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How to Hire a Software Engineer?

At first glance, selecting the candidates for most jobs may seem pretty much straightforward. However, don’t jump to conclusions too fast because when it comes to hiring a truly skilled software engineer, it takes more than just leafing through stacks of resumes. In fact, looking for a software developer is like setting up a jigsaw puzzle: there are so many tiny ‘pieces’ (skills) that play an essential role in the whole ‘picture’ (personality). Yet, it may be challenging to find all of them in one ‘place’ (person). Fortunately, with our detailed guide, the choice is pretty easy. From principal job duties and skills to various hiring models, we’ve paid attention to each critical aspect in order to help you find the best software engineer. Does it sound interesting to you? Then stay with us, and let’s find out the best approach to hiring a talented software developer together.

Software Engineer – Different Positions Behind One Title

Who is a software engineer? On the one hand, this word evokes mysterious associations as most people think of a social phobic person that always sits by themselves in a dark room while coding. This popular meaning is promoted by social media and TV shows like “Mr. Robot.” On the other hand, this misperception is far from reality because it doesn’t make sense in the business world.

There’s no doubt that coding is an inseparable part of software engineering, but coding isn’t everything. In fact, a typical software development project requires a lot of communication & collaboration and involves several software engineers with different expertise.

Therefore, let’s take a look at several types of technical talents you’ll need for the software engineering project:

1. Project Manager (PM)

Success is closely related to well-established management. Hence, a talented PM will undoubtedly help you succeed with a software development project delivery. PMs are responsible for the project execution from beginning to end. They monitor work results, ensure that everything works as planned, and report to the client. Although their hard skills are essential, soft skills are pivotal.

2. Software Architect

Architects are extremely important in the software engineering team because they plan out the whole product architecture, including multi-tenancy, microservices, headless, etc. They not only manage architecture compliance with the initial performance but also convey instructions, regulate the process of product building, inspect code to ensure it is of good quality, and promote transparency.

3. Back-End & Front-End Software Engineers

Software engineers are the engine of the project’s success. That’s because back-end and front-end developers are responsible for meeting all technical requirements. Typically, a software development team includes both back-end and front-end engineers working on a particular product or service sector.

4. DevOps Engineer

A DevOps engineer is an IT generalist who has a deep knowledge of development and operations, including coding, system administration, infrastructure management, and DevOps tools and methodologies. DevOps engineers are also responsible for speeding up software releases.

5. QA Engineer

It’s not a secret that quality assurance is a necessity for each software project. Thanks to multiple testing sessions conducted by QA engineers, the software provider ensures that the product is ready for release because any bugs and inconsistencies are detected and fixed.

Different Software Engineers Hiring Models

Forewarned is forearmed. For this reason, by exploring different hiring models, it would be easier for you to choose the most appropriate candidate. Based on our long-term experience in software development, we determined 3 key hiring models:

1. In-House Hiring Model

General Description

Usually, the in-house hiring model is the first one that comes to mind when thinking of various strategies to engage new talents. In a nutshell, this hiring model means you take software engineers on board.


When you hire software developers in-house, you can fully manage them according to your own KPIs. At the same time, you are responsible for providing the appropriate working environment and all the necessary equipment.


You must provide the workers’ financial compensation. It may include salary, payroll taxes, sick leaves, legally imperative benefits, etc.


First, it’s easier to establish proper communication and set responsibilities during offline meetings. Second, employees better understand the company’s culture, and therefore, they better understand their tasks, which leads to deeper involvement and input.


For some companies, especially those that practice remote work, the responsibility of providing suitable working conditions and equipment may be a significant con. Furthermore, the in-house hiring model is usually associated with only full-time employment options.

2. Freelance Hiring Model

General Description

Cooperation on a freelance basis is considered a popular option in the modern business environment. According to Zippia, “over 188,087 Freelance Software Developers are currently employed in the United States.”


Although the customer defines the tasks and goals related to the particular project, they cannot manage all aspects of the freelancer’s work.


The price should be discussed with a freelance software engineer in advance. It doesn’t include insurance, payroll taxes, sick leaves, legally imperative benefits, etc.


There’s no need to provide the freelancer with working equipment. What is more, this hiring model is highly beneficial to companies that cannot offer full-time employment for software engineers because the scope of employment is usually optional.


Freelancers are frequently involved in several projects, which means they have less time and opportunities to pay attention to your project. Additionally, companies often face difficulties with freelancers’ onboarding process.

3. Vendor Outsource Hiring Mode

General Description

If the company doesn’t have a development team, it can hire a vendor’s dedicated team instead. An outsourcing hiring model means that software engineers work on a project-based business model by completing the whole project from A to Z.


The client manages the whole process and sets up reporting mechanisms according to their requirements.


The price depends on the developers’ hourly rates. It doesn’t include insurance, payroll taxes, sick leaves, legally imperative benefits, etc.


