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How To Find A Software Engineer | The Ultimate Guide

How To Find A Software Engineer

Exceptional software engineers are vital to the long-term sustainability and success of any tech company. But hiring top talent is not an easy feat.

Where do I start looking for brilliant software engineers? How do I attract the best software engineers to my company? How do I make sure they have the right abilities, skills, and experience?

Are you facing these challenges? Then keep reading our ultimate guide to finding great software engineers.

Where can I find a good software engineer?

Whether you are hiring a full-time, part-time, or freelance software developer, the candidate must meet all job requirements. Top engineers have the right balance of technical skills, problem-solving and creative thinking abilities and can work cohesively in a team.

There are several platforms available to find and hire software developers. In this article, we will discuss various platforms and elaborate on the pros and cons of each.

Leverage your networks for referrals

This is a great way to find software engineers. Your network would typically refer candidates with the right abilities, skillset, and experience. They understand your work environment and team dynamic and refer candidates who will be a good fit for your organization. You will have control over the recruiting and appointment process.

It is cost-effective as no advertising or agency fees are involved. With referrals, you don’t have to work through large numbers of applications. It cuts back on admin and ensures a streamlined screening process.

You are responsible for the entire recruiting process, from shortlisting to conducting interviews, compiling the job offer, and appointing the employee. This could be a time-consuming process that distracts you from other higher-priority tasks.

Use a Recruitment Agency

Agencies are experts in their field – finding and recruiting talent is their core business.

They have integrated teams that can draft advertisements, screen resumes, and compile shortlists. This saves you time that can be spent focussing on important priorities.

Leading recruitment agencies have processes in place to screen for technical skills and determine whether a candidate will be a good fit for your team and culture.

Using a recruitment agency comes with a heavy price tag. You will have to allocate a large portion of your budget to agency fees.

Making use of an agency can be an extensive process. The average time to fill a position is 30+ days (recruitment-metrics-time-to-hire). In a fast-moving environment where companies fight for top talent, this may cause you to lose out on some of the best engineering talents in the market.

Scout for exceptional software engineers

By keeping an eye out for outstanding technical and blog posts, you can proactively identify software developers with expert technical skills. This is a practical screening process that helps identify the best candidates for jobs within the organization. By reaching out to these software developers, exceptional engineers can be recruited. It can be time-consuming as time needs to be spent monitoring various tech pages to scout potential candidates. Also, the company will be responsible for managing the entire recruiting and appointment process.

Advertise on a reputable website / engineering-focussed job boards

Advertising on reputable social media platforms with many monthly visitors is very cost-effective and will not take a large chunk out of your budget. Money that could be spent more effectively elsewhere.

You will be in control of all stages of the recruitment process, from advertisement development to shortlisting, interviewing, and ultimately appointing the right software engineer for your organization.

The method is less time-consuming than using an agency and will keep you in the fight to attract and appoint top talent in the market.

As you will not be partnering with an agency, you will have to screen all applications and compile the shortlist. You will also need a comprehensive interview process and experienced in-house recruiters to ensure that the candidate has all the skills and experience needed to add value to your clients and your organization.

Hire a freelance developer on a reputable talent matching network

These networks provide a large community of software developers on different levels and from countries around the world. It gives you instant access to a worldwide pool of talent in the software engineering industry.

Using freelancers can be very cost-effective. As you do not employ these software engineers full-time, overhead costs such as paid leave, insurance, and training costs are significantly reduced.

You can fill a skills gap on specific projects. Freelance software developers can be contracted when specific skills are needed for a project, enabling you to deliver specialized software engineering solutions that your full-time team could not do.

Some freelance software developers focus on many projects simultaneously, causing them to miss deadlines or deliver sub-standard work. You will have to implement structured work processes, communication, milestone plans, and quality standards.

How do I recruit and hire a great software engineer?

There are numerous major engineering companies out there fighting for the best software engineering talent in the market. To win the fight for top talent, your company will have to rise above all the “noise” and entice the best software developers to join your team. Here is how you can do exactly that.

Position your company as a tech-focussed business

From the first encounter with your company, a software developer must understand that this is inherently a leading software engineering company.

The workspace must be technology-driven and portray an image of cutting-edge software engineering technology, the most up-to-date stack, career advancement and problem-solving opportunities, and an environment where any software developer can flourish.

Your benefits reflect your prominence.

If you want to attract the best software engineers, you must offer a creatively structured benefits package that reflects an evolving work environment that considers employee preferences.

In an industry that progressively offers flexibility in work hours, location, and compensation methods, your organization should spearhead alternative thinking in terms of benefits packages. Don’t think about competitive salaries only, but also think about creative incentives such as leave, share options, employee input into benefit structuring, and global exposure opportunities, to name just a few. Set your organization apart and show your creativity even in your remuneration principles.

Be clear when advertising a job.

Give a detailed description of all the job requirements for a specific job. This will indicate that the company knows exactly what they want to achieve, what skills and experience are required, and that they understand the software engineering environment. This will show credibility and entice professional software engineers to become part of your company.

Conduct a comprehensive interview

Follow a multi-faceted interview process. It is not enough to only assess a candidate’s technical skill set. It is crucial to also determine their ability for problem-solving and creative thinking. One of the most difficult areas to assess often has a great impact on the software developer’s performance, namely their soft skills. Those skills are required to effectively work together as a team to achieve team goals and to be able to assimilate into the company culture.

During the interview, be creative and make it exciting and challenging. Ask candidates to work on real-life coding problems to determine their level of technical expertise. It will also test their problem-solving capabilities. Great software developers will revel in the challenge.

Have a face-to-face discussion. Ask strategic questions to determine the person’s view on teamwork and collaboration. Determine their core values and test whether they are aligned with the company values and culture. A great software engineer must be well-rounded and display all of the technical and softs skills required to succeed in their job.

An in-person interview also creates the perfect opportunity to sell your organization to the candidate. Let them meet the team, have a tour of the offices, and experience the technology you use. Make it hard to say no.

Make them part of the team.

Ensure that proper onboarding is done with new software engineers. This will let them feel welcome as part of the team and give them clarity and a sense of security regarding their deliverables. It will enable them to work as part of the team and utilize the necessary systems process and technology.

Software developers need to have a clear understanding of the team’s roles, responsibilities, and business processes. Ensure they have access to the right technology so that they will be able to deliver on their goals. They must be clear on the work allocated to them to take ownership of the execution.

Effective onboarding will set your software developer up for success and enable them to start adding value to the team right from the onset. This feeling of achievement will inspire positive energy and a sense of accomplishment.

Final thoughts

There is a great battle for top talent in the software engineering field. You will recruit and appoint the best software engineers! Look in the right place. Follow a thorough interview process. Be creative in terms of benefits and work environment.