12 US Hiring Challenges That Software Development Outsourcing Can Solve

Svitlana Rumyantseva
Project Manager

Can’t hire developers in the USA?

Game over?!

No panic, there is a lifesaving method for those who feel desperate about their recruiting.

In this article, we will consider 12 biggest problems of IT recruitment in the US.

Each complaint is followed by an outsourcing solution that can help you to solve the issue fast and efficiently.

1. Sweeping Changes

One of the most difficult challenges on hiring software engineers is tech refreshes. As someone who graduated from a top 10 Computer Science college and worked in Silicon Valley, making sure you work somewhere that has the latest stack is imperative.

Why? Because once the candidate has to switch jobs, if they weren’t with outdated technology, they will be less valuable on the market.

Unfortunately, having an outdated stack can turn excellent candidates away because lack of transferable skills.

Jeff Butler
Millennial Generation & Workplace Expert at Jeff Butler

Keeping pace with that change is physically impossible for one person; in connection with that, coders prefer to select one narrow specialization and undergo training in that realm to provide up-to-date services within that area.

Here are the most popular programming languages:

  1. Java
  2. C
  3. C++
  4. Python
  5. Visual Basic .Net

You’ll never experience a shortage of specialists in these fields.

So, how can a client close the vacancy if there are no available specialists with the latest, most relevant tech stack in his/her location?

A wise solution is to outsource software development.

By choosing the outsourcing option, the employer always gets access to times more candidates.

Instead of choosing in one’s country or city only, companies thus can select among hundreds of thousands of available developers many of which possess exactly the tech stack the client needs.

An even wiser solution is to delegate the development tasks to outsourcing locations in a developing country with a booming IT sector.

In such locations, IT is a strategically important business, so people invest in their education and there is plenty of programmers with in-depth knowledge of hype technologies.

Here is the list of lesser-known but promising programming languages:

  1. Elm
  2. Rust
  3. Kotlin
  4. Crystal
  5. Elixir

Finding an expert in one of these is harder, but we recommend paying attention to such an outsourcing location as Ukraine.

Here you may choose among 8,830 Rust developers, 8,899 Elixir coders, while the number of Kotlin programmers has exceeded 10,000.

This destination will yield highly fruitful staff search results!

2. Reluctant Attitude

We’ve run into a couple problems related to hiring, our target developer is either A) Not actively looking for a new position so we have to finagle introductions through our network or B) they’re incredibly expensive in the DC market.

Despite the rather uphill climb, we’ve been able to pull on our network and connections to get introductions to talented developers. It has been much harder than I’d have originally expected.

What’s been particularly interesting/frustrating though is that for every strong, qualified US-based developer we’ve come across, we encounter at least 3 non-US developers looking for visa sponsorship. That’s not a path we’ve exercised to date given the long delays to a start-date, but it’s certainly become an option on our radar now.

Karen Gordon
VP of Growth at Goodshuffle Pro

The situation is completely different in developing countries since programmers are much more interested in the jobs and are much more eager to establish professional contacts with employers.

Here, companies may easily sign contracts with the top talent without any GDPR limitations they would come across in the EU.

Thus, it’s much easier to find the needed person instead of going the extra mile to recruit a new employee.

Just some statistics: in the USA, an average employee spends around 4 years in a company, while 42% of the currently employed individuals wish to change their job. In Ukraine, 52% of employees in the IT sector wish to change their job.

On the one hand, this trend is positive for employers because they have a broad choice of developer talent to choose from.

On the other hand, the staff turnover is an evident problem in the sector. Thus, it is vital to address the issue even in dedicated teams:

  • build a strong corporate culture;
  • communicate productively;
  • attend the outsourced office;
  • provide additional perks to staff.

In other words, relationships and care should be equal to those of in-house team, though recruitment is still quicker and more productive in offshore destinations.

3. Experience vs. Economy

I was suckered in to lower prices when I started hiring tech talent and it turned out to be a huge mistake and cost me a lot in terms of quality and even more money than it should have. Now I only hire very experienced tech talent with really good references and have been much better off.

The best way to validate how good a person is at actually performing the job is to talk to others who have previously hired them for the same job and get their unbiased feedback of how the candidate performed. I’ve found this type of feedback to be invaluable when hiring new tech talent.

Stacy Caprio
Founder at Accelerated Growth Marketing

The cost/benefit balance is a typical problem that employers come across not only in the USA; it’s quite universal globally.

