How do I find talented programmers

How can you find the world's best software developers

Finding talented and well-trained software developers is very difficult today because they are a valuable resource around the world. With less than 1% of developers in the US unemployed, it's clear that companies are snapping up every good developer they can get their hands on. In recent years, the number of tech companies has grown unabated, and this trend is set to continue.

Finding good software developers has become a supply and demand problem. And with more jobs than developers, there is no easy solution.

In this post, we examine some of the challenges companies are currently experiencing in recruiting software developers, as well as actionable solutions. We provide advice on establishing a bulletproof recruiting process that ensures that you only hire the best people in your company.

What makes a “world class” software developer?

The general assumption is that technical know-how and years of experience characterize the best. While these two are crucial, “world class” software developers have other characteristics, this X-Factor, that sets them apart from all others.

World-class developers have innate curiosity, logical and lateral thinking, and a keen perception of the larger problem. In 2019, the best developers also dispel the prejudice that IT professionals are not sociable or can communicate well with others. They are humble, supportive, motivated, and completely in line with their employer's philosophy.

Unfortunately, these developers are hard to find. There are more developer jobs than candidates to fill in Europe and the US. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find and recruit qualified people for the recruitment of skilled workers.

Find the right software developer. Why is that difficult?

1. A lack of talent

There is tremendous pressure in the US and Europe to discover and hire top developers with great technical skills and the right mindset. At the same time, a survey conducted by SAP found that nine out of ten hiring managers in the US and UK felt that identifying qualified candidates was the biggest challenge in the entire recruiting process.

The problem, however, is that universities produce fewer graduates than there are jobs to be filled. At the other end of the spectrum, seasoned developers are retiring, but there aren't enough candidates to replace them.

So what are companies doing? You regulate yourself. A survey conducted by McKinsey & Company found that 82% of respondents, all executives, said they "don't believe they are hiring highly talented people." Recruiting the average developer can affect a company's ability to grow and deliver acceptable results for its customers. In the long term, this could result in the loss of orders and a decline in profits.

2. Rising salaries

Hiring top talent also means paying a premium price. And that's twice as much for software developers and three times as much in the US and Western Europe! When you factor in all of the additional benefits associated with recruiting (staff costs, benefits, bonuses, office space) it can become a terrifyingly expensive business.

For many companies, the choice is between hiring average but affordable developers or the temptation to recruit top developers by stretching their budget further. Completely contrary to the wishes of the accounting department! Of course, what makes the “right” developer for one team is a complete mistake for another; Ultimately, however, software developer recruitment has become an inevitably expensive business.

So what are the alternatives?

Since local opportunities are so poor and expensive, let's look at some popular alternatives to the traditional approach to recruiting.

1. Outsourcing

Outsourcing means that a project or task is not completed internally, but is transferred to a contractor or agency. There's a fixed-term contract for this one project and it's best for 'quick fixes' when teams are overwhelmed or suddenly run out of capacity.

The main attraction of outsourcing is its significantly low price. Sometimes it's as low as $ 10-20 an hour. But what's the catch? These developers don't work for you. Her focus is on multiple projects for different clients.

The result? The software delivered often does not meet the standard because the contractor lacks commitment, competence or communication. Sometimes no work is turned in at all. Outsourcing is usually seen as a temporary plug that is not sustainable in the long term, especially not for high value projects.

By focusing on the lowest possible price, one quickly loses sight of the importance of the quality of the results.

2. Offshoring

Although it is often confused, offshoring is a very different model than outsourcing. Going offshore means setting up your own software development center abroad - for example in India. The goal is to find top notch software developers (of the same quality as in the US or UK) who can become appreciative additions to your workforce.

There are numerous benefits to going offshore. Mostly through the ability to access real world-class talent at a lower cost than at home. India produces around 1.5 million engineers annually. This allows a much larger selection than in most western cities. Companies that build offshore teams can basically pick their employees.

By working with an offshore development partner to recruit on your behalf, creating a development team can be pretty straightforward.

3. Nearshoring

Nearshoring - or relocation - is like offshoring, only closer to your own location. For example, a software company in the US could set up an offshore team in South America because they share similar time zones and are geographically closer than India or Eastern Europe.

Nearshoring offers almost all the advantages of normal offshoring. The difference is that countries like India almost always come out on top when it comes to value for money: there are often lower prices, and you can almost always find better software developers.

How do you build a pipeline of the best candidates?

Look in the right places. The most powerful options are job portals and social media. Around 94% of recruiters use social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn to advertise their job offers and to communicate with potential employees.

The survey also found that 59% of employees say that a company's social media presence was one of the top reasons they chose their job. By using sites like LinkedIn, you can promote your opening, share different aspects of your business, post updates about your brand, and engage with potential candidates.

There is one problem, however - the traditional recruitment channels are now overcrowded. There are only a limited number of world-class software developers and far too many companies and agencies out to get their attention.

