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As custom software and app development has become a global business norm, developers have become essential for ensuring business growth. Unfortunately, that also means that finding and hiring skilled developers has become more vexing than ever. No matter your company size, the task doesn’t get any easier. But knowing and understanding the obstacles brings you one step closer to jumping over them. In this article, we explore the top challenges when hiring developers.

What’s Happening in the Tech Industry?

In today’s tech industry, adapting to new economic realities and rules is key. Every aspect, from needing a wide range of skills to keeping up with fast tech changes, brings a unique set of challenges. So, how are tech companies navigating hurdles in this complex and opportunity-filled environment?

Economic and regulatory challenges

In the pandemic aftermath, the tech sector is dealing with economic uncertainties and new regulations. These include:

Tech companies must innovate, update their supply operations, and modernize to stay competitive.

Tech professionals sitting at a table, discussing development strategies.
Today, tech companies must adapt faster than ever to stay afloat.

Need for advanced skills

The push towards digital and IT strategies means needing people who are both tech-savvy and good at soft skills. Skills in machine learning, AI programming, software, development, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and database development are in high demand. Add to that project management and staff augmentation and you have a tall order to fill.

Bridging the skills gap

The tech world is constantly changing, widening the skills and knowledge gap. This means companies must offer diverse training like online courses and hands-on learning. With more IT pros expecting their companies to fund this training, it’s an added complexity in hiring developers.

The Most Common Challenges When Hiring Developers in 2024

#1: How to understand the evolving tech landscape

In the fast-paced world of technology, continuous advancements are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they drive innovation and progress. On the other, they present a significant challenge when hiring developers with up-to-date expertise.

The 2023 landscape has been particularly demanding, with rapid developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud Computing, and more. These technologies transform how we approach custom software development, from chatbots and voice assistants to data analytics and fraud detection​​.

A woman using a VR set and laptop computers.
Understanding new technologies is a must when searching for developers.

AI and ML, for example, require developers not just to code but to understand and implement models that can learn and adapt. This evolution means that developers must continuously update their skills to remain relevant – a demand that can be both overwhelming and challenging.

The dynamic nature of the tech industry means that what was cutting-edge a year ago can easily be outdated now, putting added pressure on recruiters to find candidates who are not just skilled but also adaptable and forward-thinking.

Diversity in programming languages and tools

The diversity in programming languages and tools adds another layer of complexity to hiring developers. Today’s software development isn’t just about proficiency in one language or framework. It’s about understanding a blend of technologies and how they can be integrated effectively.

For example, the rise of low-code and no-code platforms has democratized software development, allowing non-technical users to create applications with minimal coding​​. This shift is changing the skills landscape, where understanding these platforms becomes as essential as traditional coding skills.

Additionally, the expansion of technologies like Blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things), and Edge Computing is expanding the horizons of what can be. Blockchain, for instance, isn’t just about cryptocurrency; it’s about creating secure, decentralized applications that can revolutionize sectors like finance and healthcare. Similarly, IoT and Edge Computing are pushing developers to think beyond traditional web and app development to interconnected, real-time systems.

Finding developers today who are not only skilled in a particular language or tool but also adaptable to new technologies is a significant challenge. Recruiters must look for candidates willing to learn and adapt, traits that are becoming as critical as technical skills in this dynamic tech landscape.

#2: How to navigate through the global talent pool

With the globally embraced trend of outsourcing IT talent, companies have access to developers from all over the world:

Global talent shortage

The shortage of skilled software engineers is more than just a buzzword—it’s a reality that’s hitting hard. As of 2023, a staggering 40 million technical jobs are unfilled worldwide, a number that’s projected to soar to 85.2 million by 2030. This isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a major hurdle for companies vying to stay competitive and innovative.

In the United States alone, the demand for developers is skyrocketing, with nearly 200,000 developer jobs needing to be filled annually in the next decade. It’s a classic case of supply not keeping up with demand. Despite an increase in computer science graduates, the gap remains wide, leading to fierce competition and challenges when hiring developers.

An interview with a professional, discussing challenges when hiring developers today.
Companies need to offer excellent working conditions to attract developers.

