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​Right now, businesses from every industry are creating some form of app, website or platform. The alarming pace at which these online technologies are moving means they have a short life, calling for the need for constant innovation and frequent upgrades. To make this vision reality, businesses hire Software Developers.

Responsible for engaging in each phase of the Software Development Life Cycle (analysis, design, development and testing, implementation, documentation and evaluation), the success of the product and the business’s ability to generate revenue relies heavily on hiring the best Software Developers to do the job.

As a start to help you, our Experis team of specialised Software Development recruiters have put together some key information on hiring.

A hiring manager with a coffee leaning over a laptop, looking into Software Development Recruitment.

When do businesses need a Software Developer?

Every business has unique hiring challenges, but we often help with finding Software Developers for the scenarios below.

Crunch time. When a team needs to work extra hours for extended periods to finish a project. When under resourced, businesses ask us to help with their hiring spree ASAP to get more hands on the project and ensure launch dates or deadlines are met. In these cases, we usually find short-term contractors.

Greenfield projects. This refers to a new project and usually involves finding a whole new team, including someone to lead. We recently did this for a client whose core business is education and sought to build a new mobile app to support students.

Executing the minimum viable product (MVP) strategy. An MVP is a product that is launched with just enough features to be useful but there are still many other features that will be implemented over time.

Managing more specialised responsibilities. For example, we find QA Testers to minimise risks for businesses as they identify any errors with the product before users do and ensure the product is at the high-quality before launch.

Replacing valuable team members.

Upgrading, migrating or re-platforming technology.

Assisting with technical debt. When a business needs to action catch up work because they initially took a shortcut to deliver a product.

Scalability. Sometimes when a product has taken off and becomes extremely successful, there aren’t enough staff to support the rising number of users.

What should you look for when hiring a Software Developer?

Qualifications can include degrees such as Bachelor of Computer Science or Bachelor of Software Engineering and also certifications for AWS Cloud, Azure Cloud, Agile and Solutions Architect.

Common skills can be:
•C# programming
•Computer Science
•JavaScript Programming; Angular, React, Vue, Node.js, React Native
•Java Programming
•Computer Science
•C++ Programming
•Git Version Control System
•Python Programming
•PHP/CMS Development
•Mobile Development
•Swift, Objective-C

What makes a candidate immediately stand out?

The first touch point is the candidate CV where language indicates professionalism, whether it’s customised indicating effort, achievements indicating relevance and tenure indicating reliability. Looking at tenure, if their contract hasn’t been extended, it may indicate the candidate has previously failed to meet expectations. On the other hand, if they have longevity and have had career progression under a single employer, this shows great potential. A candidate that has come from a similar or well-regarded company is also a stand-out and it indicates their capability.

In an interview, we assess listening skills and their articulation of what their involvement was in a project, the details of their tasks, how they helped and what the outcome was. We’re impressed if a candidate doesn’t need us to consistently ask them questions but instead, they know how to discuss, elaborate, and show they understand the business and what the job entails.

The best candidates don’t just meet the standard criteria but also show potential to add value to the business by offering a fresh perspective, new knowledge and a new outlook on development and features.

They’ll also positively enhance company culture, improve team collaboration and generate more excitement about what the team is building. Therefore, an affable nature is a huge tick (and reduces risk) as well as the ability to show their passion and enthusiasm such as doing development projects in their spare time.

What can businesses offer to attract Software Developers?

In the eyes of candidates, a decent salary, flexibility, career progression and work-life balance come as standard. Programmers want to know more about both what the role and their employer can offer them in return.

Software Developers immediately get excited if they get to work with the latest and greatest tech, whether this refers to the actual end-product offered to the market or the technology they use in the process to create it. Our advice is for employers to be willing to adapt and embrace new technology.

Software Developers are also drawn to employers who have a training budget, offering the opportunity for employees to keep up with evolving technology and upskill. Most employers offer access to courses, assistance in getting certified or, one of our clients offers personal development days where employees receive one day off a month to work on their own project or study.

For the best chances of smoothly transitioning an employee into a new role, employers need to be as transparent as possible in the recruitment process. Be realistic about the resources and deadlines they’ll have to deliver a project. Provide them with high visibility over whether their contract is likely to end early or be extended. Businesses often don’t think to explain what the team structure and dynamics are like, which is important in setting expectations before candidates start and avoiding any unpleasant surprises. What’s the team size? Will they work by themselves or alongside colleagues in similar roles who all report to the Chief Technology Officer? What is the hierarchical structure? How does the team best collaborate to avoid a blaming culture?

Employers also need to be efficient as possible in their recruitment process as Software Developers usually apply for more than one role. If they don’t receive regular updates, they’ll assume they aren’t likely to get the job and accept opportunities offered elsewhere.

As for business size, it really varies from candidate to candidate. Some want the big brands on their resume, some want to scale up in a mid-tier organisation and others want to work at a start-up for the more relaxed culture.

Additional Recruitment Insights

We find a lot of contractors opt for permanent roles because they have the mindset that it’s more secure. Employers for these permanent roles should think about what they can offer to retain their Software Developers otherwise as soon as another attractive contractor role comes out, they’re likely to go for it.

Most candidates in Software Development on our radar site willingness to leave their current employer due to their current pay rate. Make sure you review your rates every quarter, particularly if you’ve recently reduced them, in order to retain good people.

When we talk to our clients, the ones that succeed have made user experience a top priority.

Although still heavily debated, we’re seeing more clients leaning towards hiring full-stack developers due to their end-to-end capability rather than hiring specialised front-end or back-end developers.

To learn why you might want help from a recruitment agency in the first place, click here.

To learn how to select the right recruitment agency for you, click here.

Contact Us

If you’re an employer looking to hire the best in Software Development, Testing and QA, get in touch with us via the quick form below.

Ask us about the time we:

Helped a major AU business deliver the launch of a new product/website to market in a tight timeframe by hiring a significant number of niche software development professionals at a variety of levels. We successfully placed over 35 permanent, fixed term and contract staff within the first 18 months including: Java/Spring Developers and Lead Developers, Digital Experience Designers, Scala Engineers, iOS/Android Developers, UX/Visual Designers, Digital Project Manager, Change Managers, Senior QA, Technical Leads, Iteration Managers, and Agile Bas.