How to Recruit Software Developers [Full Guide 2023] | UVIK

How to Recruit Software Developers [Full Guide 2023] | UVIK - 1
Paul Francis

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    It may seem easy to hire a software engineer. But hiring the one that will seamlessly fit into your team and match your needs is anything but easy.

    That’s why you should approach the hiring process carefully – and avoid common pitfalls.

    We at UVIK specialize in helping companies bridge their talent gaps. From ongoing IT support to migrating from Python 2 to Python 3, we find the best fit in our talent pool for every need. And we know how crucial it is to bring the right person on board.

    Today, let us share everything we know about recruiting software engineers. In particular, this article will clarify the required preparation steps, places to find a software developer, best practices, challenges, and possible outsourcing locations.

    How to Prepare for Hiring a Good Software Developer: 4 Things to Consider

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    Your preparation efforts can make or break your ability to attract and retain suitable candidates. So before we reveal how to recruit and hire great engineers, let’s break down these four ways to get your company ready for this process.

    Clarify Your Staffing Needs

    Do you need an AI/ML engineer? Or are you looking to hire dedicated DevOps developers instead? Determining your ideal candidate’s profile starts with understanding your talent needs.

    Therefore, bring your stakeholders together and discuss your company’s staffing needs with them. Talk about your short- and long-term goals. Here are six vital questions you should answer:

    • Do you need to attract full-time or part-time software developers?
    • What skill set should they have? Consider both hard and soft skills.
    • How experienced should they be with the tech stack and similar projects?
    • Are you looking for in-house or remote developers?
    • What will be the hired software engineer’s scope of responsibilities in daily work?
    • Is your budget in line with the candidates’ salary expectations?

    Develop Your Employer Brand

    Why would developers want to work at your company? That’s another question to answer before explaining how to hire a good software developer. Typically, it all narrows down to your brand as an employer.

    Here’s what it includes:

    • Your values
    • Company mission and vision
    • Workplace culture
    • Unique value proposition (UVP) for different candidate segments

    To build and develop your employer brand, do the following:

    • Create a UVP for your company as an employer – and highlight it in the job description.
    • Protect external recognition for your efforts as an employer on social media, developer blogs and websites, and “top employer” lists.
    • Publish your existing employees’ stories on your website and social media pages.

    Understand the Road Ahead

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    A typical recruitment process for software engineers consists of these seven steps:

    1. Preparation – pinpoint talent needs and hiring criteria.
    2. Sourcing – find suitable candidates using multiple channels.
    3. Screening – comb through candidates and filter out those with unsuitable profiles.
    4. Soft skill assessment – estimate the candidate’s language and interpersonal skills.
    5. Basic tech skills assessment – evaluate the candidates’ algorithm-creating and problem-solving skills.
    6. Tech stack assessment – analyze the candidate’s understanding of the primary technologies.
    7. Closing – make an offer to the most suitable candidate and sign the contract.

    To smooth the software developer hiring process, ensure you have the human and financial resources to see it through. Also, remember that you’ll need someone with relevant expertise to assess the candidates’ tech skills.

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    Understand What to Look For

    Understanding how to find software developers isn’t enough. Instead, you should learn how to employ and retain excellent ones. To recognize these gems, check out the following:

    • Portfolio, including open-source projects and contributions
    • Soft skills like analytical thinking, creative problem-solving, learning abilities, and interpersonal skills
    • Language proficiency for seamless communication (if you consider hiring a non-native speaker)

    5 Best Ways to Recruit Software Developers

    When you’re ready to kick off your recruitment, you first need to get suitable candidates for your talent pipeline. But how do you find a software developer fitting your bill? Start your search with these five steps.

    Ask for Referrals

    Take advantage of the hidden job market. Let your employees and personal network know you want to hire a software developer. Chances are, someone will recommend a couple of potential candidates. You can sweeten the deal by offering a reward for a successful hire. After all, referrals save you money and time.

    Join Developer Communities

    Another best way to recruit software developers is to monitor the communities they belong to. These include:

    Post on Job Boards

    It‘s a traditional way to find candidates, which yet comes with several pitfalls. You should invest more time and resources into sifting through resumes and cover letters. Plus, you’ll probably have to pay fees to the job board. On the other hand, you’ll access a more prominent developers’ talent pool actively seeking a job.

    Here are the most popular job boards:

    Turn to a Recruitment Agency

    If you’re looking for a fast and quality hire, employing a dedicated agency is your best bet. An agency usually has a large talent pool ready to start working at short notice. Plus, IT recruiting agencies screen and vet candidates’ tech skills before adding them to their talent pool. It saves you time and money on tech skill assessment.

    Reach Out to Fresh Grads

    If you don’t need a senior developer on your team, you can find a junior looking for their first job at a starting salary. How? Here are your three outreach options:

    • Attend job fairs at universities and colleges.
    • Contact educational institutions’ career centers.
    • Partner up with boot camps.