It often happens that companies prioritizing cost savings make the recruitment decisions based on the developer’s rate, not on his/her skills.

However, the truth of high-quality programming is uncompromising; even 5 junior developers will never do the work of one senior developer, no matter how hard they try – they simply lack relevant experience.

Thus, before hiring any particular programmer, you should answer a question, “why do I need him/her?” If you need a coder to solve tasks quickly and productively, then you definitely need a senior specialist.

Yes, it will cost you more, but the savings will also be evident soon – you’ll save money on the work done properly and on time, without the need to redo the poorly completed project.

It’s possible to hire junior developers to a team as well, but only in case there is a team lead or a senior programmer who will mentor them.

There’s nothing bad about such a recruitment approach – training professionals in-house is strategically wise. It all depends on your goals.

How can software development outsourcing help you here?

It’s particularly suitable for the cases of IT staffing – a situation when a particular person is hired for a specific project.

Before the job interview with a client, the candidate undergoes the screening process by recruiters.

The latter weed out the improper resumes first and give the prospective employer some feedback on each candidate with whom they communicated personally.

In such a way, you always get an unbiased review and will be able to make an informed decision based on your impression and the recruiter’s feedback.

4. Skill gap

Being a tech staffing agency in Tampa, we have a ton of experience with this. Developers are the main thing we hire for, and many companies who hire us do so because they’ve already exhausted their candidate pipelines.

We’ve found that for the Tampa area specifically, there are difficulties when it comes to PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Go.

We have no problem finding entry-level people, but for senior devs with many years of experience, that’s where we find that we have to expand our searches nationwide.

Michael Sunderland
Managing Director at Full Stack Talent

Indeed, hiring juniors is an easy task – developers of this level are willing to take any job, even not if the terms are slightly far from satisfying, just to accumulate the initial experience and land in the IT sector.

In addition, junior coders are plentiful as IT is developing rapidly, and too many people wish to become programmers.

So, where can you locate experienced coders if you operate in a small US town?

A possible solution may be hiring freelancers from the neighboring regions.

However, no matter how progressive the local companies are, many of them avoid working with freelancers because of the risks.

Another option in this case is software development outsourcing.

It differs from freelancing in many ways; while freelancers work at home, where they are controlled and motivated by no one, outsourced coders work in a remote office under the close gaze of a Project Manager or HR who monitor the staff and detect problems early on, helping to resolve or avoid them.

While freelancers lack communication with colleagues and the traditional perks of office work, it’s all present in abundance in a remote team.

Moreover, the staffing model allows the client to remain the boss and control the project completion process directly.

5. If You’re Going to San Francisco…

Why is hiring software developers in the US tough? We have some serious challenges around the regionality of location. Certain areas of the US have a “fly-wheel” (SF) that attracts the top developers and keeps them around. You have to constantly pull developers instead of having them pushed to your city.

Kaben Clauson
Co-Founder and CEO at TruePublic

Every person more or less related to the tech and IT world has heard about the Silicon Valley and its miracles.

All coders, from juniors to seniors, dream of getting there.

This location offers plenty of jobs to everyone, from large multinationals to small startups. Therefore, demand gives rise to supply, and a huge number of excellent programmers move to California in a search of a high-paying and prestigious job.

But what should companies in need of a talented, experienced programmer do if they are not in San Francisco?

It’s often necessary to resort to cunning and offer the coders a generous package of perks just to talk them into joining the company.

Another way out is, again, to outsource software development – it is a win-win situation in which the client receives high quality of output and provides interesting, well-paid jobs to interested developers.

Selecting coders from developing countries does not mean that you may cut the perks – here programmers also receive insurance, training, gym membership, etc., – but the cost of these perks is times lower in such locations.

6. Location, Re-location? Remote!

Like many small companies, we have had our fair share of challenges in sourcing developers.

One of the workarounds I’ve found is offering remote flexibility. Because our company is based in a city with a very high cost of living (NYC), we have found that candidates in the Midwest are extremely competitive. The salary I can offer to a candidate is generous by those states’ standards, and the candidate quality is no less.

Not every candidate is able to re-locate, so you may find a stellar talent pool of developers for your needs stuck in states without a developed industry suitable for their gainful employment. Look into candidates based in mid-tier cities across the country, and you will find a wealth of talent who are eager for employment, if you can be flexible as to their location.

