How To Write A Great Software Developer Job Description

Looking through cvs after successfully writing a software developer job description

If you’re reading this and looking for advice on how to write a compelling software developer job description for your company – fantastic news – you’re in the right place!

Recruiting software developers is far from easy. With around 1 in 3 developer roles remaining unfilled it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find and secure the right professionals.

Previously, we have given advice on attracting tech talent and how we can help your software development hiring process as market specialist recruiters. However, it’s important to recognise the impact a strong software developer job description can have too.

Why is a software developer job description important to your hiring strategy?

Job descriptions are a crucial cog in the wheel to finding the right candidates. By listing the skills and experience you need, you are more likely to secure the interest of relevant development talent. You don’t want to waste time receiving CVs from candidates who are unsuited for the role. This can happen from having a vague description of the skills and experience you need.

As previously stated, with such a high demand for dev talent vastly outnumbering the volume of professionals available, you need to make your software developer job description count. On average, candidates spend just 14 seconds looking at a job advert before deciding whether to apply or not.

Therefore, your software developer job description must be optimised to convince developers that your opportunity is better than your competitors. If you don’t, you will likely lose a great developer’s attention to other fantastic options outside of your organisation.

How to navigate a software developer job description and salary

This is perhaps the main reason you clicked on the article – so I’ll get straight into it!

The key sections to always include in a software developer job advert are:

  • Job title
  • Salary
  • Location and type of employment
  • Job responsibilities
  • Essential skills
  • Good to have skills and experience
  • Perks and benefits

This is the base outline for what a software developer job description and salary should include. However, it is important to understand how you can optimise these sections to secure the best talent.

The type of employment

Is the job contract or permanent?

There is a multitude of advantages and drawbacks to both types. It’s crucial you know exactly what sort of skillset you need and how they will benefit your current efforts. From that point, you will be able to determine the kind of individual you need.

Software developer contractors are normally recruited to work on specific and specialised projects or to help fill a temporary gap in the company. They may be experts in a particular language or framework and help to manage the development of a particular application. This often means contractors usually come in during times of particular need. Permanent developers on the other hand, handle both the day-to-day management of particular programs or applications, as well as spearheading projects within their specialism.

Understanding your exact requirement for either a permanent employee or a contractor will help you make your recruitment process more efficient and will stop you from running into any issues later on.

Salary vs no salary included?

There is a wealth of discussions around whether to include a salary in job adverts. However, for developers, in a candidate-driven market, the first thing they will want to know is the salary.

According to statistics, 72% of tech talent are sceptical of companies that don’t include a salary range, and 57% will avoid applying for a job without one. Ask yourself this – would you take the time to apply for a role if you had no idea if the salary was higher or lower than your current one?

With 750 software developer job adverts being posted per day, and as stated earlier, 1 in 3 roles remaining unfilled, developers will not apply to your advert if there is no salary listed. They simply do not need to as there are other roles available to them which do include a salary.

The best approach is to include the estimated pay upfront. That way everyone is on the same page and you will avoid potential disappointment or surprises.

Job responsibilities and essential skills

Responsibilities and essential skills should take up the main part of your software developer job description.

Over 50% of developers prioritise language, frameworks and technologies when searching for a new job. Additionally, is what they will be developing whether greenfield or brownfield. By including which technologies you want your new hire to possess, it is a great way to attract the right developer for your business.

For instance most back end developers will have most of the following skills set, finding the right blend of that for your role is important.

  • Designing, implementing, and monitoring software programs and application (Do they require full SDLC experience)
  • Producing efficient and clean code
  • Greenfield development and / or maintaining and upgrading existing systems (which may include refactoring)
  • Developing quality assurance procedures
  • Creating technical documentation

*This will also change somewhat, based on whether you are looking for a Front End, Full stack developer or an integration developer.

When deciding which skills you need to include, first talk to your current IT team and the individual the successful applicant will be reporting to. Then liaise with an IT recruitment agency, like VIQU. Through a detailed scoping call we’ll be able to assist you in working out exactly what skills you must have in your next hire, and which are nice-to-have but are not essential.

Experience

There are a number of ways someone can become a software developer.

University is the most traditional method. Most companies will expect software developers to have a degree in specialisms such as Computer Science, Software Programming, Engineering etc. However, it is important to remember there are multiple ways for developers to enter the industry.

As companies push for individuals to upskill and learn digital skills, a number of software developers have come into the industry via apprenticeships and online courses.

Hiring someone with the right industry experience is crucial, however, avoid limiting your candidate pool by insisting on a graduate degree.

You might even like to consider someone with less experience if you have the capacity to upskill them – this can help widen your possible candidate selection!

How to write a job description for developers with actual developers in mind

We’ve gone through the basics and essentials of a software developer job description – but how can you write a job advert that will effectively attract the talent you need? Developers are a different breed of IT professional, they have their own unique requirements and ways they like to work. Here are some particular benefits and perks that might draw in development talent.

Remote working and flexibility

The effects of covid on the IT job market have been far-reaching. One of them is the growing prominence of remote and hybrid working patterns. A recent survey found that 83% developers are currently hybrid working and 62% working remotely. Long gone are the days of stay at home mandates! However, remote and hybrid working appears to be staying, especially for dev workers.

If you are unable to offer full work from home or hybrid options, flexibility in hours can be a real benefit as an alternative. Giving software developers the ability to manage their own time in a week can be a fantastic way to attract top talent. 45% of developers want flexitime or a flexible work schedule – this is a hard statistic to argue with!

Company benefits

With such high competition for dev talent, remember to advertise why you would be a great business to work for in your software developer job advert. This is often part of your EVP (Employee Value Proposition) – a key part of your recruitment campaign and will often help you attract key developer talent. Furthermore, what a developer will be working on can set you apart in the market. Make sure you highlight if the role is greenfield, enterprise, Full SDLC and top tech where possible.

Below I’ve included examples of benefits you may want to consider offering or boosting in your software developer job description and the percentage of companies that offer this benefit to their software developers:

  • Work equipment such as phones, laptops, screens (65.8%)
  • Flexible working hours (57%)
  • Health insurance (47.6%)
  • Learning and development training (33.6%)
  • Unlimited annual leave/ increased time off (24.1%)

Other great benefits I have seen in the market of late include:

  • Breakfast / lunch onsite daily (this is to attract developers into a more hybrid environment)
  • Unlimited fruit, snacks, amazing coffee (we know how developers like a good Java!) and other treats free onsite
  • Onsite gym / rec room / pool tables/ company drinks on a Friday etc
  • 20% of your work week needs to focus on skills development (like taking a course) which the company pays for. (This is great for future proofing in a business as well)
  • Onsite parking / company buys train tickets / company shuttle from a train station
  • Discounts or freebies from their company products or at their partners / or free tickets to an event etc
  • With the rising D&I strategies other important factors is: Maternity and Paternity leave as well as family responsibility leave

Remember that a job description may be the only knowledge a candidate has of your business, with 1 in 3 software developer roles remaining unfilled – make your advert count!

Development recruitment specialists like VIQU, have the market knowledge to help you write a great software developer job description to secure you the best dev talent possible. Click here to send us information about your developer requirements.

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