A Guide to Hiring Software Engineers
5th October 2023
The demand for software engineers is increasing daily, which is great if you are one, but not so great if you're in need of hiring one!
Less than 10% of Engineers are actively looking for a job, and salaries have shot up over the past few years, with average earnings now around £51,000 (£63,000 in London).
Although it can be a challenge, hiring an engineer is entirely achievable by sicking to some basic guidelines and putting in the effort.
Enhance your employer brand
The first thing applicants will do when applying for a role is research your organisation. Keep things like your LinkedIn company page active, include videos and media of current employees to showcase your company culture and clearly communicate what you offer developers in terms of career growth. Engineers love solving challenges, so outline the type of projects and technology they’ll be working with.
Understand your needs
Take time to work out who you need and why. If you're focused on web apps or SaaS platforms, you might have to decide between hiring a full-stack developer or two specialist engineers (front-end and back-end).
The demand for full stack developers is off the scale, especially when you couple this with skills such as TypeScript, AWS etc. It could be quicker, easier and more cost effective in the long run to recruit individual front and back-end specialists.
Consider your budget and how this compares to your competitors. Research the market, talk to your network and speak to recruiters. This will allow you to get a better understanding of the best solution for your business.
Crafting a software engineer job advert
Good developers are in high demand and will have opportunities presented to them on daily basis, so keep your job ad, short and sweet.
The key areas to cover are:
Compensation and employee benefits, career progression opportunities, and the technical challenges they’ll be working on.
The technology you use and how it's applied.
Honest details about the recruitment process and realistic timeframes.
Interview and technical assessment
Historically, CVs would be the first port of call when assessing an applicant’s suitability for a role. However, when it comes to developers, platforms such as StackOverflow and GitHub can provide a more relevant insight into their technical ability. Ask to see relevant past projects relevant to the job you’re recruiting for.
Before it comes to a technical test or assignment, conduct a structured interview to evaluate knowledge and cultural fit. Technical tests can be time consuming and therefore deter potential applicants. Interviews tend to be shorter and still provide a good opportunity to gauge candidates’ knowledge and assess their cultural fit.
Depending on the level of experience of the engineer you’re hiring, the technical assessment can be carried out in various ways.
For more junior and mid-level roles, a live coding test is a good option. This allows the candidate an opportunity to perform and talk through a solution to a real scenario using platforms such as HackerRank.
For more senior hires, you could carry out a code review, whereby candidates assess some of your code and offers recommendations on how it could be improved. Alternatively, they could work through a systems design task using an online drawing tool.
Before jumping into the hiring process, ensure your company offers what senior software engineers seek. Alongside increased salary and flexible working, the opportunities for new challenges and continuous learning are main drivers for software engineers.
Zuse Talent Solutions recruitment model ensures effective hiring, when you need it. As an embedded recruitment company, we secure top talent at a much lower cost than traditional agencies (around 70% less). We work on a fixed-cost basis with no monthly rolling contracts.