How to hire C++ developers: Recruiting insights from our data team

Apr 04, 202316 minutes read

C++ may have been released all the way back in 1985, but it’s still on fire. It grew faster than any other programming language in 2022 — and was recently named programming language of the year by TIOBE. 

As many companies seek to employ C++ developers to create high-performance code for applications, infrastructure, Machine Learning, video games, and even space probes, it’s no surprise that the pool is running dry

hire C++ developers

If you’re struggling to hire C++ developers, recruiting data can help give you an edge over the competition. Our data team (special thanks to Amy Shi, our Lead Data Analyst) took a look at tens of thousands of C++ developer profiles and found five actionable insights recruiting teams can make right now to increase their hiring success. 

We’ve included these tips in our guide on how to hire a C++ developer — along with top websites for finding developers, sample job descriptions, top skills to target, market compensation data, and more.

Top 16 websites to find C++ developers

Here are the best options to find and hire a C++ developer for your team, covering everything from AI sourcing to freelance marketplaces.

operating systems

#1: Best AI sourcing solution

What if you could put your sourcing process on autopilot and just start each day with a list of candidates that all you have to do is contact? Just share your job description, and Celential will provide a list of potential candidates for your role, team, and company with:

  • Detailed insights on candidate backgrounds, skills, and domain expertise
  • Email addresses and contact information
  • Customized email templates for you to start outreach immediately. 

Celential’s talent graph comprises over 20,000,000 tech candidate profiles from the US, Canada, Latin America, and India. Its AI uses machine learning algorithms custom-built for tech recruiting to find accurate candidate matches for roles. 

It eliminates the need to spend hours sourcing C++ developers and provides complete flexibility to fit any scale and budget. Find out here how you can start receiving qualified candidates right away.

software engineers

#2: GitHub: find C++ developers in their natural habitat

GitHub is a platform where members of the software development community collaborate on cutting-edge coding projects together. Over 90% of developers use Git to showcase their projects and the code they have written publicly. The site is a way to locate and evaluate exceptional developers who might not market themselves on professional networks.

#3: Stack Overflow: identify top C++ community contributors

Operating since 2008 with 14+ million users, Stack Overflow is a Q&A board for technical information and theoretical discussions about coding. Stack Overflow provides recruiters a direct window into developers’ expertise with particular technologies, such as C++, as well as insights into their communication style and level of engagement with the community.

#4: HackerRank: test for the exact skills you need

HackerRank has evaluated over 40% of the world’s entire developer population, and all that data went into creating its AI tools for evaluating and hiring candidates. These tools can score and rank candidates, offer test feedback, and perform more granular skill assessments for companies who need detailed information on candidates’ specific competencies.

#5: Upwork: connect with freelance C++ developers around the world

As a top-rated freelancer talent marketplace, Upwork offers access to thousands of developers. Its platform allows candidates, new and experienced alike, to compete for jobs, so expect to have to sift a little bit to hire developers up to the technical bar a startup demands.

#6: Freelancer: top alternative to Upwork

Freelancer claims to be the world’s largest freelance talent marketplace. It offers free quotes and a satisfaction guarantee on payments, helping employers to cut down on the risks of short-term hiring. As recent tech talent layoffs lead to skill shortages at many companies, Freelancer can help employers quickly fill short-term gaps.

#7: Toptal: exclusive network of vetted C++ developer talent 

Only more seasoned freelance developers show up on Toptal. It’s definitely a faster way to search for candidates with the right skills than Upwork, but you can expect that search to return more expensive hourly rates too.

#8: Gigster: fully managed development services

If you’re tired of the time-consuming process of finding the right talent and managing the risks of cost overruns and delayed projects, Gigster can help. Its team manages the whole software development process from scoping and deployment. It’s perfect for teams with plenty of resources, low bandwidth, and a need for speed.

#9: Turing: deep vetting platform powered by AI

Many of the best remote software developers in the world sign up for Turing — where they are rigorously vetted and added to its flagship product, the AI Talent Cloud. Companies can post their requirements and are automatically matched with the right developer or team for the job.

#10: AngelList: connect with C++ developer startup talent 

Half of the battle in hiring a developer full-time for your startup involves finding people willing to work at a startup, and AngelList solves this problem by being the platform for people seeking startup jobs. That said, it comes with the same challenges as other job boards: you will have to do some filtering.

