Software developers are in high demand nowadays. We get contacted on a daily basis by companies requesting we go work for them. We frequently get emails with the words "Great Opportunity!" and "Urgent Requirement". The thing is, not many of the projects we get contacted for offer compelling reasons for us to make the change. I decided to make a list of things that would make us as software developers consider the possibility of moving on to another project.
1. Working on a brand new project
Most of the projects out there are maintenance of an existing application, brand new projects built from the ground up are few and far in between. If you have a brand new project, then you have a leg up over all the other companies looking to hire software development talent.
2. Quiet working spaces
Software development requires concentration, this concentration is hard to obtain in the modern cubicle farm, with all the interruptions around (conversations, phones ringing etc). Offer your developers quiet working spaces and you have a perk that most employers around can't offer. Ideally, give each developer their own private office, now you really have a perk that puts you head and shoulders above the competition. If you can offer private offices, at least offer cubicles with doors, which provide a bit more privacy than the usual open cubicles.
3. The ability to work remotely
Nowadays high speed internet is so common, that there really is no reason for most people to actually drive to an office. A lot of companies want to see "butts in chairs", this is really not necessary, you should know if the work is getting done, your development team does not have to physically be at your location. This is one very rare perk, offering this will certainly make your company an attractive place to work for software developers. This also has the side effect of increasing the available talent pool, since members of the development team does not have to live in the same geographical area as your company.
4. Allow the development team to use their own equipment
To this day, many companies are shy about allowing non-company laptops into their network. The development team has to use company approved hardware. Many software developers would prefer to work using their own laptops, it shouldn't be a big deal to allow them to do so. As a bonus, when working with a programming language that is platform independent, such as Java, it doesn't matter if the developer is using a Mac, Windows or Linux, therefore developers can work with their preferred platform, as opposed to being tied to whatever the company standard is.
5. Keep meetings to a minimum
In my experience, in most cases, most people attending a meeting have no real business being there. They could be doing productive work instead. Meetings interrupt the workflow of software developers and in most cases are a massive waste of time. I'd recommend not more than a 1 hour meeting a week. If you need daily status reports, an email works better than a daily meeting, that way the developers can do it at their leisure, not at a set time, and they don't have to sit through and listen to the status of all the other team members, which more than likely has no impact whatsoever in whatever they may be working on.