How to create a careers page that shows devs what they’re missing out on
In the tech world, getting the attention of skilled talent is possibly the hardest part of your job. So when any kind of developer gets to your careers page, you need to make sure that the talent likes what they see. If they do, they will give you their details.
But LinkedIn research shows that only 25% of people visiting your careers page are actively looking for a job. Given this, your page needs to be pretty convincing. Your careers page is ultimately a sales page. If it isn’t selling your company adequately, no one is going to buy – or apply.
A well-crafted careers page can speak to potential employees in their language
When creating a careers page specifically for developers, there are some essential things that you need to mention.
Rather than showing a talented developer what’s on offer, a well-written careers page compels the individual to explore further. It also shows them that the company has unrivaled opportunities for any developer that fits the bill.
Simply put, a good careers page answers the question, “Why should I work here?.” It does this in an attention-grabbing way, maximizing the first moment the applicant imagines a career at your company.
In this article, you’ll see not just why a top-notch careers page is a necessity.You’ll also see how to create one. Whether your role is exclusively recruitment, or you’re only recruiting because no one else will, you’re in the right place.
Company culture & the careers page
There’s a strong relationship between your company’s culture and your careers page.
Let’s be clear on something though – company culture is not a ping pong table and 8 different kinds of coffee.
Company culture encompasses the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of a corporation. It’s of the utmost importance that your careers page reflects your company culture as much as possible.
If your company does that in a fun, non-corporate way, such as being coffee enthusiasts and enjoying a few ping-pong games a day, so be it. Show this off in an authentic manner by using photography that shows your real employees.
Keep this in mind though:
When looking at your careers page, a developer will be imaging themselves fitting into this culture.
Knowing this, consider your company’s mission statement and how your technical team is involved in it. Access to fresh fruit and a team building night out may not be important to a developer that has 15 years experience.
Remember that career-long developers may have a different definition of the terms ‘perks’ and ‘benefits’.
In the same way that you compare your product to the product of your competitors, you may need to do the same with your culture – or at least, the benefits of working at your company.
Here you can see how Tribe47 are quick and to the point with the benefits of being part of their team:
Image source: Tribe47
Why would a developer decide to work with you instead of your rival on the other side of town?
Rather than mention the mission statement once on your careers page, tailor and expand on it for each developer job ad.
More than just ‘positions vacant’
There’s one thing that e-commerce entrepreneurs and HR recruiters have in common – they have to attract, engage, convince, and convert. E-commerce owners do this on product pages, and as an HR manager, you have to do it on your careers page.
Obviously, your careers page needs to show off the open careers. But with 64% of candidates using career sites as a resource for researching new opportunities, your developer needs to leave the page having applied for a position, eager for your response.
Here you can see how NetGuru shows developers the things that are interesting and relevant as soon as they arrive on the careers page:
Image source: NetGuru
So, when trying to recruit specifically talented developers, what should your careers page consist of?
- Your mission, morals, and values. This is essentially your company’s unique selling point. This first section should make a statement, a claim, and the driving force as to why someone should work with you.
- Benefits & perks. Fresh fruit doesn’t do a lot of convincing. Do employees get to work remotely? Have access to an education budget? Make it know early on the page.
- Awards. If your company has won any awards – well known or not – placing them on the careers page is a great way to build trust and authority.
- Employee reviews. Websites like Glassdoor have changed the way that people research life at different employers. If your company is privy to positive reviews, use this on a careers page to boost your attractiveness.
- Technologies & equipment are things that every developer wants to know about. Not just the kind of software, but also time management – do you have a sprint or more ‘every man for himself’ attitude?
- Email to a friend feature. Developers have friends, including other developers. The number of potential applicants increases with an increased shareability.
- Mobile friendly. It should be screamingly obvious that a careers page is only ready if it’s also adapted to mobile.
- FAQ. As a recruiter, what questions to you find applicants asking you time and time again? Use the careers page to answer those questions before they’re asked.
