Your Go-to Guide to Hiring a Programmer in 2023

Hire a Programmer

Any contemporary business would have tried to hire a programmer at least once, no matter what their size or niche. It's no secret that programmers are a hot commodity today, regardless of what the project is. May it be a website for your small business, an app for your smartphone, or even a computer game. You may have thousands of brilliant ideas about how to design it, but none of them will come true until you hire a programmer.

Programmers can make or break a company, which is why hiring them can be so challenging — and expensive. What to look for when you want to hire a programmer? How much should you pay? What if they aren't good enough? We created this Go-to Guide to Hiring Programmers to answer all of these questions and much more.

There were 24.5 million software developers in the world in 2020, a number that in 2023 is expected to grow to 27.7 million and 28.7 million in 2024. Don't be awed by this figure cause experts believe that even these many developers will not satisfy the exponential growth in demand by 2024.

Now one might think that having such a vast pool of ready-to-work professionals makes it relatively easy to hire a programmer. Well, only if things were so simple. According to CodinGame's latest developer survey, 61% of HR professionals reported that finding qualified programmers would be their biggest recruitment challenge.


In this guide, we will take you through the entire process of hiring a programmer step by step.

Define your needs

a. Why do we need this programmer?

Before hiring for any position, you need to be very clear about your expectations from the recruitment. The first question that you must ask yourself (or your team) is, ‘Why do we need this programmer?’ Is it to program a specific functionality, is it to fix an existing system, or is it to build software from scratch? All these needs have entirely different skill sets required for you to keep in mind while hiring. In simple terms, the more precise your requirements are, the better you can judge a candidate. If you get your requirements wrong, there is a high chance that you hire a miss-match.

b. What is the priority of this hiring?

The recruitment procedure can be made more efficient when you set a timeline. And in order to establish a timeline, you need to know the priority of this hiring. If the position in question needs to be filled as soon as possible, you can expedite the process by deploying all your resources. Now if the position is of lesser priority, you can go through the standard recruitment tunnel and use the luxury of time to find the perfect fit.

c. Years of experience

Depending on the complexity, seniority, and importance of the programming position, you can decide how many years of experience will be suitable for your ideal programmer. If the role is basic and under the supervision of a senior programmer, you can allow 0-3 years of experience bracket, is the role is with a lot of responsibilities, you can choose between 4-9 years of experience bracket and if the role is in the executive suite, you might go for 10+ years of experience. To hire a Programmer efficiently, you must have well-defined experience requirements that can save you a lot of time and resources while shortlisting candidates.

d. Must-have skills

Every programming profile comes with a set of must-have skills. In simple terms, must-have skills are core skills required to perform the most important functionalities of any given job. Based on the skills of a programmer, the candidates can be judged and narrowed down. CVs that do not consist of these skills will automatically be eliminated from further consideration.

For instance, to hire an Android programmer, you may consider skills such as Java and Kotlin. But if you are to hire an iOS programmer, you may look for Swift or Java skills.

e. Desirable and deal-breaker

To find a perfect match for your programming profile, you need to be very clear about what skills or requirements are desirable (good to have) and what are deal-breakers (non-negotiable). Requirements such as an additional skill (other than a must-have skill) can be considered a desirable requirement that may or may not necessarily be fulfilled every time.

Requirements like respecting deadlines, basic communication skills, or relocation (If need be) are considered deal-breakers because if even one of these requirements is not met the candidate does not qualify for the position. Identifying Deal-breakers at an early stage can make it easy for you to hire a programmer without any last-minute setbacks.

For instance, To hire a web programmer, familiarity with AWS might be a desirable skill, but prolific experience with UI/UX is a non-negotiable skill of a programmer.

f. Have quantifiable objectives

Before hiring a programmer, you should know what the key objectives or milestones you want to achieve through this investment are. These objectives can be anything ranging from improving your code generation rate to solving a complex functionality issue. Before you hire a programmer you should have a timeline and vision of what you expect the recruit to achieve. You can also prepare a timeline to monitor the timely progress of these milestones.

Another important thing to keep in mind while listing down these objectives is that whatever you consider should be a quantifiable matrix so that both you and the programmer are on the same page.

Start the process

Where to start?

We work in an age where an unprecedented amount of information and resources are available at our disposal. While all these resources are intended to help us optimize the hiring process, one should know where to start.

You have thousands of platforms where you can go publish your requirements. But are all of these platforms worth spending your time on?

Well, Yes and No! Every mainstream hiring platform is utilitarian at different degrees. Yet you need to shortlist a few top hiring platforms where you think you can get optimal results. You can read ‘Where to Hire a Programmer in 2020’ for further reference.

Job description

Job descriptions are the first interaction that your candidates have with your job requirements. No matter where you publish the profile requirements, every platform needs a detailed job description.

This segment is where you list down all the points we discussed in the ‘Define your needs’ section. The job description can act as your first impression of the candidate. You need to be very clear with what you communicate through this.

