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How to Find Senior Software Developers in 2022

January 12th, 2022

Evgenia Kuzmenko KITRUM Brand ManagerEvgenia Kuzmenko

Hiring a senior developer is not the same as recruiting at the entry-level. Even if your pool of qualified candidates is extremely limited, you must thoroughly vet someone who will have a lot of influence and authority over your organization. Moreover, attracting the right talent entails more than just creating an eye-catching job posting. You might be unaware of some oversights. The goal of any hiring process is to find the best possible candidate for the job. But what if the best don’t apply in the first place?

Before we get into the meat of the matter – how to hire senior developers without a hitch – consider the five main reasons your hiring strategy is failing you.

Why do you have trouble hiring skilled programmers

Here are some critical mistakes that corporate HR departments make when attracting and retaining top-tier talent.

  1. Poor onboarding 

An organization’s onboarding of new hires should be a year-long strategic process to ensure talent acquisition and retention. However, many employers are not taking the necessary precautions. According to 2021 employee onboarding statistics, 88 percent of businesses fail to onboard effectively. A lack of a process can result in several negative outcomes for both the employee and the employer.

  1. A doubtful employer brand 

Earning and maintaining a good reputation is challenging for new and established organizations. When bad publicity emerges, companies could be portrayed as reckless, misleading, or appear to be only looking out for their own best interest. According to a publication, employers failing to invest in their reputation among potential candidates – their employer brand – could be paying an additional £2,720 per employee hired, compared to companies with a good reputation. To improve your company’s candidate experience, review your recruitment process, analyze what works well and where more attention is needed. Ask yourself: does our hiring process consider the candidate’s perspective? If not, put yourself in the shoes of a job-seeker and design your recruitment accordingly.

  1. Lack of a recruitment strategy

A recruitment strategy is a plan of action to identify, attract, and hire the best candidates for your open positions. These are primary starting points that range from job board posting to more advanced tactics such as leveraging job sites, using a traditional recruiting agency, or developing an employee referral program. Hiring strategies can be implemented at any stage of the recruitment process. 

But then what causes the majority of them to fail, and what would you say is your biggest hiring stumbling block? True, your answers may differ depending on the size of your company or the types of roles you’re filling. However, six reasons appear to be at the root of most companies’ flawed hiring strategies. These can be:

  • No set objectives.
  • Talent shortage.
  • Ineffective application process. 
  • Inadequate interview management.
  • Outdated hiring models.
  1. Unrealistic expectations 

Just because a company has imagined a rockstar software engineer does not mean that multiple copies of him or her will flood their inbox the moment a job posting is published. Being ‘overly selective’ can make it difficult to find your version of an ideal candidate. Some examples of such unrealistic expectations from hiring managers include:

  1. Ambiguous requirements

Many of the top skills and competencies sought after by graduate recruiters, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership, are self-explanatory. But what about dealing with ambiguity? It may be less obvious, but it will be critical to your success if you want to advance in hiring the right people. Creating an employee handbook, a clear job description for each function and a set of expectations, objectives, and deadlines are some ways of coping with ambiguity at work. 

  • The perfect candidate ticks all the boxes
  • Senior developers know everything about software development
  • Hires can multi-function in several departments.

Things to consider before hiring senior developers

What should matter most when looking for senior developers? 

  1. Soft vs. hard skills

Employers look for applicants with both hard and soft skills during the job application and interview process. The best candidates will make an effort to demonstrate both skill sets. The primary distinction between hard skills and soft skills is how they are acquired and applied in the workplace.

Among the technical (hard) skills of a software engineer are the following:

  • Software developments
  • Object-oriented design (OOD)
  • Software testing 
  • Debugging 
  • Computer programming and coding.
  • Examples of soft skills

Soft skills examples include:

  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Patience
  • Adaptability
  • Accountability
  • Creativity
  1. Remote vs. In house collaboration

There is constant debate about whether an in-house or remote team model is more effective. There are significant distinctions between these two team models. Since the COVID-19 era has altered our perspective on in-house and remote teams, it’s likewise time modern businesses leveraged modern solutions. According to a survey by Mckinsey and Company, technical services are one of those with the highest potential for remote work.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of remote and in-house teams to help decide which suits best. 

Remote team benefits

  • Cheaper overhead costs as companies get to save money on pace, equipment, and management.
  • Gives companies a broader talent pool to explore since they can hire staff in other countries.
  • Allows staff to be more independent.
  • Fewer work interruptions, ultimately increasing productivity.

Disadvantages

  • Communication among employees could be challenging, especially when dealing with people in different time zones.
  • Team management and supervision could be more tasking.

In-office team benefits

  • Internal teams are generally more expensive to hire and retain
  • Management and supervision of teams are easier.
  • Employee training and development work better in-house.

