How to find qualified software developers:
Learn how to find high-quality software developers for your company or computer systems design firm with our step-by-step guide. Includes a full hiring process that will help you find and hire the best talent fast.
Sell your company as an innovative workplace.
Attract top talent.
You need to go beyond listing roles and responsibilities. The best software developers want to know your story. They want to know what your mission is as an organization and how their skills and experience will contribute to your exciting projects.
Look at how other tech firms sell themselves to prospective employees. If you're unable to offer competitive salaries, provide other perks such as workshops or courses that will help software developers advance their careers.
Write a compelling software developer job post.
If you want to attract the best software developers, you will need to create a job post that promotes your company and speaks to your target audience. Start by including information about your company and the role you play in the tech industry. Provide a few details about the different types of projects your development team is currently working on and your goals for the next few years.
Along with a description of the skills and experience needed for the role, your job post should highlight information that would attract top candidates. Below is a list of things that may attract top software engineers:
- Flexible working hours, including the option to work remotely a few days per week.
- A relaxed dress code.
- A degree of creative freedom.
- Competitive salaries.
- A comprehensive benefits package.
- Workplace perks, ranging from workshops and additional courses, to catered meals and gaming rooms.
Use our software developer job description as a guide.
Including honest testimonials from current employees in your job post may also encourage candidates to apply.
To increase your chances of finding the most suitable candidates, clearly define the responsibilities, requirements, limitations, and expectations of the role.
Use a software developer job description template to make it easier.
A software developer job description will provide much of the boilerplate information you'll need, such as the responsibilities and qualifications, making your task a bit easier.
Advertise the position.
Post your job to general sites, such as Indeed.
Start by posting to general job posting sites such as Indeed. These are great places to start because they get plenty of traffic and they're free.
Make sure your job is picked up by Google.
Google for Jobs allows your posting to be seen in search results. This can greatly increase your job visibility. You can get it picked up by Google by having someone properly format it on your website, or by using a service (such as Betterteam) that creates a properly formatted jobs page for you automatically.
Target job boards dedicated to software developers.
Posting your job on tech job boards will help you narrow your search for software developers.
Ask employees for referrals.
A great way to find and hire a qualified software developer is to ask current employees for referrals. Create an employee referral program to motivate employees to participate in the recruiting process. Essentially, the program offers rewards for any referrals leading to hires. Make sure it is clear to your employees that the software developer they refer should have the necessary skills, qualifications, experience, work ethic, and attitude.
Share new job openings on social media.
Advertise your software developer job openings on social media. Your posts should be engaging, informative, and professional. Maintain an active presence on social media and provide prompt responses to any questions, comments, or queries.
Set up separate social media profiles for recruiting.
Post multiple times every day, ensuring that 65% of your posts are original and that 35% of your content comes from other sources.
Use images and videos to highlight your company culture, and showcase the quality of your software and tech projects.
Engage as often as possible with your audience by liking and sharing posts.
Ask your current employees to like and share your posts.
For a more active approach, use Facebook and LinkedIn to research and recruit skilled software developers from competitors, and to target recent graduates.
Look at previous projects.
Review their software development portfolio.
A software developer portfolio is a developer's strongest demonstration of their talent. Through their portfolio, they can demonstrate a sense of individualism in their craft that may be undetectable from interviews alone.
When looking at a candidate's developer portfolio, try to gauge their technical proficiency in the languages they've used, as well as their application design skills, attention to detail, sense of user-friendliness, application of coding best practices, and more.
Pay special attention to the type of clients they've worked for, the size of the companies, testimonials from previous clients, and any notes about project challenges.
Find top software developers through open-source projects.
Perusing open-source project sites like SourceForge allows you to use and evaluate a candidate's coding samples to determine whether they have the skills you're looking for.
Alternatively, start your own open-source project to attract top software developers.
Vet your candidates.
Do a coding assessment.
Conduct a coding assessment to determine the skills of your applicants. You can either outsource your tests or design your own coding challenges on popular testing platforms including:
As an alternative to a coding assessment, you may want to do a live coding interview. These challenges are typically more stressful than take-home coding assessments, but they will give you an accurate idea of what each candidate is capable of under pressure.
Avoid using generic coding tests, but instead ask applicants to solve a coding challenge your company is trying to solve, or one they have solved in the past.
Conduct an in-person interview.
If you're satisfied with the outcome of the coding assessment or the live coding interview, go straight through to the in-person interview.
With the interview, you'll gain insight into each candidate's problem-solving abilities and thought processes.
Ask them some coding-related interview questions.
Examples of questions to ask include:
- How would you go about finding and fixing bugs in an application?
- What kind of quality control processes would you use when developing software?
- Can you name a few ways to make a website faster?
- What is meant by black-box testing?
- What is the function of a sandbox? Are there any alternatives?
You'll want to skip the phone interview and cut out as much time as possible in the hiring process. The longer you take, the greater the chance of your competition hiring the software developer you have your eye on.
For more ideas on which questions to ask, read through our software developer interview questions.
Use the interview process to get a feel for the candidate's personality and to figure out if they will be a good fit with your software engineering team.
Give them the grand tour of your offices, have them meet your co-workers, and tell them more about your current coding projects.
Use the in-person interview to impress your candidates and convince them to accept your offer.
Hire your new software developer.
Make an offer.
By this stage, you should have a clear idea of which candidate you would like to hire. Phone the candidate to let them know that they have been successful, and then send an email with a formal job offer. Your email should also include the job description, salary amount, additional benefits, and start date.
Use our job offer letter template to craft a compelling and professional letter.
Onboard your new software developer.
Onboarding is a key final step in the hiring process that is not to be overlooked. Make a good first impression and get the new hire up and running fast by having a detailed and organized onboarding process.
Poor onboarding is often the cause of isolation for software developers. No matter how experienced and technically proficient your new employee is, everyone stands to benefit from a good orientation. Make sure they get all the support they need. Give them clear and constant feedback and make sure their lines of communication always open.
Explain your workflows.
Ensure the new software developer understands their responsibilities.
Provide them with all the relevant documentation.
Ensure that someone reviews their code and provides detailed feedback as soon as possible.
How do I hire a software developer?
Where do software developers look for jobs?
Is it difficult to hire software developers?
Yes. Software developers are the most in-demand professionals and there is plenty of competition for their services. Software developers don't take long before they find their next job, so you'll want to tighten your hiring process for them.
What skills do software developers need?
- Ability to work under pressure and time constraints.
- Attention to detail.
- Knowledge of the software development life-cycle.
- Creativity and good problem-solving skills.
- Good communication.
- Deep and varied programming language knowledge.
- Multitasking ability.