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How to Manage Software Development Team Recruiting

Last updated: November 11, 2022 ·

The demand for software developers and engineers is increasing, unfortunately contributing to an existing shortage of software talent. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for software developers to grow by 25% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

IDC, a leading market intelligence firm, predicts that there will be four million fewer developers than needed by 2025. This indicates an ongoing shortage of qualified individuals for these positions. In this tight job sector, companies need to create a long-term strategy about how they will manage software development team recruiting.

Not only do companies compete with each other for software talent, but they also must compete with the entrepreneurial spirit. According to the 2018 Developer Survey by Stack Overflow, 25% of developers hope to be founding or co-founding their own company within the next five years.

Software Development Team Recruiting
Source: Stack Overflow Developer Survey Results from 2018

With statistics such as these, we can see the hiring market will be in the employee's favor for some time. Companies must be strategic about planning for, building, and retaining their teams. Let's go through some basics of managing software development team recruiting.

25% of developers hope to be founding or co-founding their own company within the next five years. Click To Tweet

Estimating Costs for Recruiting a Software Development Team

The first step is to get a handle on costs and project timelines.  When you are in the middle of a project and need to add expertise quickly, consider temporarily augmenting your team to get you past a crunch time. 

Whatever the situation, try to set aside some time for more strategic planning around your software development needs.

There are many factors to consider when estimating the cost of recruiting a software development team. Project complexity is the first consideration. 

Remember that a tight deadline can make even a relatively straightforward project feel more complex. A project with a tight deadline may also require higher salaries to attract talented developers who can work quickly.

The size of the team will obviously play a role as well. If the project needs a large team, it will also drive up recruiting costs. A well-defined project roadmap will help you predict when you will need to staff up.

The experience level of the developers is another crucial factor. As the saying goes, time is money, so cheaper salaries do not always guarantee saving money. Experienced developers will command higher salaries, but they can usually get the job done more quickly and with less internal stress. Sometimes, it may be worth paying a little extra for a developer with more experience.

Naturally, local talent will cost more if your company location is in an expensive area. In that case, consider a blend of in-house developers working with an outsourced or nearshore team component. 

Finally, don't forget to account for staff time and expenses in posting job descriptions, screening candidates, interviewing, and extending offers. Recruiting talent can add hours to an already busy project manager's weekly workload. That is why some companies turn to a recruiter to help with the hiring process.

Using a Recruiter to Develop Your Software Development Team

A recruiter can play an important role in helping companies hire software development teams and save the company a lot of time in searching for and screening candidates. 

Recruiters work closely with hiring managers to identify the specific skills and experience that the company needs. They are responsible for sourcing and screening candidates and conducting interviews and reference checks. 

To be successful, recruiters need to have a good understanding of the software development process and the latest industry trends. They are also good communicators who enjoy nurturing a large network of contacts.

By working closely with all stakeholders, recruiters can help to ensure that companies can hire the best possible software development team for their needs.

Internal Strategies for Software Development Team Recruiting 

The downside of using a recruiter is their fees can be expensive. Companies need to get creative in a tight talent market. To find top-notch developers, try these tips:

  • Focus on connecting with talent already in your network
  • Talk up the more cutting-edge or innovative aspects of your tech. If that isn't possible, tout the fact that you offer paid time for working on interesting open-source projects
  • Reach out through forums like Quora and social media channels like Twitter
  • Ask your existing developers for leads to talented colleagues
  • Leverage any alumni networks
  • Sponsor developer events like hack-a-thons

The above tips should be an ongoing part of your team-building strategy, not just when actively hiring. Being visible and supportive will allow you to maintain the contacts so you can avoid working with a recruiter when the time comes to start the hiring process. 

Outsourcing or Staff Augmentation for Software Development Teams

Another strategy for team building is outsourcing or staff augmentation to get work done. Some sources use the terms interchangeably, but the two have some key differences. 

Outsourcing refers to hiring an outside firm to handle all or part of the project milestones. Nearshore hiring means outsourcing talent within a country or global region rather than across the globe in different time zones. Teams may benefit from being in similar time zones, for example.

Staff augmentation is more like strategically inserting experts without hiring them outright. Companies may bring in additional workers to supplement an existing team, often on a temporary basis. 

As a result, staff augmentation is generally more suited to projects with established systems and processes. At the same time, outsourcing is often preferable for companies that lack the internal resources to handle a particular function.

Moving Ahead

Software development team recruiting takes a strategic, long-term approach to balance costs and results.  If you're looking for advice on scaling up your development team, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your project! We are experts in everything from custom development roadmaps to nearshore outsourcing and team augmentation services. We can help you maximize the success of your project —large or small.

Six Internal Strategies for Software Development Team Recruiting 

In a tight talent market, companies need to nurture talent networks year-round. To find top-notch developers, try these tips:

  • Focus on connecting with talent already in your network.
  • Talk up the more cutting-edge or innovative aspects of your tech. If that isn't possible, tout the fact that you offer paid time for working on interesting open-source projects.
  • Build relationships by being active on forums like Quora and social media channels like Twitter.
  • Ask your existing developers for leads to talented colleagues.
  • Leverage any alumni networks
  • Sponsor developer events like hack-a-thons.

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