Of course, remote employment does come with unique challenges, but I have found a way to ensure a best fit for all. Rather than ramping up from 0 to full-time employment, we instead start on a project or contract basis. By bringing in a potential full-time hire this way, our team and the candidate have the opportunity to work together, and assess each other for personality and skills fit. Then, once we are sure that we have found a good fit, we can offer full time employment.

Reuben Yonatan
Founder and CEO of GetVoIP

Let’s imagine that you have found your purple squirrel, and he/she refuses to relocate to your region.

The coder may have a million reasons for that – family, habits, the cost of living, property, climate, and a dozen more.

Besides, relocation may be inconvenient for the employer as well; the employee may require the coverage of rent and travel tickets as a bare minimum.

It’s even harder to deal with foreigners – the company needs to deal with local authorities and to explain why it needs a foreign national for the job.

The international relocation is always connected with a pile of paperwork, visa application, waiting time, provision of a relocation package (residence + tickets).

At times it’s much better to leave the person alone and to provide him/her proper working conditions in his/her location.

For instance, if you are hiring a remote dedicated team, then you may not worry about creating the working conditions; the vendor will take care about it.

Your programmer will have an office, a working spot, the necessary equipment, Internet, a team, and perks.

You receive a talented programmer with the needed experience.

7. XYZ? Never heard!

There are numerous reasons why hiring tech talent in the USA can be difficult, which I’ve experienced first-hand over the past 15 years of running a website development agency.

Our company isn’t in an urban area, which means we have to stay vigilant in the hiring process to catch qualified individuals in-between career moves. When qualified individuals start looking for new career opportunities we often find ourselves competing against large corporations looking to build internal development teams – very rarely do we compete with other development agencies.

Additionally, I’ve found it sometimes takes reading through 100 resumes to find 10 candidates for interviews which may not even lead to 1 new hire. More often than not, potential candidates of technology positions, especially developers, over-inflate their experience in programming languages in order to bolster their resume. Fortunately, such indulgences during resume-building are often to serve as talking points during an interview and not to make false claims, but it nevertheless complicates the process for a hiring manager when sorting through resumes.

Another common struggle is working around scheduling requirements of potential new hires, such as wanting to work remotely for a larger percentage of the job than stated in the listing. Although numerous challenges exist in building a team of qualified individuals, it is a rewarding process that allows a manager to look back months or years later to see the benefits of not only their own hard work, but that of their team as well.

David Wurst
Owner at WebCitz

In such a situation, the large pool of talent is definitely the client’s advantage.

You don’t need to involve in headhunting as candidates are usually responsive and eager to work.

They agree to work in both large multinational corporations and in small startups. Some coders are tired of huge companies and willingly agree to join small firms with a flexible management system and without red tape.

Others are on the contrary willing to try their hand in corporations.

When working with a staffing vendor, small companies get a benefit as in many outsourcing destinations, the vendor’s name is already an attractive brand.

Developers are willing to join the vendor’s team and accept the client’s offers more readily.

8. Peculiarities of Legal Environment

I am working diligently in ensuring our pipeline is filled with traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering (women, POC, veterans, those with disabilities). More they’re a ‘hot commodity’ but not valued for the work and abilities they bring to the table. There is an element of fear to change roles or try for something new if they have enough of those creature comforts, even if the organization isn’t amazing or doing right by them.

Jes Osrow
Co-Founder at The Rise Journey

Hiring in the USA is subject to numerous local laws and norms, so every IT company has to navigate in that turbulent and complex environment to ensure that it both has the right tech stack for task completion and does not violate any legislation.

Finding the right balance is not always easy as keeping the right talent in the staff may be constrained by legal limitations.

A very handy solution in such a situation is to extend the recruitment possibilities to an outsourced vendor who acts according to the local laws and organizes your remote team under the local legislation of the host country.

In such a way, you can hire an ideal programmer based on the combination of soft and hard skills only, without the need to observe a hundred of legal technicalities.

9. From Employee to Employer

My name is Sean Pour and I am the co-founder of SellMax. As the co-founder I oversee a lot of our hiring and here are the reasons why I think it’s hard to hire a developer in the U.S.:

1) Competition is fierce. Companies like Google, Facebook and the rest of the competition are paying developers a lot of money. As a small to medium size business we don’t stand much of a chance to compete in terms of price.

