6 Tips for Hiring a Software Developer

Hiring a software developer isn’t always easy.

A software developer position is one of the most difficult to fill in any organization. There’s also a lot on the line when it comes to hiring a software developer. If you hire the wrong one, it can negatively impact every aspect of your organization.

For these reasons, the recruiting process can be long, tedious, and time-consuming, not to mention stressful. But, while every situation is unique, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind during the process.

How to Hire a Software Developer

#1. Figure out what you want in a candidate.

There are many different types of software developers out there. There are also many different types of organizations and team cultures. Any software developer you hire for your team needs to be able to get the job done while also working harmoniously with your existing team and communicating properly with them.

Before you even start looking for a candidate, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. Hiring a software developer is not like falling in love at first sight — you’re probably not just going to “know” when you see them, unless you know what it is that you’re looking for.

Make a list of what you want in a candidate. This should include the skills you’re looking for, as well as what the ideal personality type is for the job.

#2. Don’t rely on hard skills alone.

The software developer you hire needs to be able to produce and get the job done. But, as I said, they also need to be able to communicate and work effectively with your team, work within specific timelines, and more.

Teamwork, work ethic, communication, and time management are all soft skills that you need in any software developer you hire. The tricky part is that they are more difficult to detect, because they don’t typically show up on a resume, but you should absolutely look for these kinds of soft skills when recruiting a software developer for your organization. After all, there’s more to a great developer than what they can do.

#3. Don’t put too much faith in experience alone.

Experience can tell you a lot about a candidate. It can tell you about what a candidate has accomplished in the past, how they’ve overcome challenges in the past, and about how they’ve learned and grown over the course of their career. But, there’s one big thing that you can’t learn from someone’s experience, and that’s their potential.

Study after study has found that the correlation between experience and performance is insignificant, at best. In fact, experience may even hamper performance in some ways. A software developer who has years of experience doing things one way may be less likely to think outside of the box and less open-minded about things in a new way.

Learn more about why you should hire for potential over experience when you check out my previous blog.

#4. Look for a candidate with a passion for the job.

Software developers aren’t done learning when they leave school. The industry is constantly changing, pushing new boundaries, and overcoming new challenges. It’s not the kind of career that can be learned once and never refreshed. Software developers need to be willing and able to stay up to date with the industry, and that requires passion.

Not only are passionate software developers more likely to stay up to date with the industry, but they’ll be more likely to get excited about the job at hand, which means that they’ll put more effort into it. You don’t want a software developer who’s just doing it for the paycheck. You want someone who is doing it because they love it.

#5. Look beyond their resume.

Resumes are great for learning about a candidate’s experience and hard skills, but there are many areas where resumes fall woefully short. As I’ve already mentioned, it’s difficult to learn about a candidate’s soft skills and potential by looking at their resume alone, but there’s one more big thing that you can’t learn from a resume — whether or not the candidate is a good culture fit for your organization.

Every organization has its own unique culture, and anyone you hire needs to add to that culture rather than taking away from it. When someone can get along well with your team and they share your goals and passions, it makes for a better work environment for everyone. Hiring a software developer who’s a good culture fit means that they will get more satisfaction from their job, which also means that they’ll be more passionate about the work.

Read my previous blog to learn about why culture fit matters.

#6. Don’t do it alone!

Software developers aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, and recruiting a software developer is often more involved than recruiting for other positions within your organization, like sales staff and customer service representatives. In addition to taking more time and energy than recruiting for other positions, recruiting a software developer is also expensive. And, the price tag gets exponentially higher if you end up hiring the wrong person for the job.

There’s absolutely no reason to go through the process of recruiting a software developer alone. With the right software developer recruiter on your side, you’ll be working with someone who knows what to look for in a candidate and how to choose the best one for your needs.

Get it right by working with the experts at Riderflex.

Riderflex is Colorado’s choice for tech recruiting, and we have what it takes to help you find the right candidates for your unique needs. Our unique recruiting process involves an interview with an industry expert, as well as an interview with an experienced C-level executive and a one-of-a-kind cultural analysis.

Learn more about our software developer recruiting process today!