Product Design
February 8, 2021

How Long Does it Take to Hire Developers?

Modern companies need in-house tech expertise now more than ever. When your organization realizes the need to hire a new developer, you likely hope to onboard a qualified individual and start tapping into their IT skills as soon as possible. 

Unfortunately, the hiring process is not always that efficient. Finding and locking down tech talent, including experienced software developers, often requires more time and resources than hiring other company roles. 

The hiring lag may increase when non-tech-based companies are looking to fill highly technical roles since it may not be clear what skills are needed and how to screen them.  

As your company searches for the best IT talent, it helps to have some background on the current demand for developers. Getting a pulse on the IT staffing scene can help fine-tune and expedite the hiring process.  

First, take a look at public hiring data to get a ballpark estimate of how much time you need to budget for hiring a developer.

Hiring Time for Software Developers

Since time is money, companies always want to know how long it will take for them to hire a developer with the skills they need for their next digital product launch. 

Here are findings from a 2013-2014 Glassdoor Economic Research study on how long it takes to hire various IT roles: 

JOB TITLE:INTERVIEW PROCESS LENGTH (DAYS):Software Engineer 35.0 Financial Software Developer 19.9Senior Applications Developer 28.3 User Experience Designer 19.3Product Engineer 28.1 QA Engineer 17.9Implementation Specialist 27.8 Junior Software Engineer 15.7IOS Developer 14.1Quality Assurance 25.9 .NET Developer 14.0QA Tester13.9Java Developer 12.5Web Applications Developer 23.5 Web Designer 12.3

The length of the interview process varies by job title, as seen from the above dataset. Web designers and Java developers experience the shortest interview process on average, while software engineers and senior application developers take longer to onboard.

More recent data suggest that hiring time has increased. For example, the average hiring time for a software development engineer in 2017 was 40.8 days. 

Most companies can expect to schedule two to six weeks to hire a developer, though the process can take days or months, depending on your company and the candidates’ circumstances. 

Why are developers in such high demand, and what can you do to land the best talent for your company? Here are some critical insights. 

The Demand for Developers

In today’s tech-centered market, the demand for developers continues to rise to unprecedented heights. Both studies and common sense suggest that the need for software development talent will only grow in the coming decade. 

“Employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations,” estimates the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adding, “Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software.”

No industry is exempt from the need for IT talent. From government agencies to the world of entertainment, all types of organizations and enterprises require websites, applications, and other digital products to operate in the 21st century. 

Since the demand for developers far outweighs the talent pool, the hiring climate is fiercely competitive. Startups and Fortune 500s alike are eager to swoop up savvy developers. 

In this fast-paced digitally-driven environment, many companies feel the pressure to develop digital products on a dime yet find themselves lacking the human resources to do so. 

If your company is in the ‘we needed a new developer yesterday’ boat, it may be time to zoom in on your hiring process and see how to fill your development demands as soon as possible.   

Factors Affecting the Length of the Hiring Process 

While talent availability and the job candidates themselves can affect the proceedings, most of the factors determining the length of the hiring process depend on the company doing the hiring. 

Here are some internal factors that can affect how long it takes to hire a developer:

Your Company’s Policies 

Hiring a new staff member—especially one that will fill a technical role—is a big commitment. It makes sense that the process will take time to narrow down the best candidate. 

Many companies have established hiring protocols and policies to help determine who is fit for the job. Depending on the size of a company, hiring is sometimes entrusted to one individual. In other cases, an entire panel conducts the interviews. 

Popular job candidate screening methods include:

  • Cognitive tests
  • Personality tests
  • Drug tests
  • Skills tests
  • Background checks
  • Teamwork tests
  • Communication tests

Beyond these traditional screening methods, some companies even initiate a trial or probationary period to test a new employee before making a permanent hire. 

The more steps and more people involved in the hiring process, the longer it will take to onboard a new team member. Additionally, companies should plan for the interview process to take more time if candidates are to prepare a presentation or perform any test tasks with the current team. 

Your Company’s Location

Each city and country varies in supply and demand for IT talent, so how long it takes to hire a developer may depend partly on your company’s location. 

