March 8, 2023

6 mistakes Silicon Valley founders make when hiring software engineers

Hiring software engineers isn’t an easy task, right? Well, as long as you don’t make these 6 mistakes, we’re sure you can figure out how to hire software engineers and avoid the great resignation trend that is currently happening in the U.S.

Nowadays, every company in the US (small and big) is fighting to get a hold of software engineers, which is why hiring software engineers is difficult if you don’t have a solid budget. According to Forbes, the unemployment rate for IT employees hovered near 2.3%.

If you’ve had bad luck trying to hire engineers in the past or if you’re looking to start the hiring process, let us tell you how you can avoid making recruitment mistakes and be successful in your quest to hire software engineers.

1. Paying below market rates

According to Altigee, “The average annual salary for top software engineering roles in the San Francisco Bay Area is around $157,000, followed closely by New York, where it’s about $148,000. Software engineers in Seattle get on average $145,000 a year and in LA $143,000.”

Not giving what a software engineer is asking for is the first mistake you can make.

You might think giving equity can alleviate this issue. However, keep in mind that if you want to retain top employees, giving shares will not avoid the churn of good talent when they get offers from a FAANG company that’s giving salaries of $200k (Which by the way also include more tangible equity).

How can you resolve that if you don’t have enough cash in your bank account?

Nowadays, there’s a general trend in the US toward hiring remote workers outside the main tech hubs. That’s why the next step is to search for salary expectations in different locations to find out where your ideal software engineer could be located.

For example, did you know you could hire software engineers and many other technical roles for $4k to $5k a month in your same time zone?

Companies like Teilur help start-ups in the Bay Area find tech talent that will say with their employees because companies can now pay above-local market rates by looking south of the border.

2. Not giving them the chance of choosing remote working

Remote work has come to stay!

Not giving your software engineer the chance to choose remote work is the second mistake you can make.

Most software engineers are more comfortable working from home, and with productivity management tools you can make sure to get the most out of your software team.

Some companies specialize in creating software engineering teams with remote candidates from scratch so that you can focus on your projects, not on hiring. Working with a hiring partner is an efficient way to mitigate risks and overcome the challenges of hiring a software engineer.

Call me biased - of course, I am - but this is what we are doing at Teilur; helping startups and companies hire remote teams.

3. The hiring process is too long

Long hiring processes cost time and money, for both companies and candidates.

If your current hiring process is too long, you’re already messing it up. Unless you’re a big firm and have the luxury of developing a complex hiring process, short and simple is the best.

The demand for software engineers is always high and it’s well known that candidates often have multiple interviews lined up while they’re looking for the best offer. You risk losing candidates if your recruitment process is slow.

Ask yourself:

  1. Do you really need to go through five levels of interviews?
  2. Is the two-hour interview necessary?
  3. How long do you need to wait for a decision?

Now let me give you a response:

  1. Three rounds of interviews are more than enough.
  2. Your time (and your candidate’s time) is valuable. It’s better to have things wrapped up in half an hour.
  3. The longer the process of making a decision, the more time and money you’re losing.

Let’s imagine everything goes according to plan and the software engineer is a great fit for your company. Don’t hesitate, send an offer as quickly as possible.

Always remember: Your candidate is probably going through other interviews. While you’re spending time considering unnecessary things, your top competitors are making better offers. A reasonably fast decision can be made in 1 to 2 days.

In conclusion, decide quickly and close fast!

4. Being too narrow in the search

So you’ve made up your mind and opted to hire remotely in Latin America. You have narrowed down your search to Mexico and Brazil as ideal places to find your software engineer. So which country should you choose?

There are 167.000 software engineers in Brazil and 107.000 in Mexico. Fact: You can search for “Software developer” in People on LinkedIn and using a country filter will give you some rough statistics about tech talent in Latin America

The fifth mistake you can make is to only focus on hiring in the U.S. when you can find a vast talent pool of software engineers in Latin America.

There are hiring firms, like Teilur, that allow American companies to connect with Latin American candidates.

5. Poor onboarding

Don’t throw your software engineers right into software development blindly. It’s the easiest way to start off on the wrong foot.

Take the time to give as much support as you’re able to. It’ll be an investment that pays off in productivity and morale. Even a senior software engineer will need some time to get oriented in your work environment properly, even if it’s less than what a junior engineer would need.

Set up expectations, give an overview of workflows, team responsibilities, boundaries, and so on.  If you give a software engineer enough information to get them working efficiently with your codebase, they’ll soon start delivering results.

6. Forgetting to highlight the company’s culture to them

The candidate must share your company's values and culture in order to become a useful part of your team.

Ensure that you have a dialogue with the candidate during the hiring process to transmit the organization’s philosophy. You should think about candidate motivators, like work challenges and growth possibilities.

If you end up hiring someone with excellent technical talents but that doesn’t fit your company’s culture, be prepared to let them go quickly.

Let’s wrap it up!

Now, you can figure out how to successfully hire software engineers and become part of the 5% of companies that hire top talent in a competitive industry.