According to one British recruitment company, Software Engineer is the most in-demand profession in the world. In today’s business environment, that’s not surprising. We’re living in an age in which digital transformation has become a life-or-death imperative for companies around the world. The accelerating pace of digital innovation (defined as the application of new technologies to existing business problems and practices) is disrupting entire industries. Almost every business today must either engage in some degree of digital transformation or be eclipsed in the marketplace by competitors that do. That’s why for many companies, whether they consider themselves “tech” companies or not, recruiting talented software developers to staff projects that are critical to their continued success is one of their highest priorities.

It’s also one of their greatest challenges. What most companies, particularly those in the U.S., soon discover when they dive into the software developer recruitment marketplace, is that finding the right talent at the right price isn’t easy. In fact, it can sometimes seem downright impossible!

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Why Is It so Hard to Find Good Software Engineers?

Why are companies finding it so difficult to build a team of well-qualified software developers to staff their mission-critical projects? There are three major reasons. Let’s take a look.

1. A Limited Domestic Talent Pool of Qualified Engineers

As mentioned above, there is no profession in greater demand than software engineers. Continuously, companies need new software applications in areas such as big data, AI, blockchain, and cybersecurity. So are new websites and mobile apps that allow users to interact with those applications. While all that new development is taking place, existing applications must be maintained and upgraded.

The natural result of all that activity is that workers who have the necessary software development skills are being stretched thin, particularly in the U.S. Although the pool of these professionals is growing by more than 18% a year, that growth is not nearly enough to keep up with demand. As a result, the U.S. now faces a shortage of more than a million software developers.

As important as the sheer number of available software developers is their quality. The unfortunate fact is that many of the candidates are, at best, underqualified. In fact, according to Glassdoor,

“A whopping 45% of [software engineering] candidates are found to be unqualified.”

Because they must sort through such a high percentage of candidates with questionable qualifications, companies must engage in a stringent recruitment process to avoid making costly mistakes. And that takes time. The typical employer needs 39 days to make a software engineering hire. And if you’re looking for candidates with specialized skills or greater experience, it can take significantly longer. For example, according to DZone it’s not unusual for companies to require 8-12 weeks to hire a specialized team of developers.

2. Salaries for Software Engineers Have Skyrocketed in the Past Few Years

The Law of Supply and Demand applies just as much to software developers as to any other commodity. When an item is scarce, its price goes up. That’s exactly what’s happened in the software engineering market.

According to, in 2021 the average U.S. software engineer makes $111,600 in base salary (up from $107,510 in 2019), plus a $4000 yearly cash bonus. And remember, that’s just the average. Workers at the high end of the skill and experience scale command considerably more. For example, the average Senior software engineer makes $132,274 per year.

3. Good Luck With Your Own Recruitment if You Are Not Google or Facebook!

recruiter hiring a software developer for his team.
An employer looking through information about an applicant in electronic resume.

The unemployment rate among software engineers in the U.S. is around 1.3%. As a result, only a relatively small number of them (about 6.4%) are actively seeking employment at any one time. And because there are so few who are potential recruitment candidates, the competition for well-qualified software professionals is fierce!

As DaedTech founder Erik Dietrich has said, in today’s environment,

“The only way to find software developers is to go prying them loose from other firms.”

Well-qualified professionals often find themselves so bombarded with unwanted employment solicitations that they actively seek to avoid being recruited. Software engineers are notorious for ignoring employment solicitations. And when they do respond, in 68% of cases it’s the prospect of a significant increase in salary that stirs their interest.

All that, of course, makes finding well-qualified individuals just that much harder. And it’s not going to get any easier. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for software developers is projected to grow by 22% (compared to 4% for all occupations) by 2029.

Another important factor in the recruitment equation is that smaller companies find it difficult to compete on a level playing field with tech industry giants. Beyond the fact that the Googles and Facebooks of the world offer significantly higher salaries, the best qualified candidates are drawn to companies that already have reputations as great technology incubators. If your company doesn’t have a similar reputation, you’ll be at a disadvantage in your recruitment efforts. As industry observer Kelly McNulty puts it,

“Establishing an employer brand known for technology is particularly important if your company isn’t Google or a similar company already synonymous with tech.”

Recruiting Software Developers Shouldn’t Be a DIY Project!

Going out into the recruitment marketplace on your own can be a time-consuming, costly, and frustrating experience for your company. After all, you’d rather spend your efforts on meeting your business goals rather than finding good software developers. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) recruiting just isn’t an efficient or cost-effective way to spend scarce company resources.

So, what’s the alternative?

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ParallelStaff Can Save You Time and Money on Recruiting Software Developers

ParallelStaff is a global business process outsourcing provider that specializes in supplying highly skilled software engineering contract employees to work for our clients remotely, usually from Mexico. We do all the hard work of finding and hiring candidates with the skills and experience you need. We can do it a lot better and more cost-effectively than you can — after all, that’s our job!

Mexico has proved to be a great source of well-qualified software engineers. Its educational institutions are graduating more skilled developers every year than the local economy can absorb. From this pool of talented professionals, ParallelStaff chooses individuals who are all fluent in English, fully conversant with North American culture, and eager to work as temporary contract employees for U.S. companies.

And they know their stuff! We can supply experts in the backend, frontend, mobile development, UI/UX, QA/software testing, DevOps, and much more, all with a minimum of eight years of proven professional experience.

If you’d like to know more about how ParallelStaff can supply your company with expert software developers to staff your mission-critical projects, and do it more quickly and cost-effectively than you can on your own, please contact us.

Rick Wallace