In the tech industry, talented developers are the diamonds everyone wants – but few can have. Whether it’s because they are far away, charge exorbitant salaries, or have a huge demand, most companies are finding it difficult when recruit software engineers.
How to Recruit and Hire Great Software Engineers?
To start your software developer recruitment process, some homework is required. Preparing for this step is crucial to hire the best developers possible.
The key steps you should take when looking to recruit software engineers are:
- Assess the type of developer you are looking for in terms of skills and qualifications
- Research what developers are looking for in a job
- Find the best recruiting method
- Prepare and hold great interviews
- Evaluate and choose from your candidates
Let’s go over them now.
1. Skills and Qualifications for Your Next Software Engineer
The technology you want your software developer to be proficient in should be the primary concern, but other factors should also weigh in:
Here’s a list of common software engineer required skills actively sought out by companies:
- Experience with the language of choice for an adequate time span for the position (1+, 2+, 5+ years depending on seniority)
- Good communication skills (especially important if the developer is going to integrate a development team).
- Capability to automate the mundane parts of their jobs whenever possible via scripting.
Knowledge of related technologies or languages that interface with the project in development (such as databases, web technologies, etc.), although not strictly needed, will also greatly help when choosing among the many candidates available (again, this all depends on the type of development in question).
2. 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.
3. Look for Software Developers
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.
4. How to Make Great Interviews
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 needs to 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 has 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.
5. 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 the 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 in 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 in a defined radius, trying to find talent nearby when talent is everywhere. 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, just 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, it is imperative that your recruiters 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, there are many other companies 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:
|State||Average Salary for a Software Engineer|
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