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Hire software QA testers: The in-depth guide

The need to hire software QA testers nowadays is irrefutably increasing as businesses aspire to launch error-free and excellent software that enhances the user experience. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for software developers and specialized QA engineers is expected to experience employment levels that increase by 25% by 2031. This poses a tough challenge for businesses to find and hire qualified QA testers. 

If you are looking for top-notch QA testers who can help optimize the user experience for your applications, we will help you. In this blog, you’ll learn the key aspects of hiring software QA testers and its process to better understand hiring practices. Let’s explore!

Software QA testers – Who are they?

A QA tester plays an important role in the software development since they focus on running tests to find and report bugs or errors before the product is released. QA testers ensure the quality and performance of software applications while not being involved in the planning phases or framework creation.

QA testers play an important role in the software development process

Several QA testers may be part of a team in large corporations, each responsible for different stages of software development. Their primary role is thoroughly examining the program, identifying potential problems, and collaborating with developers to discover effective solutions. 

QA testers contribute to improving software development processes and preventing production problems by actively participating in bug fixing and troubleshooting.

QA testers are extremely valuable in various industries, including automotive, medical devices, and food and beverage. This comes down to the critical quality and safety of software systems in these industries. QA testers guarantee that software development teams follow best practices and generate significant products that satisfy client expectations.

A good QA tester can help businesses avoid low-quality products that may disservice the company’s finance. The case of Mt. Gox, a Japanese Bitcoin exchange, is a leading example of poor software assurance. The exchange had a disastrous catastrophe when its system was hacked, resulting in a huge $460 million loss. This unfortunate event is a sharp warning of the serious impact of bad software assurance on businesses and their financial security.

What are the key responsibilities of a software QA tester?

To hire software QA testers, you need to understand the key responsibilities that they perform daily. Here are some:

  • Understanding the client’s requirements and devising effective software testing approaches to meet those needs.
  • Creating well-organized QA testing plans that can be easily implemented and executed.
  • Collaborating with all stakeholders involved in product development to find innovative solutions.
  • Crafting testing scripts for each phase of software development.
  • Establishing quality assessment metrics for every stage of the product’s lifecycle.
  • Identifying and resolving any encountered bugs or issues.
  • Investigate the non-conforming software and guide resolution.
  • Documenting any discovered bugs or deviations from expected software behavior.
  • Ensuring software testing tools and strategies are up-to-date and aligned with project requirements for comprehensive testing.
  • Developing and implementing a QA testing process, including functional testing and retesting of resolved defects.

What skills to look for when hiring software QA testers?

The role of a QA tester is highly demanding, requiring a specific skill set. When seeking to hire a software tester for your project, consider the following essential skills that can help you make a high-quality hire:

Hard skills for a QA tester

  • Proficient in software development: A solid understanding of software development is crucial for coding automated tests. Candidates with coding skills are well aware of potential code vulnerabilities and understand the areas that must be thoroughly tested.
  • In-depth knowledge of the product: Software QA testers play a vital role in ensuring that end-users have a positive experience and their expectations are met. 
Software QA testers need to have a deep understanding of the product

A software QA tester who comprehends the product’s design and the parameters involved is better equipped to conduct effective testing. While the design analysis typically occurs after completing the black-box test plan, knowledge of the design can significantly impact the testing strategy and help refine the test plan.

  • Well-versed in Test Management and Defect Tracking: A software QA tester must have proficiency in test administration and defect tracking tools like Jira or QC. Being well-versed in these tools allows testers to efficiently manage tests and track defects throughout the software development lifecycle. 

Additionally, knowing performance testing tools can provide an added advantage in ensuring comprehensive testing of software applications.

  • Fundamental understanding of databases and SQL: Software applications often store collected data in databases such as MySQL or Oracle, requiring access for data validation purposes. 

A candidate for a software testing role should possess a basic knowledge of databases and be familiar with SQL queries. This understanding enables them to effectively verify data and perform tasks like SQL query optimization when necessary.

  • Proficiency in Agile and DevOps methodologies: A strong grasp of Agile and DevOps methodologies is crucial for software QA testers. This is because these methodologies heavily rely on automated tests to ensure the delivery of a high-quality product.

Soft skills for a QA tester

  • Critical thinking: A software QA tester with strong critical-thinking skills can effectively navigate these complexities, ensuring that technical requirements are addressed without compromising user expectations. 

