Cogent Infotech
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Technology is powering innovations and changes across industries. As a result, the demand for software engineers is touching new highs every year.

It is expected that businesses will increasingly depend on software engineers to build solutions and platforms for sustainable business growth. While this fledgling ecosystem works in favor of software engineers, it has become increasingly difficult for our organizations to get the best talent on board.

According to a study by Michael Page, software engineering is the most in-demand profession in the world.

With the ongoing Great Resignation, along with the increasing demand for hybrid work culture and other perks, the best software engineers in the market are in a position to dictate terms to prospective employers. We are in a quandary as getting the best software engineers on board has become an arduous task.

Here are the six top challenges in hiring software engineers:

Lack of uniform benchmarks in education level

A talented software engineer does not necessarily need a specific education level. It could be a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or even a diploma or a boot camp certificate. Often, a group of skilled software engineers would have different levels of education and degrees on their resumes. As a result, we cannot separate the wheat from the chaff.

The most common route for judging a software engineer's talent is by giving a coding test. Since none of the degrees acquired by software engineers can evaluate the level of skill with absolute accuracy, we need to conduct the required tests to ascertain an individual's proficiency and experience. The test needs to focus on judging the skills and talent of a candidate required for the role.

Tech companies like Meta, Google, and Apple have realized this. They do not expect the engineers joining them to have a minimum level of software engineering degrees to prove talent. The primary reason behind this move from tech giants is the lack of uniformity in software engineering education.

While a college degree tells us that the candidate has received structured and formal knowledge of software development during the program, there is no guarantee that the same candidate will be able to apply that knowledge in our organization and meet our bespoke requirements. On the other hand, there is a possibility that self-taught developers can do a better job because of a better understanding of evolving technologies as compared to candidates with a formal software engineering degree or diploma.

What is to be done?

The best way to overcome this challenge is to test all candidates on a scale we deem fit for the role. By setting up a proper test by using our unique problems, there is a high probability that we will be able to get the right person for the position.

Scarcity of talent

There is no denying that the job opportunities for software engineers in the market exceed their availability. Depending on the skill set we want in a software engineer, it can be easy or tough to fill that role quickly.

For instance, if we are looking for a web developer or an iOS or Android developer, it will still be relatively easy because these technologies have been around for a few years now, and there is enough material on the web for engineers to acquire these skills.

As more people have learned these skills over the years, it has become easier for us to find the right talent. Even if the resource is not available closer to the geographical location of the workplace, professionals are available to do the job remotely.

However, it becomes difficult for us as talent is scarce regarding novel technologies like augmented reality, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, or machine learning. A recruiter usually has to work much harder to find the best developer talent in newer technologies than standard ones.

As technology is an evolving field, changes and the introduction of new technology make it even more challenging for us to find the right talent as the talent base is even narrower.

What is to be done?

Finding rare talent would require more time and effort. At the same time, we may have to offer more money and build a compelling employee value proposition and other perks to attract the best available talent for the job. The underlying expectation in this process should be to impress the right candidate and give them enough reasons to join us.

Increased competition in the market

With software engineers in high demand in the market, employers are going out of their way to attract the best talent. The increased market competition enables talented software engineers to select the organizations they want to work for.

For instance, Hubspot offers unlimited vacation days to its engineers. Similarly, other more prominent and established players sweeten the deal by providing attractive perks for hiring the best talent. As big businesses have a higher budget allocated towards employer branding and attracting talent, the increased competition in the market makes it challenging for start-ups and mid-sized companies to meet their requirements.

What is to be done?

The best way to handle this challenge would be to offer valuable work to the talent we are looking to hire, it would help if we were mindful of genuinely working towards allowing them to do meaningful work rather than dealing with hierarchy and processes. Highlighting what makes the organization unique makes it possible for future employees to understand the opportunity and envision how it will help them grow.

Demand for high pay packages

Companies of all sizes are scouting for the same talent base in the technology industry. As a result, seasoned software engineers are demanding higher pay packages as they are confident they will be able to secure a job at any well-paying organization.

