Tips for hiring a software developer in competitive job market

The explosion of jobs is making it difficult for companies to land workers who fit right in.

Hiring companies understand that the computer sector is evolving at a rapid pace. But the qualities of experienced and skilled software developers haven’t changed all that much.

From first-rate programming skills to excellent project management, software developers also exude ingenuity to ensure every solution is elegant and fully functional.

An ideal candidate is also a team player, a break from the stereotypical persona of a lone-wolf coder, who can manage the methodologies within Agile, DevOps and other collaborative platforms.

Staffing this position is a challenge not only given the desired candidate profile. The market is stiff with competition, so your company will have its work cut out for it.

What are you hiring for?

As you begin the search for a new team member, narrow the criteria to target an ideal candidate.

Front-end developers, for instance, handle the user experience side of the interface while back-end developers work on what’s under the hood. This work includes compiled language such as Java, C++ and C#. Full-stack developers can do it all.

So, before you send out that next job post, make sure it’s detailed with exactly what your company needs.

Conduct at least two interviews

Computer wizardry isn’t the only requirement. A qualified worker is well-rounded and can be counted on to work alongside a team.

Holding two interviews lets companies explore a candidate’s strengths from a technical and personal perspective.

A technical interview dives into topics that focus on work experience and the extent of the candidate’s programming chops. A personal interview handles the rest. This interview should be led by the hiring manager or someone within human resources.

Companies must move quickly with both interviews to reduce the chance of having the perfect candidate slip away to another company.

Be specific in a job description

A winning job post is up-to-date and specific about exactly what the job entails. Be clear and to the point about what you’re looking for in a candidate.

First, lay out the must-have technical skills. Candidates should have a full grasp of the primary programming languages pertinent to the opening. The job post should list out what these are so everyone is on the same page.

Then, list out those skills that are ideal, but not required. For example, Docker, Amazon Web Services and other similar platforms might be a bonus to your company. Be sure to emphasize the skills that are not mandatory to avoid missing out on potential candidates.

Next, talk about what the work environment is like. A lot of development work is team based, so the incoming programmer will want an idea of working conditions and practices.

Finally, mention the type of nontechnical skills your ideal candidate possesses. In a team-first environment, soft skills are sorely needed. Communication, empathy and teamwork skills are the major ones.

Offer an attractive salary

Skilled workers know their worth and will demand pay that’s commensurate to their professional standing. Not to mention, software developers are in high demand. Consult with industry insiders and other salary guides to determine a sweet spot of a salary range that will attract the most talented crop of professionals.

Work with a recruiter

The process of recruiting and hiring a skilled worker is a huge investment. Getting it wrong can be costly.

If you’re unsure about how to effectively hire for computer developer positions, you can work through each step with career specialists. They can help craft an eye-catching job announcement, sort and vet applicants and tackle other time-consuming aspects of hiring.

A recruiter is highly trained to do all of these things and more. They will bring in the right people for the job so you can focus on other critical projects that demand your attention.