Recruit Software Engineers With our Expert Guide
Hiring & recruiting developers

Recruiting Software Engineers: The Complete Hiring Guide

Ihor Shcherbinin
VP of Recruiting at DistantJob - - - 3 min. to read

Do you need to hire a software engineer, but don’t know where to start? It’s not as hard as it may seem! With the right resources you’ll be able to find the right skills, write a job description, and ask the right questions to ensure you find the perfect software engineer for your organization.

This comprehensive guide was created to provide you with all the necessary tools to be successful in your software engineering recruitment process. With the right approaches, you can find, hire, and retain the ideal software engineers who will contribute to your company’s potential growth and success. Let’s begin!

How to Hire software engineers in 2024

Recruiting software engineers is a difficult task due to the high demand and slim pickings of viable candidates. You must be ready to offer attractive salaries, stimulating projects, and appealing work environments, such as remote work.

Let’s delve into the essential steps required to find exceptional software engineers for your team.

  1. Assess the type of developer you are looking for in terms of skills and qualifications
  2. Craft the right job description
  3. Research what developers are looking for in a job
  4. Find the best recruiting method
  5. Prepare and hold great interviews
  6. Candidate evaluation

1. Find the Right Software Engineer: Assess Technical Skillset and Qualifications

When recruiting the right software engineers it is essential to identify which specific skills and qualifications are paramount for the role, as well as those that are preferred but not required.

By taking the time to do this, recruiters and hiring managers can be sure to find the best possible engineers for the job. Here are the essential skills and qualifications to look for:

  • A strong coding background with proficiency in multiple programming languages your project requires in order to meet the specific requirements of the role. For example, 1+ years of experience for junior roles, 2+ years experience in mid-level roles, and 5+ years in senior positions.
  • Solid knowledge of software engineering principles and practices
  • Ability to develop and maintain complex software systems
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Experience troubleshooting and optimizing software code and a good understanding of software development security challenges.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a personable nature to facilitate successful integration with the development team; to be able to work with colleagues and clients, and lead and mentor junior developers.
  • Proficiency in scripting to automate mundane tasks, streamlining processes, and potentially slashing time and resources.
  • Insight into related technologies and languages that interface with the projects in development, like databases, web technologies etc. This is especially beneficial for more complex development tasks.

2. Post the Perfect Software Engineer Job Ad Optimized for Recruitment Success

Letting top software engineers know that you’ve got an appealing software engineering role to offer begins with a well-crafted job description. A comprehensive job description that’s both concise and accurate should entice prospective candidates, giving them an insight into their anticipated role and how it can drive the ongoing success of the company.

Provide the best insight to applicants by outlining content, duties, location, salary, and expectations of the role – our recruiters do this to ensure they have a competitive edge.

Software Engineer Job Description Template

Job Title: Software Engineer

Location: Remote

Job Type: Part-time or Full-time

Company Introduction

[Company] is a leading software development company that specializes in creating innovative and modern software solutions for our clients. We are looking for a talented and passionate Software Engineer to join our team.

Job Summary

The Software Developer will be responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining software solutions. The candidate will collaborate with other software engineers, product managers, and other stakeholders to develop high-quality software solutions that are efficient, reliable, and maintainable.

Responsibilities & Duties

  • Design high quality, efficient software solutions.
  • Contribute to the development of software applications.
  • Maintain existing software solutions.
  • Troubleshoot and debug software issues.
  • Develop unit tests to ensure highest quality of software solutions.
  • Collaborate with product managers, software engineers, and other stakeholders on software projects.


• Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field.

• Proven experience in software engineering or software development

• Proficiency in programming languages such as C++, Java, C#, JavaScript, etc

3. What are Developers Looking for? 

Say goodbye to the good old days when employees wanted to work at a company because it had a big name, paid high salaries, and offered gym discounts or free meals. Developers, especially those with excellent skills, want much more than that.

2019 Developer Skills Report by HackerRank surveyed 71,000 developers from across 100 countries. The purpose was to find the main motivations of developers when searching for a job offer.  The results were surprising because neither Junior nor Senior level developers had ‘competitive compensation’ as their first option.  

1st option: Professional growth and learning

  • Juniors: 71.5%
  • Seniors: 57.9%

2nd option: Work/Life Balance

  • Juniors: 45.7%
  • Seniors: 44.7%

3rd option: Competitive compensation

  • Juniors: 31.3%
  • Seniors: 42.9%

To sum it up, before starting to recruit, know precisely what you are going to offer. Talented candidates care (a lot)  about being able to have a better work/life balance, which translates into having the opportunity to work remotely. 

4. Source Elite Software Developers with Ease

The next step consists of headhunting software engineers in the right places. 

The most powerful option in modern recruitment is social media. But with tons of social media platforms, how to know which one is the best to look for possible candidates? Let’s look at some statistics on social media recruitment:

  •  87% of recruiters use Linkedin. 
  •  55% of recruiters use Facebook
  • 47% of recruiters use Twitter

Besides social media, there are other useful strategies you can implement in the quest for your tech diamond.

Looking for candidates is a good start, but if you have a strong online presence and recognizable brand, it may be the case that candidates come looking for positions to work for your company. And where do software engineers find recruiters? The most important place is a job listing board on your website. Make sure you keep it both appealing and updated.

5. Crafting the Perfect Interview Process

You are looking to hire a new software developer with specific skills, but a resume can’t ever be enough. Nor can basic questions like: What is your biggest weakness? You need to dig deeper and smarter. A way to do that is by structuring interviews into two different parts: Technical interviews and personality interviews.

