A career in software development is often seen as the golden goose, and a contingent of people is trying to learn the ropes of programming to get into this field. Seen from this point of view, anyone would believe that there’s a vast pool of possible candidates to fill any position in the tech industry. However, quantity isn’t a synonym for quality. Hiring someone for software development is always a huge struggle. Consequently, there are many hiring challenges in software development.
Filling senior positions is even more challenging because of the labor shortage caused by the sudden digitalization and penetration of technology into industries. The pandemic accelerated this, and the demand keeps growing up.
But do not fret, there’s a solution for all of these pressing issues. However, it’s essential to understand the source in order to overcome them right away.
Top 4 hiring challenges in software development (and the solutions)
1. Interviews take a lot of time
Finding qualified candidates and deciding who is the fittest for the position isn’t as swift as it should be. An HR department could take care of some steps, but the heaviest part of the screening process falls onto the development team’s managers.
Involving engineers or tech managers in the process is the best way to decide who the best candidate to fill the position is. However, this consumes a lot of working time and resources. Unless you have a huge company, the interview process that takes weeks or even months is an unnecessary luxury.
Solution: Structured screening
The first step is to devise an efficient hiring process. Before posting an ad, before anything, it’s mandatory to plan the profile of that new employee, detailing precisely what skills are needed and more.
Forget about job titles. For example, asking for a “Frontend engineer” is vague. A Frontend engineer can work in various frameworks (vanilla JS, React, and many more). So ask for specific skills, rating them as high to low importance. A set of predefined guidelines and well-structured and automated tools will make the hiring process more cost-effective
2. Resumes vs. skills
It’s possible to find many educational backgrounds in software development job applications – from bachelor’s and master’s degrees and coding boot camps to online courses and self-taught professionals. Impressive resumes, embellished with certificates and degrees, aren’t an accurate indicator of skill level or professional success.
Even huge companies such as Meta, Apple, or Google have stopped requiring a degree or some level of education. This is because a formal degree gives some theory and structured knowledge but isn’t a guarantee of the capacity to apply theory into practice.
Solution: Practical task and screenings
It’s good to pay attention to the resume, but don’t let it deceive you. Try to assess candidates based on skills rather than education or experience. Let them show you their skills and ambition.
Think about tech screening. For instance, some companies ask candidates to perform a coding task that is automatically scored. Then, the ones who have been approved can move to the next step of the interviewing process.
3. Shortage of candidates
There are a lot of software engineers and developers, but not all are the perfect fit for your company. As education isn’t structured and regular and technology keeps evolving, changing and growing, people also learn whatever is popular or accessible, leaving out some specific skills.
For example, many people are ready to work in web, Android, or iOS development. Still, if you look for a person proficient in coding in Crystal or Elyxir, even working on AI or augmented reality, they can be a little harder to find.
Solution: Think remotely
Don’t be afraid to expand your borders. Hiring remotely can be the answer to finding suitable candidates that can deal with more exclusive technologies. Don’t limit your pool of talent. Another option, ideal for some positions, is to take time to teach the candidate some details or skills needed for the job, based on the similarity with their actual skill set. Look for those software coding methods that match the structure and criteria of that new software or technology. This will make the learning process faster and more efficient.
4. Market competition
Recruiting for smaller businesses can make you feel like a bicycle competing in an F1 race. Everybody is looking for tech personnel, so every company has to compete to attract candidates. However, the problem is that those strategies used to lure candidates aren’t as effective as before. How can a small company compete against unlimited vacations or a huge salary?
Solution: find your voice
Not all people are looking for the same “benefits.” What looks like stability for some, looks like a jail for someone else. Take some time to understand what your business has to offer: education, flexible schedule, workplace perks, the possibility of going remote, bonuses, and even the core beliefs of your company. At this point, the culture and identity of your company is your biggest asset.
You can overcome some of the hiring challenges in software development by adopting a new human resources paradigm. It’s about skill sets and being able to resolve problems. It’s time to leave filling out job applications and sending resumes in the past as it can’t display a person’s knowledge and skills.
Adopting or developing new technologies that automatically test skills and dexterity can speed up the process, making finding and hiring new talent smoother and more straightforward.