#11: SCAND: custom software development services

SCAND is an IT outsourcing and custom software development company that helps businesses of all sizes accelerate their C++-based projects and deliver to the market faster than competitors. 

#12: Fiverr: lightweight, fast, and easy freelancer option

Fiverr is a freelance talent marketplace known for its intuitive user interface and affordable prices (so named for clients’ ability to hire a freelancer for just $5). This option is best suited for simple tasks and quick, one-time projects.

#13: ArcDev: new way to hire a full-time C++ developer

ArcDev flips the script and lets companies apply to candidates. Though it requires a bit more upfront effort and wooing on the employer’s part, it is a great way to connect with experienced, senior developers looking for full-time positions.

#14: CodeMentor: hire a freelance C++ developer

CodeMentor connects coders with more experienced mentors and helps clients hire talented engineers on a freelance basis to complete coding projects. Freelancers are vetted, interviewed, and evaluated by CodeMentor, providing employers with instant access to a ready-made talent community.

#15: Women Who Code: increase gender diversity in your C++ developer pipeline

WWC is the world’s largest community supporting women in tech. Since its establishment in 2011, it has hosted over 14,000 free technical events, workshops, and conferences for its 290,000 members. Employers can use Women Who Code’s job board to hire women for their C++ development and other tech roles.

#16: Jopwell: hire diverse C++ developer talent

98% of the ​​potential candidates on Jopwell self-identify as Black, Latinx, and/or Native American, and the company covers all levels of seniority from internship to entry-level to experienced positions. Jopwell’s platform helps employers to build diverse pipelines of talent and more inclusive, equitable workplaces.

computer science

What is C++, and what is C++ used for?

C++ is one of the most popular programming languages in the world — #4 behind just Java, Python, and C. An object-oriented, compiled language, it was designed with embedded, resource-constrained software and large systems in mind. It is often used when high performance and memory efficiency are critical. Its top applications include:

  • Systems programming: C++ allows for lower-level memory manipulation and direct access to hardware. Like C, C++ can be used to develop operating systems and device drivers and for other systems programming.
  • Embedded programming: C++’s ability to interact with hardware and manage embedded systems resources also makes it suitable for developing embedded systems found in automobiles, medical devices, and industrial equipment.
  • Large-scale projects: Due to its performance, portability, and long history, C++ is often used in large software projects such as Google Chrome browser and Windows Operating System.
  • Game development: C++ is a top choice for building video games because of its capacity to handle graphics-heavy applications requiring real-time processing and responsiveness.
  • Data-intensive applications: C++ is often used when high performance is required for processing large amounts of data. For example, it can be used in financial applications such as high-frequency trading. It’s also one of the most popular programming languages for data-heavy Machine Learning and AI development.
  • Cross-platform development: C++ can be compiled to run on many different operating systems and architectures, making it helpful in developing software able to run on multiple platforms.
  • Legacy systems: While plenty of new projects are being developed in C++, its 35-year history means that there are a lot of older codebases and legacy systems built in the language.

Why you should hire a full-time C++ Developer

We believe that hiring a full-time, in-house, experienced C++ developer is generally the best approach, particularly for startups.

Full-time developers tend to be stronger, as they see long-term software development projects from end to end. They are also the best integrated into your development team and familiar with your culture and needs. However, they do require more upfront commitment and investment in the form of recruiting, onboarding, and benefits.

hiring process

If you don’t have sustained development needs, there are a few other options to consider.

Freelance or contract C++ developer

The advantage of hiring freelancers and contractors is speed and flexibility —, particularly in uncertain economic conditions. 

However, it’s important to consider that freelance and contract developers are generally viewed as weaker on average. Due to being engaged on a short-term or limited basis, they often receive less mentorship from more experienced engineers and less company investment in terms of training and development. 

Offshoring software development team

Third-party software development services are another option to consider. Cost savings are the main advantage — though these services have become more expensive as the industry becomes increasingly globalized, it is still less expensive to hire a developer in a country such as India, Russia, or Pakistan, where the cost of living and wages are lower. 

C++ developers

Disadvantages of offshoring include language barriers, time differences, and inconsistent development quality. Companies should thoroughly research and evaluate offshore development firms to ensure the quality of work meets minimum standards.

