Why You Can’t Find People to Work for You

Every year IT companies are finding it harder and harder to fill vacancies, especially senior level positions and higher. This is because developers are paying more and more attention to analyzing employer brands in order to avoid surprises.

A poor employment process can significantly deteriorate a company’s reputation, as developers might share negative feedback in their chat rooms and other relevant platforms.

This article is devoted to founders, CEOs, managers, recruiters and all those who find looking for the best IT professionals to be a pain in the neck.

Often vacancies are not filled for six months or even a year, thus wasting a huge amount of  time for recruiters, as well as the candidates. Let’s try to find out why this happens.

Between us, we have over 11 years of experience in recruiting, helping us to collect a number of factors which influence how quickly an appropriate professional can be found.

Mismatches between job openings and market realities

Foreign companies often struggle with this, opening an office in Ukraine without knowing a lot about the local market.

It is possible to build an IT career in just three years, growing from a junior to a senior. In pursuit of hyped technologies, developers may change projects annually. That’s why it can be hard to find a proactive developer with 8+ years of experience who’s worked at one place for any length of time. It will be even harder to find a professional specializing in slightly outdated technology.

Here’s another case. Why would a Ukrainian developer apply for a project with legacy code for a company which ignores weekends, holidays and the 8-hour workday, without any compensation for working overtime?

Solution. In truth, there are no risks for the team if you are willing to consider candidates with 6+ years of experience and also look to improve employees’ work-life balance in the process.

Searching for a “fairy-tale” candidate

Having set the list of requirements for an open position, take a fresh look at it a couple of days later. Try to evaluate how your list is different from those of other companies and whether you really need to combine three different competencies for one job opening.

Finding a system administrator/DevOps/network engineer/BigData with an in-depth knowledge of specific technologies who’s also highly motivated to work on your team is as likely as coming across a centaur in your kitchen. Seeking perfectionism is admirable, but sometimes excessive demands hinder the hiring process, having nothing to do with the reality of the market.

Solution. Try to think about the risks. Are you are better off hiring two professionals quickly or looking for that centaur for a year?

Inaccurate requirements

For a job seeker, a job description should reflect reality, but often completely different technologies and responsibilities are discussed during the job interview. At the very least, the candidate will be perplexed: “Why did they talk about frameworks that are not even being used in this project?”

Solution. It is great to periodically update job descriptions, clarifying both primary and secondary requirements. It will save everyone’s time..

Passive search for yesterday

It may be hard to acknowledge, but honestly, with an approaching deadline, it’s not logical to waste 6 months seeking the perfect candidate, especially if you are in search of a developer for a long-term and “rapidly developing” project which uses 5 to 15-year-old technologies familiar to most progressive developers. Eventually, you need to decide how badly you need an employee.

Unwillingness to talk about the project

During a technical interview, it is far better to discuss the project in detail, even if you are afraid of competitors, even if you are unsure if this is “the one,” and even if your project is top secret. Will people want to work with you if you avoid answering specific project-related questions? Will that candidate advise colleagues to cancel their interview with you?

Important: Candidates are the ones in charge of the IT market in Ukraine, as the demand for middle and senior developers is through the roof. If you are not specific, you establish a lack of trust, and professionals will be unwilling to work at your company.

Ignoring motivated experts

The “perfect candidate” is just like anything else “perfect;” it’s not realistic, which is why it is so important to consider the reality of your situation.  

Imagine a flashy candidate who seems qualified in most ways: great with stack and a nice person, though not excited about your project. Contrast that with another candidate who may be less experienced, but motivated to analyze the version of framework he’s lacking for a month, at no cost to you, simply because he believes in you and your project and he wants to work with you.

So, dear managers, CEOs and founders, don’t miss out on these motivated people.

Multi-phase job interviews with unpaid tests

Here’s a case: a perfect fit for your job opening has a page on LinkedIn saying that he is “Looking for…” This means that he’s receiving 25 offers a day from recruiters, instead of the usual 5. Meanwhile, you require candidates to go through a 5-stage selection process, plus take an unpaid test, with week-long breaks in between. What are your chances of getting that developer to work on your team? Low. Very low. Unless, of course, you’re Google.

Simplify the process of selection, trust the reputation of candidates’ colleagues and former employers, and ask for recommendations. Less is more; it’s true.

We have reviewed just a short list of reasons that prevent a company from getting “the one” to work on their team. Here are other reasons undermining the process of employment:

  • The employer’s attitude: “I am the boss and you are my subordinate.”
  • The absence of feedback after interviews (or very vague feedback)
  • A company’s inability to “sell” its product to applicants
  • Negative reviews about the company

But that’s not all. We look forward to additional reasons in your comments.



Yulya Kutsai,

Тalent Researcher в Indigo Tech Recruiters


                                                                                                                                                          Nastya Boyeva,

                                           Тalent Partner в Indigo Tech Recruiters