Disadvantages

  • Limited versatility and talent
  • The work process is easily interrupted 
  1. Long term vs. short term project

One of the most critical issues to address when hiring senior software engineers is the project’s duration. Short-term projects typically last 3-6 months, while long-term projects last a year. Discussing the timeframe of your project with prospective hires aids in creating a reasonable budget and schedule for both employees and the company.

  1. Certifications vs. experience

Hiring managers are more likely to choose candidates with experience in similar IT environments and fit in well with the company’s corporate culture rather than looking solely at the number of certifications after their names. Some may wonder why there is a need for professional certifications to understand while working on the job. The reason is that on-the-job training remains a highly desirable experience for both candidates and employers. Rather than focusing on either certification or experience, you should prioritize both because they play equally important roles in determining the best candidate.

  1. Manual hiring vs. use of automation software

Hiring by hand is quickly becoming obsolete. If you rely solely on your HR managers to sift through the noise and select qualified candidates, you may be passing up on a lot of talent. Because approximately 46 percent of recruiters believe they do not have enough data to make sound decisions, approximately 71 percent believe they require intelligent tools to process data more quickly.

So it’s time to take things up a notch. Automated systems are now available to alleviate the stress of hiring for businesses. Here’s our list of A-rated tools you can choose from.

  • Recruiterbox
  • Cornerstone
  • People force
  • Skeeled
  • Traffic

In addition to the smart software mentioned above, here are some platforms or methods for finding software developers.

  • Recommendations: Begin by asking employees to recommend any senior developers they may know.
  • Social media platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, etc.
  • Forums: Medium, Quora, and GitHub.
  • Freelance websites: Upwork, Freelancer.com, Fiverr, etc.
  • Job search websites: Indeed.com, Glassdoor, Coursera, etc.

Quick tips for senior software developer recruitment 

Recently I wrote an article on “How To Conduct Interview For Senior Software Developers“. Here are more tips.

Create a recruiting budget

Senior software developers earn between $98k and $175k per year on average. Only a few companies, it is argued, can afford this salary range.

Therefore, having a reasonable budget is a good place to start when looking for senior developers. However, the task is not as simple as it appears. Consider the following when planning and developing a spending plan that works for you:

  • Decide how many developers you want on your team. Simultaneously calculate cost per hire.
  • Compare and contrast your basic expenditures with your fixed expenditures. Check the basic needs of your HR team, the cost of advertising on job boards, and the other hand, how much will it cost to hire employees by organizing company events, through agencies, referral programs, or by using recruiting software? 
  • Factor in your miscellaneous expenses.

Provide clear job specifications

How can you expect someone to accomplish their work if their responsibilities are not clearly explained to them? A widespread misunderstanding in HR policies is that job descriptions are for lower-level positions, and mission statements are for higher-level ones. “C Level” professions like CEO, COO, CFO, and CTO are examples of higher-level occupations. When employees wonder what they are and are not accountable for in their roles, this notion can be highly costly to companies. By providing applicants with detailed job descriptions, you can ensure that they understand exactly what is expected of them if they are hired. The clarity in a job description puts prospective employees on the same page as you and aligns them with your company’s goals. This will aid in the selection of the best candidate for the job.

Conduct professional interviews

The interview is your opportunity to learn more about your prospective employees directly. You’ll be doing phone, video interviews and digging deeper into the abilities and requirements you’ve specified on your resumé. The interview largely assists you in evaluating essential characteristics such as passion, initiative, goals, cultural fit, attitudes, and communication skills. Here are some tips that can shape your interview stage effectively:

‘YES’

  • Reduce your candidates’ stress levels by informing them ahead of time about the types of questions you intend to ask.
  • Inquire about behavior and situations.
  • Once you’re confident in your applicant, sell the role and the organization.

‘NO’

  • Forget about pre-interview preparation; instead, make a list of the characteristics of an excellent candidate and use it to create relevant questions.
  • Involve too many coworkers in the interviews – multiple checks are helpful, but too many people can bog down the process.
  • Think about the cultural fit” — remember, people, need time to adapt.

Align your team with your needs

The true power of team collaboration is not based on numerical strength. Yes, more people should, in theory, accomplish more. However, if many people work individually without pooling their capabilities, much potential will be lost. The success rate rises with higher team alignment, and benefits such as the following can be realized.

  • Improved communication among team members.
  • Coordination and communication become more effective.
  • The level of trust among team members rises.
  • Improves both creativity and performance.
  • Teams have a high moral rate.
  • The effectiveness of teams improves.

Over to you!

The interview is the cornerstone of the hiring process, yet science has shown the odds aren’t in your favor. This updated guide offers ways for drastically improving the one decision that influences everything you may achieve: who you hire! If you’re looking for a complete team of experienced professionals, rather than just one senior developer, get in touch with us for more advice on how to find the right fit.

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