2) Talent shortage: There’s a significant problem with there being not enough developers, which is why a good developer fetches a very high premium in the United States. It’s a supply and demand problem and right now there’s a lot of demand and not enough supply.

3) Startups: A lot of developers in the United States are getting funding for their own projects. Silicon Valley VC (Venture capital) companies are handing out funding to talented developers, for an equity stake. This also increases the difficulty in finding developers because they’re starting their own companies.

Sean Pour
Co-founder at SellMax

Here the problem is again about staff shortage and a talent gap so typical for the USA.

The new labor market’s conditions and the Silicon Valley’s financing of startups result in a severe shortage of talented senior programmers who don’t want to work on somebody but launch their own enterprises.

Speaking about Ukraine, this IT outsourcing location has many startups as well (it ranks the 34th in the Startup Blink).

Nevertheless, the number of available developers is still impressive, and not all of them dream of being self-employed.

On the contrary, many coders prefer working in remote teams because companies take care of their staff, provide many perks, and guarantee fair working conditions, which is very convenient for most developers.

10. Skills: Soft and Hard

With the clients I have worked with, one of the biggest difficulties I have seen is people hiring solely on technical expertise and not considering behavioral competencies.

With the tight market and demand for developers, employers are not considering environmental conditions. Taking a developer from a big firm and bringing them into a startup has a lot of different factors to consider.

For instance, how decisions get made, autonomy to develop how they see fit, what collaboration looks like. All of these factors (and many others) could impact the efficacy of a new hire outside of their technical capabilities.

Marc Ian Prine
Industrial / Organizational Psychologist at MIP Consulting LLC

American recruiters often face a huge workload and haste to close a vacancy as soon as possible.

This is a human assembly line. This means that programmers are rarely checked for soft skills and motivation, for the fit of their values and the company’s values.

This problem is relevant for software development outsourcing as well, especially if the company is large.

Here we often see staff turnover. But knowing about this problem, we at Qubit Labs have created a unique system of candidate screening for soft skills, so that the client company’s values and the programmer’s values coincide.

11. New Market Realia

The market is changing and becoming more dynamic, while recruiters still stick to old methods. Top managers don’t want to solve the problem because they are also used to old staff selection methods. A shift to a candidate-centric approach is necessary to address the situation as U.S. developers don’t agree to working on old terms anymore.

Elena Kononchuk
Recruitment Team Leader at Qubit Labs

A solution to this problem may again be found in outsourcing to developing countries.

The situation is more dynamic in these locations, and the people are more welcoming to changes.

Recruiters in outsourcing locations have a perfect grasp of the market situation.

They organize the first interview with candidates in such a way that interests the developer and agrees to an interview with the client, even if the latter uses old interviewing methods, test tasks, or numerous interviewing stages.

The outsourcing market in such locations is flexible and client-centric.

12. Week of Sundays

Statistics says that the average hiring time in the USA (from start of search to hiring a person) takes 23.8 days.
That seems forever! But it’s not the limit as some companies hire only in 30-60 days after the initial vacancy announcement. The reason is a large number of interviewing stages. As a result of such a lengthy and cumbersome process, the best candidates actively looking for a job accept other employers’ offer and drop out of the selection process.

Iva Kozlovska
CEO at Qubit Labs

Outsourcing offers a solution to this issue as well. If you outsource to a country with a large talent pool (there are over 160,000 developers in Ukraine).

It’s much easier to find your ideal fit among such a great number of variants, and the negotiation rarely lasts for months.

As usual, the time between studying a vacancy and accepting the offer does not exceed 2-3 weeks.

So, here’s the set of common hurdles that U.S. (and not only U.S.) companies often come across during the developer recruitment process.

Upon their close analysis, luckily, we see that outsourcing of your development tasks is often a great solution to the problem.

If you have come across any of these challenges and actively consider outsourcing, we are ready to help with a professional consultation or expert staffing assistance.

Book a free consultation from the CEO of Qubit Labs.

We’ll be happy to resolve these challenges for you!

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How To Hire Developers for a Startup: Interview with DrasticFun CEO

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Svitlana Rumyantseva
Project Manager

Svitlana is a ex Project Manager at Qubit Labs with legal education and PhD degree in political science. She has experience in managing in-house and offshore/nearshore software development teams including freelancers. She is sure that smooth communication and motivation is the basis of efficient teamwork and successful projects. Svitlana is passionate about networking, achieving great results and acquiring new knowledge.