The Real Costs of Hiring a Software Developer

You’ve come to the end of the interview and you realize that this candidate is “The One.” So you make a formal job offer, seal the deal and walk away feeling very positive. You traveled down a long and expensive road to get to this point, as you spent weeks screening and interviewing candidates. You had no idea that just six weeks down the road, your company would part ways with this software developer because it just wasn’t a good fit. This developer was accustomed to working in a large team, so when placed in a small group, he felt uncomfortable. He was stifled by the close collaboration and in the end, he simply couldn’t adjust.

Even for those who last more than a few weeks, the stats are still discouraging. It’s estimated that one in three individuals will leave a new job shortly before or around the six-month mark. A 66% long-term retention rate is far from the ideal, regardless of the position or industry. A failed hire is more than just frustrating. It’s costly, yet many hiring managers fail to accurately quantify the expense. In fact, the real cost of hiring a developer is hard to pin down, especially when you consider that it varies dramatically on a case-by-case basis. But no matter how you cut it, the cost can be significant in terms of time and resources. But precisely how and why is the hiring process so involved and costly? And how can you avoid bad hires? We all know about the costs of hiring a recruiter and listing the position, but there are many other factors at play.

The Cost of Evaluating Your Needs

Many companies struggle to articulate their own needs and requirements for a new position. Time-pressed managers often skip the process of developing comprehensive job specs, which are then used to develop a detailed list of job requirements. And too often, the resulting job description is purely focused on technical skills, with little attention to the non-technical and soft skills that can ultimately make or break a project. These factors frequently combine to result in a recruiting effort that goes awry. This leads to a bad hire where the individual doesn’t mesh with your company or their skill set fails to meet your needs.

In order to properly evaluate and identify your precise staffing requirements for a specific position and project, you’ll need to consult with members of your team. A tech team leader can provide you with the insight and information that you need to craft an effective job description and project specs. This is a crucial step, as you may discover the hard way when you attempt to “recycle” and then modify existing specs and job descriptions. You may use the old specs and description as a starting point, then make adjustments to suit. But this rarely works. More often, you end up with an inaccurate view of your needs, which in turn, results in skewed hiring decisions that can carry a hefty price tag.

The Cost of Screening, Vetting and Interviewing

Screening and vetting potential candidates can be a very time-consuming process. It’s not uncommon to encounter scenarios where you invest an inordinate amount of time attempting to evaluate applicants. We’ve seen managers interview over half a dozen candidates over a period of three weeks for each position. That’s costly, since you’re investing time, money and resources, pulling team leaders off current projects to help aid in the hiring process, and/or even delaying the start of a project because you just haven’t found the right person.

Once you’ve identified the individuals who show promise, you’re tasked with verifying their credentials and experience, in addition to evaluating any work samples that they provide. Then you must identify those who are worth a closer look, whether it’s an interview, a test project or another evaluation tool. Many managers also forget to consider the candidate’s personal plans, such as planned vacations, resulting in nasty unexpected surprises down the line.

Oh, and if you lack lots of high-level tech experience, you may need to call upon your tech team yet again to help with these evaluations. It’s virtually impossible for a layman to know which questions to ask or what to look for when examining an individual’s experience, skills and tests/work samples. The more time your tech team spends assisting with the staffing process, the less time they can spend doing what they do best — tech work. This results in productivity dips and an adverse impact on your bottom line. This can be detrimental in some cases, particularly if you’re seeking to call in additional resources because you can’t handle the current workload.

Once a new hire arrives, many companies simply toss them into the pool with little or no onboarding. The result is that they often swim in the wrong direction…or drown.

The Cost of Hiring the Wrong Talent

Hiring the wrong person (or people) for the job can be very costly, particularly in cases where you have a critical need for new team members and subsequently invest a lot of money to fast track the process.

Often, it’s not an individual’s skills (or lack thereof) that make for a bad hire. It’s often the person’s ability to work with your existing tech team. Soft skills and cultural fit matter, so if your new team members aren’t used to the dynamics and culture, then they may struggle to succeed in your company. In short, there is such as thing as a “bad fit.”

You’ll see losses in many areas, including reduced productivity, onboarding-related expenditures for the new team member(s). You essentially waste all of the time and money invested in the recruiting process since it didn’t lead you to the right person (or people) for the job. The cost of hiring the wrong candidate can be even higher in situations where you pay for relocation or additional training.

The bottom line is this: If you invest the time, effort and resources up-front, you can avoid incurring greater cost due to complications down the line. We offer staffing services for clients seeking to bring in a temporary on-site team to assist with a project. This approach gives you a team of tech staffing experts to oversee the recruiting process, so your company’s team members can focus on doing what you do best. What’s more, there’s no long-term commitment. The team remains on-site to work with your in-house talent, and once the project is complete, they return to iTech. So you pay only for the resources you actually use.

The cost of recruiting and hiring a software developer or other tech talent on a temporary basis can be exorbitant when done in the traditional way. You’ll see costs that are comparable to those that are associated with hiring a permanent team member. You’ll need to develop your specs and job description, advertise the position, screen and interview candidates, and oversee the onboarding process. This process essentially remains the same whether you’re hiring a part-time employee, a full-time staffer, a temporary team member or permanent staff. When you turn to a tech and IT staffing service provider, you will see a greater value for your dollar, combined with better quality talent, because you’ll be more apt to connect with the right person for the job. Contact iTech today to discuss your staffing needs and let us help you find the right talent, while improving your bottom line.

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