Best Practices for Hiring Software Developers

March 19, 2024 in Uncategorized

“When I find an employee who turns out to be wrong for the job, I feel it’s my fault because I made the decision to hire him.” – Akio Morita

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 21% increase in the demand for software developers by 2028, far more than the average rate of 5% seen across all sectors. Just looking at the local talent pool, there aren’t enough suitable individuals to fill these roles. The result? You need strategic and intelligent strategies to find the right people.

So, why should top-notch developers work with you? In an extremely competitive market, merely having an open position isn’t enough.

Developers crave roles where their expertise matters more than formal education. To draw them in, highlight the chance for them to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact on projects. If your company specializes in niche technologies like Cloud computing, AI, or IoT, spotlight the exciting and cutting-edge projects developers can dive into, along with the opportunities for growth in these rapidly evolving fields. Also, we have all seen that remote and hybrid work options became the new standard. Let potential hires know about your efficient remote interview and collaboration processes, enabling them to join your team from anywhere.

Accessing top-tier software developers is becoming more challenging than securing capital. Recruiting the right developer is an investment, with costs ranging from $28,548 to $35,685. And it’s not just about money—it’s about ensuring a return on that investment through value, innovation, and efficiency.

Crafting an Authentic Brand Image: Your brand must evoke a genuine sense of belonging and purpose. Reflect on:

  • Brand Positioning: What distinguishes you in the crowded market?
  • Engagement Tone: How do you converse with potential hires, especially those who don’t make the cut?
  • Culture Showcase: Are you promoting a vibrant, inclusive, and innovative culture?

Looking at Your Needs

  • Role & Engagement: Is it a full-time role, part-time, or a freelance gig? On-site or remote?
  • Responsibility Level: Will they be important in technical decision-making or execute pre-determined tasks?
  • Experience Requisites: Are you seeking a veteran of the field or open to fresh, yet promising talent?
  • Budgetary Constraints: A balanced equation of quality and cost is key.
  • Project Criticality: The project’s centrality to your business can dictate whether you opt for an in-house expert, a freelancer, or an outsourced team.

Assess Past Work

A candidate’s job performance is not correlated with their performance in technical interviews, according to a study conducted by interviewing.io. The results demonstrated the deceptive nature of this evaluation. During the recruiting process, the focus should shift from conventional technical interviews to a comprehensive review of candidates’ past projects and experiences. 

Representing a key aspect of Commit’s hiring approach, there are several advantages over traditional technical tasks. Discussing past work provides insight into a candidate’s problem-solving methods, creativity, and adaptability, which technical tests may not reveal. Also, past projects often involve real-world scenarios, offering tangible evidence of a candidate’s abilities and how they apply their skills in practical situations. And naturally, Exploring past work allows for discerning a candidate’s dedication to their work and passion for the field, which are critical traits for long-term success.

Create a Comprehensive, but Clear Job Description

Imagine yourself in the shoes of a software developer looking for new opportunities. The initial lure isn’t just the job title – it’s common knowledge they’re applying for a software developer role. What really piques their interest is the value proposition: what’s in it for them? An enticing salary, comprehensive benefits, and a thriving work culture are what draw their eyes first. People are most interested in the following three areas, as ranked by LinkedIn users: compensation (61%), qualifications (49%), and job specifics (49%).

If the offer resonates, their attention shifts to the prerequisites of the role. This is where you detail the essential skills and qualifications – from proficiency in specific programming languages and frameworks to the necessary experience in the software development lifecycle. Developers will mentally check these boxes, gauging their fit for the role.

Satisfied they meet the criteria, they’ll delve deeper into the role itself. They’ll scrutinize the job description, seeking clarity on their day-to-day responsibilities and the challenges they’ll tackle. They’re envisioning their potential future with your company – if what they read aligns with their career aspirations and passion for technology, you’re likely to have just attracted a candidate.

Mention the Tech & Seniority – Specify the tech stack and seniority desired for a compelling job description. Are you searching for a Front-end Developer for vibrant user interfaces, a Back-end Developer for solid infrastructure, or a Full Stack Developer versed in both realms? If mobile is your domain, underscore the importance of a Mobile App Developer. Clarify the experience needed, be it Lead, Senior, Mid-level, or Junior.

Disclose the Compensation – Salary disclosure is equally important. With an average yearly income of $117,801 as of 2023 and an additional cash bonus of $5,000, software engineers in the United States may expect a comfortable lifestyle (Indeed, 2023). Not only does stating a pay range in your job posting show that you are open and honest about compensation, but it also makes your ad more noticeable and, perhaps, draws in applicants who are a good fit for your company’s wage range.

A few more aspects to consider when crafting the job description:

  1. Ensure Inclusivity: Use tools like Ongig’s Text Analyzer to check your job descriptions (JDs) for biases to maintain inclusivity and reach a diverse talent pool.
  2. Engaging Language: Craft JDs with appealing language. Instead of just stating, “Company X is hiring a Linux Developer,” opt for “Join our forward-thinking team on a mission to innovate as a Senior Linux Developer.”
  3. Optimal Length: Aim for a JD length of 500-600 words, utilizing concise sentences and avoiding jargon.

Clear Job Titles: Enhance online visibility with specific, concise job titles. “Back-end Software Developer” is clearer and more searchable than lengthy, ambiguous titles.

Why You Should Care as a Hiring Manager:

The right hiring strategy is vital in not only filling your open roles but also to ensure you’re hiring the right people to develop a well-rounded team that will drive your organization’s growth and innovation. By understanding the current market, its shifts, and adapting hiring practices accordingly will help to stay on top of the latest tech and developments to continuously innovate and stay ahead in the industry.

Check out our entire Hiring in Tech series below:

How Layoffs, Remote Work & AI Reshape The Hiring Process For Software Developers

Precision Strategies for Sourcing Software Developers

Attracting and Engaging Software Developers