Rudi Bauer: Companies must finally stop reading CVs
December 19, 2022
min read

Rudi Bauer: Companies must finally stop reading CVs

Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky
Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky

Discrimination, stress, and job boredom - these three words sum up our recent Dev Survey, identifying factors that lead developers to quit their current job and look for it elsewhere.

Employers could do a lot to keep good people and address suitable candidates, Rudi Bauer, CCO & Chief Evangelist of WeAreDevelopers, knows. In this interview, he explains why the classic ‘Code Monkey’ has become obsolete and why diversity in IT is so important that companies should finally stop reading CVs.

Q1: Rudi, WeAreDevelopers recently conducted a study to find out how developers feel in their job roles and what they expect from employers. Which result of the survey surprised you personally the most?

The biggest surprise for me was that boredom is so important in the job. This doesn’t mean that developers have nothing to do: boredom can also arise from an outdated tech stack or because you just work through things instead of being able to design yourself.

My tip: Companies have to consider whether the technology they use still suits people at the moment. In addition, they should also trust their people to implement projects independently. Those who encourage their employees automatically attract good people who like contributing ideas and trying things out. The classic ‘Code Monkey’ perception has become obsolete (laughs).

Q2: The current report states that 55% of respondents say they have experienced discrimination or observed it directly in the workplace. What measures are needed in the tech industry to benefit from the diversity of people in the long term?

I was honestly shocked that this topic is still so massively noticeable. Companies need to take a much closer look here and increase their clairvoyance. The issue of diversity must finally become a priority! Currently, this is going on the company side, but it's a matter for the boss.

Q3: What could this look like in concrete terms?

Organizations need the courage to get hidden talents and people on board without a classic career. Otherwise, you run the risk of always having the blinders open and only employing fellow swimmers. The more diverse and heterogeneous a team is, the leadership can address better topics such as discrimination precisely because it expands the view.

Q4: Nevertheless, many companies still need to be convinced about recruiting developers with a migration background. Three of four developers state that they can imagine a job abroad. How can Austrian employers take advantage of this?

The claim thinking must finally stop. Just because we get every film dubbed into German doesn’t mean we also demand the German language in everyday work. It is not a right to work only with people who speak German perfectly. Rather, it requires the willingness to open up linguistically and approach people.

We can no longer afford to close our eyes to unconventional applicants and career changers: If you as a company continue to sit on the high horse, you will soon notice that the air up there is getting very thin.

Q5: What do you think is behind the fear of admitting unconventional applicants?

Worklife still puts on us this mantra to minimize all risks. But in times like these, this no longer works. There is always a certain residual risk, especially regarding diversity. But if you allow diversity, you will have a colorful bouquet of talents.

Q6: How do you find these talents in everyday recruiting?

Consider where you want to go as an organization and what else is missing. So far, most companies have a sad monoculture where diversity is much needed. Especially when I know that more than half of all people are not 100% satisfied with what they do, I can score with authenticity and diversity - and at the end of the day, address the people who suit our team culture well.

Of course, I don't get hundreds of applications like that. But when it comes to this, the right people contact me, and I gain the opportunity to deal with them intensively.

Q7: Developers also ask themselves the question of meaning. One out of five (25%) would look for a new job if they weren’t proud of their work or find meaning in the long run. How do employers create jobs with purpose?

Everyone has their purpose - the same goes for companies. It's about telling his story so that it touches people and then gives them a chance to get on board.

However, this is not enough. Goals must be made clear and communicated in daily work. Otherwise, stress and dissatisfaction will arise. Only by explaining to people why you do something as a company can you reduce the stress level.

Q8: Just as valuable as the purpose is a sense of togetherness in the team, it goes the same in the larger community of developers and IT professionals. As an employer, how do you escape the cliché of ‘introverted loners’ and involve developers in a community?

Developers are social people. They live in social exchange with colleagues and want closeness and community inclusion. We advise employers to promote this. Developers are knowledge workers. They urgently need professional exchange solely due to the dynamics and complexity of technical developments to find solutions together.

Of course, they can do this over platforms such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and others. But clever employers send their developers to conferences, where they can exchange ideas in appropriate peer groups. Often, there is no need for any activity suggestions. Developers usually know very well where they want to get new knowledge themselves. Companies just have to pick up and support these wishes.

Q9: Recruiting developers and technical specialists is a major challenge for companies of all sizes. How can companies expand their talent pool?

From my point of view, the most important thing is authenticity: No one is looking for a job anymore, and companies must actively approach candidates. This only works if you are real.

Secondly, we need the courage to think unconventionally and allow things we may have filtered out so far. This applies to language competence and individual criteria such as school leaving certificate, lateral entry, or even the age question. We can no longer afford to be picky here.

And thirdly, employers must finally stop reading CVs: nothing can be deduced from the past when it comes to future cooperation. Instead, we have to pick people up as they stand today: I don't need more than a phone number and an appointment. In the conversation, you can quickly determine whether it fits together - and if it doesn't work out, I haven't lost much time.


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