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Why is it so Difficult to Hire Software Engineers?

The need for top tech expertise is increasing along with US’ industry's constant change and advancement.


The need for top tech expertise is increasing along with US’ industry’s constant change and advancement. As a result, finding qualified IT professionals is becoming more difficult. Being distinctive and finding and hiring software developers naturally are both challenging tasks.

Techies are now largely in possession of the good cards, therefore businesses must dazzle to stand out. RTO mandates don’t help. Posting job postings with unclear compensation packages and the work of two people certainly won’t. To find talent, businesses must begin employing marketers and leveraging an increasing number of more flexible methods.

Top of the funnel – talent shortage

According to this comparison, if businesses really have to start employing marketers, they should target a certain niche. If you’re seeking senior jobs or specialized devs, your top-of-the-funnel lead generation will be significantly more limited compared to other sectors.

It is common knowledge that the IT sector is expanding. The need for top tier techies grows yearly, and finding candidates for such positions gets increasingly difficult. According to a poll, 86% of hiring managers and technical recruiters believe that finding and recruiting software engineers is difficult. So, is the difficulty in filling these positions due to a shortage of engineers, or is it because they do not possess the necessary skills?

Why is it difficult to hire software developers?

Software development necessitates the acquisition of new, specialized abilities that not all software engineers have. Last year blockchain developers were in high demand. This year, artificial intelligence is all the hype. These skills can’t be learned quickly, but if you’re able to come across a techie with the right combination of education, training, experience, and learning drive, they will undoubtedly be in extremely popular demand. 

“If software engineering is in demand, why is it so hard to get a software engineering job?”

When searching for software engineers job shortage on the internet, you come across variations of the question: “If software engineering is in demand, why is it so hard to get a software engineering job?”. LinkedIn is a popular hub for this debate. 

Users on Quora (probably affected techies) have responded to this question and evident frustration in the tone can be easily seen and we dont blame them for being angry with the way things have been. They mostly answer to this question either beginning or ending with “…. it is not that there aren’t software engineers available but the tech people don’t know which one is good.” 

Some even express how the education system is failing big time in the process of producing good tech experts. Other popular responses consist of a mix of concerns: “it’s not, the unemployment rate is 3.6%,” “there are too many developers and not enough engineers,” and “it’s a natural consequence of microeconomic theory.”

A popular response made by an affected software engineer was a sarcastic mock at the whole interviewing process which unfortunately has become the reason for his unemployment for years; pointing fingers indirectly towards how big of a failure the interviewing process is as a whole. Let’s have a look at the legendary response to the question: “I was unemployed for many months. Waited hoping one day someone will hire me without requiring me to white-boarding. Yep it is worse than water-boarding.

After 7 months I realized — no other choice. Now I can white-board in my sleep. Companies are in line to talk to me. They are ready to send flowers and even ready to send drivers to pick me up.

Nothing changed

In short, it comes down to not just textbook economics factors that lead to this shortage but many other industry-level and firm-level ones as well.

The Problem with Hiring Software Engineers

There have been some problems with software developers for a while now. Among them are, but not confined to:

Not Enough People With The Right Skills

It is well known that the IT sector suffers from a severe talent shortage. There are many fresh graduates in the software engineering field, however, not enough of them have the necessary skills required to be in demand.

The term “software engineering” is a broad one that covers a broad range of technologies and localities. As a result, businesses frequently require people with specialized skill sets, such as fluency in a certain language or understanding of a particular industry (e.g. fintech).

The dearth of applicants for positions in cybersecurity, big data and analytics, and legacy systems is one illustration of this.

Although there may be candidates for positions in these industries, it does not always follow that they possess the necessary abilities. Furthermore, due to their being in such great demand, 86% of the qualified individuals are already working, as per TalentNow.

This has repercussions for employed individuals as well.

Not all companies have the necessary number of engineers due to limited supply. This increases the workload for those who do.

A firm will always seek to grow, but doing so comes at the expense of the current staff. With the same number of people, they will now take on more tasks than they did previously.

Retaining these talented engineers can be difficult since there are only so many things that a particular number of individuals are capable of.

These new initiatives may cause employees to struggle and cause them to start questioning their position within the organization. Software engineer burnout becomes inevitable and they eventually leave their company job for more flexible freelancing gigs.

Employer competition

The tech industry is rife with thousands of companies, all of which offer different employee benefits, perks, salaries, and job roles – no two are going to be exactly the same. This is why it’s a common occurrence that techies will turn down a role as they’ve been offered a better opportunity elsewhere – and who can blame them? 

So, what can you do to attract top tech talent and then importantly, retain them? Most of the time it comes down to company culture and employee benefits. For example, the most popular benefits include the ability to work remotely (as in recent times this has become more favored) and the chance to maintain a work-life balance. The majority of developers are employed and not actively seeking a new role. However, techies are curious about new opportunities – which is where they browse certain platforms for the discovery of roles and companies.