With a vendor outsource hiring model, the client can choose the company with the long-term experience proven by customers feedback and successful projects. Moreover, it’s possible to build contract-based collaboration.


The key pitfalls of outsourcing are lack of communication and difficulties with establishing communication.

4. Vendor Outstaff Hiring Model

General Description

A hired software developer carries out all the job duties for a customer being officially employed by an outsourcing vendor. The vendor outstaff hiring model is a type of remote employment.


A client company provides a software engineer with all tasks and assignments.


The price depends on the developers’ hourly rates. It doesn’t include insurance, payroll taxes, sick leaves, legally imperative benefits, etc.


The vendor outstaff hiring model is an excellent opportunity to hire skilled professionals without having to pay taxes. The customer gets complete control over the software development process and the ability to access any team members.


The client is responsible for all delivery concerns. If communication channels are poor-quality, it may cause some adverse issues.

Hire a Software Engineer of a Particular Level

Do you need to hire a software engineer? Then you definitely need to know more about different levels of software engineers’ expertise in order to choose the most suitable candidate. Software engineering levels are the road map that can guide you through the complex selection process. The levels of software engineering expertise are like a ladder. Although this comparison may seem a bit weird at first, there’s a symbolic connection between these distinct concepts: both of them create the progression of height. Hence, if you clearly understand the responsibilities and expectations for each level, it will undeniably help you climb that ladder.

Level 1 – Trainee Software Engineer

Role & Responsibilities

Typically, trainee software engineers don’t have working experience but are passionate about getting it. For instance, multiple prominent entrepreneurs offer traineeships, in-business learning (IBL) opportunities, and graduate pathways for trainees.

On average, expectations for trainee software engineers vary according to different employers’ requirements. Concerning their primary responsibilities, software trainees usually start by learning and practicing the basics of programming.

Years of Experience

None or up to half a year.

Average Salary in Ukraine

Up to $600 or free learning courses with the ability to reach a higher level in the future.

Level 2 – Junior Software Engineer

Role & Responsibilities

This position also may be described as a software engineer’s first full-time job. At this level, junior engineers aren’t expected to take much ownership over product development. On the contrary, they usually concentrate on the smaller tasks given by middle & senior developers.

Although junior software engineers aren’t expected to be experts in developing complex solutions, they should be competent enough to learn fast and work in a collaborative environment.

Years of Experience

0,5 – 2 years.

Average Salary in Ukraine


Level 3 – Middle Software Engineer

Role & Responsibilities

This level can be reached when developers have enough knowledge and experience to execute projects themselves. However, they still have to be supervised by more experienced developers. At this point, middle software developers also can start to learn leadership skills by mentoring junior engineers.

Mids usually have enough knowledge to use at least one programming language very well with the ability to start their own projects.

Years of Experience

1,5 – 4 years.

Average Salary in Ukraine


Level 4 – Senior Software Engineer

Role & Responsibilities

Also known as problem solvers, senior engineers have deep and specialized knowledge in software development. Backed by years of experience in a particular business sector, they effectively deliver complex solutions to their clients.

Thanks to their well-developed skills and long-term experience, they can handle leadership positions and manage junior developers. One of the most beneficial features of senior software developers is their ability to foresee adverse programming issues ahead of time, offer state-of-the-art solutions.

Years of Experience

3,5+ years.

Average Salary in Ukraine


Useful Tips on How to Hire a Software Engineer

1. Define Clear Requirements

  1. Prepare a software requirements specification.
  2. First and foremost, define the must-haves of your ideal candidate (e.g., specific programming language or experience).
  3. Divide your requirements into two groups: soft and hard skills.
  4. Focus on the project requirements.

2. Pay attention to Interview

  1. Create several stages of the selection process: interview with the HR manager, interview with the recruiter, and test task.
  2. One-to-one discussion is pivotal in selecting the best candidate because it helps to see the candidate’s soft skills in action.

3. Transparent Approach to Hiring Process

  1. Provide a transparent contract.
  2. Guarantee legal employment.
  3. Provide sick leaves and vacations.

4. Get on the Board Successfully

  1. Create a comfortable working environment.
  2. Clearly define tasks and responsibilities.
  3. Provide a supervisor (senior worker).
  4. Engage a new team member in different company activities (celebrations, traditions, etc.)

What Are Your Next Steps?

If you already managed to catch a truly rare crane, what should you do not to lose him in a couple of months? First of all, provide them with the opportunity to grow and develop their skills and listen to their initiatives. Then you will get a really grateful and promising software engineer who will stay with you for a long time.

After All, How to Hire a Software Engineer?

The answer is simpler than you may think:) Just drop us a line and make your first step towards cooperation with best-in-class software developers. We can’t wait to hear from you.

If you need advice, consultation, or assistance in finding technical talent, knock on the door and we will help you.

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