In the tech world, interview questions are never the same. It depends on what type of software engineer you want to hire and what for. If you want to hire a professional, you or the person interviewing the candidates must know about the subject. You can’t ask about something you don’t know anything about. 

Personality interviews are equally important. Imagine hiring a candidate who has impressive hard skills but terrible communication skills. This has serious productivity consequences that could harm your company. Find the time to ask the right questions; doing so will give you a notion of how this person operates and if you would like to have them on the team. 

6. How to Evaluate Software Developers

Here are some pointers you should look out for when making your selection.

  • Known programming languages: A candidate needs to be proficient with the language of the project he’s going to integrate, but other languages are also a good way to check which candidate is a better fit. If you have a candidate that knows other languages or frameworks that you know will be useful in other areas of the project or that may be useful in future projects, then they are probably a good pick.
  • Problem-solving skills: This is an important metric to evaluate when conducting your interviews. Technical knowledge is a must, but knowing how to apply, it is essential. Creativity can also be an important part of problem-solving and should not be overlooked.
  • Ancillary technology: If your project involves other technologies, such as databases, cloud services, security, and privacy, having developers who know about these subjects can help smoothen development and communication between departments.
  • Communication and teamwork: A good communicator will integrate into teams more easily and help bridge the gap between tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy members. Also, make sure they are a good cultural fit to promote collaboration between employees.

In short, do not overly rely on technical knowledge or delivery. Sometimes, a more rounded person is the best option. Being good at technology doesn’t automatically translate to good integration with the rest of the development team. Check for good soft skills you think may be a better fit rather than raw technical skills.

Is the ‘Shortage of Developers’ Actually a Thing? 

All kinds of industries are demanding tech professionals. The Culprit?! Digitalization! If your business isn’t digital,  it won’t survive for a couple of years. Currently, all kinds of companies are looking for the best tech talent to develop their websites or apps. And billions of companies are looking for the same thing as you: a talented software developer.

However, the shortage is not only based on average tech professionals. It’s based on quality rather than quantity. Most businesses want to recruit talented software engineers with exceptional skills. And the main problem is that talent is out there, but it’s harder to look for it. 

Is it hard to recruit software engineers? As with anything, it depends on what you are looking for. But it becomes easier when you know how to avoid the most common mistakes when recruiting.

The first mistake companies tend to make is to stay within a defined radius, trying to find talent nearby when talent is everywhere with 26.9 million software developers worldwide. The second mistake is not knowing how or where to look for this talent. It’s at this point that IT headhunters are crucial for finding tech talent. They have the contacts, know the field from A to Z, and know exactly where to find the candidate you’re looking for. And I’ll let you in on a little secret between the two of us. The talent you are seeking? It’s not in the US. Why not consider hiring Eastern European developers?

Challenges of Recruiting Software Development Engineers

“Why is recruitment important in software engineering?” you may be wondering.  Well, if you want to find skilled developers for your projects, having a good recruitment strategy is nothing short of essential.

But recruiting software developers comes with a host of challenges and pitfalls that both business owners and recruiters should be aware of:

  • Recruiters not being in the know: To have a successful recruitment process, your recruiters must know the business of the people they are trying to hire. Only then can they ask the important questions and filter the best people for the job.
  • Not looking in the right places: software developer recruiters need to know how to find software developers. Depending on the technologies needed, there are online communities and even specific job listing sites that can help you find the people you need.
  • Recruitment costs: A good recruitment strategy will inevitably add costs to the budget. It’s important to evaluate how much effort you are willing to spend and if you can afford it.
  • High competition: Just like you, many other companies are looking for talented developers to bolster their ranks. It’s important to stand out from the pack, so candidates feel more enticed to accept your positions.
  • Recruitment speed: If you take a long time to recruit someone, odds are they will find a position in another company. It’s of vital importance that your recruitment process is not only fast but maintains constant communication with your candidates to keep them in the loop.

Closer Look Into the U.S Software Development Engineers Situation 

9 out of 10 business owners in The United States struggle to find and hire talented tech professionals. The big competitive companies with aggressive hiring goals swallow them all up like Willy munches on krill. This hits startups especially hard, as they find themselves competing with big brands that offer a bigger paycheck and better benefits.

Because of this talent shortage across the U.S, companies are willing to pay extremely high salaries. Let’s look at the graph below with the average salary (per year) across the states with the highest percentage of software developers: 

StateAverage Salary for a Software Engineer
Washington DC$97,164
New Jersey$74,581
New Hampshire$74,549
Salaries were calculated with Payscale

Skip the Hard Work and Hire Global Software Developers with DistantJob

We are not going to lie. Recruitment is a lot of work for most businesses to handle. Especially if you want to hire a talented remote software engineer who fits your team perfectly. But why resign yourself to struggle and headaches during this process when there are much simpler solutions? Like… us! We are an IT staffing agency specializing in headhunting remote tech talent. We care about your company, and we want every business, no matter its size, to have the best talent worldwide. 

Ihor Shcherbinin

Ihor, is the VP of Recruiting at DistantJob. He specializes in sourcing and placing top remote developers for North American companies. His expertise covers the entire recruiting cycle, from pinpointing job needs to finalizing hires. Known for his skill in remote staffing solutions and offshore team integration, Ihor excels in matching the best tech talents with U.S. organizations. His approach to virtual developer hiring is marked by insightful candidate selection and strategic offer negotiation, ensuring the right fit for every role.

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Let’s talk about scaling up your team at half the cost!

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