Software Recruitment

By Victoria Fellows


Software recruitment

The process of software recruitment has moved on from traditional perceptions of talent acquisition. With the right partner, hirers can not only fill vacancies but put the best candidates into roles, bringing innovation to the team.

Candidates, on the other hand, are looking to find software roles that utilise their expert skills, push their career forward and enable them to perform to their highest ability. A software recruitment consultancy can help them understand the options open to them and match them to the right role.

Like all areas of recruitment, software job searches are varied and the experience is different for everyone. Understanding the nuances of software recruitment is beneficial for both the hirer and the candidate.

The requirements of a start-up looking to recruit for software roles will be distinct from those of a well-established technology firm. Among the software recruitment jobs available are those with skills in:

  • Embedded Software / Firmware
  • C++, C#, Python, Java
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  • Algorithm
  • Data Science, Data Engineering
  • Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence/AI
  • Test/QA, Test Automation
  • DevOps, Cloud
  • Web Development, Mobile and UX/UI

What types of jobs are available in software?

The first thing to be aware of in your role search is what types of jobs are available in software, so you can tailor your expectations accordingly. While there are lots of different software jobs out there, the three main categories are software development, software engineering and specialist software positions.

What do software development jobs entail?

In a nutshell, a software developer is responsible for designing, building and testing computer programs. Software development can be anything from a web developer to a game developer or security developer depending on an individual’s interest and experience.

Some developer tasks include but are not limited to writing or amending code; finding and fixing software problems; pre-release software checks; and maintenance.

What to expect from a software engineering role

While there’s a certain amount of overlap in the roles of software developer and engineer, there are usually some key differences. Software engineers are responsible for the entire system and are often more hands-on when it comes to actually building the product.

A software engineering background means they have these key principles to rely on and take the whole program into account, as opposed to focusing on one area.

Blurred lines

As a candidate, you may define yourself as a software developer and not an engineer, but in reality, these roles can be fairly blurred. Do not limit your job search to just developer roles, as firms looking to recruit may well advertise your perfect job under the engineer banner. This also applies in the other direction too.

Specialist software positions

In both software development and software engineering there is a wide range of specialist roles available. For example, a developer may wish to hone their skills in the gaming industry, while an engineer may decide their proficiency lies in the cloud.

If going down the game developer, cloud engineer or any other specialist route, candidates will need to understand the qualifications required. Additional expertise can lead to a more lucrative career.

How can software candidates set themselves apart?

Hirers are looking for the most qualified candidate for each role, so how can a job seeker set themself apart from their rivals? The best way to establish yourself as the talent the hiring manager is looking for is to take a multi-pronged approach. Think qualifications, soft skills and attitude as a recipe for success.

What credentials are expected of those looking for a software job?

Bachelor’s degrees in software engineering or computer science are the most common routes into this area of tech, but you may come across a team member who studied maths instead. While some colleagues will have a master’s degree, it’s not mandatory, but as a job seeker, it would demonstrate increased knowledge and skill.

What’s more important is the computer languages you know. At the beginning of your software career, you can start out with just one, but if you want to be more sought after in the industry, being able to modify software systems, scripts and mobile applications in multiple programming languages is essential.

Attributes of the top software candidates

Professionals at the top of their game will have done their homework on the company and be ready to demonstrate their attributes. These should include grit, determination, an ability to learn from past mistakes, as well as solid technical competency.

Any good hiring manager will be looking beyond technical skill. When recruiting, it’s not just about choosing a qualified candidate but one who will fit in with the company culture and drive innovation.

Are there any soft skills that can be helpful in the software sector?

Soft skills should never be overlooked in the recruiting process and an interview question that allows a candidate to demonstrate these is always a good idea. Among the types of skills a hiring manager should be looking out for in this area are:

  • Effective communication, which will be required for collaborative software projects. Speaking clearly and confidently in an interview, as well as listening attentively are signs the candidate has this skill.
  • The ability to accept new ideas is vital to a creative, solution-based software team that doesn’t slow to a halt when challenges present themselves.
  • Time management can be hard to judge, but asking a candidate to demonstrate how they create estimates for delivery is a good place to start.
  • Accountability means learning from mistakes, so a job seeker should be able to talk about when something went wrong, how they owned it and what they’d do differently in the future.

How to navigate the software recruitment process

Knowing how to navigate the software recruitment process is the secret to success. It requires careful planning to ensure you tick off each element in turn, so nothing gets missed or is done badly. A software recruitment agency will guide you through the stages and ensure you stick to the timeline.

Where to look for software roles

Before you can get an interview or even apply for a software role, you need to be looking for jobs that fit your skill set and experience. The IC Resources website is a great place to start, with a wide range of software engineer positions and roles for developers available.

What does a good CV look like?

The best CVs are those that are kept up-to-date with the most relevant academic and professional qualifications, experience and awards. Looking at your CV prior to every application is crucial, as it should be tweaked to meet the requirements of individual roles.

CVs should be considered from the point of view of the hirer. Make them as easy to read as possible, with the most important information front and centre. As you become more experienced in your career, it makes sense that your CV will need to include more than for junior roles.

How to approach the interview

The interview process may vary between potential employers, but there are several universal factors to apply. Always dress smartly and act professionally from the moment you step into the building, being courteous to everyone you meet. Do your prep in advance, so you understand the company and the job role inside out.

While it’s important to make a good impression during the interview, you should be representing your real self. False statements or an unnatural demeanour could make your time at the company awkward if you do eventually land the role.

Should you accept the first offer?

The answer to whether you should accept the first salary offer from a potential employer is both yes and no. Do your research into the market and how much your skills and experience are worth, then form an opinion based on the data, not just your gut.

Also be flexible and polite while negotiating pay, utilising the knowledge and expertise of your software recruitment agency to represent you. A generous benefits package or additional holiday entitlement can go a long way to job satisfaction, so consider these as well as the headline salary figure.

Are software jobs well-paid?

Software roles can be very lucrative and as with most tech careers, a candidate can expect to earn more as they gain experience. There are a number of things that can affect how well-paid a software job is and individuals can improve their worth by doing things like learning a new programming language or finding out the skills required to obtain a pay rise.

What affects a software employee's wage?

There are a wide range of factors that a potential employer will take into account when calculating the developer or software engineer salary they offer. Among them are:

  • Average software engineer salary market rate
  • Experience
  • Certifications and accolades
  • Advanced skills
  • Value to the company
  • Salary expectations
  • Position within the software department hierarchy

How can you improve your salary?

The most effective way to boost your salary is to get a lucrative software engineering job. These include being a big data scientist or software architect, while simply advancing to the position of principal software engineer can also see you being well compensated.

All through your career, it’s worth thinking about the skills required to progress and advance. Many employers offer training, so always take advantage of such opportunities and prove your worth to your company as much as possible.

When should you ask for a pay rise?

While the recruitment phase is the right time to negotiate salary, don’t forget there’ll be other opportunities to ask for a pay rise once you’re established at a company. This can be beneficial as you’ll have shown your worth and demonstrated what you bring to the software team.

Always keep yourself well-informed about salary expectations for your role to ensure you’re getting what you’re worth. If you’ve recently upskilled, successfully completed a large project or taken on more responsibility, these are all good times to review your salary and request a raise.

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