How to recruit … and retain developers?


Teams of dedicated recruiters, special cooptation bonuses, intensive training … In the context of scarcity, nothing is too good when it comes to luring its would-be developers.

To cope with the high turnover rate and the very low level of unsolicited applications to developers, recruitment processes must be well oiled. At Payfit, “between ten and fifteen recruiters deal specifically with recruiting developers, explains Louise Lachaize, head of people. The members of this team have made their careers in trouble. recruit developers and know the vocabulary and the culture ”. The unicorn with 900 employees who have developed payroll management and HR management software plans to accept 400 additional talents by 2022. One hundred of them will join the triforce team, which includes product management, engineering (team of development) and design.

To attract, Payfit relies primarily on cooptation. “In this system, we have more certainty that talent matches the company’s values, and therefore more certainty that it will be retained”, observes Louise Lachaize, who itself sponsored in 2019. In the case of the success of co-option of a member of the triforce team, the reward is greater than the cooptation of other positions: 2,000 euros in direct monetary reward, 350 euros in donations to associations and 150 euros in restaurant vouchers and gift vouchers, against 300 euros in donations to associations, 300 euros in restaurant vouchers and 300 euros in gift vouchers.

Reward is more important for a developer’s successful sponsorship than other positions

This system is also rising with Axa, which estimates that 10% of its developers have joined the company in this way. “Recently we re-launched the co-optation, we need to campaign regularly,” explained Anne Rebuffel, recruitment, training, performance and talents manager at Axa France. Again, with more payout for successful developer sponsorship than other positions. However, the insurer declined to detail these amounts.

Axa has approximately 300 developers based between Lille and Nanterre and recruits “on average between 80 and 100 developers per year, except 2020. By 2022, we plan to recruit 250 people in IT professions, including 120 developers, ”underlines the manager. The group has a team of seven people dedicated to the recruitment of IT professions, the recruitment process is fully taken care of for these groups. Axa also explained that it works with its employer brand to promote it in tech and commercial profiles: within, six or seven people are specifically responsible for ensuring the company’s presence at important events. “These are populations with a large range of possibilities, unlike other more specific positions in the world of insurance and banking”, the manager’s metric. So it is necessary to allow people to join a company like Axa but to also introduce their core business … This is why new recruits follow a 10 to 12-week course called engineering school, “allowing developers to understand the world of insurance and to be fully integrated into Axa’s business”.

At Axa, IT specialists can join an 18-month certification course to become developers

While attracting outside talent, the company does not forget that skills are sometimes already present internally. At OpenClassrooms, Axa launched the software academy four years ago. “We allow our IT specialists who want to join an 18-month certification course to join our teams of developers.” After an intensive three-month training period, these employees undergo a year of work-study work: one day of training, four days within teams. Each promotion accepts between 10 and 12 employees, approximately forty of whom are already certified.

go to war

In April 2022, Tekkit.io asked 3,587 profile representatives of the tech population how often they were approached by recruiters. 20% of them say they are contacted daily, 43% several times a month and 25% several times a year.

“To stay competitive, we have to adjust to the market, we will decide on Axa. We have to readjust the salary scales of developers at least once a year, or even twice. The post-Covid market is really different, we’re more alert. ”Same story with Payfit. “We need to regularly check that we are still at market level. We built a first salary grid for our developers in 2021. Six months later it was obsolete, recalls Louise Lachaize. We changed it. the one for January 2022, we hope it stays relevant for a few more months. I’m not really eliminating the redesign of the grid, in any case the question needs to be asked “, continued the head of the people.

What about small companies? For Livestorm, which has grown 30 to 160 employees over the past two years, it’s a mistake to say we should continue to align ourselves. “Salary grid gaps between tech teams and others can cause frustration,” highlights Gilles Bertaux, co-founder and CEO. Created in 2016, the start-up offering an online conference platform has approximately forty developers. “More and more companies are raising a lot of funds, they are necessarily more aggressive in terms of salaries in the recruitment market. Instead of continuing to recruit in the Parisian market, I can open up to other pools of work thanks to our entire remote organization ”, assures the co-founder, who also adopted a sponsorship system that“ works better ”.

According to Adrien Ducluzeau, some developers have no problem changing employers to get an extra 2,000 or 5,000 euros every six months.

“You have to follow the market but don’t do anything to not have continued recruitment”, warns Adrien Ducluzeau. The director of Relève, a recruitment firm specializing in tech and commercial profiles, advises its clients against hiring someone too performing in the context of the war for talent to put pressure on when communicating with their salary. A sign that, once seated in office, the recruit will have no hesitation about leaving his employer after a few months to join the highest bidder. “Some have no problem playing mercenaries and get an extra 2,000 or 5,000 euros every six months,” he said.

Employees like everyone else?

Once that worked, what’s different about developers keeping them? “It’s a community that is always developing its skills, with the desire to move from one techno to another quite easily”, thinks Anne Rebuffel at Axa France. The insurer’s actions in this direction, especially the engineering school, are a way of building loyalty. As the organization in agile mode allows IT teams to be closer to the needs of the business and see the meaning of their code, it features the company. At Livestorm, Gilles Bertaux noted the satisfaction of his developers with “well-equipped hardware, with a few screens for example, as in software, with a few development tools”.

But, on the whole, the aspirations of the developers are very similar to those of other collaborators: telework, flexibility, transparency … When it comes to building loyalty, “the balance between what we put in and what what we really do is one. the most important thing, “said Louise Lachaize. Finally, staying with your developers largely means recruiting employees who are willing to work for you.

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