How Long Does It Take To Hire a Software Developer?

How Long Does It Take to Hire Software Developers?

In software development, the people you hire will be the difference between success and failure. It’s therefore no wonder that hiring a software developer is so stressful. An average developer can do the job, while a good developer can take your product to the next level.

You may be aware of the qualifications of a good developer: well-structured code, deep understanding of technologies, and able to communicate effectively. A good developer can also build something, rather than simply maintaining existing code. Good developers are more productive than bad ones.

The problem when hiring a software developer is the time and effort involved in reading resumes, conducting interviews, and reviewing code. You need to be clear about the type of developer you are looking for before ever beginning the process.

Recruiting Software Development Talent

According to a report by iCIMS, Inc, last year employers filled only 60% of available tech positions. Across all other industries, U.S. companies filledĀ 120% of job openings for all positions. That statistic speaks volumes about how difficult it is to find good software developers.

Software developers are some of the best-paid specialists in the world. The good developers know that they’re good. Therefore, they can be selective about the teams that they join.

The good developers want challenging and meaningful work. They aren’t as concerned with money. You could post a perfect job for a number of qualified candidates, but if they are not drawn to the role, they will not apply.

Recruiting software developers has become even more difficult as roles become more specialized. It all starts with the job posting. The job has to be motivating, yet also honest about the role and technical requirements.

Evaluating a Software Developer

If your job posting is appealing, you will likely have a large number of applicants. Then what? You should be prepared to spend time reading resumes, conducting interviews, and completing code assessments.

In the same iCIMS, Inc report, in the first half of 2019, it took U.S. companies 66 days to hire a new tech employee. This is 23 days longer for all other types of hires. It is a time-consuming process.

Because software engineers are in demand, they come with a high price tag. Without a competitive salary, they might look elsewhere. If the pay is not in line with the candidate’s expectations, it could end the interview process.

Meanwhile, while you look to hire a developer, code isn’t being written. You need to plan the hires far enough in advance to not lose a lot of valuable time on a critical project.

Reviewing the Candidates

You will likely receive a large number of applications, and sifting through them takes time. The job may have a very specific list of technical qualifications, so each resume will need to be reviewed to determine if the candidate has those skills.

Beyond the developer’s skillset, you should carefully review past experience. You will need to consider how well past projects have prepared the candidate for your role. This part of the hiring process can be tedious.

To find the best match, you should conduct a lot of interviews. Candidates may be cut from the list at any point, so a larger pool will give you more options.

However, there is time involved in conducting interviews. A first interview might be pretty straightforward, with an icebreaker, a discussion of past experience, and talking about the role itself. At this point, you are trying to get a feel for a candidate.

If that initial interview is 30 minutes and you interview 10 – 15 candidates, that is a lot of time. Due to scheduling, this could take place over several weeks.

Technical Assessments

While you may narrow the field from the first interview, the next steps involve even more time. You need to assess the developer’s skills by reviewing code and conducting a technical interview.

Assessments are critical in finding a good developer. Candidates may interview well but have unstructured code or lack the depth of expertise necessary.

You may review code early, such as a GitHub repository submitted with an application. However, the process should also involve a technical interview. During this interview, the candidate will solve problems and write code on the fly.

This test should be designed by one of your existing senior-level programmers. It is intended to evaluate the strengths of each applicant. There is time involved in crafting the test and determining what skills you are trying to assess.

This part of the process can take additional weeks. A technical interview may be anywhere from 60-90 minutes, depending on what you ask the candidates to do. This may be followed by an additional interview with the entire team to determine if the candidate is the right fit.


Once you have hired the right software developer, that person is not immediately productive. Time is spent in getting the candidate up to speed. The onboarding experience can be the difference in how long that developer stays with your company.

During this time, the new hire will learn to work with the team and become familiar with the company. You will need to provide resources and documentation. The new hire may also benefit from mentorship from another team member.

The onboarding process can take anywhere from 1-3 months. Beyond that, it could take anywhere from six months to a year before that developer is fully productive. This needs to be considered in the overall time dedicated to hiring a developer.

Outsourcing Software Development

Hiring a software developer can be overwhelming. The amount of time involved in finding and onboarding the right person is significant. All of this assumes that you will find the right fit in your pool of candidates, but what if you don’t?

To ease the stress, time, and cost involved in hiring an in-house developer, you may want to consider outsourced developers.

{Client Call-to-Action Here}