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How To Hire a Software Engineer

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this Software Engineer hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

Software Engineer Recruitment Guide

What does a Software Engineer do?

Software Engineers are primarily responsible for building software and applications. A software engineer at heart is a problem solver, they will face countless roadblocks on a daily basis and their job is to theorize and implement solutions to overcome their hardships. Software engineers not only need to be good programmers but skilled communicators so they’re able to verbally explain to stakeholders what they’ve done and most importantly why they have done it. Software engineers are generally jack of all trades not shying away from a particular piece of technology.

Day to day tasks of a Software Engineer

Skills assessment

Software Engineer definition

A Software Engineer’s role not only involves writing code, they must be proficient in a wide array of skills which enables them to mix a deep understanding of the fundamental basics of software engineering as a discipline, communication skills and the resources around them to produce high valued assets for their workplace.

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Software Engineer Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a Software Engineer

A Software Engineer must have the deep technical know-how to design, build and test a piece of software or system that they’ve built along with the skills to communicate what they’ve done to the required people. It is important to be open to working in a team as a software engineer as often you won't be working alone.

Pro Tip

The software engineering market is currently booming. Make sure you clearly outline what type of company you are, the industry you are in and the types of projects candidates will be working on.


How to write a Software Engineer job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your Software Engineer job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a Software Engineer must have good communication skills in order to be able to articulate what they’re building aligns with high-level designs and keeping the project manager up to date with their progress. Check out our guide on hiring a Software Engineer.

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Sample skill tests for a Software Engineer

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1


Question Type: Code

You want a lambda function to calculate a number if the input was 5 and the result was 10. What would be the two lines of code to achieve this and print it to console?

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Question 2


Question Type: Text

How would you describe what a buffer overflow is to a non-technical manager, and why they’re dangerous?

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Question 3

Software Architecture

Question Type: Multiple Choice

You have replaced an instance of the call made to a Session.iterate() in your hibernation application with a call made to the Session.createQuery() for an instance of a query. Which of the following extensions to the code would you be able to capitalize due to such a change in your code?


How to interview a Software Engineer

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a Software Engineer?

In the USA the median salary for a Software engineer is $87,000 according to, whereas Glassdoor suggests the average is $104,727. The lowest ten percent is paid $63,000, and ninety percent of software engineers earn up to $128,000. With these figures steadily growing with more experience.

Software Engineer Salary United States

Software engineering salaries in the United States range from $63,000 – $128,000 (USD). Software engineering salaries in the U.S vary a lot depending on the industry, the company you work for and the location of this company.

Software Engineer Salary United Kingdom

Software engineering salaries in the United Kingdom range from £21,000 – £49,000 (GBP). Software engineering salaries in the UK vary largely based on the skills on the individual, location and industry of the company.

Software Engineer Salary Australia

Software engineering salaries in Australia range from $67,000 – $130,000 (AUD). Software engineering salaries usually depend on the type of output that an engineer is able to deliver, as well as the location, industry and skills.