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The duration for hiring a software engineer and tips to speed up the process

The IT community cannot thrive or exist without software engineers. Regardless of the job type (project-based, full-time or part-time), software engineers are a vital part of the tech aspects of a business. When you hire them, you need someone to create, develop, test, and maintain a specific type of software.

So, before you prepare for the hiring process of a software engineer, you’ll want to know what that title precisely means, what other factors are considered in the software engineering category, and, most importantly, how long the process takes. Knowing the time it takes to successfully engage an engineer is beneficial because you can plan your budget in a much more manageable way. You’ll also organize the workforce for recruitment and hiring better, and you can anticipate the new team member at a specific date (with some exceptions).

Let’s jump right to it and clarify the length of the hiring process for software engineers.

About software engineering

Software engineering is a broad field in the IT industry. It encompasses more vocations within itself. By definition, software engineering is a process of analyzing the requirements of the user and later designing, building, and testing a software application by following the guidelines (and feedback) of those same users.

Software engineering is not equal to software development, the latter being a subcategory within software engineering. Besides the software engineers, there are cyber security analysts, app developers, information systems managers, multimedia programmers, game developers, IT consultants, web developers, and web designers that also belong to the wider branch of software engineering.

The average needed time to hire a software engineer

Now that we have already covered the vocations of software engineering, for some fields of software engineering, it will take a longer amount of time to hire a developer. And for others, that time will be shorter because they involve different tasks.

The average needed time to hire a software engineer is 35 days; however, this would be on the lower end. From start to finish, the hiring time can reach up to two months.

And, usually, job ads stay open around that time to around two months.

Overall, it takes time to source the candidates, pre-screen each candidate, schedule, confirm, conduct the technical interview tasks, and create an offer post-interview.

Which factors influence the time needed to hire software engineers?

These are the main factors that determine the overall hiring time of a software engineer:

The hiring policies of the company

The company’s hiring policies are not something that’s used once, so you better have them as best formulated as possible. Their use is to funnel down or sift through the candidates much better to find the perfect fit.

Policies of this kind can include tests for personality types, substance use, cognitive tests, teamwork skills, communication skills, and others. Usually, they are determined/used by larger companies.

Another example of a policy in this context is (preferably) having a trial period for the new potential team member before making them a permanent member addition.

The location and company size

Location is a significant factor in the hiring process. If the job ad states mandatory on-site work, this could vastly reduce the number of quality candidates that would otherwise apply.

But, it might be faster and much simpler for smaller businesses and companies to find a good engineer than for large, corporate-type companies to do the same. With larger budgets come more complex responsibilities and expectations.

The industry

It’s nothing new to state that some industries are always popular for software engineers, and others not so much.

For example, most engineers and developers prefer working in industries like IoT, gaming, blockchain, defense, aerospace, and biotech, among many others. In turn, the industries that trigger the least interest in software engineering are healthcare, government, education, and banking, among others, so keep all of this in mind.

The demand for software engineers

Software engineers are in high demand. The need for mobile apps and software is always high, and it overall all falls under the category of software engineering.

Undeniably, there will always be a need for faster technology growth, innovations in software, and working on updating code (limited code lifespan that needs recreating or rebuilding anew), among other factors. Therefore, there will always be a sizable talent pool of software engineers ready for work.

Why mention the demand? There is a chance of ‘higher demand, lower supply’, depending on the precise skills and technologies sought by recruiters and managers. The more complex the technology, the more difficult it could be to reach the best of the best candidates.

Software engineering encompasses more subcategories of development and engineering (as mentioned above in this article), broadening this talent pool’s job titles that can fit the role.

Tips for faster hiring of software engineers

There are some things you can do to make this hiring process shorter:

Defining business priorities and goals

Knowing which precise software engineering category/role needs to be filled is a good idea to begin with.

What needs improvement in the business? What would be the future goal to reach? What software innovation would be good to see/use next? Questions like these make the candidate search more precise and in-depth as well.

Then, there has to be a decision whether it’s more important to hire someone based on years of experience or education, or even a mix of attitude and skills, or everything all at once.

Another factor to consider is whether to “splurge” on the desired candidate or not go overboard with the budget, which is something only you decide.

Having a concise hiring policy

This means having a plan for the entire process; how are interviews and calls conducted, what to do during screening interviews, and how to review applicants after the scheduled calls. Then, recruiters should also consider what paperwork is necessary to complete for the onboarding of the candidates, who reviews referrals, who is responsible for various interview stages/tasks, and similar.

A hiring policy would be best seen as a handy, valuable hiring FAQ guide that complements the job ad listing and hiring process.

The entire point of hiring policies is for companies to identify the best tech experts quickly. Plus, hiring policies reflect the companies’ values and culture, too.

Improving the coaching of recruiters

There are always some new things to learn in every profession. If there’s room for improvement in recruiting practices (and using them better), there is a higher chance of having a successful ‘talent-hunt’ for software engineers when those improvements are implemented.

Investing in recruiters specializing in a tech field is a significant investment for any business.

Posting a concise and captivating job ad

A good, clear, and captivating job ad goes a long way. A strong base format to consider is a clear description of the obligations, location/premises, skills, salary, benefits, and perks – among other requirements.

With clear goals and expectations, it’s not difficult to hit the sweet spot with the ad and attract more top tier software engineers.

Sifting through the applications carefully

There will be (many) candidates who apply, and some could prove to be a good match for hire. The application review process could be complex or lengthy, but it’s better to do it carefully and effectively than to rush it and then do it all over again. Reviewing applications from the start would take double the time than when done carefully and thoughtfully.

Referring to various tech experts services

Collaborating with services that have vetted developers and engineers is an excellent way to accelerate the hiring process. For starters, an entire team of professionals will engage in recruitment and contracting, and there is always a choice for specialized fields in recruitment as well. This guarantees a better talent hunt, with an outstanding vetting.

The whole point of these services is to receive certain flexible strategies for hiring specific types of talent/candidates, through external recruitment assistance.

Having the right HR, recruiters, and experts in their fields/technologies will save time and money in the long run.


As described above throughout the sections, we see how broad and valuable software engineering can be, especially since it contains more job titles related to software engineering and software development within it.

For a shorter hiring process (that’s also successful), all it takes is sorting out priorities, knowing the goals, describing the requirements precisely, and relying on recruitment experts in some cases.

Hiring software engineers doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. It also doesn’t have to be a tedious and lengthy process, as long as everything is prepared and formulated clearly.

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