You can talk about your business and its mission, what makes this position unique, what are the must-have skills, with whom the chosen programmer will be working, what is the nature of the project, what all platforms will the programmer be working on, and what skills are nice to have. You can curate your job description according to your requirements.

Mining from the pile of CVs

How to shortlist candidates?

You may receive an overwhelming response from different sources, and the number of vacancies is limited. Thus you need to have multiple layers of filters to shortlist the interested candidates. These filters can be Geographical bifurcation, Linguistic features, Technical and non-technical skills. You are free to choose what filters fit your needs.

Secondly, even after explicitly mentioning the required qualifications in the job description there will be some programmers that do not match the standard. These CVs should be eliminated in the first round of shortlisting itself. Always keep in mind that one of these shortlisted programmers is going to work with you day in and day out. This will help you eliminate a few more.

Creating the final list

Once you have a filtered list of candidates, you need to narrow it further. To do so you can set up a basic telephonic interview or Introductory call and assess them on the basis of their communication skills or ask to look at their portfolios or previous projects. This narrowed list of final programmers is what you will use to set up the interview rounds.


What is the right number?

For different programming profiles, the number of interview rounds could differ. If the position in question is an entry-level position then one or two rounds of interviews are sufficient to make a call. If you intend to hire a programmer with 3+ years of experience, you might need to conduct multiple rounds and technical screenings. You may even choose to take a few live programming tests and consider all these assessments before finalizing a hire.

Who should conduct these interviews?

When hiring a new programmer, different organizations have different approaches. Especially when it comes to the interview round, every profile or team might have different protocols and people in charge of taking interviews. Generally for entry-level positions, the team leader and the project manager can take up the task. If it is a mid-level position the head of the department is concerned and if the position is of higher ranks, you must keep the CEO and CTO in the loop.

While, as we already discussed, different roles and institutions may or may not have the same protocols to interview a candidate. So you are free to choose an approach that fits your needs.

Interviews can be conducted in various modes, so which one should you choose? Here is the CodingGame's Developer Survey result where Programmers and HR professionals chose their preferred mode of interview.

Make an offer

Check the market standards

For every programming profile, there exists a standard market range that you should consider before making an offer. You should also check if your budget allows you to exceed the standard bracket to close a good programmer. Normally market standards are baseline values for hiring programmers in every category. These market standards are in place to help you have an idea of what you should consider before getting into a negotiation.

Know what your candidate expects

It's a very common practice among HR professionals to make a note of what are a candidate’s financial as well as non-financial expectations. You can ask for a candidate's expectation in the first round itself so that there are no surprises in the finalization rounds. If you think that a programmer's expectations are too high from the market standard and your budget can not accommodate the same, you need to say so to the candidate. If there is no possibility of reaching a middle ground, you should not proceed with such programmers. Other than monetary expectations, a candidate may have some more expectations from you. Take them into consideration while making an offer.

Consider your ROI

Before making the final offer, confirm your Return on Investment. Discuss with all stakeholders and check if there are any objections. If after following a thorough procedure you think making an offer is a good call, make the offer.

Post hiring tips


Once the offer is accepted and the documentation is done you need to start the onboarding process. It is very important to make sure your new programmer feels welcomed. The onboarding process is very important to a recruit. After you hire a programmer, you should focus on maintaining a healthy and long-term relationship with them.

Take regular feedback

Having a work culture where honest feedback is appreciated can help retain loyal employees in a long run. Not just hearing your programmers but also acting on valuable feedback can boost your team's morale and help them be more productive.

Do we have a one-stop solution for hiring the best programmers in 2023?

Yes! We do. Hiring a programmer can be a tedious process consuming your precious time and resources. So why not leave it to the experts? is a data-science-driven deep jobs platform helping companies spin up their engineering dream teams with the intelligent talent cloud at the push of a button. Turing’s Intelligent Talent Cloud platform helps you recruit from the top 1% programmer pool with a fraction of the time and resources you would have spent otherwise.

Turing is a fully remote company based in Palo Alto, California, that matches world-class remote developers with world-class companies. Hundreds of organizations have hired high-quality software talent through them. Their offshore engineering teams are trusted by companies ranging from hundreds of companies to fast-growing startups. In all, more than 200 companies have hired Turing's pre-vetted developers. These companies include well-known, new-age organizations backed by top firms such as Google Ventures, A16Z, Bloomberg, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can hire the best programmer through Turing’s Intelligent Talent Cloud platform, which helps you recruit from the top 1% programmer pool in a fraction of the time. Turing is trusted by companies ranging from hundreds of companies to fast-growing startups. These companies include well-known, new-age organizations backed by top firms such as Google, Rivian, A16Z, Bloomberg, etc.

There are too many variables involved in hiring a programmer, so putting a fixed number to hire a developer won't be right. However, knowing there is no upfront cost of hiring a programmer through Turing is important. On the contrary, Turing offers you a risk-free, two-week trial with your programmers. You start paying only after the trial ends.

Here are 3 best practices for hiring developers for a startup: Outline the must-have skills, make sure the developer fits your company standards and check whether the experience is relevant to your hiring needs.

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