Where else can you look?

Blogs and technical posts

Developer blogs are real gold mines just waiting to be explored. They serve as a window to technical knowledge, problem-solving skills and the writing ability of the developer - all decisive criteria when identifying crème de la crème candidates.

Open source code websites

Millions of developers cavort on sites like GitHub and SourceForge. All you have to do is pick out a developer's sample code and evaluate it before deciding whether to contact them.


Quora is a website that provides answers to a wide variety of technical and non-technical questions. When looking for developers, be sure to ask about a variety of technical topics. Most of the people answering the questions will have in-depth, technical knowledge in their area of ​​expertise.

Slack channels

Slack is fast becoming one of the most popular in-house team and messaging tools out there. So popular that it is now used by groups with similar interests for communication. That means developers often belong to multiple channels - some of them are open to the public while others are private and require invitation. Joining these groups is a great way to find new talent and assess whether the candidates might have the qualities you are looking for.

Once you've built a pipeline of candidates you're happy with, it's time to move on to the next steps in the hiring process.

Common problems when finding and hiring new software developers

1. Compromise on quality

Finding the right candidate is crucial. If companies don't hire the right people, their chances of success are seriously reduced. The more important it becomes, the cost of one bad Attitude to be considered.

A 2017 Career Builder survey found that companies lose, on average, $ 15,000 for every bad hiring. What's worse, almost 3 in 4 employers know they hired the wrong person for a position.

The pressure is always great to hire new employees quickly. Despite the best of intentions, it is easy to promote candidates to the next phase of the interview, even if there is great doubt, or to ignore the gut feeling that is not convinced.

The result? Weeks or months later, the new settings just don't work. Wrong appointments can cost the company far more than just wages. Delayed projects and additional training can increase costs significantly. And as everyone knows, it is no longer so easy to fire someone!

Why is this happening?

The main reason a company hires someone unsuitable is again because of the cost-benefit ratio versus scarcity. When a company finds an affordable and, on the surface, competent developer, they'll want them to sign it at the bottom right before someone else makes them a better offer.

2. Put too much emphasis on technical knowledge

Sometimes too much emphasis is placed on the hiring of developers technical skills of the candidate - and not enough on his personal soft skills. Technical competence is crucial, but the best for a modern development team goes far beyond the nuances of any particular programming language or technology.

Top software developers don't waste time specifying and documenting programming languages. Learning a new language, technology, or design pattern is a relatively trivial task for a strong developer - one that takes no more than a few weeks.

If you want to determine a candidate's true potential, you need to look beyond technical know-how. Pay more attention to the candidate's ability to grasp complex relationships, creative thinking, communication skills and his or her personality.

So how can you set up a bulletproof hiring process?

1. Know your needs

It's very simple - really. If you don't know exactly what you need, you won't find it. It is not enough to know that you have to find software developers who have a certain level. You should know exactly what skills you expect from your ideal candidate and use them as a benchmark.

Make a list: tech stacks, experience, personal skills, and anything else you think is relevant. This list must be inclusive and thorough.

You can then create job descriptions for positions using this list as a template. Include all of the tasks and responsibilities that the employee must take on. This not only serves as the basis for the entire recruiting process, but also makes it easier to pre-select valuable candidates.

2. Block beyond the performance report

Finding software developers who have the necessary technical skills do best by challenging them to program in real time. Present the candidate with a problem that is not restricted by the programming language. The aim is to assess the candidate's broader technical knowledge, coding style, and problem-solving ability.

The next step is to have non-technical conversations with a potential candidate to understand their personality. The candidate might think that this is just a precursor to the actual interview and therefore react rather carelessly. This will help you learn a surprising amount about his personality, trust, honesty, and professionalism.

3. Win over the candidate

Throughout the screening process, you should be as honest as possible about your company culture, compensation, hours, location, goals, and expectations. This conversation is a chance for both sides to assess whether they are a good match.

Please never misrepresent your company, but rather as it really is. Remember, interviews are not a one-way street and candidates want to know as much about you as they do the other way around. Be honest, patient, and try to address all of the candidate's concerns.

4. Give someone the job!

The final step: make a decision. You've looked for just the right type of candidate, whether it's local or offshore, and have given them a thorough evaluation during the application process. The process is a lot of work. You have to find highly skilled software developers and bring them to your business, but the effort is well worth the effort.

At The Scalers, we run the recruiting process on your behalf from start to finish. We implement a careful hiring strategy that guarantees that your development team is based on highly qualified, experienced developers who will pour all of their skills into the software to be developed.

If you would like to find out more about how The Scalers can also support your company, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Editor's note:

When we speak of developers, programmers, candidates, employees, or other job titles in this article, we mean women and men alike.

Learn how to use The Scalers to build your dedicated software development team

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