For the last 10 years I keep hearing there are no engineers available. Yet, we see many engineers contacting us that they seek a new project everyday. On their conditions, of course.
Creating software, overcoming various technical issues and crafting beautiful solutions is still at their heart, an ultimate fulfilling passion. You can't stop their engineering mindset - it is a lifelong stream of problem solving and creativity. It’s their addiction.
This is the core. But besides, they want their life. They've spent a significant amount of time behind the screens already (years! yes), and they will spend even more. It's just that they want their life too. If you understand that, you’ve got them.
They don't want to postpone health checks anymore
They are architects of their lives. They know the world and all the possibilities available today and they decide how much they want to work, how, where, when, for who, with whom, with what technology, at what conditions. Clearly, they pick you, instead of you picking them.
They are experienced, reliable, want to participate, want to take responsibility, want to deliver excellent results. It's just that when it comes to interference with their private life, they optimize heavily. Each minute. And each dollar (notice money is in the second place here).
They don't want to postpone health checks for years anymore, because it is at the cost of work time. They need that plumber to come as soon as possible and solve drainage issues. They want to pick up their kids from kindergarten and every afterwork afternoon have a meaningful activity for them, kids, family, their health or friends.
Whoever understands their engineering passion and their desire for a more rewarding and productive life will win them. They don't want to compromise on their personal life anymore.
SW development is a mental exercise after all. And you need them to be relaxed and healthy. Their mind is going to unconsciously wander and solve your problems during their freetime activities as well. And they will come back to work with solutions ready. So give it a chance and embrace it.
Life vs. Work: the struggle is real
This is a longer term trend that has accelerated rapidly. Thanks to COVID they’ve got a taste of this lifestyle and now they are very outraged when forced to return to the previous one - in office onsite, commute daily, monster travel model. They appreciate the value of staying at home.
Large chunk of them were okay with commuting before COVID, but are available to change their job in exchange for a better work-life balance. Those who insist on them returning to an office make them available for the rest of us. Today, most engineers have already sorted out a home office and don’t find the task of setting up a lightweight legal entity to bill clients abroad to be difficult.
I notice this kind of setup is connected to a far greater satisfaction, loyalty and long-term cooperations. You give them what they want and they are much less picky about technology and money.
Be far more flexible, when it comes to remote cooperation. Instead of rigid onsite rules put more emphasis into the software development process - more frequent yet flexible checks, very effective communications, specific deliveries on specific times and so on. It pays out!