Prime Insight
Prime Insight

Competing for software developers: What to offer other than salaries

Posting date: 25 May 2021
Romain Haimez our consultant managing the role

The software development sector is growing year on year, and professionals in this sector certainly know their worth. Stack Overflow reported 58.7% of developers Globally are open to new opportunities and career moves, but only 15.2% are directly looking for a job. This small percentage of available and actively interested developers means that companies need to work hard to attract the best talent. But it is about much more than offering the biggest salary.

Almost everything we rely on requires software to work effectively, and the right developers are essential to create and maintain the software we need. What’s more, with cyberattacks increasingly rapidly year on year, and Asia showing a greater vulnerability to such attacks, our software needs to be watertight and reliable. It takes the best talent to create this level of quality and resilience. When considering how to attract software developers, companies also must think about retention. 

Below are just some of the ways you can bring in top talent beyond offering out-of-this-world salaries.

Showing that you are willing to invest in your employees can be worth far more than a pay rise to many people. It also keeps your company at the forefront of all tech developments and marks you out as innovators.

1. Optimise your adverts

Software development has become more niche and specialised as technology advances, making the creation of perfect job advertisements difficult. Be specific and direct about what you want from your developer, discuss (as much as possible) the kind of projects they’ll be working on and update your adverts with the best applicants in mind. One way to achieve this is to ask for feedback on your ads then redesign and rework them based on feedback from past candidates. 

Don’t forget to make social media work for you too. Use it to promote vacancies, connect with potential recruits and show your company as a dynamic and well-connected employer.

2. Give them a taste of your company culture

It’s very unlikely your firm can compete with the multinationals and dream employers like Google and Microsoft. There aren’t many companies that can. Still, you can give any potential employees a good feel for your company culture and ethos by showing them exactly where they’ll fit in. This could be through updating the interview process, including a team lunch involving your top candidates and current team, giving them an accurate idea of where they’d slot into your existing setup. You can also show them around the office and highlight its best features. Better still, get a team member to show potential employees around so the team member can highlight what they enjoy most about working for the company, whether that might be dress-down Fridays, team lunches or team-building projects. 

Make sure everything said is true. It won’t look good if the employee joins the company only to discover the benefits have been exaggerated.

3. Offer creative freedom

Software developers may be tech professionals, but they are also highly creative and adept problem solvers. Offering a role where they can create, tinker and experiment is much more appealing than a micromanaged and closely monitored role with set limitations and stringent guidelines.

The best software developers have their own unique ways of working, and you should provide them with the space to do so. Alongside this, you should give developers a clear idea of the projects they’ll be working on and how important their role will be, and the enjoyment they’ll get from their work. The opportunity to innovate and be involved in an exciting new development is a big pull for many developers.

4. Remember work-life balance

Software developers have lives too, and remembering this could be key to them choosing your company over another. Creating attractive employment packages for software developers requires considering their life outside of work. Employers who recognise their employees need for balance are much more popular. While work is important, you will find many software developers also have other priorities. Offering flexibility in their contract and fitting around their life outside of work may be a deal-breaker. Offering work from home and remote working options is also very popular and can be the deciding factor for software developers with young families and other commitments.

5. Push education and professional development

Technology changes at an exponential speed, so to remain on top, the best software developers need to keep on top of the latest updates and be open to education and learning throughout their careers. Providing ongoing educational and training opportunities will attract developers committed to their career and wanting to remain at the top of their game. Showing that you are willing to invest in your employees can be worth far more than a pay rise to many people. It also keeps your company at the forefront of all tech developments and marks you out as innovators.

6. Salary and incentives do matter

Money does matter, and to attract the best software developers you need to offer an attractive salary and incentives. Your software development employment offers may include a salary with bonus potential and additional perks such as on-site gym access, health insurance or free meals while at work. It all depends on the facilities you have available, as well as your hiring budget. 

Of course, additional incentives will not be the deciding factor for the top software development talent. But the occasional perk and added bonus are always nice, and it will go a long way to help show your commitment to your employees and your focus on retention rather than simply hiring people and letting them leave as they please.


Software developers have become vital to almost every sector of business. They also know their worth and are prepared to seek out the best opportunities with the most interesting and innovative work available to them. 


Due to the demand in the sector, it is important to offer an attractive package if you’re hoping to entice the top talent in this highly skilled and technical career sector. Simply offering the highest salary you can without offering any extra incentives or the opportunity to create and innovate is unlikely to attract the professionals you want.


Prime Insight can help you source the best candidates in the tech, digital and data insight sectors. 

Get in touch with your nearest office to find out how we can help you or submit your vacancy here.


how to attract software developers

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