How to Hire Software Engineers in 2021

There is a growing need for dedicated software engineers across every industry. Rapid technology advancements have resulted in a demand for hiring a software engineer with in-depth technical skills. As technologies advance, the ability to build high-quality software considering design, security, maintenance, and development is in demand amongst all types of businesses.

We’ve put together an extensive list of strategies you can use to hire a software developer for your business or project. These strategies will help you hire any type of engineer: freelance, full-time, remote, part-time, in-house, or any other combination.

What is software engineering?

Software engineering is an emerging branch associated with the design, development, and maintenance of software. It is the process of analyzing user requirements and then building a software application to satisfy those requirements.

You can’t go far without using the software. From the car you drive to work in, or the alarm that wakes you up, to the computer you use, it’s almost impossible to ignore the existence of software. Software is an integral part of devices that make your business and daily life comfortable. Your mobile phones, laptops, public transportation, and digital home appliances rely on intelligent software.

Where to find the best software engineers
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Where to find the best software engineers?

Finding the best software engineer can be challenging. Most companies find it hard to hire software engineers with the right skills and experience to complement a perfect technical team. Professional software engineers are high in demand but short in supply.

We’re going to make your hiring process more palpable by mentioning some of the best options to help you find a software engineer.

1. Freelance Platforms

They are a speedy way to hire software engineers who are already looking for a job. Freelance platforms usually divide into two categories: general & niche-specific. 

General: the most famous platforms belong here, such as Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer. Prices can range from very cheap to very expensive. The main problem of such platforms is that there is no vetting of candidates. Anyone can claim he is a designer or developer there.

Niche-specific: These platforms are made to find software engineers only. They can speed up the hiring process, although this way may be slightly more expensive.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for both remote and on-site software engineers. Here, you can look through CVs, explore the candidates, and make an expert opinion about the person you wish to contact.

3. GitHub

GitHub is a Microsoft owned subsidiary that provides hosting for version control and software development using Git. This platform is a trove when it comes to portfolios and past projects. More than 50 million engineers use the service, and GitHub jobs regularly post various software engineering projects.

4. Medium

Many software engineering professionals are passionate about sharing what they have learned on websites such as Medium. Medium posts cover a large variety of software development topics. There, you can easily find an engineer who has worked with your tech stack.

5. Twitter

On Twitter, you can use hashtags to search for the latest or top tweets related to tech stacks that you search for. To find software engineers with relevant skills, search for the relevant tech stack by clicking on the ‘’people’’ tab. Overall, Twitter tends to be a better source for finding the best software engineer, developer, or programmer. The main disadvantage: it requires a lot of effort and time.

6. Facebook groups

This strategy is another excellent way to hire software engineers in your area. You can search for the groups based on a relevant project. There, you either make a post about your job opportunity or reach out to more active members. Continue to interview those who are showing more interest in your offer.

7. Forums & communities

There, you may find the right candidate or someone who can recommend them. Look at the profiles and set up an interview with those who pass your initial screening. Best software engineer’s forums for you include Reddit, Dzone, Codeproject, and Hashnode.

8. Conferences & meetups

They are perfect when it comes to finding software engineers near you. You can start by searching online for regular tech meetups or nearby conferences. Search for specific meetup categories related to your project.

9. Paid ads

With direct advertising or paid ads, you can easily target software engineers with a specific skill set. You can advertise on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit to find the best candidates.

10. Personal referrals

High-quality software engineers tend to associate with other dedicated workers. They can recommend people they know as a good fit for a position. Your existing team likely has a better understanding of what they need in a coworker than your hiring team, as well.

11. Technical blogs

Many brilliant and professional software engineers maintain blogs where they discuss and show off their projects. Finding candidates who show talents offers you an opportunity to reach out and invite them to apply.

12. Open-source portals

Open-source software is increasingly popular, and the people who contribute to it have publicly visible proof of their talents. There are plenty of employees available, whether you look for an individual project or professional contributors to large open-source businesses.

How much does it cost to hire software engineers
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How much does it cost to hire software engineers?

A well thought out hiring policy can help you examine how your organization spends both money and time. When hiring, make sure people fit into your project searching for a long-term business relationship. 

There are various factors you need to consider before hiring a software developer.

