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Hiring Software Engineers: A Complete Guide

26 Jul 2023 updated
11 min

Table of content

Software engineers play a huge role in any business’s development and growth. They contribute their knowledge and expertise to create software, ensure the flawless operation of existing digital resources, and deliver greater value to customers and users with top-notch software solutions. Thus, any company needs a qualified development team to stay competitive and client-oriented. 

However, it’s not easy to hire engineers for software development today amid the steadily rising demand and increasing talent shortage in all software fields. In this article, experts from the 4IRE team share their secrets and explain how to hire software engineers faster, cheaper, and more successfully. 

What Software Engineers Are in Demand Now? 

As soon as you decide to hire talented software engineers for your team, you may encounter the problem of a talent shortage in your region or in the specific technology needed for your project. This aspect should be considered at the stage of business idea planning, as you may simply lack the staff to bring your product to life. Here’s a breakdown of software skills by demand in 2023 (based on the statistics from Indeed): 

  • Front-end developers (with an average US salary of $101,000+ per year);
  • Full-stack developers ($106,000+ per year);
  • Back-end developers ($115,000+ per year);
  • Software engineers ($115,000+ per year);
  • Cloud engineers ($118,000+ per year);
  • DevOps engineers ($118,000+ per year); 
  • Computer vision engineers ($118,000+ per year).

As you can see, all spheres of software programming are in demand, with companies ready to pay $100,000+ for properly skilled experts. Innovative spheres are also highly demanded, with a severe talent shortage in the field of hiring AI developers, blockchain developers, and smart contract engineers, among other hi-tech specialties. 

Things to Consider Before Hiring Software Engineers 

There are a couple of preparatory steps to take before you proceed to hiring a software engineer. First, you should make the vacancy attractive to applicants. To achieve this, you need to polish your company’s official page and social media accounts, show its value to employees, and make the appeal personal. 

Second, you should determine the goal of hiring a software developer. Do you need them to complement an existing team with a new skill? Should they handle the routine tasks you want to get rid of? Will they need to build cutting-edge software for your new business project? Clarity of hiring purposes can help you close the vacancy faster with relevantly skilled and oriented staff.

Lastly, you should understand the budget and scope of your project. Do you want a rare, senior-level expert for a unique project? Then be ready to pay extra for such talent. Do you want a standard-level developer for routine tasks? Then the budget for this recruitment project may be lower. In any case, you should be realistic about the tasks you need the new employee to cover and the money you’re ready to pay for the job.

Cost factors to consider before hiring software developers

Stages of Hiring Software Developers 

Now, it’s time to consider how to recruit software engineers step-by-step. Here is a simple algorithm that can win you a talented programmer with a relevant tech stack to the team. 

#1 Determine the Developer Type You Need 

Software development is a versatile niche in which various types of technologies, software aspects, and technologies intertwine. Thus, you need clarity about the developer type your business needs before setting out on the recruitment journey. Do you need staff for back-end development or front-end work? Will your software solution be a regular or a blockchain-based one? Will it operate on a server or in the cloud? Will you use Python, Java, C++, GO, or any other programming language? By answering these questions, you can significantly narrow the scope of your search and minimize the waste of time during recruitment. 

#2 Craft the Right Job Description 

The better you write a vacancy post, the quicker and simpler your search will be. It’s important to indicate all key roles and responsibilities the candidate should fulfill in the workplace and stipulate the expertise and skills required from them. Such a job description will weed out irrelevant candidates and land only those interested in your vacancy.

#3 Find the Best Recruiting Method

When you’re searching for development staff, you can move in several directions in the hope of success. The first (and laziest) method is to formulate a vacancy and post it on your personal and business channels, like social media and thematic forums. However, this method will hardly land you an ideal candidate fast because the best programmers don’t scan social media in search of jobs; they receive dozens of offers every day, so you should be more proactive in developer recruitment. 

The second method is to contact developers directly and offer your vacancy to them. This recruiting method is more time-consuming, but it allows you to deal only with experts you’re interested in; second, it is faster and more productive in the end. 

If you have no time or inspiration for the manual digging of hundreds of developer resumes, we have the third option of how to hire a software engineer to meet your needs. You may turn to a recruiting or outstaffing agency with a concrete job description and hire it to find the best-matched expert for your team. This method is fast and effective, though you will need to include the agency’s fee in the recruiting budget.

#4 Prepare and Conduct Great Interviews 

Once the CVs are sorted out, you have a small list of potentially matching candidates. Only a face-to-face interview can give you a definite solution on whom to hire. Thus, it is important that a properly trained HR specialist interviews all candidates and asks them the right questions about their past experience, work approaches, weak and strong sides, and aspirations about the new job. It’s also essential to include the technical interview in the interviewing process so that you get a glimpse of how developers manage everyday software tasks. 

#5 Evaluate the Candidates and Choose the Best Match 

Evaluating every candidate’s practice experience and mastery of the technologies you need from them is critical. Thus, we recommend testing the developers’ familiarity with different software environments, their coding skill, and an additional assessment of soft skills to ensure they integrate smoothly. Only after checking all these boxes can you make an offer to the best fit and onboard the new member to the team.

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Tips to Hire Dedicated Software Engineers 

Here are a couple of pro tips on how to hire software developers without significant blunders. Use these recommendations to speed up the process and ensure you land the right candidate. 

