How To Hire Software Engineers

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Table Of Contents

Why is it so hard to hire software engineers? These roles are highly technical and often demand stellar people skills. The best software engineers are both creative and precise, able to listen and take feedback, and come up with new solutions to complex problems.

It’s no wonder that candidates for software engineering roles can be hard to find. Competition for technically skilled candidates is high, and job openings are growing faster than universities and bootcamps can churn out qualified applicants.  If you’re struggling to hire a software engineer, here’s what you need to know.

If you’re ready to hire a software engineer now, post your job on ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter distributes your job posting to 100+ other job sites with a single click. You can get started with ZipRecruiter for free.

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How To Recruit Software Engineers

When trying to fill software engineering roles, focus on the essential functions of the job and then look for candidates who can fulfill those requirements. This may mean broadening your educational requirements. Consider candidates with coding bootcamp and other experience, as well as those with four-year degrees in technical disciplines.

Software developers and engineers are in demand, so cast a wide net when looking for qualified applicants. Look at niche job boards aimed at developers, general job sites, referral programs, job fairs, and recruiters.

Consider moving your skills testing early in the process, to save time and frustration–for you, as well as for prospective hires.

To get you started, check out our software engineer job description.

Top Skills To Look For In Software Engineers

When you’re trying to hire a software engineer, skill set is the most important factor.

Software Engineer Hard Skills

Software engineer skill sets are highly variable, depending on their specific job duties and requirements. However, you may want to include some of these programming languages, tools, and technologies in your job posting:

  • CRM software such as Oracle Eloqua and Salesforce
  • Database management software such as Amazon DynamoDB, MongoDB, and Oracle PL/SQL
  • Development environment software such as Apache Ant, COBOL, and Go
  • ERP software such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, NetSuite ERP, and Oracle Hyperion
  • Programming languages such as C++, Java, Python, and Scala
  • Program testing software such as Hewlett Packard LoadRunner, JUnit, and Selenium
  • Project management software such as Confluence, Microsoft Teams, and Slack
  • Web development software such as Backbone.js, Microsoft ASP.NET Core MVC, and React

Software Engineer Soft Skills

Because software engineers often work with teams and interact with clients and project stakeholders, they must have excellent people skills, including:

  • Attention to detail: Software development is a complex and ever-evolving process with many small details to track and manage. Engineers must be organized and able to focus.
  • Communication skills: Software engineers need verbal and written communication skills to explain technical concepts to non-technical people.
  • Creativity: Complex problems often require creative solutions and software engineers must be able to think of new approaches in order to resolve problems.
  • Leadership: Senior engineers may be asked to manage other members of the development team and should have leadership and management skills.
  • Listening: To understand client requirements, gather input, and get consensus, software engineers must be able to listen, ask follow-up questions, and integrate their findings into solutions.
  • Problem-solving skills: To succeed in this role, employees must be able to come up with solutions to issues that arise during development.
  • Teamwork: Software engineering and development frequently means working with others in a team setting and collaborating to solve problems.

Where To Find Software Engineers

Demand for software engineers is expected to skyrocket over the next 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in this area will grow 22% between 2020 and 2030. So, expect lots of competition.

The good news is that there are plenty of places to find candidates. In addition to free job boards, there are many niche job sites focused solely on tech talent. You can also post software engineer jobs on general job boards, frequently with an option to pay for premium placement.

Consider some of these options:


Dice bills itself as the leading career marketplace for tech talent. The site has 4.6 million members and 1.2 million visitors each month. Employers who want to post jobs can opt for one of three packages starting at $495 per job posting or contact the company for a customized solution.


Want to proactively reach out to qualified candidates? ZipRecruiter’s powerful AI finds top talent and seamlessly integrates with your ATS for maximum efficiency. Customize your plan as a subscription or pay for performance. There are also premium and standard packages–free trial included.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is It Hard To Hire Software Engineers?

Software engineers are in demand, which means that competition for top candidates can be intense. Employers should be clear about the role’s requirements, qualifications, and functions before recruiting.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Software Engineer?

Job boards and referral programs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but the real expense in hiring software engineers is compensation: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that software developers and engineers earn a median annual salary of over $110,000.

How Do I Hire A Freelance Software Engineer?

Employers looking for contract or freelance software engineers can try niche or general job boards. Many job sites will let companies filter searches by contract, part-time, or full-time workers.

What Is The Best Way To Hire A Software Developer? 

The best way to hire a software engineer is to take a multi-prong approach. Consider niche and general job boards, referral programs, and headhunters.

The Bottom Line

To hire a software engineer, focus on the essential functions of the job, look beyond degrees, and use assessment tools to test candidates’ skill sets. Ready to find your next hire? Consider posting your job opening on ZipRecruiter.