Software engineers are in high demand, as are most IT professionals. However, it is not enough to find software engineers. You also need to attract, assess and get them to sign on. Here are five tips to hire software engineers.
There might come a time when you need to hire software engineers. When that time comes, do you know what you need to do?
The fact is software engineers are not easy to find. Most are already working at high-paying jobs. In fact, many work as software developers. Your task is to find unemployed software engineers or developers willing to make the switch. Here are five software engineer hiring tips to help you do that.s
Software Engineers ≠ Software Developers
Most people use the terms software engineer and software developer interchangeably. While they share a common background and both are in high demand, they have different roles. That difference makes trying to hire software engineers more challenging.
Why is that?
Well, put it this way. All software engineers are software developers. However, not all software developers are software engineers.
Software engineers are big-picture people. Aside from being experts in programming, they need to have a bunch of other skills. For one, they need to know how to apply engineering principles to integrate applications. Consequently, they can build software systems rather than single applications.
A good way to explain the difference is to think of it in terms of building a house. The software engineer is the supervisor, while software developers are masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc.
The supervisor has to know how to do two or more of these functions. As a result, the supervisor can check the quality of the work. More importantly, the supervisor can ensure all the components fit together.
Tips to Hire Software Engineers
Finding good software developers is hard enough. However, given the broader set of qualifications, it is harder to find qualified software engineers. As such, you need to do a bit of strategizing to accomplish your goal.
Make the job ad eye-catching to software engineers
A previous article on this topic tells you not to waste your time on job boards. Software engineers are unlikely to be on them.
Instead, focus more on reaching out to developers directly through LinkedIn and development communities such as GitHub.
While you might not be able to get these people, you can ask them for referrals. In either case, you need to have job ads that will appeal to software engineers.
Writing an appealing ad is not always easy when you are a non-techie. You don’t know the lingo, and you either come off too casual or too stiff. For instance, many hiring managers use the phrase “rock star” and typically send red flags to serious developers and engineers.
The best way to get around this is to involve experts when writing it. Ask developer friends or employees what would appeal to them (and put them off) when reading a job ad.
Most software engineers would like to know something about the company, salary range, and responsibilities in terms of information. Make sure you include all of these when writing your job ad.
Use code assessments for software engineers
Software engineers typically start as programmers. While they probably will not be coding for most of their day, they still need to have the ability to do so. However, it would help if you did not rely on what they claim when considering candidates for the job. Use a code assessment tool to find out.
Code assessments test a person’s skill level in coding for specific projects. Therefore, the assessment you choose should test relevant skills, e.g., web development.
If you do not know which assessment would be appropriate, get advice from a developer. Alternatively, you can have your development team create a test and use it.
Conduct a positive, candidate-centric interview
The process to hire software engineers requires a big-picture approach as well. Software engineers need technical skills, but their main job is to work closely with teams. Thus, they need to have strong interpersonal and communication skills as well.
Effectiveness as a team leader is as important as coding skills for software engineers. The best way to hire software engineers is to put them at ease during the interview process. If you can, have a techie be part of the interview to get the ball rolling. If they feel comfortable, then you will see how well they can communicate.
Focus on the candidate rather than the role. You might find areas in which they excel that might not have come through in the coding assessment. Given how hard it is to find software engineers, you need to make the most of each candidate.
Making the interview a positive experience also makes it easier to build rapport. As a result, it is easier to reel the best candidates in when the time comes. If nothing else, it will help your chances of getting good reviews and referrals from past candidates.
Put together an attractive compensation package
Naturally enough, the compensation will have a significant impact on your efforts to hire software engineers. High demand will drive the salary up, and that can be a problem for many small companies. For example, the average salary of a US-based software engineer is $104,657 a year.
However, a small company can compete with deep-pocket enterprises with an attractive benefits package. For example, many people prefer flexible work schedules. Some would like remote work arrangements to avoid moving to more expensive areas. A small company can also offer stock options, health insurance, and other benefits to balance out a lower base salary.
Be ready to negotiate with your best candidates. If you cannot offer a higher salary, make a good argument for flexibility, career development, and other factors that might swing the balance your way.
Make the hiring process quick
Speed is of the essence. Remember that software engineers are in high demand. Do not miss the opportunity of signing up a qualified candidate by taking so long to make an offer. Another company might just come along and snatch them up.
One way to streamline the hiring process is to delegate. Have one person handle all the initial assessments and tests to narrow down the list of candidates. Bring in decision-makers for only vetted candidates.
Another is to have a straightforward process when scheduling interviews. Have a firm turnaround time for each phase. If a candidate passes the first interview, have the second and final interviews within days rather than weeks.
Finally, keep the process as lean as possible. Do any background checks before contacting the candidate to avoid wasting time. Consider reducing the steps from finding to hiring software engineers to just the assessment and skills interview before making an offer.
You CAN hire software engineers with much less trouble
Hiring software engineers involves a bit of wheeling and dealing. Getting the best candidates to sign on is not easy. If that sounds like a lot of work to you, you would be right.
Fortunately, Full Scale has the experience and processes to help you with that. We build development teams quickly and affordably. We deploy software engineers, web developers, and other subject matter experts with hard-won efficiency. Contact us, so we help you hire software engineers with no muss or fuss.