    How to Recruit Software Developers: 6 Best Practices

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    While similar to a traditional hiring process, recruiting software engineers has some peculiarities to keep in mind. Here are six best practices on acing it – even if it’s your first time filling in this position.

    Have Clear Hiring Criteria in Place

    When you go into an interview, prepare a comprehensive list of criteria. This way, you’ll remain objective about every candidate’s fit. Besides, you will avoid forgetting to test a particular soft skill in a given interview.

    Remember that the candidate profile you painted for yourself isn’t always the best (or the most realistic). So, divide your requirements into must-haves and good-to-haves. And be ready to tweak them!

    Don’t Overlook Soft Skills

    Assessing soft skills is another best practice in recruiting software developers. Technical expertise is easier to develop or expand than mindset and personality. So make sure to look beyond the dry factoids and qualifications in resumes to find the most appropriate person for the job.

    Here are several tips on how to hire software developers with soft skills in mind:

    • Give your candidate a real-world problem to solve.
    • Discuss a moral dilemma without a clear-cut answer.
    • Ask to provide technical writing samples.
    • Organize a short prescreen (5-10 minutes) with a non-technical staff member.
    • Provide feedback and watch the candidate’s reactions.

    Keep Your Interview Casual

    Speaking of soft skills. Communication is a big part of teamwork since no developer works alone on a project. So start your interview with small talk and keep your whole conversation casual. It’ll help the candidate relax – and you’ll be able to grasp on their interpersonal skills and personality.

    Gauge Technical Skills

    There are several ways you can test your candidates’ proficiency in the required tech stack:

    • Discuss their open-source contributions in detail.
    • Give a take-home assessment task (not too easy or too complex).
    • Hold a pair programming session with an observer.

    Also, note that strong developers rarely bother memorizing details they can easily find in the documentation. So avoid asking questions relying on memorized facts.

    Avoid Fixating on Academic Background

    A degree in computer science doesn’t guarantee a candidate is a great problem solver. Moreover, a third of developers have never even received a CS degree!

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    That’s why 80% of recruiters hire developers with no academic background in the field. It’s just not a good indicator of the candidate’s skills. So, don’t consider a degree a must-have, as you risk overlooking hundreds of capable professionals who don’t have one.

    Ask the Right Questions

    To have a good grasp of the candidate’s personality and tech expertise, include these six questions in the interview:

    1. Could you tell me about your latest project? What was its most challenging part, and how did you manage it?
    2. What was the latest technical roadblock you ran into? How did you solve it?
    3. Can you walk me through a project or open-source code in your GitHub profile?
    4. Can you tell me about a situation where your code didn’t meet expectations? What did you learn from it?
    5. How do you stay on top of the latest trends in your field?
    6. How do you approach testing and debugging?

    3 Challenges to Brace for When Recruiting Software Developers

    The software developer hiring process comes with several challenges. Let’s quickly review the three major ones and learn to overcome them.

    Tech Stack Limiting Your Talent Pool

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    Software development encompasses dozens of technologies for any taste and need. Therefore, depending on your tech stack, you may have tons of candidates – or hardly any at all.

    For example, web developers are abundant. JavaScript and HTML/CSS are the most popular technologies among professional developers. But if you need an R developer, only 3.56% of professionals use it.

    If that’s your case, consider diversifying your tech stack if possible. Otherwise, you may need to double down on looking for already employed candidates who remain open to job opportunities. You can also consider turning to an offshore center to expand your talent pool.

    Competing with Other Employers for Top Talent

    You may be under the impression that hundreds of developers are ready to come aboard. But in fact, the competition for the cream of the crop talent is increasingly cutthroat. That’s what 86% of CIOs told Gartner in its end-of-2022 survey.

    Better pay is the number one reason developers decide to be open to new job opportunities – 65% reported so to StackOverflow. Thus, to attract great candidates, you should offer better compensation. Other ways to beat the competition in the job market are:

    • Offering new technologies to work with – it’s important for 39% of respondents
    • Providing a better work-life balance (36%)
    • Putting in place growth or leadership opportunities (35%)

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    Matching Salary Expectations

    Speaking of salaries. As it’s a significant factor in the candidate’s decision-making, ensure your proposed range isn’t too low for the profile you’re looking for.

    Keep in mind that salaries vary depending on the following factors:

    • Specialization. On average, a Python developer earns $112,130 a year in the United States. Meanwhile, iOS developers can count on $135,673 in annual pay.
    • Experience. Full-stack developers with under one year of experience earn $96,415 a year in the US. In turn, those with three to five years under their belts get $142,178.
    • Location. Android developers in Germany earn 36% less than in the USA ($96,352 vs. $58,780).

    4 Top Locations to Hire a Software Engineer

    If you’re looking to cut costs when recruiting software developers without compromising on talent quality, outsourcing to more affordable locations can be your way to go.

    But where to hire software developers? Let’s review the four best countries to outsource software development.