How to hire a C++ developer, according to our data

Our data team analyzed our Talent Graph of 20+ million tech profiles across the United States, Canada, Latin America, and India, including tens of thousands of C++ developer profiles. Extracting insights from this data, they identified five quick fixes recruiting teams can make in their hiring process right now to increase their chances of success

Where to hire a strong C++ developer? Know the talent pool

The first step is knowing how many software engineers are skilled in C++ and where they are located. 

According to our talent graph, 81,300 people have C++ as a top skill — meaning that they are proficient, and it’s their strength.

programming languages

Out of these 81,300 people, here are the C++ developer hubs in the US and Canada your talent acquisition team can target.

where to find c++ developers

If there aren’t enough C++ developers in your geographic area, recruiting teams can consider:

  • Expanding the location or offering remote work
  • Targeting developers that know languages similar to C++, such as C# or Java
  • Changing your tech stack to a more popular language such as Python

Make women C++ developers a priority in your hiring process

According to our data, C++ is one of the most popular programming languages for women to list on their profiles.

By looking at all the professionals in our Talent Graph who have C++ experience, and are either software engineers or architects, we found 19% were female. This is close to the total percentage of software engineers who are women that we found in another report.

Some ways hiring teams can source diverse talent and help remedy the software engineering gender gap include:

  • Eliminating biased language from job descriptions, messaging, and  employer branding with a tool like Textio or Grammarly
  • Ensuring that leadership at the top of your organization represents gender diversity
  • Partnering with organizations like Women Who Code, Girls Who Code, and Women in Tech to make connections with potential candidates
  • Target early-career candidates through women’s colleges, sororities, and other women’s organizations
  • Implementing women-friendly policies at your organization, such as pay transparency and diversity initiatives

Expand the years of experience range

Our data team found that almost half of the companies posting C++ job posts seek mid-level and Senior developers (47%). However, there may be a mismatch with the amount of experience skilled C++ developers actually have. 

C programmer

Only 32% of C++ developers lie in the 4-7 years of experience range. By expanding the range to 2-10 years, you can double the size of your talent pool to 66% of C++ developers.

Target companies that employ C++ developers

It’s important to note that 3% of C++ developer hubs are startups, 31% are midsize (500-10,000), and 66% are large companies (10,000+ employees). 

Based on this data, we have a few quick tips. Firstly, Talent Acquisition teams can target passive candidates at companies that employ large numbers of C++ developers. Some examples include:

  • Tech Soft 3D
  • Think Surgical
  • Interpreta
  • Demonware
  • Ersi
  • Zoox
  • Citadel
  • RDI Software
  • Roku
  • Argo AI
  • Twitch

Startups looking to hire a C++ developer might need to be flexible on hiring candidates without previous startup experience, as most C++ developers currently work for larger companies.

It’s also worth looking at and targeting the industries employing the most C++ developers as shown in the graph below. 

C++ developer industry distribution

Software and IT industries employ a combined total of 56.1% of C++ developers. However, many developers are also found in Financial Services and other industries.

Eliminate computer science degree requirements

Only 48% of C++ developers possess a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related subject — and 22% possess no bachelor’s degree at all.

By eliminating degree requirements and hiring based on skills rather than credentials, you can expand access to a broader talent pool — including many qualified diverse candidates.

And you’ll be in good company. The continued competition for software engineering talent pushes many companies — including Google, IBM, and Delta — to shift to skills-based hiring.

A few facts to consider:

  • Only 20% of students from low-income families earn college degrees.
  • Black and Hispanic candidates are less likely than white and Asian candidates to have college degrees, according to the Commerce Department.
  • 49% of Gen Z aren’t even considering earning college degrees.

As Americans question whether the cost of a 4-year degree is worth the benefit, dropping degree requirements can help remove needless barriers to workforce diversity.

What Skills To Look for When Hiring a C++ Developer

If you’re hiring C++ developers, here are the top technical skills and soft skills to look out for.

