Smart phone users have a cornucopia of applications to choose from for their mobile devices. Apple’s App Store alone offers more than 250,000 iPhone apps – and counting. It’s clear that applications for mobile devices including the Android and Blackberry are big business, which is why finding experienced mobile application developers is causing big headaches for recruiters around the nation.
In a recent Dice survey, more than half of recruiters and hiring managers said that quality mobile software engineering and design talent is “scarce.” To underscore that demand, Dice.com job postings that require Android proficiency have risen from 150 to 700 over the last year. Postings for iPhone app developers have risen from 210 to 790. As a whole, there are currently more than 1,700 job postings on Dice related to mobile development.
The number of searches by recruiters looking for technology professionals with mobile application experience has also increased, up fivefold during the past year. A search of the Dice resume database yielded more than 26,000 candidates with mobile experience, with more than 2,000 of these resumes being added or refreshed in the last month.
Survey respondents indicate that trend will continue with 57% saying they expect a slight to substantial increase in mobile specialist hires in the next 12 months. Considering the surge in demand, it’s not surprising that 27% of respondents say the salary trend for this group is “higher than normal.”
Now the challenge is sourcing these hard-to-find tech candidates. Some companies are going to the extreme of acquiring other businesses that have strong mobile application development expertise. But that’s not an option for most companies. So if you need to hire a mobile application developer, what should you do?
Key search strategies
Look within – Peter Weddle, HR consultant and publisher of WEDDLE’s Guides to employment sites, says that if you already have talented mobile application developers on staff, you should start by gathering strategic intelligence from them. Hold a focus group to learn how they spend their time, what they read and how they communicate. Then use that info to form your recruiting process. “Most of us fly off and do 100 things but we’re clueless about whether we’re going to the venues where the best and brightest hang out,” says Weddle.
Personalize your process – These niche candidates are the superstars in the technology sector right now, so use extra care recruiting them. Create personalized approaches and develop a truly compelling sales pitch about your opportunity. One way you can do this is through the Dice Talent Network, where you can communicate with candidates on a personal level and build a network of candidates that have your desired skill-sets. Remember these candidates are hearing from a lot of recruiters; what can you do to stand out – without annoying them?
Enlist support – “A-level people attract other A-level people,” says Weddle. He suggests enlisting the help of high-achieving technology professionals in your organization to connect with potential mobile application development candidates through industry events and online forums. “The fact that they’re not mobile app developers, doesn’t mean they don’t know mobile app developers,” comments Weddle. Over time these connections between tech professionals just might lead to new hires.
Prepare to pay – Recognize the positive impact this specialized candidate could have on your company’s bottom line and prepare to compensate him or her accordingly. To be competitive, you may have to go above and beyond what you would consider a generous compensation package. The national average for a tech professional with mobile experience is $75,600, according to the Dice Salary Survey. Remember: if this hire creates a “killer app” for your company, the investment will be worth it.
Hire then train – If you can’t find technology professionals with mobile application development experience, consider hiring highly motivated professionals with related experience – such as Java or software development – then train them in mobile application development.
As demand for mobile applications continues to skyrocket, finding talented mobile application developers will become even more difficult. To compete and attract the best and the brightest, learn about your prospective candidates, build relationships that can yield future prospects and prepare your best compensation package to entice these superstars to join your team.