In a 2018 Jobvites Recruiter Nation survey, it was reported that up to 75% of recruiters met with candidates who didn’t take the offer. 53% of this was because they were offered a much better package elsewhere. Professional platforms like LinkedIn will also tell you that RTO mandates repel software developers who prefer to work remotely since the nature of their work allows them to.

High salary demands by software engineers can be a result of several different factors:

  • Education
  • Experiences
  • Tech tools
  • Tech stack
  • Location

Gaper’s marketplace of engineers and developers also features professionals with a varying hourly rate depending on the aforementioned factors. Drop us a message to hire a developer fit for your company.

These are the different metrics that are used to judge how well someone needs to be paid. What must also be considered is that an in-house developer is always going to cost more.

At the time of writing, the average salary for a software developer is around $150,000 in the US. Given the disparity between supply and demand, this is a lot of money that more than one organization would be willing to offer.

Let’s talk money…

How much does it cost to hire a developer in 2023? How much are software developers worth on online platforms

In any industry, it’s normal for people to be conscious of their salary and compare their salaries to that of their peers. This adds to the competition when it comes to hiring. Many companies tend to offer a higher salary in the hope to beat the competition.

It might sound like a great idea to advertise a role with a ‘competitive salary’ but in hindsight, we know that this is a red flag to candidates – they much prefer to see a fixed salary or salary range, which could be more beneficial and as a result make you stand out from the crowd! Opportunities that state a salary are far more likely to receive applications but most importantly from the right people.

Oh and adding salary ranges like $90,000 – $900,000 is not helpful at all…

Company culture

Not everyone will like your company. The truth hurts – but would you want someone to work at your business if they didn’t feel comfortable? TechRepublic reported that when evaluating a job, developers prioritize opportunities that offer internal growth and development (39%) and a culture that fits their personality (38%). Showcase the business’s personality and in return, you’ll attract the right people and be able to retain them. This can be done through social media, your careers page, and your brand ambassadors – it won’t happen overnight, but it’s important to evolve your tech employer brand in order to stand out from the crowd.

Time-consuming interviews

The hiring process takes time, skills, patience and of course money to be able to find the ideal software engineer. The interviewing process is almost always relatively longer when compared to other roles, as there is the addition of a technical interview. So not only does it take longer but it can cost more too.

‍How Do You Solve These Issues?

No problem exists without a solution – even the most bizarre of the bunch. Hiring the right team of software engineers is by no means a piece of cake, but there are ways to make it easier.

Leveraging Social Media

In a world of constant social media engagement, it only makes sense to find the best candidates. Besides services like LinkedIn and other such platforms, social media networks can also help in finding people.

An ad posted on Facebook or in a group for software engineers could instantly bring in a hoard of interested candidates.

They might not be suitable for the exact position you are looking for, but there are other positions that they might fit right into.

Encourage Retention Through Benefits And Perks

One of the most common issues that the industry faces is the inability to hold onto its employees.

They are overworked to the point where they dread putting in the effort. But, with a lack of qualified candidates in the market, those who source software jobs are expected to put in a lot more work.

The work requirement may remain the same; however, it is up to the employers to ensure their employees are taken care of. How does this happen?

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder Midyear job forecast, perks are essential for employee retention.

Therefore, these were efforts to keep employees motivated while also making new candidates more inclined to join. These were:

  • The flexibility to work remotely if needed
  • Extra paid time off
  • A more relaxed dress code
  • Lunch be made free at the workplace
  • A bonus for signing onto the company
  • Memberships to fitness facilities or a gym
  • Employee discounts
  • Daycare for parents who struggle to find a balance 

These are just a few perks that could seem intriguing for people working or looking to work as software engineers. Frankly speaking, some of them are a bare minimum.

They might cost the company money, but they will also make the employees more inclined to do their job productively.

How to Hire an Experienced and Talented Software Engineer?

There are a number of ways through which a software engineer can be hired. However, there are only a few companies that will provide an actually experienced and talented software engineer that are rigorously vetted and chose to best suit a company’s requirements. Not only that but they will also possess the necessary skills required in order to be in high demand. 


Gaper.io has been in the tech game for a few fresh years now. It started off remote and continues to remain remote while continuing to help those in need of talented software engineers. Gaper has helped many famous names in the tech industry to satisfy their needs of software developers and continues to do so amidst a global recession, big tech layoffs, and other labor market shocks. 

Hiring from Gaper is a fairly easy game. All you are required to do is book an appointment, and wait till you are connected with a tech expert to help you through the process. You heard it right: you will be connected with a tech expert, and not an HR person to help you find what you are looking for to ensure your demands (tech and business) are being well understood. 

You are then matched with an engineer or an engineering team that falls right into your criteria of needs. And the best thing about Gaper is that there are no financial risks involved thanks to a 2-week free trial. You are allowed to back off from the engineer matched within the time period of two weeks in case you do not like the match. Not a single penny is charged and you can either ask to be rematched or walk away, completely your call. 


When given thought to, every task is difficult if aimed to achieved perfectly. The key however is to look in the gith places. Even though there is a tech talent shortage currently, looking in the right place could resolve the issue. And the right place to look is Gaper.io…if we do say so ourselves.

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