Do Software Developers Need Talent Agents?

April 30th, 2013 by David Rothschild Leave a reply »

hiring star developersIn locations such as Silicon Valley where the best developers and programmers are often treated like rock stars, recruiters are starting to find that they sometimes have to deal with their agents instead of negotiating directly with them as potential employees. That’s right: Programmers now have agents like movie stars and directors, according to a new report by ABC News.

The report notes that competition for programmers has increased so much, they have their own talent agency. Altay Guvench, a programmer and musician came up with the idea to launch a talent agency called 10x Management after observing how music managers helped their musician clients find work. The term “10 X programmer” refers to a programmer who is ten times as productive than ordinary programmers, and only programmers and developers of this caliber are represented by the agency.

It makes sense that programmers now have agents helping them further their careers, given that a star coder can have such a major impact on a startup or an established project, much in the same way that a top notch director or actor can jump start a production and almost guarantee enormous sales at the box office.

Although the world of high tech doesn’t function in exactly the same way as show business, an agency model can be useful for helping growing companies quickly land the programming talent they need for their projects.

HR professionals may find it unusual to negotiate with an agent rather than directly with a prospective employee, but for some, the agency is making a difference in helping them get up to speed with the talent they need to ensure the success of their project.

The emergence of an agency such as 10 x Management only serves to underscore that the world of hiring high tech employees is evolving. While relying on talent agents to deliver excellent programmers may seem like the next best thing, the standard recruiting process still has plenty to offer.

However, companies need to keep up with finding new talent in a number of different fronts. This includes making sure that their recruitment process takes advantage of all forms of social media, for example, in an effort to reach out to the most elusive of the talented software professionals. This means turning to sites such as Twitter and using blogs to get out the word instead of simply relying on LinkedIn and Facebook. Recruiters also should verify that their online recruitment applications and careers sites should be quick to access and easy to fill out, to avoid turning off prospective candidates.

While it might take some getting used to, the advent of talent agents for programmers and developers may mean that recruiters need to present their companies in the most positive light to attract the rock star talent they need to thrive. Job  postings and careers sites must accurately convey a brand, and potential candidates need to be treated with courtesy and respect through all phases of the recruitment process.

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