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    Average salary: UAH 53,700 (~$1,450) / mo., or UAH 644,400 (~$17,450) / year

    One of the most popular outsourcing destinations, Ukraine is home to over 200,000 software developers. They cover various tech stacks, even rare ones like Ruby or Azure. According to Daxx, 20% of Fortune 500 companies hired remote development teams in Ukraine.


    • An excellent value for the money
    • A large talent pool for diverse tech stacks
    • A convenient time zone for European companies
    • Excellent command of English for most IT specialists


    • The possibility of war-related work disruptions, depending on the location
    • Some of the talent pool has relocated to countries with a higher cost of living


    Average salary: PLN 20,500 (~$4,700) / mo, or PLN 246,000 (~$56,800) / year

    Poland boasts the largest pool of software developers in the CEE region (401,000). Krakow, Wroclaw, and Warsaw are software development hotspots in this country. As to why hire software developers in Poland, an excellent price-value ratio and a similar cultural background are just a few benefits.


    • Diverse talent pool with specialists across the board
    • Similar cultural context to the developed countries
    • Geographical proximity to Western European countries
    • EU membership, which equals compliance with regulations like GDPR


    • A significant time zone difference for US-based companies
    • Risk of ambiguous billing methods and overworked developers juggling multiple projects


    Average salary: ₹ 735,000 (~$8,950) / year

    Another popular place for finding an offshore software developer is India. The country is on the map for two primary reasons. One, the sheer number of software developers is measured in millions. Two, due to the low cost of living, the developer rates are among the lowest in the world.


    • Proximity to other Asian markets
    • Rates among the lowest around the globe
    • Favorable conditions for outsourcing


    • Miscommunication risks due to subpar English fluency
    • Challenging to find professionals with solid development skills and quality code output
    • Significant cultural differences compared to Western businesses


    Average salary: ARS 450,000 (~$2,150) / mo, or ARS 5,400,000 (~$26,000) / year

    If you’re in the United States, Canada, or a Spanish-speaking country, Argentina can be a suitable outsourcing destination. The country boasts a talent pool with solid development and English skills, as well as an insignificant time zone difference from North America.


    • A talent pool with solid tech skills and high retention rates
    • Insignificant time zone difference between the USA and Canada
    • Same-language communication for companies from Spanish-speaking countries


    • A significant time zone difference with European and Asian countries
    • Risk of economic instability due to high inflation
    • Bureaucracy presenting challenges for foreign employers

    UVIK’s Experience in Matching Companies with Top Software Developers

    We at UVIK specialize in IT staff augmentation services. We’ve been helping companies close the talent gap within a matter of weeks or even days since 2015. Our talent pool spans Python, React JS, DevOps, API developers, and more.

    For example, we’ve helped a Californian web development agency quickly expand its team with senior backend developers. Our two Python developers and one Angular 2 engineer support ongoing web dev projects and develop a custom ERP. The agency’s CEO highlighted our developers’ excellent delivery and smooth communication.

    If you’d like to learn more about our experience in staff augmentation, check out our projects page.

    Bridge the Talent Gap Fast with UVIK

    Finding the right person for the job is always challenging. But this statement rings even more truer in software development. Depending on the skill set you’re looking for, you may face a profound talent shortage. As a result, the recruitment process for software developers may drag on for months.

    That said, you can avoid some common pitfalls if you:

    • Pinpoint who you’re looking for.
    • Determine the proper salary range.
    • Use best practices to gauge candidates’ technical and soft skills.

    Need to close a talent gap but can’t afford to spend months on recruitment? We at UVIK can put you in touch with our vetted developers, shortening your time-to-fill to several weeks or even days. Reach out to us – and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your needs in detail.


    How long does it take to recruit software engineers, on average?

    The average time to hire a software engineer varies heavily on the type of role, the expertise required, and the talent pool available. The way you approach hiring also determines the time to fill. Staff augmentation agencies like UVIK can fill in the gap within several days. That said, one study found the average time to fill tech roles, in general, was 66 days. In turn, Workable put it at 62 days for all tech roles worldwide.

    Is it hard to recruit software engineers?

    Recruiting software developers comes with particular challenges. The main one is the talent shortage, especially when it comes to less popular tech stacks. It places the bargaining power in candidates’ hands and creates stronger competition with other employers.

    How do I hire a senior software engineer?

    On the surface, the hiring process for a senior developer follows the same steps as any other one, from pinpointing your talent needs to conducting interviews and testing. However, you should pay extra attention to the following: – Candidates’ experience in delegating tasks and managing a team – Their ability to refactor code – The way they deal with high-level technical questions

    Can UVIK help me find the right software developers?

    Sure thing! We’re an IT staff augmentation agency helping companies quickly scale their teams with our vetted developers. We can connect you with eligible candidates proficient in Python, React JS, React Native, DevOps, and more. Ready to discuss your staffing needs? Drop us a line – and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

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