  • Writing a job description.
    It takes about an hour to write a good job description with an estimated cost about $25.  You need to be clear in your candidate requirements.
  • Job board posting.
    Now, you can begin posting on various employment sites or job boards. When you post to most websites, the charge varies from $25 to $100.
  • Social sourcing.
    Around 80% of candidates seeking employment use websites as GitHub or Stackoverflow. You might spend from $200 to $250 on ads there.
  • Hiring.
    Hiring agencies usually charge a fee, usually 15-30% of the salary with an average 22%. The total estimated charge is about $22000 per year.
  • Reviewing Applications.
    It takes about 5-6 minutes per candidate to do a simple screen of a cv and portfolio. If you end up with 100 candidates, you will spend almost $200 (8 hours of work at $25/hour).
  • Pre-screening.
    Let’s say you cut that list down to 16 applicants. For pre-screening, each call is going to last 10-15 minutes. The estimated cost is $100.
  • Other costs.
    Office work, management, training, travel expenses, and consulting services are also essential to consider.

Considering all these costs factors will help you to get the cost per hire (CPH) indicator. Please make sure that all the figures should belong to the same period.

$$\text {CPH} = \frac {\text {External Costs} + \text {Internal Costs}}{\text {Number of Hires}}$$

If you add up all these costs, it may come to $50,000 to hire a professional software engineer.

What should you look at when hiring software engineers
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What should you look at when hiring software engineers?

  1. Look for a candidate showing enthusiasm, ambition, and humility. Ask about their talents and strengths.
  2. Find a software engineer that is team-oriented and seeks collaboration. As the best fit goes both ways, an engineer must be good for the team, and the team must be satisfying for an engineer.
  3. A specialized engineer can manage perfectionism and pragmatism. Great developers can make both quick hacks and robust solutions.
  4. Assess their coding ability. A great software engineer knows how to code as part of a team. You can test their coding skill by using a combination of traditional interviews and code assessments.
  5. Determine a software engineer’s technical skills. Consider issuing a programming challenge with no language requirements. The accuracy of the resulting answer and the choice of language can say a lot about the candidate’s capability.
  6. Hire software engineers who do not afraid of bug fixing and debugging. Great software developers seem to dive right with Churchill-Esque tenacity. They don’t like it if the bug is outside their code and will find and fix it.
  7. Consider breaking the code. Ask a candidate to design a simple applet that performs a function when adding letters instead of numbers, code snippets, or special characters. A good developer should avoid these kinds of problems.
What is better: a software development company or a freelance software engineer
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What is better: a software development company or a freelance software engineer?

Now, we will discuss whether to hire a freelance software engineer or seek assistance from a software development company. The decision you make now will influence the whole project and impact its future success.

Freelance software developers

Freelancers are most suitable when you have a smaller project and want a professional to handle only a specific part of the software solution. Freelancers are generally available on an hourly basis or may charge you project-wise.

Pros of hiring a freelancer

  • Save 20-30% on the cost of smaller and less complex software development projects.
  • Their flexibility in work can result in faster project delivery and adaptability to ever-changing requirements from your side.
  • The online talent pool is vast, so you can easily find a software engineer with unique skills and experience.
  • Freelancers are motivated to deliver the results in as short a time as possible. It is in their best interest to meet the client’s expectations.

Cons of hiring a freelancer

  • They are typically experts in only one area, for instance, design, backend development, front-end software solutions, etc. So, you might have to hire another expert engineer having all-round skillsets.
  • Freelancers are less reliable and generally not accountable for your work.

Hiring a software development company

Custom software development organizations have a team of dedicated and highly-qualified engineers in different areas. They offer all-in-one services, from business analysis to QA and design. They typically propose service-as-a-package and are more budget-friendly than hiring a freelancer.

You can find the best software engineering companies on such platforms as OnBench, GoodFirms and

Pros of hiring software development companies

  • They deal with different types of projects of all sizes. Best for big-budget, complex projects.  
  • With a specialized development process and software engineering skills, you don’t have to worry about constantly monitoring their work.
  • Companies stay up-to-date with new trends and offer customers the best stack of technology.
  • More budget-friendly than freelance engineers.

Cons of hiring software development companies

  • Do not provide fast development services.
  • Lack of effective communication and control if you do not choose the company wisely.
  • Unlike freelancers, software development companies have strict working hours and show less flexibility in work.
How much time does it take to hire a software engineer
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How much time does it take to hire a software engineer?

The average time to hire a software engineer is 35 days with at least 30 interview reviews. The process can vary if you search for a particular skill set. The time also depends on many factors, such as company location, its size, and the seniority level of the project.

A small and medium-sized company can get over it within a few days, while multinational companies take months to examine and hire software engineers on board. Hiring junior-level engineers would be quicker than hiring senior-level program managers.

To make the process of hiring a software engineer faster, use OnBench team search. Here, you may find remote specialists or developer teams within minutes using many search parameters. All that is left to do is to contact the company offering developers for hire. You may also post the project and wait for the employees to come. As a result, you may spend several hours instead of weeks to find the best suitable professional for your team.

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