They’re not just offering competitive salaries anymore; think flexible work hours and remote working options. It’s like a buffet of perks out there, but still, the plate of skilled developers seems to be running empty.

The remote work revolution

Now, let’s talk about the remote work revolution. It’s like opening a window to a world of possibilities, and yet, it comes with its own set of challenges. With over 400K software developers analyzed, one thing is clear: remote work has fundamentally changed the game.

Developers are now tapping into a better work-life balance, coding more efficiently during regular work hours, and feeling less burnt out. But here’s the twist: while productivity seems relatively unchanged, the nature of work and collaboration has transformed.

Adopting AI and automation tools like GitHub Copilot has given developers a new edge in coding faster and more effectively. However, this shift also brings with it a paradox.

While remote work has been a net positive for developers, some leaders remain sceptical. They’re grappling with the challenge of tracking productivity and maintaining team cohesion in a digital environment. It’s a delicate balance between embracing the benefits of remote work and ensuring that the team remains on track and connected.

In summary, as we sail through 2023, the tech industry faces a dual challenge in navigating the talent pool: addressing the acute global shortage of skilled developers and adapting to the transformative impact of remote work. Both these aspects are redefining the landscape of hiring and managing tech talent, making it an exciting yet challenging time for companies worldwide.

#3: How to balance cost and quality

The financial aspects of hiring developers are like a tightrope walk, balancing above a sea of budget constraints and salary expectations. Think about it: the cost of hiring a software developer can range from $70 to $150+ per hour, influenced by factors like location, experience, and technical skills​​.

An illustration of IT professionals and costs of labour - one of the challenges when hiring developers.
Balancing salary and budget is often one of the biggest recruitment challenges.

This puts companies in a tricky spot. They need to offer attractive salaries to lure in top talent, but at the same time, they must keep an eye on their budget. It’s a balancing act that requires a blend of tricky negotiation and strategic foresight.

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about quality. Ensuring the developers you hire meet your quality expectations requires precision, a good sense of direction, and the right tools. A partner with skilled teams of talents can significantly save businesses both time and funds.

#4: How to ensure a cultural and organisational fit

Ensuring a developer fits into your company’s culture isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. A mismatch here can lead to reduced productivity and, worse, a toxic environment nobody wants to be a part of​​.

So, before you even start recruiting, take a moment to define your core values. What makes your company tick? Is it innovation, teamwork, or maybe flexibility? Understanding and articulating these values is critical to finding someone who has the skills and dances to the same beat.

Let’s also turn our focus to organizational structures. In today’s world, where outsourcing is becoming increasingly common, understanding and adapting to various organizational structures is crucial.

Hiring developers is about finding someone who can thrive in your specific environment. Do they mesh well with cross-functional teams, or do they excel in more structured, hierarchical settings? Remember, how a team is organized profoundly impacts how they collaborate and, ultimately, the success of your projects.

When hiring developers, particularly international talent, legal hurdles often come into play. Companies face the task of navigating visa requirements and work authorization processes. Ensuring compliance with both local and international laws is paramount.

This aspect of recruitment requires a deep understanding of legal frameworks, making it one of the main challenges when hiring developers from across the globe.

#6: How to keep pace with industry-specific needs

Each industry has unique technological demands – be it finance, healthcare, or retail/e-commerce. This variation presents another layer of challenges in hiring developers. It’s about finding someone with the right industry-specific experience or the adaptability to quickly grasp and contribute to specialized projects. This necessity for specific expertise adds complexity to the hiring process in the tech world.

Another significant aspect of the obstacles when hiring developers is the rapid evolution of industries, often driven by technological advancements. Companies need to scout for developers proficient in current technologies. But they also need to have the foresight and agility to evolve with and contribute to future industry-specific developments.

How to Approach the Hiring Process

Successfully addressing these challenges is crucial for the growth and success of any technology-driven business. If you’re navigating this complex terrain, we encourage you to share your experiences or reach out for assistance. Together, we can forge strategies to overcome these hurdles and thrive in the dynamic world of tech.

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Overcome the Challenges of Hiring Developers