, but coding is more of a combination of technical and creative work. The work itself is like research or a form of medical diagnosis done on a computer. It’s essential that the hiring managers and managers that will work with new employees learn about a programmer’s job.

Both the recruitment and project managers should have a logical understanding of the work programmers do. They should have the ability to understand where the issues are, what questions to ask, and how the employee is approaching the issue. However, this is only the minimum, and it’s always better to know more.

Don’t focus on salary only

Being a programmer is one of the highest paying jobs on average. When here, people can reach companies like Facebook, Microsoft, or Google where they can make a lot of money. Besides these giants, there are many other companies that are willing to offer an impressive salary to programmers. However, for a lot of senior programmers, it’s not about getting the highest salary.

They are almost exclusively willing to go with jobs that give them a smaller pay but offer them something else that sets them apart. Your offer needs to be focused on things that are non-monetary but at the same time, you have to offer a salary that is somewhere on the market average or a bit higher.

Offer things such as flexible work hours, different work environments, exciting projects, amazing company culture, and simply look to set your business apart from the rest. Don’t be the classic corporate company that will kill their will to live in a couple of months and make them leave.

Given them your trust

When you’ve hired a programmer, make sure that you are consistent with your decision and that you give them the necessary trust they need to do their jobs effectively. This is especially important if your managers don’t know much about development. Who are they to question someone’s work when they don’t even know what it is and what it takes?

One of the first things everyone learns about coding is that there is a lot of trial and error involved. Failure is part of everyday work and it happens to everyone, even with the best code writers. It’s just the nature of the job and there is no way around it.

In this kind of environment, coders need to be able to relax and do their work while knowing that their organization supports them and won’t blame them as soon as a small issue arises.

However, the level of trust should increase as the employee proves that they have earned this trust and it shouldn’t come for free. Give them a chance to make things right but if they break the deadline that they’ve set more than two times, they should suffer the necessary consequences.

Provide value not flashiness

To be honest, a lot of managers make a terrible mistake by switching their focus to employee perks rather than real benefits. Adding a pool table, getting together for drinks as a team, or going on trips is all good, but none of these things matter if your employees don’t feel well while on the job.

You need to give them real benefits, and when it comes to programmers, the best place to start is technology. First of all, make sure that they have a device that is powerful and equipped with all the right software solutions. Allow them to reach their full potential and do their job without any nuisances.

On the other make sure that they are treated fairly like any other employee. Give them credit where it’s due and don’t go easy on them. It works both ways when it comes to fairness. By combining these essential benefits with a couple of perks, you’ll be able to have a happy team of developers that will stay with you for a long time.

Use Hackathons

To hire top talent, traditional hiring parameters like interviews, grades, or past experience do not suffice. That is where you can use Hackathons. Hackathons are power-packed, high-on-energy events where coders and developers collaborate for creating software projects with their peers, on predefined themes. All of this happens within a span of 48 hours or up to a week at the max and coders often go back with a job offer in hand. While interviews and aptitude tests are a good option, it often does not suffice when it comes to tech companies. Hackathons do not just allow recruiters to judge a candidate’s technical skills, but also the way they approach a problem and interact with others.


Great programmers or developers can help your business reach the next step. Still, if you want premium talent, you will have to make an effort to recruit them and make them stay with your business for a long time. Make sure to learn more about their work and their needs and by genuinely being interested, you’ll be able to deliver what they need.

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