Another Software Engineer Took a Job Elsewhere? Here’s What You’re Doing Wrong


The 5 Common Errors That Cost You Talent

You offered your best candidate for a software engineer job a contract, but they turned you down. They’ve taken a job elsewhere – worse, with a competitor. What are you doing wrong?

According to Glassdoor, technical professions like the tech industry suffer rejected job offers more than most – at a 19.4% rejection rate, compared to 14.8% in other industries.

Here are five reasons the best candidates are walking away from your organization, despite your best efforts to hire them.

1.    Your Compensation Package Fell Short

It’s a pretty obvious one, but a factor you may have looked at from the wrong perspective.

Salary is, of course, a big deal when trying to hire the most talented software engineers. They’re in demand, so, to compete for them, you need to offer a competitive salary. Do your research, and learn how much is being offered.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a software engineer is around $102,000 – though this can be impacted by your role specifically, or other elements such as:

  • Experience required
  • Qualifications achieved
  • Location (although if you’re offering remote work, this may be irrelevant)

You must consider how much your competitors are offering.

However, there’s a bigger picture your software engineers have in mind. They want:

  • Career progression
  • Flexibility
  • Hybrid working model
  • Wellbeing support
  • Options and bonuses

The best way to tackle this is to learn who your individual is, and what they need to enjoy a long-lasting, happy career with you. Then work with them on their desires, outlining what you can offer now and as their career advances.

2.    They Received a Counteroffer

You offered the candidate a great deal, but their current employer doesn’t want to lose them. They win them over with a counteroffer. Sounds like bad news. Not necessarily. It confirms that this candidate is worth fighting for. Afterall, your competitor doesn’t want to let go of them. They’ve experienced this software engineer first-hand as an employee.

Your next step: consider what your organization can genuinely offer and support. If you can offer more, you could win a strong, talented candidate. However, be cautious not to:

  • Offer more than your organization can afford
  • Put your current workforce in a disjointed position and consequently also demand more
  • Hire a candidate who is easily swayed by salary alone – they may leave you as soon as a competitor offers higher further down the line

3.    The Candidate Experience Was Poor

If you think you got your compensation package right, you may be scratching your head over why they’ve walked. Evaluate their experience as a candidate. Candidate experience is a huge deciding factor today. Candidates use this experience to assess you as an employer. Did you:

  • Keep in contact, or keep them in the dark?
  • Keep them waiting, or act swiftly?
  • Respect their time, or waste it?
  • Introduce them to your team, or leave them feeling unwelcome?
  • Interview them with an expert panel, or with someone less skilled than they are?

Make sure your candidate experience represents how your organization treats its employees.

4.    You Didn’t Sell a Vision of Culture

The tech industry is an exciting field to be in, filled with creativity, change, and innovation. Did you sell this as part of your company culture? Because that’s what the best candidates want. They want a diverse culture in which people work together as a team (and if they don’t, do you really want them?).

Sell your organization by showing them how people greet each other in between workstations. Introduce them to a group of friendly faces they’ll be working with. Make your employee testimonials easily accessible online. All this conjures an enjoyable, supportive network that great candidates crave to work in.

5.    You Took Too Long

Your meticulous approach to ensuring you find the right software engineer means you’ve missed the boat completely. All that waiting for more applicants, just in case someone better came along, or simply dragging your feet with scheduling interviews and follow-ups. The tech industry is too fast to wait. In everyday life, we all act promptly.

If you find a strong candidate, don’t wait. Get them on board before your competitors beat you to it.

TotalTek: Your One-Stop Solution

It’s difficult to get your hiring strategy right. Your expertise is in tech, not hiring. And even so, getting hiring techniques right in the middle of a tech talent shortage is a job in itself. Something we take pride in, and pump rigorous effort into, so that you don’t have to.

Partnering with TotalTek is your solution to a streamlined, perfectly executed hiring strategy that we’ve mastered. We strive to ensure you get a clutch of highly talented software engineers sourced and vetted to suit your business needs for each vacancy. Contact TotalTek today.