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August 25, 2023

How to Hire a Top Software Developer in 2023

  • Outsourcing
Check out our easy-to-follow guide on how to hire a software developer in 2023. It includes four stages: technology and team requirements, assessment, onboarding, and start to work. We have supplied you with useful tips for each individual hiring stage to help you find and hire great developers.

Reading time: 22 min.

“How to hire a software developer” is a popular topic of discussion for many companies in 2023. Businesses need staff to digitize and automate their operations. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for software developers will grow 21% by 2028, compared to an average of 5% for all other jobs. The competition for hiring the most skilled software developers who can build dream projects is getting more challenging, and companies need to be strategic in order to attract and retain top staff in this field.

Factor Dedicated Team will discuss some practical strategies businesses can employ to find developers in 2023 and beyond. We will quickly run through the main steps necessary in hiring talented developers and give you a brief explanation of what they are.

How to hire software engineers: What are the different types of developer?

There are three categories of software engineers — back-end, front-end, and full-stack. They all involve an understanding of different technical aspects; therefore, the necessary skill set may vary. Before hiring, you must figure out what type of programmer you need to add to the development team.

Types of software developers

Back-end developersBack-end development is responsible for the server logic of the app, using internal technologies. The backend programmers develop and integrate databases and provide security or configure backend technologies. Suitable candidates for this role must have strong technical skills to tackle the backend development challenges — knowledge of Java, Node js, PHP, CMS, Python, Ruby on Rails, and .NET.
Front-end developersFront-end development encompasses developing the user interface on the client side of a website or application using programming languages (JavaScript, HTML, and CSS), frameworks (React js, Angular js, Vue js), as well as libraries (jQuery), and progressive technologies such as Ajax. These developers collaborate with designers and UX analysts.
Full-stack developersThese developers typeset the created design, set up the work of interactive elements, ensure the correct functioning of the server, and organize competent interaction between the user interface and the server side. As a result, they implement your website or application from start to finish, performing both back-end and front-end development tasks well. Full-stack developers are generalists.

Before hiring software developers, you should analyze how your teams run their projects and the front-end and back-end technologies they need to compete. This way, you can choose the type of web developer that best fits the company and can cover executing all the tasks that the business demands.

Step 1. How to hire developers: What technology and team requirements must you consider?

Identify the technologies your team uses

Before recruiting, you should list the back-end and front-end technologies your company uses, and assess the team’s strengths and weaknesses. Doing so can help you discover what types of expertise and experience in software development you lack. For example, you notice clients are interested in moving from Java and PHP to Ruby, but your company cannot perform well with Ruby on Rails. In this case, you will seek a programmer to handle this framework. If you want to offer the mobile-first principle to stack up against competitors, you will hire seasoned Kotlin, Java, or C ++ programmers. In 2023, React Native engineers are also sought-after specialists in mobile development.

Read more about relevant front-end and back-end technologies in our articles: Top Front-end Technologies in 2023 and Top Back-end Technologies in 2023.

You have to decide whether you would like to find full-time or freelance software developers. This way, you will be sure that you know your real hiring needs.

Here are several questions to specify the company's technology and team requirements:

  1. What programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and tools do your tech projects need? Does your internal team have these hard skills?
  2. What level of experience and expertise will be necessary for your software developer?
  3. What are the project's size, scope, and deadlines?
  4. What is the budget?
  5. What are the company's long-term goals for software development?
  6. What are the expectations for communication and collaboration with the software developer? What are necessary soft skills?
  7. What are the potential risks and challenges associated with the project? Can your internal team manage these?

By discussing all questions, your company can safely determine technology and team requirements to draw up an appropriate job post.

Where to find coders — look for candidates with relevant experience

When hiring software developers, it is crucial to realize where to post a job description and which locations, like developer communities, you should use to find the best talent. Let's dive deeper into each way individually.

Where to find software developers

Remote staffing agency. These agencies are suitable for finding remote developers by selecting candidates from all over the world. Hiring skilled coders from foreign countries is undoubtedly beneficial, but this approach leads to some restrictions. For example, you can face different cultural backgrounds and challenges within your team — in other words, you won’t find programmers for office jobs. However, if hiring remote developers is your priority, these agencies will do it, and quickly.

Freelancing platform. As a rule, startup businesses include popular freelance platforms — Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, Fiverr, Guru — in their software developer search strategy. This approach seems like a win-win when finding staff for short-term projects or specific one-time tasks. But these platforms have significant flaws — freelance coders will develop a few websites or apps simultaneously yet never fully integrate into your company culture.

