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What Companies Look for When Hiring Remote Software Engineers

Last updated on: 
September 6, 2023
Abhinav Rawat
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About The Author!
Abhinav Rawat
Abhinav Rawat
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The skilled and experienced mastermind behind several successful product designs for upscaling the ed-tech platforms with an outcome-driven approach for skilled individuals.

Constantly working on improving your technical and soft skills is the key to increase your chances of getting the best remote software developer job and stay in the right workforce.

Among all the skills, there are fundamentals that hiring managers look for in candidates that haven't changed. Many companies in the tech industry still need software developers who are good at coding. It's also worth showing that you're excited about technology and willing to learn new skills.

However, as companies realize the enormous potential of remote hiring, they are now changing their hiring practices for software developers who have successfully worked remotely in distributed teams.

So, what are the essential skills that are needed when a company hires software engineers, and what working options are available nowadays?

What Skills Are Now in Demand When Companies Look for Developers?

While some skills remain in high demand, others may become less important or even obsolete. It's crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest trends to ensure that the skills are in line with what companies are looking for. 

What Tech Skills Are in Demand

The tech skills may vary depending on what software, apps, or website the developer creates. However, some skills are needed across all types of software development. Let's look at the most needed skills.

Top needed programming languages, as for 2022:

  • Python (28.11%)
  • Java (17.35%)
  • JavaScript (9.48%)
  • C# (7.08%)
  • C / C++ (6.19%)
  • PHP (5.47%)
  • R (4.35%)
  • TypeScript (2.79%)
  • Swift (2.09%)
  • Objective-C (2.03%)

The list above shows that about 30% of search results on Google were about Python tutorials. The statistics mean that the more people search for language tutorials, the more popular programming languages are. It also shows that web development is the most popular development option (including front-end, back-end, and full-stack jobs).

What Soft Skills Are in Demand

Soft skills allow people to work together effectively across various roles — the success depends on how well developers can communicate, collaborate and lead others. Let's look at what soft skills are essential for developers to have.

Communication skills

The ability to communicate freely and express thoughts clearly when working remotely allows reducing the time for explaining the tasks, avoiding possible errors due to misunderstanding, and ensuring that each process of development is clear for every engineer. 

Strong communication and conflict-solving skills are also needed when the company hires engineers from different countries with different cultures as it helps to avoid conflicts on a cultural basis. Advanced English language is also required when companies look for developers from non-US countries.

Collaboration Skills

Companies that hire remote software developers often pay attention to such collaborative skills as proactiveness and willingness to cooperate with other team members and departments. It is appreciated when remote engineers can set up their working process in a way they can exchange their knowledge and skills to come up with the best possible solutions. 

Knowledge of top remote collaboration tools is also one of the requirements when companies look for new candidates, as it is a must to use different software to have the possibility of working in a team.

Time Management

If the company is going to have a remote full-time development team, the ability to efficiently manage time is another thing companies look for in candidates. It helps to meet deadlines, synchronize the work of each engineer in the team, and manage the working time with time for personal life even if team members are in different time zones.

Willingness to Adapt and Master Skills

Developers’ willingness to learn new technologies is highly appreciated by employers nowadays when there is a lack of tech talent, and companies face the challenge of hiring new engineers. 

Thus, instead of hiring new developers, employers encourage their existing team to learn new technologies and get a promotion. Such willingness to master new skills can be a strong side of a candidate who competes for the role with other developers with similar skills.

Regarding adaptability, remote developers are usually expected to be more flexible, especially when a team works with Agile. There are a lot of changes during the development process, and engineers have to react quickly and adjust to new working environments. 

Different Hiring Models and Their Benefits

After discussing what skills are in demand, let's discuss what hiring models are available and what benefits each party can have.


Companies usually hire in-house developers when their project is at the core development stage, or they need developers on a regular basis. These engineers are under the full management of the PM, who can help with any issues they may have during the development process. 

They also have a close collaboration with other team members and are more involved in the company's goals. Companies expect in-house developers to be more motivated, engaged, and interested to provide a high-quality product, as the in-house team is expected to boost the company's growth.


Freelancers are usually hired by tech companies through job boards that want a third party to do some additional short-term project without complicated development process. Freelancers can set their own rates and choose the projects they want to work on. 

It allows flexible work, control over work-life balance and career, or even work part-time. The biggest challenge faced by freelancers is finding work. This problem is especially prevalent in the IT industry, where there are thousands of job seekers competing for a limited number of jobs. 

This competition makes it difficult for developers to find work and can result in more extended periods of unemployment when they are looking for work. Moreover, the chances of getting a job in a big company and interesting project are low, as in such cases, employers prefer to look for in-house developers or use outsourcing agencies.


Companies look for an outsourcing agency when they have more tasks to do than their in-house engineers can cope with, they lack developers with the knowledge of particular technology, or they may have a limited budget. 

Programmers who work by this hiring model are hired as in-house employees by the outsourcing company, and when the remote team starts working on the client's project, they sign a contract and work on that side. In this case, they are often managed by their outsourcing company's PM and work as a helping part of the client's business. 

There is also an option of contracting when a client looks for additional developers with specific skills to get a helpful resource for the in-house dev team. There are also outstaffing agencies or marketplaces that work with such a model. Thus, a developer also works as an in-house employee in the outstaffing agency, but when the contract is signed, they work like remote workers with the client's in-house team. And in this case, they are usually managed on the client's side.


To sum up, those engineers who are looking for jobs need to know what skills are in demand. Such knowledge will help them to understand what to master or acquire to have more chances to get the best offer. 

If talking about tech skills, the most popular programming languages and understanding where to use them can give you a sense of where to move further. If the developer has the listed above soft skills, they will be more successful in achieving those positions they want as soft skills are as necessary as tech skills as they help to deliver and create significant ideas. 

If talking about the hiring process, each of them requires a different approach to the development process. When the developer wants to work on the project from scratch, they can choose an in-house hiring model. If they want to work with clients from other countries and join a team of different companies in remote positions to help them develop their products, they can choose either freelancing or outsourcing.


About the Author:

Iryna Bilyk is an expert content marketing manager at YouTeam, a marketplace for instant engineering team extension. She passionately discovers and writes about technology, innovations, and software development solutions.

Posted on 
September 12, 2022

Abhinav Rawat

Product Manager @ Interview Kickstart | Ex-upGrad | BITS Pilani. Working with hiring managers from top companies like Meta, Apple, Google, Amazon etc to build structured interview process BootCamps across domains

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