Five reasons SA companies are missing out on top tech talent

OfferZen's Stephen van der Heijden reveals what you can do to attract and retain developers.

Software developers were already in high demand before Covid-19. However, since the pandemic, the demand for tech talent has ramped up by as much as ten times, as companies are forced to go online and businesses like banks significantly increased their digital presence through websites and mobile apps.

OfferZen’s VP of Growth Stephen van der Heijden says that finding and retaining tech talent has always been a problem in South Africa, and the increase in digital activity is making it even harder.

He shares insights from OfferZen’s hiring data report based on a survey of over 3,500 local developers, on why it’s so hard to attract and retain software developers.

The report revealed that one in three developers will become active talent in the next twelve months. Stephen explains that if you are going to hire software developers in South Africa, it’s important to note that the experience you give them is critical. “Because the market is so competitive, each software developer will have many options due to the dynamics of supply-and-demand.”

Five reasons companies are missing out on hiring top developer talent

1. Your hiring process could be turning off candidates
Fifty-five percent of developers reported that they have not proceeded with a hiring process after having a negative interview experience.

2. Your role doesn’t offer enough growth, flexibility, or an attractive culture
Lack of potential growth is the number one reason developers reject job offers. Developers want opportunities to become better coders and flexibility in how and when they work so they can operate in their most productive times.

3. Senior developers will reject job offers that don’t offer interesting business problems or tech stacks
Developers with more than six years of experience cite a lack of flexibility as the number one reason for turning down an offer.
The more senior the developer, the more likely they are to reject a job offer because they’re not interested in the required tech stack or business problem.

4. A developer’s biggest interview process turn-off? Being low-balled or pushed to reveal current salary
Developers don’t like being asked to reveal their current salary or being made an offer below-market rate. It’s the number one way to make a bad impression on developers. Another big pain point is not receiving post-interview feedback.

5. Your team and interview process speak volumes about your company culture
A lack of culture fit is another common reason for developers to decline job offers, followed by the experience of peers and a company’s reputation.
The majority of developers speak to existing or past employees to understand a company’s culture. They also watch how you treat them during the interviewing process.

Is there room for improvement?
Stephen says there is space for South African employers to get better. Even when they can’t offer good salaries, they can offer other things like setting up an employment environment where developers can thrive and providing unique opportunities and challenges they can solve.
He adds that South African companies need to get more competitive if they want to land top tech talent.

“South African companies are now competing with global companies for the same talent. To win at tech recruitment, you need to make sure you are packaging your employee value proposition well and invest in your recruitment process. Other value-added things are creating a good company website that gives proper insight into your business, creating appealing job adverts, investing in mentoring programmes and explaining the stacks that developers will be using in your company.”