Student competition. This is one of the effective ways to hire software developers. You can assess student projects at competitions to select an appropriate coder who can improve your software development services. However, you also can spend too much time looking for tech talent.

Local recruitment agency. Like the name implies, local recruitment agencies have expertise in the local job market. They have a deep understanding of the area's talent pool and access to an extensive network of potential candidates, which can save companies time and effort in their search for top software engineers. These agencies are seasoned in screening, interviewing, and supporting processes.

Job board. Companies rarely consider places like job boards as the most effective recruiting tools. If you use LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, Glassdoor, or Think Remote to find the best software developers, you will face unlimited extra work. Many applications from candidates will force you to devote all your energy to administration and shortlisting — you will have to check each candidate personally.

Social networking (Twitter, Facebook). While LinkedIn and GitHub may focus more on professional networking, Facebook and Twitter offer valuable opportunities for companies to connect with coders. Businesses can find talented developers who fit their projects and culture by joining groups, using hashtags, and engaging with coders.

Reddit. Reddit offers opportunities to join subreddits, share content, engage in discussions, and get developer community feedback. This website can help companies hire programmers who can bring valuable insights into implementing the latest trends and best practices in web development.

Hiring marketplace. These platforms connect companies with freelance or contract developers available for short-term or long-term projects. One of the benefits of using a hiring marketplace is the flexibility. Companies can find developers with specific skills and experience for a project without committing to a full-time hire.

Let’s look at the table below to evaluate the pros and cons of each approach.

Pros and cons of different ways to find software developers

How to Recruit the Best Software Engineer01

The infographic shows projected pros and cons of different ways to find software developers.

The good news is every single way is proper and useful in its own way, from remote staffing agencies to the hiring marketplace. In fact, the one thing we would recommend when it comes to where you can hire the best software developers is this: use both traditional and alternative ways, especially social networking.

What is the best way to recruit skilled software developers?

Contact an outstaffing company like Factor Dedicated Team to get the right developers immediately to save time and effort. We have access to a large pool of skilled developers to solve recruitment problems and enable you to select the best of the best engineers. You will be sure our engineers have solid expertise to implement advanced technologies and develop top-notch software of any scale.

Step 2. How to find a good software developer: Assessment

Evaluate software developer candidates’ portfolios

Evaluating candidates' technical skills is one of the most essential steps when finding developers. Reviewing a software developer portfolio is a way of accomplishing this, because you can see if the projects and technologies are diverse and check the quality by looking at the user interface, functionality, and overall design of projects. A portfolio allows you to review the code to discover whether it is clean, well-organized, and easy to understand. Suppose a software engineer has created unique solutions, sorted out complex problems, or implemented new technologies in previous projects. In that case, this specialist will be able to bring innovation to your software development successfully and quite early on.

Conduct an interview

After reviewing the portfolio, conducting a technical interview is what you have to do next. During the interview, in order to ensure that you hire the right developer, it is crucial to ask the right questions relevant to the project requirements and the technologies the developer will be working with. You can ask software engineers to explain their experience with a specific programming language, framework, database, and library or to describe how they would approach a particular problem.

Here is a list of questions to test the technical skills of app developers:

  1. What languages and frameworks for app development are you proficient in?
  2. Can you explain the difference between a stack and a queue?
  3. Can you explain object-oriented programming concepts?
  4. Have you worked with databases before? If so, which ones and how did you interact with them?
  5. Can you describe your experience with version control systems like Git?
  6. Can you give an example of a challenging project you worked on and how you overcame any obstacles that came up?
  7. Have you worked on any open-source projects before? If so, which ones and what was your contribution?
  8. Can you explain the concept of RESTful APIs?
  9. Can you explain the difference between synchronous and asynchronous programming?
  10. Have you ever worked on a project where security was a concern? If so, how did you address it?

These are just ten questions — there are many more. But they can be a solid foundation, which, if put into practice, will help you conduct interviews. You can evaluate the entire spectrum of developers’ expertise by adding specific questions about Python, .NET, React, Node.js, Angular, PHP, or other technologies to your list.

Once you have got that sorted and are confident in the candidate’s hard skills, try to figure out more about their level of soft skills. Think beyond technical expertise alone. Ask yourself what personality traits you appreciate in software developers. When conducting an interview, you can use questions from the list below:

  1. Was there a time when you had to work with a difficult team member or client? How did you handle the situation?
  2. Can you describe a project where you had to communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders? How did you approach it?
  3. Can you give an example of a time when you had to quickly adapt to a new technology or programming language?
  4. Can you tell me about a time when you made a mistake in your work and how you handled acknowledging and/or correcting it?
  5. Can you describe a project where you had to work under tight deadlines? How did you manage the stress and pressure?
  6. How do you handle receiving constructive criticism or feedback on your work?