Hard Skills: operating systems to testing frameworks

  • Strong understanding of C++, including its syntax, object-oriented programming concepts, data structures, and built-in libraries
  • Database management skills, relational databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and Oracle, as well as NoSQL databases like MongoDB, CouchDB, and Cassandra
  • Operating systems and systems architecture knowledge, including memory and process management
  • Cloud services and platforms include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure.
  • Modern software design, including best practices and UX design
  • Integrated development environments such as Visual Studio, Eclipse, and Xcode
  • Testing and debugging, including various techniques (such as unit and integration testing) and technologies (such as GDB, static code analysis tools, debugging tools, etc.)
  • Version control tools, such as Git, to retrieve previous versions of code, collaborate asynchronously, and cross-reference everybody’s independent contributions to ensure they make sense

Soft Skills C++ software engineers need

  • Critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity
  • Motivation to learn, grow and pick up new skills and technologies
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with team members and stakeholders such as executives, product managers, and project managers
  • Attention to detail and strong time and project management skills
  • Business acumen and ability to leverage tech to solve key business problems

How to write a job description for C++ developers

It’s essential to be transparent about roles and responsibilities — but don’t forget to “sell”. Some examples of compelling pitch points to mention in a job description include:

  • Rapid growth and funding by top Venture Capital firms
  • The use of innovative technologies such as cutting-edge AI, ML, or blockchain
  • A focus on making positive societal change, such as by helping small businesses or the environment
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • The backgrounds of leadership, such as having founded successful startups or led teams at top tech companies
  • Creative perks such as free yoga, gourmet snacks, student loan payments, WFH technology reimbursement, and company swag
Company & Role PitchCompany] is a [domain] platform pioneering a [innovative approach #1] to [industry problem]. Using [innovative approach #2], we invent new ways to [company’s mission]. 

We seek an experienced C++ Engineer to join our team of world-class engineers from [top school] and [top company]. At [Company], we believe that [Company Value] is critical, and we offer some fantastic perks, including [Perk 1], [Perk 2], and [Perk 3]. 
Responsibilities-Collaborate with research, design, web, and mobile development team
-Develop software with efficient, testable, reliable code in C++
-Participate in the entire engineering life cycle from designing systems to writing production code, to conducting code reviews
Requirements-4+ years of experience in C++ development
-Strong understanding of Linux and Unix Operating Systems
-Solid knowledge of multithreading and memory management
-Experience in data structures and algorithms
-Experience in C++ build systems such as Make, CMake, or Ninja
-Experience with CI and CD pipelines 
-Experience with containerization ecosystems such as Docker and Kubernetes
-Knowledge of Agile Methodology and version control systems

How much does it cost to hire a C++ developer?

With the software engineering market remaining tight, lowballing candidates is unlikely to be a successful strategy. To make matters worse, underpaid candidates are likely to leave — after you’ve spent all that money and effort finding, recruiting, engaging, and onboarding them.

Here are some market salary data from Glassdoor to inform your compensation ranges and headcount planning.

Language1-3 years of experience4-6 years of experience
C++ $117,398$129,541

Some tips for increasing your offer acceptance rate include:

  • Move quickly. With software engineering unemployment rates perennially hovering around 1%, that in-demand software developer won’t be on the market for long.
  • Use to understand your candidate’s current level — a Senior Software Engineer at one company might be a Lead at another or L5 at another. 
  • Present multiple salary and equity splits. Some candidates may be attracted by the potential of a higher payoff in the form of stock options, while others prefer a higher upfront income.Cut cost

Save with AI sourcing service that hires C++ developers

Tech recruiters can regularly spend 30 hours — over half their workweek — on sourcing potential candidates.

But what if you could put your sourcing process on autopilot and just start each day with a list of C++ candidates that all you have to do is contact? Using AI and ML models custom-built for tech recruiting, Celential provides skilled tech candidates for your roles — freeing you up to close more hires with fewer resources.

hiring a data scientists

We offer:

  • Warm, qualified talent ready for interviews appearing in your inbox or ATS
  • Coverage of specialized engineering, product, and sales talent: including C++ Developer, Ruby developer, ML Engineer, Data Scientist, Fullstack Developer, Backend Developer, Frontend developer, DevOps Engineers, Tech Leads, Architects, Managers
  • Instant flexibility to scale up and down your recruitment efforts as your hiring needs, role priorities, and budget shift during these uncertain economic times.

Start receiving a list of highly qualified C++ developer candidates today!

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