10 Stats About Developers Every Tech Recruiter Should See

10 Stats About Developers Every Tech Recruiter Should See

Emily Smykal

One of the most common roles recruiters need to fill these days is that of a developer. Whether it’s a full stack web developer or an embedded application developer, candidates who can work with programming languages and engineer technological solutions are in high demand. They’re also in short supply, as the global skills shortage has revealed the lack of candidates for developer roles.

In the U.S. alone, working with SQL, Java, and technical support are among the top five most in demand skills sought by employers. So it’s become increasingly important for recruiters not just to find developers, but understand them as candidates. Luckily, Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2016 gathered responses from over 50,000 developers worldwide to questions about work, education, even their demographics. For recruiters, it’s a treasure trove of candidate data.

1. 2 in 3 developers are employed full-time

Globally, 68% of developers report being in full-time roles. And a total of 91% in the workforce are “gainfully employed,” that is, employed full-time, self-employed, or freelance. Not a surprising result, considering the shortage of skilled labor in technological roles.

2. 28% of developers in the U.S. find a new job through a referral

The biggest source of new jobs for developers? Their friends. Other websites was a distant second at 17%, followed by external recruiters at almost 14% as the source of new jobs. Developers, like any workers, enjoy working with people they know, people they get along with. Recruiters should see existing developers at their organization as employer brand ambassadors, who may already have a network of developer friends to tap into.

3. 62.7% of developers globally care most about salary when evaluating new opportunities

Salary is a powerful motivator for any job seeker, but there are notable differences between developers in different countries. In the U.S., 60.6% of respondents said salary was the most important factor when they consider new jobs. But for developers in Germany that figure falls to 53.7%, trailing work-life balance at 54.9%. The importance of salary also varies among different developer roles, with quality assurance workers choosing salary the most, while students report caring the least about the salary for a new role.

4. 78% of developers are either actively looking for or interested in hearing about new opportunities

Globally, just 14.8% of developers admit to actively looking for a job. But a further 63.1% of employed developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. That means an overwhelming majority of developers are available in some way to recruiters.

5. A vast majority of developers prioritize learning new technologies over anything else

In the workplace, 70.1% of developers want to learn new technologies and a further 64.3% want to build something new. So what was the lowest priority in the workplace for developers? Ending the workday at the same time every day (15.3%) and having their own office (17.7%).

6 34.9% of developers are challenged by unclear expectations at work

This complaint is followed closely by poor documentation (34.7%) and unspecific requirements (33.5%). While other, more technological gripes also come up, developers seem most troubled by the lack of certainty and clear processes they face at work. Recruiters who can offer more specific expectations and thorough documentation methods could make themselves more attractive as employers.

7. Executive developers (VP of Engineering, CTO, CIO, etc.) command the highest salaries

These workers, with at least five years of experience, earn an average $150,314. The next highest paid developers are engineering managers, who average $143,122 per year. It’s not surprising that the developers at the top would earn the highest wages. But recruiters should still be mindful of the gaps between roles like systems administrators ($79,684) up to enterprise level services developers ($121,908).

8. The average developer is 29.6 years old

The median is 27, but at least 12% are over the age of 39. In the U.S. the average age of a developer is 32, but it falls to as low as 25 and a half in India. And the average developer reports about 6.5 years of IT or programming experience. But recruiters should note that doesn’t always refer to a professional role, as programming students claim an average of 3.4 years of experience alone.

9. 12% of developers work remotely full-time

A further 17.6% work from an off-site location part time. Recruiters should expect the demand for remote positions to increase, as research from Indeed found the occupations attracting the most interest from remote job seekers in the U.S. are in the computer and mathematical fields.

10. 73% of developers say diversity is at least somewhat important at work

Less than half, 41%, said workplace diversity is very important. But the developers with the most control over hiring are the most likely to value diversity, as 85.7% of product managers and 79.3% of engineering managers agreed.

Recruiters might find it exhausting to get into such detailed profiles of different candidates. But by understanding the demographics, priorities, challenges, and expectations of developers, they can take a better approach to sourcing and connecting with top tech talent as demand for their skills continues to grow.

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