These questions will help you consider communication, teamwork, and leadership skills to understand if a software developer can integrate with the company and add the elements you still need to include in business culture.

Vetting process

You obviously want to avoid mistakes when finding a skilled developer; as such, more than one technical interview is required. You should test your candidates' skills in practice by conducting a coding assessment. There are two popular options, and you can use one of them — outsource your tests or develop coding tasks yourself on platforms such as Coderbyte, HackerRank, CoderPad, Code Signal, or Codility.

The most popular alternative to take-home coding tests is pair programming, where your team member and candidate solve the same problem side by side. Thanks to this valuable method, you will know precisely how a programmer fits into actual projects and whether different hiring managers assess that person correctly.

Step 3. How to hire software engineers: Onboarding

Recruiting software engineers — Develop an onboarding plan

A well-crafted onboarding plan includes the following:

  1. An overview of the company's culture and mission
  2. Software responsibilities and expectations list
  3. Information about training opportunities for staff
  4. Integration and socialization activities

Following these points will help you ensure a smooth transition for a new software engineer. In that respect, the onboarding plan is designed for staff to be more engaging and dedicated to the company.

The first thing you should do is a welcome message from the CEO or manager, as well as an introduction to the company's history and goals. Then you have to outline the new developers' day-to-day tasks, any long-term projects they will be working on, information on performance metrics, and how success will be measured in their role. You must also provide access to relevant software and hardware, offering training sessions on company-specific tools or processes. The onboarding plan should prioritize team integration and socialization to help new hires feel welcomed into the team.

How to recruit developers — Assign a mentor

To provide personalized guidance and support, the mentor should understand the developers' skills, experience, and career aspirations. The mentorship program enables new hires to receive feedback consistently. Regular check-ins with the new developers will help in discussing their progress and addressing any challenges they may face.

How to hire a developer — Provide training and resources

New hires must know the company's development process and best practices. Regarding training and resources, first, you should provide developers with information about all tools, frameworks, and languages, then allow access to resources that can help coders to succeed — documentation, code samples, forums, and blogs.

Step 4. How to find a programmer: Getting started

The last crucial step in hiring a software engineer is when a candidate officially joins the company. By signing the contract, you will protect yourself and the new employee, especially if you are hiring freelance developers or an offshore team, sharing sensitive and valuable information. The contract solves all legal problems, providing trust and transparency. That’s why the software developer must understand their rights and collaboration rules with your company. You need to write in the contract hourly rates, timeframe estimates, payment details, product ownership, guarantees, and compliance with legal regulations. Separately from the contract, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is signed. Now the new employee can start working.

How to find software engineers: Conclusion

To recruit software engineers, you should follow the four stages we’ve laid out here — technology and team requirements, assessment, onboarding, and the start of work. By leveraging both traditional and alternative ways, you will find a talented developer, regardless of the complexity of the technology or special requirements. However, an effective search takes time and some experience.

At Factor Dedicated Team, all developers have been hired after undergoing a complex vetting process in software engineering. These seasoned coders will help your company develop dream projects at reasonable prices. Let’s connect!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to hire software developers?

Hiring the best software engineer to work full-time is becoming more difficult every year because the demand for top developers is growing in the ever-changing tech industry. The market dictates the need for business owners to introduce new technologies that require the right software developer to handle complex project demands. But there is a shortage of them. You can find a freelance developer to work on a contract or project basis.

Which is the best way to hire a software developer?

One of the best ways is to post job listings on job boards. After the interview, you must select web or mobile developers to assess their software engineering skills through tests or projects. It is also essential to consider factors such as inclusivity and cultural relevance. Aside from job boards, some of the best ways include collaborating with recruitment agencies and using employee referrals.

How much does it cost to get a developer?

Suppose you hire a good developer who knows various programming languages and progressive frameworks to handle coding challenges. In that case, the price will likely be as high as possible ​​— you can expect to hire a software developer for about $40k to $171k per year.

How do I find software developers for my startup?

You should write a job post, use job boards, attend job fairs, reach out to university and developer conferences, utilize social media, consider outsourcing, use freelance platforms, partner with coding boot camps, attend hackathons, and ask colleagues and industry contacts for referrals to hire software developers quite early on. Good recruiters can find suitable candidates quickly.

How much do developers charge per hour?

The median rate for senior web developers can range from $50 to $70 per hour. Companies pay the highest price in North America — from $140 to $167 per hour. The cost of hiring developers can vary widely depending on the specific skills required, recruitment fees, and relocation expenses.

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