A small organization has to compete with large ones for the same talent. Therefore, we should rethink the pay structure based on job responsibilities and hire the most well-deserving talent.

According to a report, the annual base salary of a software engineer in the US stands at $152,000. For developers with over eight years of experience, the pay can go up by an additional $20,000.

What is to be done?

We can either hire more average engineers at an average pay package or pay significantly higher for excellent engineers. Most companies opt for average-skilled engineers at an average pay package. However, they end up creating average products. If we cannot match the high level of pay packages, we may need to highlight company values and perks offered to lure the right talent. It is better to get software engineers who are good at their jobs to create products that stand out from the crowd.

Quick recruitment process expectations

While candidates do not mind waiting for FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google), they are not very patient regarding other medium and small-sized companies. If the choice is left to the employers, it could take months to close each role after the SWOT analysis of each candidate. However, software engineers dread the lengthy hiring process and expect us to complete the hiring process as soon as possible.

According to a report, most candidates expect us to get back to them in two weeks. If we cannot do that, candidates usually move on to the next best opportunity available.

What is to be done?

Defining the exact role before putting out an advertisement inviting applications is best. Keeping the job application process focused on the position is better rather than casting the net too wide. At the same time, we should get back to the prospective employees as soon as possible if they are selected for the next stage. Keeping them informed about the hiring process will help prevent them from dropping out.

High cost of hiring

Another challenge in hiring software engineers is the high cost of hiring these candidates. The entire process of hiring these candidates is expensive for a business. It is not just about the money being paid to the selected candidates but also the commitment of the employer to get these resources hired in the first place.

For instance, suppose a client hires us for a project on agreed terms. To complete the project, we would need engineers; to hire these engineers, we must invest in getting the right resources onboard. In doing so, we must ensure our cost of hiring and the money we pay the resources do not cross the threshold we have fixed.

The costs associated with hiring a candidate can be put into the following two heads:

What is to be done?

Some of us do not want to invest in a full-time in-house team but like to have freelancers as per requirements. However, some are more comfortable setting up an in-house team. Depending on the business requirements, the recruitment process should not stretch too long as it will increase costs. It is ideal to devise an efficient hiring process to get the best return for the investment.

Hiring good software engineers for our business can get stressful very quickly. With a limited talent base and increased pay packages, it is more important to go in with a structured approach than a trial and error method. With a clear focus, we can initiate, execute and close the hiring process as early as possible. It would help the business to reduce hiring costs and get the right talent for the job.

Now that we know the potential challenges in hiring software engineers, we should take the required steps to build a solid team. With employees expecting a hybrid work environment as a default choice and a collaborative work environment, we need to understand the changing needs of employees and respond accordingly.

You can choose to hire with Cogent Infotech at zero cost. As we update our Bootcamp curriculum based on changes in the industry, we can help you get an industry-ready candidate with a quick turnaround time.


Why is it so hard to recruit software engineers?

It is challenging to hire software engineers because the talent is limited, and there is competition between employers to hire the right talent and do so quickly. Large, medium and small companies are chasing the same talent in the market. As a result, software engineers are being offered high pay packages and attractive perks.

How do I avoid making mistakes when hiring software engineers?

Start with a clear job description and judge candidates' capabilities rather than giving undue importance to education and experience. As self-taught software engineers can prove to be more efficient than the ones with formal education, it is best to rely on a test that can judge a candidate on skills and talent.

Is there a demand for software engineers?

There is a high demand for software engineers in almost all major industries worldwide. As the role of technology is increasing in nearly all industries, businesses need talented software engineers to handle the changing needs.

How do I attract talented software engineers to join a small or medium-sized firm?

Focus on communicating the job requirements and other vital reasons why talented software engineers should join this organization and not any other large tech firm. The idea is to identify and project the value proposition of the business. It can be related to the work culture, flexibility, or the projects they will be working on.

What is the annual salary range of software engineers in the US?

As per a report by Triple byte, the average base salary of software engineers in the US is $152,449. The experienced top 10 percent of software engineers earn more than $200,000 annually.

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