- Use good copywriting, but don’t distract. If your company’s culture calls for it, be a little cheeky with your copy. But do so in a way that adds value and charm to your business’ image, not so much so that it distracts.
- SEO may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a careers page, but you’d be surprised at the number of people that Google phrases like ‘Middle Java Developer jobs San Francisco’.
- Link to product updates and changelogs to give browsers a little insight into the way your product is being developed.
- A hiring timeline gives readers the ability to create an exit strategy if they’re still employed elsewhere.
What not to put on a careers page
There’s a fine line between creating a little desire to work at your company and making your company look a little too cool for school.
Consider what’s important to a talented an experienced developer.
Are they going to really care that you’re ‘a group of good friends as well as co-workers’?
Furthermore, will a seasoned developer care that you regularly go out drinking as a team?
While these things may very well happen in your company, you need to figure out if they are important to the kind of person you’re going to hire.
For example, rather than drawing attention to a ‘party culture’, mention that team getaways are family-friendly.
Communicating tech stack
A lot of companies don’t provide information about their tech stack which is a great marketing tool. If you’re using languages or frameworks which attract developers, make sure to mention the, on your site. There are a number of places where you can place this information depending on what your company does. The careers page is definitely one of the best places. Some companies (including our client, StepStone Services) communicate their stack in even more visible places like the homepage.
Here’s an idea of what it can look like:
Image source: StepStone Services
Besides mentioning the technology you’re using, you can explain your purpose. Say what you use it for and how your users benefit from your solution.
How to speak directly to a developer
It’s crucial that your careers page, as well as job ads themselves, resonate with developers.
You’ve surely seen that developers who are out actively looking for a job have many options.
Everyone is interested in perks, culture, benefits, but developers are interested in what’s specific to them.
Here you can see how ArcTouch covers what’s important to their ideal developer:
Image source: ArcTouch
Because the most talented developers can choose to work just about anywhere they want, your careers page needs to resonate with them.
If your page creates the image of a workplace that is ideal for developers, you’ll find it a lot easier to recruit the best talent out there.
Your current developers know what candidates will be looking for
A good way to do this is to speak to the developers you currently work with. Simply ask them what they’d find enticing on a careers page. Ask which aspects of their current job that would be appealing to other developers. Are there certain technologies, languages or process that’d make a job more attractive?
Flexible hours and access to industry standard products are a few more things developers may like to see.
Your customer service team may prefer working on a PC, but your developers might prefer a Mac. Give your developers a choice in the hardware they use to make a job a little sweeter.
The way that your team solves a problem may also make a career at your company seem interesting.
Do you all sit down and brainstorm ways to solve a problem? Perhaps solving problems is the role of only senior level developers.
Do your developers normally stay late to get a project done ahead of the deadline? Is everyone out of the office by 5 pm, no matter what?
Consider giving candidates a look at jobs you’ve done in the past. Your careers page is similar to a case study. It can show the inner workings of your business and make it more attractive to skilled, technical minds.
Dayspring Technologies is a great example of showing that they’re a business built on a solid foundation with customers – another thing that may be important to more senior developers:
Image source: Dayspring Technologies
Take this idea to the next level by giving access to any open-source projects you’ve completed. If your team has worked hard on something that’s free for everyone, put it in front of potential employees.
This is a great way for developers to get involved with what they may end up being a part of.
Takeaways and conclusion
This list is by no means complete. In your experience of recruiting, you may have found a few things that developers really like.
Use your personal experience to build on what’s outlined in this article.
To sum up what you’ve learned in this article:
- Your careers page needs to show the role that developers play in your company’s culture and mission statement
- Developers have the luxury of being in high demand – your careers page needs to resonate with them in their own language
- ‘Perks’ and ‘benefits’ are different for developers than many other departments
- Use your careers page to show:
- The tools you use
- The way your developers work
- What your dev team has recently achieved
Furthermore, remember that career pages are never complete. Career pages need to have a lot of information on them, some of that information is more important than the other.
You may be modifying, rearranging, building and cutting sections indefinitely. Now isn’t that something to look forward to!