How To Hire A Software Engineer
By Ellen Jones
Hiring a software engineer is a complex operation that should be tailored to your organization’s specific needs. The success of the process hinges on identifying those needs through analytical internal processes and the development of hiring protocols that will allow your organization to bring on top talent at the optimal time.
Making a hire can be especially challenging in a market that favors job candidates. Constant development in the tech world accounts for the high number of software engineer jobs available as organizations seek to bring forth innovative software and to update existing code. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently projected a 25% jump in employment from 2021 to 2023 in the software development field with the actual number of jobs expected to jump by 411,400 between 2021 and 2031. The BLS called growth like this “much faster than the average” in comparison to occupations across the board.
A projected global compounded annual growth rate of 7.15% for the software engineering market should have it, by 2028, hitting 49.19 billion USD, according to Adroit Market Research, which also noted that North America accounts for more than 40% of the global market. So, with projected national and global growth, the need for software engineers doesn’t seem to be wanting, and it’s important for firms to have a plan in place for hiring them.
Consider A Hiring Partner
The right partner can help you decide how to fill your needs and to navigate a market where multiple organizations might be courting a relatively small pool of candidates. And be aware there’s a significant difference between a staffing firm and an organization attuned to your specific requirements. Traditionally, staffing firms send companies lightly vetted candidates. They typically don’t spend time with clients building job descriptions or helping to build staffing strategies that include outlines for the interview process and best hiring practices.
By contrast, a hiring partner works with you to determine your unique needs. You can expect this type of organization to conduct thorough interviews before presenting you with candidates. If a full-time hire isn’t in the cards for your company at present, a partner can help with solutions to help you bridge your current staffing gap. Some solutions might include allowing the partner firm to take on some of the work you’ve been doing in house or using a contractor they provide so your company can temporarily avoid taking on responsibilities, such as benefits, that come with a full-time hire.
The Hiring Process
Having a clear hiring process in place will make all the difference. Here are the steps you’ll need to take when preparing to make a hire:
1. Develop the job requirements
This is an area where a partner can be especially helpful, and taking the time to do this step thoroughly will ease the entire process. Start by identifying the skill sets your organization is currently missing: Do you need a source code authority or an expert app developer? And what soft skills would a candidate need? Would it be better to add team members who fit into an existing level of collaboration, or should you bring on someone who leans toward creativity above all else? Your existing team members may be helpful in this process as they’re likely familiar with the places on your staff where existing hard and soft skills are lagging. Also, focus on the types of technology your teams are using and what innovations might become part of their lexicons in the future. As you work with a partner firm on this step, an appropriate job title should emerge. This is also a time to clearly define your organization’s values. Are accountability and accuracy most important to get the job done, or do operations center more on goodwill and flexibility?
2. Confirm the type of hire you need based on the amount of risk your organization is willing to take.
You’ll probably be caught between bringing someone on full-time or “trying before you buy” with a short-term contractor. You can make a decision by first considering whether the needs you’ve identified are long- or short-term and then looking at budget constraints. Sometimes, when you need to secure executive approval quickly, bringing on a contractor is preferable. Taking a detailed look at your business environment can be helpful at this stage. Is your company a startup, or is it well-established? What’s the managerial oversight like — heavy or minimal? Does your overall team membership lean toward entry-level or seasoned professionals?
3. Develop your interview process.
You’ll need to decide on internal representatives for initial and final interviews and for the final decision when it comes to bringing on a new hire. Using a peer engineer — an existing team member — is almost always a good idea as you assess candidates’ skill sets, but don’t allow such a peer to make decisions that move candidates forward in the hiring process as a peer will likely not be overseeing new hires’ work. You can also decide at this point whether to lessen the internal workload when it comes to interviewing — staffing partners can usually handle initial human resources interviews, behavioral evaluations and technical assessments for you.
4. Determine how to get the best candidate across the finish line.
Remember, when it’s a candidates’ market, organizations looking to hire sometimes need to do a little extra legwork, and timing is especially important. Being ready to make a hire for a full-time or contract role when you have the ideal candidate in front of you can mean the difference between onboarding a new team member and losing a promising engineer to another firm. So, make sure the proper management figures have approved your hiring budget. Also, determine who within your organization will make the offer and how quickly your human resources team can draft it. This is another juncture where a staffing partner can help by making offers on your behalf and assisting with onboarding procedures like drafting written offers and initiating background checks.
Making a hire in a candidates’ market is a challenge, but with a little planning, you’ll find yourself ahead of the curve and ready to onboard the right engineer. To learn more about how to make a solid hire in a short amount of time, download the guide below.
Ellen JonesDirector of Staffing Solutions
Ellen Jones is the Director of Staffing Solutions at SOLTECH, Atlanta’s award winning software development and IT staffing firm. With a decade of diverse Account Management experience, she has expertise in project management, resource improvement consulting, and strategic discussions with key stakeholders.
Since joining SOLTECH in 2019, she has focused on building partnerships with software engineers and connecting business clients with top-tier talent for their success. Ellen’s expertise and experience in Account Management, project management, and resource optimization enable her to deliver innovative staffing solutions to SOLTECH’s clients. Her comprehensive understanding of the IT staffing industry allows her to write insightful articles on topics related to career advancement and talent acquisition. She shares her knowledge and industry insights through her writings, providing valuable guidance to professionals and organizations seeking to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of software development and IT staffing.