How to Hire Software Developers for Your Team - Mistakes to Avoid & Tips for Success

Trung Tran

Trung Tran | 25/08/2022

How to Hire Software Developers for Your Team

Over the past few years, software developers have been in high demand, especially certain types of developers, due to the rise of digital business transformation and technological advancements. This has put many organizations in hardship when the demand for IT professionals is outstripping the possible sources of supply – shortage of software engineers, leaving businesses no choice but to seek after the offshore pools of IT talent in the global software industry. Therefore, there has been a massive wave of outsourcing software development and IT needs to alternative destinations, such as Vietnam, China, India, etc., making it an ideal long-term solution to the IT talent crunch. Although in-demand businesses are expanding their reach across borders to find developers, the high costs of locating and hiring foreigners, in addition to the potential for cultural differences, have given a lot of organizations a struggle in recruiting software developers or even driven many organizations back onshore in search of IT talent.

In fact, hiring software engineers is always a daunting task, actually. But it does not mean it is impossible to hire software developers for your dedicated team if you avoid making common mistakes and know how to do it right. Whether you are about to recruit software engineers onshore, nearshore, or offshore, the pieces of the advice outlined in this article will surely serve you one way or another.

Terrible Mistakes You Should Watch Out for When Hiring Software Developers

The first and foremost useful tip you must keep in mind is to get yourself familiarized with the mistakes commonly made within the hiring process and avoid them. If not, you are gonna step on your own feet and end up failing.

Rushing to Make a Hiring Decision

Finding the right talent for a software project is always an important yet daunting task. Don’t you agree that rushing to hire software developers in a short timeframe is such an annoying and risky experience? Since you are risking the quality of hires in exchange for timely filling manpower gaps, you are more likely to make unwise decisions or get the wrong hires for your software development team. The causes leading to this mistake are many, and they vary case by case. Perhaps, your project is unexpectedly in need of extra personnel to work on certain tasks, but the time is already growing short. So, you are not left with much choice but to hire any software developer that can meet some requirements you are seeking for.

Or in some circumstances, your project requires unique specialists, but they are too rare or expensive to hire. No matter what the situation is, you should and even must avoid rushing your hiring decisions, especially when it comes to hiring software engineers. There is a piece of advice you can take is to take your time. Always put the conformity of the candidate compared to the position first, and do not rush when you find and add new IT professionals to your team. In some cases, you can put your favorite candidates through a job tryout to fully assess their performance in reality. A tryout like this also gives your candidates a clearer picture of your company and project.

Overlook or Not Pay Enough Attention to the Cultural Fit

According to the statistics by Robert Walters Group, 98% of employers and 97% of employees consent to the fact that cultural fit between positions within a company is important. Company culture is put first for a reason. Since the new hires will contribute their all to the success of your projects in particular and to the overall growth of the whole organization, they should share the same goal and vision with you or at least agree with them in some aspects. In other words, when recruiting software engineers, make sure that they consent to your company culture. This is a crucial step to filtering the right ones from the many good candidates you have shortlisted.

For instance, if you have a company culture that values teamwork and collaboration, make sure your potential hires can work well in a team environment. Furthermore, getting to know their working style and personality type will also help you determine whether they are good fits for your team or not. A question remains “How?”. There is no fixed format or one-fit-all method, so it is up to you and your creativity. Try to make the interview less formal and more personal sometimes; you will be able to get to know your favorite candidates in depth and bring their real thoughts about your culture to light.

Confusing Job Description

Existing in not only the IT industry but also many others, misleading job descriptions are considered the main cause of other difficulties in talent acquisition and recruitment. Commonly in an interview, employers brief developers that they are about to do something when they join the team, but once they are hired, they will end up doing something completely different from the JD. This kind of misleading briefing is a big mistake because it does not help you solve the manpower issues for your team but only wastes time on both sides.

Sooner or later, the developers will run away from your project or team if they are forced to do something that is not consented to initially. Instead, you should be frank and honest about the requirements and duties in the first place, and if the candidates manage to commit to those, then they will stick to your team longer. Or, if your project is appealing enough to them, then there is a chance that they will do it anyway. It is understandable that employers are afraid of losing the best software developers for their projects, but withholding information will not do you any good in the end.

Limit Your Own Talent Pool

When the Covid-19 pandemic dropped by, it opened a new era of gig-economy where people mainly work remotely or in a hybrid concept. In the new normal, an estimated 86% of software engineers were working 100% remotely in 2021. A lot of companies nowadays even make the work-from-home culture their competitive benefits when it comes to talent pitching, making themselves stand out from others. By limiting your pool of talented developers to the local labor market, you are letting your own opportunities to acquire top tech talent from different parts of the world slip away.

Therefore, it is time for software development companies to ditch the restrictions of borders as well as geographic distance and get started with regional and global hiring. When expanding your reach to nearshore and offshore IT destinations, you have higher chances of hunting talented developers that you are unable to find or hire due to the high hiring costs or local tech talent scarcity. More than that, hiring remote talent puts several benefits into your hands.

