While this book covers recruiting in Chapter 7 and retention in Chapter 8, successful software development organizations know the two are closely linked. The same attributes of a successful development organization that attracts top software talent are the same attributes that will help you retain your staff and reduce turnover. Furthermore, the best retention practices start with careful recruitment and hiring. If you want to have low turnover , it is not sufficient to simply hire skilled software professionals; you must hire engineers that will fit the specific requirements and culture of your organization. This chapter presents some of the best practices in recruitment for the software industry, with the following chapter focusing on the retention part of the recruitment and retention equation.
Unless you have a fully staffed software development organization and are expecting no growth or turnover, you should be concerned about recruiting and hiring the best talent. The best software developers will produce significantly better code than their average counterparts. The top software architects will produce designs that are much more likely to be successfully completed. So how can you find and hire the best developers and architects ? One key attribute of organizations that successfully staff for growth is constant recruitment to keep a full pipeline of candidates, even if they currently have no open positions . Another key attribute of successful organizations is hiring from internal referrals. Most companies find there is no better way to recruit qualified software development candidates than through personal referrals.
This of course brings up a key point. If your software development team member is not happy in the job, he or she is not likely to refer others to the organization. After reading the next two chapters, it should become very clear why recruiting and retention are so closely tied. Many of the best retention practices double as things that can help recruit top talent to your organization.
In addition to discussing ways to recruit software development talent, this chapter also describes what to look for in successful developers. Your key developers should not only have top notch technical skills, they should have outstanding business and behavioral skills along with values that match those of your organization.