Here, Konstanty Sliwowski, the founder of Caissa Global Recruitment, explains the importance of distinguishing between an employer brand and a company brand. He explains which one is necessary to attract professionals, and why. For more details, go through the video transcript below:

I recently sat down with the Managing Director and Finance Director of a Berlin-based scaleup of around 100 people. Our conversation got off to a very interesting start because I was asked a question right out of the gate:

What Do Developers Want?

My initial reaction was that this was quite funny. It even made me think of a movie from the early 2000’s with Mel Gibson. (You know which one) 

I mean the commercial leadership of a tech startup with over 60% of their workforce in engineering surely must know what developers want, right? 

But then, I looked at their faces and quickly realized that they were being deadly serious. This was a real pain point for them. The question was coming from a place of genuine frustration. 

  • They had a great business, a successful business that was only slightly hit by the pandemic. 
  • They had good market-level compensation. 
  • They had a nice office in a central location. 
  • The company was international and diverse. 
  • They were growing. 
  • They have a solid product

I mean, on the face of it, things looked good. 

So why were they frustrated by this question of what developers want? As it turns out, the company was struggling to attract and hire new engineering talent. Yes,

  • They had a good funnel of applicants by numbers but getting those really great developers was not working out for them. 
  • They had to hold a lot of interviews to find those A-players and 
  • Even if they managed to keep them in the process for long enough to make an offer, they often found that their offers were not being accepted, even though they were good offers financially.

Sadly, this is not uncommon and I have seen many companies struggle with this. And it often boils down to answering one question. It is a simple question but not an easy one to answer.

So I asked them the question:

Why should an engineer come and work for you?

I very quickly got a response about: 

  • How great the product they have is, 
  • How good their service is, 
  • How positive clients are about their work, and 
  • The names of clients that they work with 

All very impressive but, unfortunately, it does not answer the question.

You see, what happened here is that the company brand was mistaken for the employer brand. What stands out to clients as a reason to work with a company is altogether different than what attracts people to work for a company. 

What attracts engineers specifically is a separate matter as well. Of course, engineers want good compensation, but beyond that, it is not the product or service but the questions and solutions that are being worked on: 

  • The tools that are used, 
  • The people they will work with, 
  • The engineering culture, and 
  • The things they will learn that make the difference

It is these things that a company must show top engineers during the hiring process to ensure they attract top talent.

Don’t mistake your brand as a company for your brand as an employer. What attracts clients is not what attracts engineers.

In short, if you want to attract and hire developers, engineers, CTO’s, even other professionals, you should:

  • Focus on engaging with the right perks. Specialists and experts are not intimidated by your business and how well it’s doing. Provide them what they’re really interested in. You cannot attract candidates with your company brand, especially those in the technology field.
  • Understand what they truly want: tools, right people and culture, learning opportunities, 
  • Pitch in with the right message. What is your employer brand? What do they receive apart from the compensation? Is it acceptable for them?

Do you want to attract and hire the right candidates in the tech industry? Are you looking for the best technology companies in Berlin to work for? Contact us to make it happen.