The software development industry is exploding, leaving recruiters and employers scrambling to find high-quality candidates. The demand for software developers will grow 21% by 2028, far surpassing the average for other jobs. That’s a quarter million new software developer positions that will need to be filled. Yet there exists a disparity between supply and demand, so employers need to have a well-developed hiring process to field the finest software developers to their teams.
Why hire remote?
Software development is especially well-suited to remote positions thanks to an array of applications and systems that allow long-distance communication and collaboration. By extending the job search to remote candidates, a company can greatly increase their talent pool size. The right candidate may live all the way across the country. In a competitive job marketplace, offering remote job opportunities can really improve the chances of finding the perfect candidate, especially if the local talent pool is limited.
Hiring remote workers may require some unique hiring skills for the recruiter. The interviews will likely all be phone or video interviews, unless the company is interested in flying the best candidates out on their dime to meet the on-location team.
What is a software developer?
A software developer is well-trained to create computer programs aimed at completing specific tasks. These programs range from customer-facing applications to complex systems and networks on the backend. The software developer needs to be able to build, test, and maintain the code throughout the program’s lifetime.
The skills and programming languages will vary widely depending on the type of program an employer is interested in developing. Below are some common technical skills and the areas of usual implementation:
- Python: incredibly popular, used for backend web development, machine learning and data analysis programs, often implemented in banking and finance industries
- SQL: standard language across most industries for relational databases
- Git: version control system incredibly necessary for even the smallest programs
- C: language for embedded systems in many electronics and cars
Before creating any job listing, make sure the absolute minimum technical requirements are outlined. Then based upon the job position and pay offered, tweak the requirements by adding years of experience and extra skills that are highly desirable to attract the best candidates.
Top 5 Recruiting Techniques
If you are looking to hire a software developer, the recruiting techniques below are excellent at evaluating a software developer’s skills and abilities. Including these techniques into your hiring process can help your company hire the best fit for your development needs, the first time.
Focus on Social and Personal Networking Candidates
Streamlining the recruiting process, starts well in advance of actual interviews. By focusing on candidates that can be soft-vetted based on public interactions, a recruiter can get a much better feel for those candidates than by simply referring to a resume.
Recruiters should stay up to date on top developer blogs and look into developer’s that are creating high-quality technical posts. These posts are a treasure trove of information for employers before even reaching out to the potential candidate, as the articles provide insight into writing, technical, and problem-solving skills.
Open-source projects found on GitHub can also be used in this manner. Interesting projects that are similar to the employers projects are especially useful. A recruiter can then evaluate the developer’s code and reach out based on the demonstrated ability of that prospective candidate’s GitHub profile.
Finally, personal recommendations from other employees from within the company can be invaluable. Your already highly qualified developers may interact with other developers privately and build relationships with potential candidates. Asking your staff about any standout personal relationships may yield the next best member for your team.
Data is King
Data is truly the currency of the future and companies are investing big into collecting value from their data. Companies are becoming data-driven workplaces by fine-tuning their policies and structures following the recommendations of data analysts. The companies that adapt quickly to this new reality are using data to find unique solutions to problems at all levels, including in their hiring process. It makes sense that a data-savvy candidate would be a welcome addition to these development teams.
Modern applications must use and handle a large volume of data. A talented software developer will know how to properly handle, collect, and analyze tremendous amounts of data, into their projects. This is especially important for projects involved with machine learning and artificial intelligence. Any software developed by incorporating data will be higher quality and better targeted towards the company’s goals.
The very nature of software development makes it a technical job. But tech companies have struggled to evaluate the technical abilities of candidates for years. Often recruiters ask candidates to complete some sort of coding or technical challenge during the second or third round of interviews.
These technical interviews are notorious among software developers and recruiters as being extremely inefficient at gauging a candidate’s technical skills. This is because these are blind coding challenges and don’t require the most important software developer skill to be demonstrated, problem solving. Often software developers haven’t practiced entry-level coding exercises in years and may stumble, while still able to find creative solutions to difficult development challenges in real situations.
Potential candidates often decide to study before attending interviews. Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell is a best-selling book in response to this perceived need to study. LeetCode and HackerRank are websites also commonly used by developers to improve their skills for these types of interviews.
The best recruiting process will not overemphasize the technical interview when deciding which candidates to extend an offer too. While a candidate should be proficient in the most essential languages needed for your company’s development goals, technical skills are better demonstrated in other ways.
Ask to review a candidate’s GitHub profile or a portfolio of any completed projects. Within these projects look for the most important skills to be demonstrated. In demand skills are usually data structures and algorithms, but this can depend on the company.
When conducting a technical interview, maybe consider overhauling that process. Make sure the technical question will test the candidates problem solving skills. Allow the candidate to complete the problem using all available tools for a software developer, including Google and Stack Overflow. These tools are used by developers every day and it makes no sense to remove those when evaluating a candidate.
Technical interviews can easily be adjusted for remote candidates. Screen-sharing can be used to allow the recruiter to watch and follow the candidates thought process as they work through the technical problem. This also allows the candidate space and removes some of the pressure of completing the interview in person.
Soft skills are not to be overlooked when hiring. Over-focusing on technical skills can lead to exceptionally bad hiring decisions. Software developers almost always work in teams, it’s the nature of developing large applications. This means the job is very collaborative and the candidate must be able to successfully communicate with designers, product managers, project managers, and QA testers, among others. Skills that should be highlighted include strong communication skills, accountability, and being a team-player.
A software developer must also be flexible and open-minded, as the project goals will likely change throughout the development process. And when hiring for a remote position, responsibility and time-management are also highly desirable skills. The last thing a recruiter wants to do is hire a remote developer that misses meetings constantly and can’t communicate or manage their time.
Look to Nearshore Software Development
Instead of hiring remote software developers spread throughout the country, it may be valuable to consider nearshore software development teams. Here at Near Coding Nearshore Software Services, we provide excellent development teams located in Costa Rica. By partnering with a nearshore software development company, an employer gains access to a team that works closely together on specific projects, while still in close collaboration with the main development team onshore. This allows easy outsourcing for specific components of a large project.
Nearshore teams are highly skilled but are more competitively priced than onshore software development. Near Coding employs the Scrum agile framework for developing and sustaining complex projects. There is no limited language barrier with Near Coding’s team as English is the main language of business for many companies that are international. As a nearshore company located in Costa Rica, the time zone is excellent for working with both west coast and east coast companies. This provides a serious advantage to offshore software development teams in countries like Poland, Ukraine, and China.