  • Create a detailed candidate persona. Clarity of expectations is your first step to success. Develop a list of skills and characteristics your developer should possess; divide it into mandatory and optional. Follow this list to screen the CVs, and your selection process will go much smoother. 
  • Assess candidate skills early. If you leave this part to the latest stage, too many candidates will get to the interviewing stage, and you will waste days, or even weeks, of hiring time in vain. So, it’s better to integrate technical and soft skills assessment into the initial screening stages to focus only on relevant candidates.
  • Always conduct interviews. Interviewing is a vital part of the hiring process because it helps you understand what kind of person your candidate is on the face-to-face, human interaction level. If you skip this stage and hire a programmer remotely, they may reveal some inconsistencies with your requirements at later stages.

Hiring Individual Developers vs. Complete Teams 

Another point to consider in the process of recruitment is whether you need a separate developer or a development team. Both options have pros and cons, as hiring a team ensures you get a ready-made, well-functioning development unit without team building or onboarding. However, the cost of team recruitment is generally higher. Here are the main features of each solution that can help you make a more informed decision:

Hiring Individual Developers vs. Complete Teams

Common Mistakes When Hiring Software Engineers 

Hiring a software developer at a startup can go wrong; to be frank, this problem is topical for all kinds of businesses, from beginners to mature market players. So, what errors should you anticipate, thus ensuring that your hiring process is a success?

  • Neglect for hands-on experience. It’s always simpler to work with software developers with practical experience in your industry. They know what to do and won’t waste time researching or testing bad options. 
  • Skipping the testing stage. Testing is vital in the recruitment process, as practical task completion can say way more about the candidate than a thousand words in the CV. 
  • Ignoring the cultural fit. Culture always matters, especially in remote, international teams. In-depth cultural dissonance or absence of value match will surely reflect in bad work quality and can even grow into intra-team conflict.  
  • Lack of onboarding. All new team members should be properly introduced to the team and prepared for working in it, with a clear delineation of their roles, duties, team hierarchy, and communication channels. 
  • Improper balance of soft and hard skills. It’s short-sighted to focus only on the tech excellence of candidates; they may turn out to be bad team players, non-punctual people, or simply nasty interlocutors.
  • Substandard pay. Don’t expect to get a stellar developer for a low rate. You will only waste time onboarding and training your staff, as they will leave in a month or two, accepting a more reasonable business offer.

Key challenges in hiring software developers

Comparison of Hiring through Different Channels 

As we’ve already discussed above, you can use various recruiting methods, from an independent search on hiring platforms to partnering with recruiting agencies. Each method has its pros and cons in terms of effectiveness, cost, and time, so you should always choose an optimal solution. Here are the benefits of working with 4IRE to recruit software engineers:

  • Our HR recruiters always follow the clients’ needs and requirements. 
  • We save you time by offering well-matched experts and doing all the legwork for you. 
  • We offer flexible partnership models, from fixed-cost to variable pricing, to match your budget. 
  • You get the full HR package from professionals covering all your hiring needs. 
  • You can extend or condense your team, replace the non-matching staff, and make dynamic team adjustments at any time with 4IRE experts. 
  • We at 4IRE provide HR consultations in different time zones due to our wide international presence.

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Our Expertise 

If you find the recruitment process too tedious and want to get guaranteed, fast results, working with us is a good solution. We know everything about how to hire a blockchain developer or software engineer of any other specialty you may need for your forthcoming or ongoing project. Thus, with 4IRE, you can enjoy the full range of service coverage, from expert consulting to end-to-end software developer recruitment and onboarding. Our experienced managers can help you set up a winning hiring funnel to ensure that only the best staff join your team and match your rigorous professional requirements. 


Unsure about how to locate top-tier developers for a wide range of software engineering needs? Wondering where to recruit a DeFi developer with proven expertise and hands-on knowledge? Hopefully, this article shed light on the varied aspects of software staff recruitment and helped you determine the steps of a successful hiring process. If you still need help with recruiting software developers or want to make the process simpler and more manageable, you are welcome to 4IRE; you can contact our managers and find out the details of our outstaffing and professional recruitment solutions.


Why is it hard to hire software engineers?

Many companies face various challenges when recruiting software engineers. These bottlenecks may relate to a lack of specific tech skills among locally available staff or the huge rates that local experts charge for their services. Companies also encounter high turnover rates because of the mounting demand for software engineering expertise and sometimes can’t afford to hire a specialized recruitment agency that would address their dynamic staffing needs.

Where to find qualified software engineers?

The cheapest variant is to hire developers from platforms where employers and employees meet – like Upwork or Freelancer. However, this method comes with hidden platform fees and the need to sort out hundreds of applications. Another option is to contact a hiring agency that can offer a developer from their database or perform a custom search based on your criteria.

How much does it cost to hire a software engineer?

There’s no one-size-fits-all rate for the professional services of software engineers for hire. The rates differ depending on the employee’s experience level and specific technologies’ mastery. Besides, rates are highly dependent on the region of the developers’ location. Those living in Asian, African, or Latin American countries charge on average from $20 to $50 per hour, Ukrainian developers charge around $40-$80, while competent engineers from Western Europe and North America charge $50-$100+ for their services.

How to reduce the cost of hiring software developers?

The best solution to hiring a software developer at a lower cost is to follow a rigorous hiring strategy and partner with qualified outsourcing, outstaffing, and in-house hiring agencies like 4IRE. This way, you will quickly get the staff you need, closing the gaps without serious delays and meeting your budget requirements.

How long does it take to hire a software engineer?

If you have no plan or strategy and do everything on your own, the process of hiring software programmers can extend to over one month. This is the period of formulating and posting a job description, weeding out irrelevant applications, running multiple tests with candidates, and organizing dozens of interviews. However, if you get help from a professional recruiting agency or contact an outstaffing agency like 4IRE, you can bring that period down to under one week with a huge database of developers at hand. 

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