Just like relationships, hiring is a two-way street. As a hiring manager, not only do you need to find the right fit for the position, but you need to make sure the right fit wants to join your team.

What makes a successful software engineer?

We have surveyed thousands of software engineers and have found that universally developers are motivated by both pay and social recognition. But first, let’s look at what traits to look for in your next engineer. According to the Talentoday Software Engineer Target Profile there are three stand-out personality traits developers have in common: ambition, independent mind and creativity.


Target Profile Technology: In green are the key traits and motivations of a software engineer.



As the cliche goes, “shoot for the moon, if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars”. By far, the most important quality to look for in your next software engineer is high ambition. As recruiters, we tend to look at the past. “What did you do?, How successful was it?” It is important however, to also pay close attention to future goals and motivation of your next developer. Software engineers are constantly innovating and creating new content. Be certain they are excited to strategize and problem solve for your company.


Your best software engineer is an expert at innovation. They think outside of the box and don’t necessarily go by the books. How can you know if your engineer is creative? Ask them! For example…”Tell me about a time where you tried to solve a problem in an unconventional way. How did it work out for you?” Remember, it’s not so much about the result of their actions as their attitude towards creativity.

Independent Mind

Whatever you do, don’t hire the software engineer who needs to be micromanaged. You want a leader. Someone that has a clear vision for the next steps for the company and who can problem-solve. Inquire about what role he or she played on their last team and how the dynamic was.

A note on how to motivate your new engineer.

Stand out amongst other companies with your job offer Believe it or not, most software engineers generally want the same thing: social recognition and pay. So instead of wasting your time on benefits and time off, you may seal the deal with a simple bonus and fancy title. Yep, it’s as simple as that. Now go out there and get your next best software engineer!

Curious to see if your candidates have what it takes? Check out our page to send our free personality assessment to your potential new hires today. And if you like this post, please hit the ❤️ button below or give me a shout on Twitter.