“There are large international differences in time required for interview processes. The average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days in the U.S. But jobs in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom each take on average 4 to 9 days longer than in the United States and Canada,” says Glassdoor

These figures apply to hiring in general, but the same trend applies to the IT industry. 

Of course, the factor of location can be overcome by outsourcing IT roles.

Your Company’s Size

Statistics show that larger companies typically take longer to hire than companies with fewer existing employees. 

Glassdoor gives two reasons for the lag in larger companies saying, “First, larger employers typically have a sharper division of labor, hiring more specialized and technical workers that require more careful screening of applicants.

Second is the problem of growing bureaucracy: larger organizations typically have more administrative layers of candidate review and approval, markedly slowing down hiring decisions.”

It may be difficult for large companies to fast-track the hiring since multiple departments, stricter HR policies, and higher expectations are typically brought to the interview process. 

Your Company’s Industry 

The average length of the hiring process also varies by industry. Some industries seem to take on new employees faster than others.

Here is another 2017 Glassdoor study on how long it takes different U.S. industries to hire: 

Average length of interview process
Source - Glassdoor

Industries requiring high security or demanding highly-skilled or specialized talent often take longer to hire than labor-based industries. 

Your Company’s Talent Needs

The hiring process length will also hinge on your company’s staffing needs and the nature of your upcoming projects. 

Suppose you need to develop a particularly technical and specialized digital product. In that case, you’ll likely need some serious developer muscle, and the talent pool may be a bit shallow. 

On the other hand, if your development needs are more general, you may expect to hire a developer more quickly. 

How to Hire Developers Faster

In many cases, hiring a developer may not take as long as statistics show.

While it’s crucial to take the time to make sure a candidate is qualified for the job through interviews and screening, analyze your company’s hiring policies and strive to eliminate any unnecessary or redundant steps.

Here are a couple of steps to help simplify the hiring process:

Define Your Priorities

When it comes to hiring new staff members, most companies look for a mix of value and experience. Some companies seek to hire extremely seasoned developers, while others prefer emerging talent to train and grow with the company. 

Before posting a job listing, define what you need in a developer, including: 

  • Education - What degrees/certifications does the candidate need?
  • Experience - How many years of professional experience will you require?
  • Skillset - What skills are a must for your project (software, languages, etc.)? 
  • Attitude - What outlook should a prospective new hire have to fit in at your company?
  • Budget - How much are you willing to pay for the best talent? 
  • Start date - When can your new staff member expect to start? 

A written outline of your company’s criteria and goals can help you filter through prospective new hires and determine the most qualified developer for the job. 

Create Clear Hiring Policies

Since each job listing and potential employee is different, it’s impossible to streamline the process entirely. However, creating standard operating procedures for hiring can help maximize efficiency and save time. 

Here are just a few questions to ask when creating your hiring policies: 

  • How many team members will be involved in the interview process?
  • How will the interview be conducted (phone, video call, in person, etc.)? 
  • Who is in charge of posting the job, filtering through applications, and organizing interviews? 
  • What will be expected from the applicant (resume, cover letter, portfolio, etc.)? 
  • How will you test their skills, knowledge, teamwork, problem-solving, and communication abilities?
  • How and when will you schedule the interviews?
  • What questions will you ask at the interview? 

If nobody on your team has time to dedicate to the hiring process or you’re not sure how to find the development skill your company requires, it may be best to use a talent sourcing service.

IT Staff Augmentation Services 

Many companies regularly face a demand for IT staff but do not have the HR resources to tackle the challenging hiring process. 

Startups and tech giants alike have turned to Rootstrap to solve the problem of hiring. We help small companies and huge enterprises access the tech talent they need without the hassle of hiring full-time employees that may or may not work out. 

Rootstrap’s IT augmentation services give companies the flexibility to scale up or down quickly as projects come and go. With experienced developers on tap, we can offer your company the best candidates to fill your tech needs. You tell us your digital product goals, and we can supply you with the IT muscle you require to reach them. 

With 134 highly-skilled team members and offices sprinkled across North and South America, our talented pool of developers can problem-solve to build even the most demanding digital products. 

Get in touch with Rootstrap to get started.