Hiring top-notch software developers is crucial for companies aiming to thrive in the fast-paced and competitive tech industry.  In 2023, the demand for skilled developers is higher than ever before, necessitating a strategic and informed approach to attract and retain exceptional talent.   This blog post will provide insights into the key questions to ask (the candidate and yourself), skills to look for, and how to assess cultural fit.

Define the Ideal Candidate Profile:

To recruit awesome software developers, it is essential to define the ideal candidate profile. In order to this you need to know why you want to hire a software developer in the first place.  This will determine what kind of developer you need.

Consider factors such as educational background, relevant experience, technical expertise, and personal characteristics that align with your company’s culture and values. Clearly outline the requirements for the role, including programming languages, frameworks, and tools that candidates should be proficient in.

Create a Specific and Accurate Job Description:

All too often we see job descriptions with lists of programming languages and developer tools, but very little detail of the actual day-to-day responsibilities of the open role.  As a result, candidates often apply for jobs that they’re not suited for or have little interest in, but this is only discovered at the interview stage.  This is a waste of time for both parties.

Asking the Right Questions:

During interviews, ask targeted questions to assess a candidate’s technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and fit within the team. Consider incorporating behavioural questions to gauge their approach to collaboration, communication, and handling challenges. Here are a few sample questions:

  1. Can you describe a complex project you worked on and the role you played in its success?
  2. How do you stay updated with the latest industry trends and technologies?
  3. How do you approach problem-solving and debugging?
  4. Describe a time when you faced a technical challenge and how you resolved it.
  5. Do you have any questions for us and the projects we are working on?

Evaluate Technical Skills:

Assessing a candidate’s technical skills is crucial. Utilise coding assessments, technical interviews, or take-home projects to gauge their proficiency in relevant programming languages, frameworks, and development methodologies. Evaluate their ability to write clean, efficient, and scalable code. Collaborative coding sessions or pair programming exercises can provide insights into their teamwork and coding practices.

There are some great assessment tools on the market such as CodeInterview, HackerRank, Codility and CodeSignal.

Understand and Listen to What They Want:

This may sound obvious, but it can often be overlooked. In order to attract and retain top tech talent your company needs to ensure developers are kept happy.  This increases productivity, reduces burnout, and improves efficiency.  Don’t assume you know how to keep them happy as this may result in you being busy baking cakes when they want something entirely different – simply ask them and work with them to work towards that.

A recent report from Uplevel revealed that “96% of dev said not knowing what leadership is working on can actually be detrimental to the team.”  Transparency is key and as natural problem-solvers, if developers know why and what they end goals are, they can be of much more value.

Many companies are now investing in Developer Experience (DevX or DX) teams to ensure developers are able to perform their tasks without unnecessary friction points and maintain a positive DX.

Assess Cultural Fit and Environment:

Beyond technical skills, consider a candidate’s cultural fit within your organisation. Assess their alignment with your company values, work ethic, and communication style. A positive team dynamic and shared goals can foster productivity and collaboration. Create an inclusive and supportive work environment that promotes growth, continuous learning, and work-life balance. Work on building your company’s unique culture and benefits to attract top talent.

Support Development and Growth:

Exceptional software developers are often driven by opportunities for growth and learning. Provide them with challenging projects, access to training resources, and the chance to work with cutting-edge technologies.

Encourage participation in conferences, workshops, and industry events to expand their knowledge base and network. Foster mentorship programs to facilitate knowledge transfer and create a culture of continuous improvement.

Emphasise Soft Skills:

In addition to technical expertise, soft skills are essential for effective collaboration and project success. Look for candidates with strong communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. They should demonstrate adaptability, creativity, and the ability to work well in teams. Assess their ability to translate complex technical concepts into clear and concise explanations.


Recruiting and hiring awesome software developers in 2023 requires a well-defined candidate profile, targeted questions, and an evaluation of technical skills, cultural fit, and soft skills. Creating an inclusive and growth-oriented environment will attract and retain exceptional talent. By implementing these strategies, companies can assemble a team of exceptional software developers ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, and retain them!


For more advice and help with building your software development team, contact us today for a chat.

Natalie Harper

Author Natalie Harper

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