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Why don’t programmers get jobs? The 4 most common reasons for failure in recruitment

Being the owner of an IT recruitment agency, which deals with finding suitable candidates for our clients, i.e. headhunting, we know from experience that for every vacancy there are usually several Specialists.

This situation means that the final outcome for the employer and the potential employee may be different, due to the high interest in the position and the recruitment process.

The recruitment process usually ends with one of the following outcomes:

  • Win-win situation

The employer makes an offer to the candidate, who accepts the offer of cooperation. This is the best option with which both parties are satisfied.

  • Lack of willingness to cooperate on both sides

Both the employer and the candidate said they could not find a common area to work together. No hard feelings.

  • Candidate’s resignation

The employer is interested in cooperation, while the candidate rejects the offer in favor of other recruitments, for example. Apparently, he has more favorable offers, so he is left to congratulate himself on the wealth of alternatives.

  • The employer selects another Specialist

The candidate would like to start working together, but the employer made an offer to another person after the recruitment was completed.

And it’s this last situation that I’d like to dwell on. Why do companies tell you “no“?

Below are some of the most common reasons:

1. You are inappropriately answering the questions asked

Your grade after an interview depends primarily on your skills, but also on your preparation for the interview itself. This is what I would like to focus on. Did you spend 1h or 2h preparing for the interview? I mean:

  • Review the job description again and see what the employer will be looking for;
  • Solving sample tests;
  • Thinking through answers to the most common, recurring questions.

Let’s look at this aspect in the form of numbers:

For example, you expect a salary increase of 15%, and you currently earn PLN 10,000 net, which is about PLN 10 more per working hour (an increase from PLN 65 to PLN 75 per working hour). 

10 PLN more per hour of work equals 80 PLN per day, which in turn equals 1,520 PLN per month, which equals 18,240 PLN per year. If you spend 10 h to prepare for the interview, the cost of this investment is 650 zł (your hour costs 65 zł).

Investment: 650 PLN

Profit: 18 240 PLN

Percentage profit: over 2 500% 

Even the legendary Warren Buffet cannot invest like this.

2. Your expectations are beyond budget

For an employer, the ideal candidate is one who has more experience (is “better“) than the other people who are interested in the job, yet their financial expectations are in the budget. This is completely understandable. 

If you have higher financial expectations than your competitor, you simply need to stand out strongly in the interview. Sometimes, however, even if you are the best of all the candidates and the employer has money in the budget for your salary, they still can’t pay you as much as you expect. Why?

The answer is called grades (levels). Career path in larger companies is designed in such a way that the longer you work, the higher grade you get, and with it a higher salary.

After the interview, the candidate is assigned to a specific level. So it may be that the company wants to hire you, but your grade is 6, where the budget is 10 000 PLN net. If you were better prepared, you might achieve grade 7, and here the budget is PLN 12,000 net and this is the amount you would like to get.

So what can you do to increase your chances of getting an extra grade? You can find the answer in the previous paragraph. 

3. Remuneration as the main motivational factor

For people from the IT world, salary, next to interesting projects, modern technologies and convenient working conditions, is one of the most important criteria when choosing a new job.

What is more, the salary could also be an important criterion for your future supervisor, as well as for the lady from the HR department with whom you are currently having a recruitment interview. So why, by honestly stating that your main motivation for changing jobs is money, do you automatically close the door to working for this company?

I’ll answer your question with a specific example:

Let’s assume that you changed your job and now you earn 11 500 PLN net. You are satisfied, you implement yourself in your work, you learn a lot, and you integrate with your team. But after four months, a counteroffer for PLN 12,500 net appears. Will you change your job? Probably not. 

On the other hand, if during the recruitment interview you mentioned that you care about money above all, every employer will be afraid that you will surprisingly leave, informing that you are not paid enough, because the market offers more. That’s why 99% of bosses prefer employees who put development opportunities and other aspects above finances.

My recommendation: mention money, it’s not worth hiding. But put more emphasis on technology, projects or team in your speech.

4. Your English is “a bit rusty”

We are increasingly working in global teams and English is the language of everyday communication. Therefore, your knowledge of this language must be at a sufficient level. Of course, you won’t drastically improve your pronunciation, vocabulary, or grammar skills in the short term. But you can speak more fluently, which is something. Think through your answers to the most common questions in English. If you are afraid of not knowing what the answer is during an interview due to stress, memorize them. This is according to a certain Callan’s method and it just works. Also, try to speak and think in this language as much as possible every day before the interview. 

Of course, there are other areas that may have influenced the negative response:

  • You have insufficiently demonstrated a willingness to continue to grow
  • You knew too little about the company
  • You’re late for a meeting

If you want me to elaborate on this topic – let me know by contacting me by filling out the contact form on this page.