Practical Tips & Tricks to Recruit the Right Talent for Your Software Development Team

Let’s forget about all the repeated common tips on how to hire software developers you used to know before. It’s 2022 already, and we have to refresh our minds first and come up with different approaches to pan out. In fact, all businesses have nearly the same opportunities to grasp the right hires for their teams; however, to win this “war for IT talent,” you definitely need some tips, but not any common one, we mean the useful ones:

Determine the Key Qualities You Should Look for in a Software Engineer

This is more like a “ritual” in software development recruitment than a tip, but it is substantial to capture the portrait of an ideal software developer with all the characteristics and qualities you require first. This will bring you two benefits at the same time. One is to avoid getting the wrong hires, and two is that you will be able to clarify what to look for when assessing software developer candidates. Of course, the specific skills and qualities you should seek will be largely dependent on the specific needs of your organization and project. Nevertheless, there is a checklist of qualities you can come up with and take into account when you hire software engineers. No matter if they are front-end developers, back-end developers, or full-stack developers, as well as web developers and mobile app development experts, or else, they all should be assessed by these factors:

  • Tech Stack: Obviously, a potential hire should have what you’re looking for. They should be solid in technical skills (Programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and tools) and reactive to new technologies, such as AI, machine learning, computer science, etc. As mentioned before, each position in your development team and each project will entail different technical requirements. For example, a web developer should be excellent at HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, while if he or she is hired to work on back-end development tasks, he or she should know about Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Java, .NET, and so on.
  • Soft Skills: More than just coding skills, it would be great if a good developer is also a good team player with strong communication and collaboration abilities. You should check whether a candidate is coachable, willing to learn new things, and has good interpersonal skills or not.
  • Problem-solving Skills: An experienced developer should be not only solid in the use of technology but also be in command of analyzing and solving problems. This is one of the most important qualities that every project manager should prioritize when recruiting software developers for projects.
  • High-commitment: Expertise and experience are one thing, but the responsibility is a good quality that a great software developer should own. This is the quality that most businesses consider when they hire a software developer, especially for building long-term relationships.

The more well-prepared you are for what you expect from a new developer joining your team, the easier it will be when you start the hiring process.

Craft a Job Description That Speaks to Developers

The JD is often the starting point of a candidate’s journey to becoming a member of your team, and it speaks louder than it seems. And mistakes related to job descriptions like those mentioned above are fairly common. Therefore, one of the most practical tips you should take into account is to invest more time and effort in the JDs.

A job description should be riddled and well-crafted before making its way to the job boards. Not only the information and requirements you are about to input, but you should also avoid making some common mistakes when crafting, such as convoluted titles, overusing of buzzwords, too generic and unclear duties, and so on. These mistaken actions on the JDs will mislead the potential candidates who are making their way to you.

Give Freshers Opportunities to Grow

The best software developers are not always the most experienced ones. The fact that there is always a severe shortage of expert developers, but still, the number of fresh IT graduates is considerable as well. Sadly, most companies say no to freshers. So, we are seeing a potential opportunity here. Perhaps IT businesses should consider giving young and new developers with little or no experience chances to work and sharpen programming skills and expertise. Internship and coding boot camps prove to be a useful and possible way to train young IT talent and output the next generation of qualified software developers for the IT industry.

Consider the Factors of Salaries, Benefits, & Other Sorts of Perks

Software developers are the rising stars of the IT industry and also the job market royalty. Therefore, to acquire a skilled developer, especially a well-experienced one, you should be able to offer strong enough benefits to lure the most potential candidates to your side.

Sometimes, the reason why you cannot find a great developer is that you are not willing to pay enough. In other words, the salary and benefits you offer are way too low compared to what others in the market can give. Great developers do deserve adequate salaries, so do not ask for too much when you are only willing to give a little. When you hire developers, it’s essential to be prepared for the negotiation and be reasonable with your offers. And remember, there are a lot of IT companies out there waiting to compete with you for the best software developers.

Appealing salaries are not the only benefits they care about, so also keep in mind that benefits and perks are not always financial. Besides salary, some sorts of additional perks like flexible working hours, a work-from-home policy, a good work-life balance, paid leaves, and so on can also serve as great motivation for developers to stay with your company for a more extended period.

Last but not least, provide training courses or education allowance and encourage your developers to keep learning new things and update their skillsets from time to time. Doing so will show that you are willing to invest in them and that they can grow with your company. This will partially contribute to your good reputation in the IT job market, buying you more opportunities to find and acquire tech talent in the future. In addition, your employees may recommend the company to others as well.

Outsource When Necessary

We have emphasized that closing the gate to the global pool of tech talent is blocking you from reaching out to the remote talent that you are desperate in need but unable to seek and acquire locally. Or, in case your in-house team is overloaded, but you simply have no resources to hire extra hands, the solution for you is to outsource. Based on your specific needs, you can decide to hire freelance software developers. For instance, mobile developers, web developers, and UI/UX designers are always in high demand. You can take advantage of this chance by posting your project on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Toptal. Or, if you want to have more control over the project, you can consider partnering with a reliable staffing agency or connecting with top IT outsourcing companies for full packages of software solutions.

When it comes to offshore outsourcing, hiring developers in Vietnam will be such a great choice since the country is a powerhouse for IT outsourcing and also one of the top countries for outsourcing software development. Outsource to Vietnam, and you will be able to find software engineers with solid expertise, rich experience, international work culture, English proficiency, and more.

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