Hiring Developers: Challenges During a Global Economic Transition

Hiring developers in the current economic climate is challenging and attracting skilled developers has proven to be a significant undertaking. Yes, there’s a considerable talent pool, but competition for the best and brightest is fierce. And while the outlook looks promising for developers, it’s not going to be as great for companies looking to hire them. According to CodinGame’s latest developer survey, 61% of HR professionals believe this will be their biggest challenge in the year ahead.

Hiring Developers: Challenges During a Global Economic Transition
Enticing and retaining top developer talent for software firms presents many challenges.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that in 2019, approximately 1,469,200 full-time software developers were operating in the US, raking in an average salary of $107,510. Over the next 10 years, BLS estimates the US labor market will add about 31,000 new jobs each year on average.

For software development firms, this means trying to figure out the best ways to entice and retain top developer talent. We all know a bad hire can cost your company time and money, so, let’s unpack the challenges you may face in hiring developers and also discuss ways to attract the best candidates for your software development firm.

The Effects of Hiring the Wrong Developer For Your Team

“Anytime the capable and competent person you hired for a job fails to deliver (on projects, work, attitude or respect) consistently, they’ve become a liability.”  – Lindsay Teague Moreno, author of Boss Up!

Let’s expand on these truths.

Decreased Productivity

Facebook (META) founder Mark Zuckerberg once remarked: “Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good. They are 100 times better.” This implies that “pretty good” is likely to affect productivity. Someone who isn’t performing well is likely missing deadlines or taking time away from other team members, impacting team, and ultimately, organizational goals.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance Costs

A developer who consistently writes bad code disrupts what would have normally been a solid and effective codebase. When this happens, other team members could be pulled from their assignments to troubleshoot and fix the issues. Not ideal.

Further, erroneous code goes beyond developer time. Bug-ridden projects released to clients could hurt future jobs and dent the company’s reputation.

hiring developers
Knowing the type of talent you want to hire is an important first step in the recruiting and hiring developers process.

What Type of Developer are You Looking For?

CodinGame’s aforementioned survey of 15,000 developers and HR managers suggests that hiring managers “haven’t quite gotten the message.” While technical challenges and salaries are obviously important for developers, only 6.8% of managers understand the importance of flexible working hours.

Programmers want challenging assignments, with 20% of respondents saying that being given ‘interesting technical challenges to solve’ was the most important factor when considering a job offer. This was followed by flexible hours and a healthy work-life balance (18.5%), salary (13%), and company culture (10.9%).

Half of the developers surveyed said that being targeted with irrelevant job opportunities was most annoying. The lack of feedback after interviews is a source of frustration for 48% percent of respondents, while 38% are put off by irrelevant technical interview questions.

The first step to remedy this is for hiring managers to evaluate their company’s objectives. What types of skills are needed to meet those objectives? Next, look at the projects you have open or those in the pipeline. What skills are required to ensure a successful outcome? Once these are clearly defined, you can begin writing a job description that will attract rather than repel.

Most developers fall into one of three categories:

  • Front-end Developers write code for the user interaction components of the system.
  • Back-end Developers work on the behind-the-scenes code that gives the app its functionality. These developers typically use languages like Java or C#.
  • Full-stack Developers, as the name suggests, are experienced in both front and back-end functions.

Each of these roles has specific tools and technologies associated with them. Needless to say, your evaluation should ensure candidates have the experience and qualifications necessary for a particular role. Depending on your software development project’s needs, you may want someone who also has soft skills. If you are working in an Agile environment, the ability to compromise, share ideas and effectively work in a team will rank high. If you are relying on the developer to architect or design the solution, they should be able to communicate effectively with non-technical users.

Developers Now Have Significant Freedom of Choice

As recruiters battle it out for top developer talent, software professionals are poised to gain more flexibility over who they work for, where, and when. The numbers support this. When asked how easy they felt it would be to change jobs (on a scale of 1-10) the average response was 7.

With the rapid rise of remote work, employees have savored the benefits of flexible work arrangements and have clearly signaled that they are not prepared to give up this newfound freedom. This statement of intent is borne out by the numbers, with a recent LiveCareer survey finding that nearly a third (29%) of employees are prepared to quit if told they were no longer offered the option to work remotely. Meanwhile, 18.5% of respondents want flexible hours and a healthy work-life balance. Therefore, unfortunately, companies may miss out on great talent if a remote work option isn’t available.

Cater to the Needs of Your Talent Pool

“Too often, the tech industry’s usual slate of perks doesn’t have as much impact when it comes to retaining the most top-shelf, experienced talent,” notes Stack Overflow COO Jeff Szczepanski, who adds that “in order to stick around, great developers need real career paths; in other words, not just a ‘hot’ job.”

So, what exactly do great developers want then?

Learning and Continuous Development

Developers are curious by nature. They are always eager to learn new languages, frameworks, and technology. This is crucial given that we’re in an era witnessing the fastest technological advancement in history. Something relevant a year ago, (indeed, a month ago, a week ago) may longer be effective today. Not engaging with new technology will stunt their growth. Worse, project outcomes will suffer as developers toil (and become frustrated) with outdated technology.

Individual Projects

Let’s face it, performing the same tasks every day can get boring. Top developers want to be freed from these constraints and work on their own projects. Obviously, this shouldn’t impede daily work responsibilities or overall organizational objectives. However, allowing them time to work on these projects keeps them motivated and excited about work.


High-impact candidates want a greater level of influence and impact on any given project. Empower them with opportunities to share their ideas, make recommendations, perhaps even make key decisions.

Hire Seasoned Development Talent Through Growin’s IT Consultancy

Every day, a new piece of technology comes online that can be leveraged to better support world-class recruiting. And while it can be challenging to keep on top of technological developments, it’s essential for forward-looking firms looking to effectively manage their software developer recruiting strategies in 2022 and beyond.

At Growin, we know that technology by itself is not the be-all and end-all, but crucially, a powerful enabler of innovative recruiting solutions and approaches.  When firms become aware of how a new tool or service makes a function easier, cheaper, faster, they’ll very often see how that tool could transform other operational areas even if it wasn’t created with those other applications in mind.

That’s why we recruit and retain the best IT talent out there to enhance your business and technical capacity. From recruitment and career management to project development and delivery, our IT Consultancy team has a deep understanding of the stakes and technical challenges of each IT Outsourcing project and will support you in reaching your business goals, faster.

Looking for a dynamic software development outfit that can adapt to your needs? Reach out to us and be assured of a flexible IT partner that adapts to your cultural and technical environment, while supporting your software development needs over a wide range of backend, frontend, and full-stack technologies.

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