Being the birthplace of the world’s most important tech giants, it’s no surprise that the U.S. is one of the best locations to find skilled talent, with over 1.3 million employed software developers residing in the country.
But tech recruitment comes with its own set of challenges, and the United States is no exception. In this article, we’re going to go through the most important factors to consider when hiring software developers in the United States, and what you should expect throughout the entire process.
Main challenges of hiring software developers in the U.S.
This one is a global issue, which unfortunately is also influencing the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job outlook for software developers is expected to grow by 25% – a much faster rate than the average for other occupations.
Even though the number of software developers is supposed to rise in the upcoming years, the demand is still far greater than the number of people available for the job. A 2019 estimate had about 900,000 unfilled IT jobs in the U.S. – and that’s only taking a 3-month period into account.
Employers themselves admit that tech recruitment is a challenge, and the shortage of tech employees in the upcoming years in the United States is only going to become more of an issue. Not to mention that in the case of more niche technologies such as BLE, finding an experienced developer becomes even more difficult.
It’s no secret that hiring software developers, especially experienced ones, requires offering high wages; it’s something that every tech employer is aware of. The United States, however, is somewhat of a league of its own in that regard.
Currently, software developers in the United States receive an average salary of $110,000 per year, making it the country with the highest wages for software developers around the world. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that for the top 10%, the yearly salary exceeds $168,570.
When looking at those statistics, it’s important to note that they don’t differentiate between programming languages. In practice, the pay will also vary from state to state. Nevertheless, when hiring tech talent in the United States, be prepared for offering wages over $100,000 per year to win over experienced candidates.
The factors we’ve already discussed, i.e the United States being a top place for developers to earn money and being home to the world’s most important tech giants, as well as the global developer shortage, all mean that the companies need to go an extra mile in order to hire a good candidate.
That means putting out the best offer not only in terms of the wage itself. If you’re looking for permanent employees, offering perks like remote work, flexible working hours, devices, and access to conferences and courses are some pretty common benefits that tech companies offer.
And because of the abundance of tech businesses in the United States, hiring experienced software engineers can become a challenging task. Make sure you can compete when it comes to branding, the process, and the benefits themselves.
Specific industry requirements
Recruiting software engineers means having to choose from a very narrow pool of candidates since you’ll likely be looking for those experienced in given languages and frameworks.
But technology shouldn't be the only factor when searching for potential employees. It’s also best that the developers chosen for the job are already experienced in a given industry, and know the specific regulations and requirements they need to work under.
Let’s take the healthcare industry in the U.S. as an example. If you’re a healthcare startup, then you'll most likely need to make your product compliant with HIPAA and FDA regulations.
This means very specific requirements in terms of risk mitigation, security, and policy implementation. In case of non-compliance, prepare for some heavy fines. So before making your choice, you should always ensure that the engineers are experienced in working with any industry requirements specific to the U.S.
Tips for a more efficient hiring process
The hiring process for software developers in the United States usually takes around a month, which is the exact global average. That said, the process can get quite complex – many startups and smaller companies can't dedicate that many hours to each interviewee.
Here are some tips for speeding up the recruitment process, and making sure you catch the right candidate:
Focus on improving the screening phase. By dedicating more resources to preliminary screening, you can weed out candidates early on before dedicating time and resources to interviews. Consider technical assistants to speed things up.
Make the process as short as possible. When conducting in-person or remote technical interviews, try to fit everyone into a single rolling meeting. You might try to schedule back-to-back calls with human resources, tech leads, and any other specialists that need to be involved. The fewer days required for calls with each person, the better.
Make the final decision quickly. Software developers are getting at least a couple of offers every week, so time is really an important factor. By delaying the decision, you’re risking good candidates to move to other offers. And if possible, don’t involve too many people in the decision itself, as it usually slows down the process.
When should you consider outsourcing?
Hiring in-house can be a costly and time-consuming process, which may become an obstacle. Taking into consideration all the factors specific to the U.S., in many cases, it’s best to hand the project over to a software development company.
So, when exactly should you consider outsourcing instead of hiring in-house?
1. When time is of the essence
The recruitment and onboarding process will inevitably take some time, especially if you’re looking to build an entire team from scratch.
Most outsourcing agencies and consultants can quickly begin to work and have a team that’s experienced in working together for at least some time at their disposal. If you’re eager to start your project quickly, then outsourcing is a great option.
2. When you need a highly specialized team
If you’re working with niche technologies, or you need innovative solutions, it might be better to look for companies that specialize in specific projects rather than search for candidates that are very few and far between. That way, you’ll make sure you get a team with lots of experience in the field and get the guidance you need.
3. When you want to spend less
Software developers are costly in most parts of the world, but especially in the United States. And when you take not only the wages, but also the equipment, benefits, and similar additional costs into account, it can add up to quite an impressive amount.
The final pricing of the project depends on many factors, but outsourcing is a good option to explore when you’re looking for a lower cost in the long run.
The bottom line
The United States is widely known for its booming tech industry and outstanding software engineers. However, when you’re looking to hire, you need to keep in mind that it’s going to take lots of resources to build a team in-house. And if you’re looking to build a project in a specific niche, you might have trouble finding the talent you’ll need.
If you’d like an experienced team working with connected device projects – contact us. We’ll help you with everything from conceptualization and design, all the way through digital product development.
Senior Content Specialist