Moreover, critical thinking is vital in challenging situations, enabling a QA tester to approach issues from multiple perspectives and devise efficient solutions.

  • Teamwork: Successful product development relies on effective teamwork, making it essential for software testers to be team players. A collaborative approach fosters the seamless development of software products.

Moreover, effective teamwork enhances the ability to identify potential pitfalls, which can be more challenging when working alone.

  • Effective communication: Communication skills are paramount for QA testers as they engage with clients and developers throughout the development and QA process. The ability to articulate ideas & concepts is crucial in this context. 
Communication is important for software QA testers

However, it is equally important for a software QA tester to be a good listener. Active listening is an integral aspect of communication. When hiring a software QA tester, it is vital to ensure that candidates possess strong interactive and active listening skills.

  • Flexibility and adaptability: As client demands constantly change, having adaptable software QA testers is crucial. This will help businesses swiftly incorporate relevant changes while maintaining operational stability.

When to hire software QA testers?

Knowing when is the best time to hire software QA testers makes all the difference in gaining a competitive advantage in the market. Here are some possible signs that you should get prepared to hire software testers: 

  • When your software has bugs or errors: If you detect many errors or serious flaws, this could indicate that your development process is insufficiently tested. Employing QA testers can assist in identifying and resolving these issues early on, enhancing the overall quality of the software.
  • When you receive negative feedback about user experience: If you consistently receive user complaints, poor feedback, or low customer satisfaction scores, it could indicate underlying quality difficulties. QA testers can assist in identifying the core causes of these issues and working to improve the product’s overall performance and user experience.
  • When you have tight project deadlines: While working on a tight project timeframe, having dedicated QA testers that can focus on quality assurance and testing tasks becomes critical. They can aid in the prevention of last-minute problems and verify that the program satisfies the appropriate quality requirements before release.

How much does it cost to hire software QA testers?

The average cost of hiring software QA testers can range from $5,000 to $50,000 for junior QA testers, $13,000 to $65,000 for middle-level QA testers, and $33,000 to $90,000 for senior QA testers. 

The cost of hiring software QA testers may vary

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a QA engineer in the US is around $74,993, making it the highest in the world. On the other hand, QA engineers in Latin American countries typically command lower salaries. For instance, the average salary in Mexico amounts to $49,000, while in Brazil, it is $41,000.

The cost of hiring software QA testers in the UK is relatively high, at about $64,000, while in Ukraine, this cost can range from $21,000 to $46,000. 

Hiring software QA testers from Asia and Africa is probably a good choice for businesses with a limited budget since the hiring cost is much more affordable. Hiring QA testers from India may cost you $5,000 to $37,000, and this cost may increase from $29,000 to $76,000 in South Africa. 

However, It is important to consider that testers with similar expertise may have varying salary expectations based on their geographic location.

Which engagement model should you choose to hire software QA testers?

There are four main hiring models for employing software QA testers: hiring in-house QA testers, outsourcing, and hiring freelancers. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages. You can determine which is best for your business by considering project needs and budget. 

  • Hiring in-house software QA testers

Employing full-time in-house QA engineers is optimal, particularly for intricate software products with long lifecycles. In-house team members possess comprehensive knowledge of the product, facilitating smoother maintenance. 

However, this hiring model can be costly due to salary expenses, health insurance, paid vacations, and other employee benefits.

  • Outsourcing

When opting to outsource software QA testers, you can search for a trusted software development agency and provide them with a comprehensive project description. Once assigned to a suitable team, the work begins, offering a swift initiation. 

However, it’s worth noting that many outsourcing agencies prefer to handle the entire project. Therefore, this approach is most suitable if you intend to outsource the complete development process. Websites like Clutch and The Manifest are valuable resources for finding trustworthy outsourcing agencies.

  • Hiring freelance software QA testers

Engaging freelancers involves hiring them for a specific project at a predetermined fee. This approach is generally more cost-effective than other hiring methods, but it can also be the least reliable option when seeking specialist expertise. 

While finding freelancers may be straightforward, it often presents several challenges. The first challenge is identifying skilled QA engineers amidst a pool of self-proclaimed experts. Secondly, there is the risk of freelancers abandoning a project abruptly, especially if they receive a more enticing offer from another client. 

Freelancers can be a suitable solution for short-term tasks, providing additional resources to meet project deadlines. However, relying on freelancers may not always be the optimal long-term solution.

What to know before hiring software QA testers?

You can fall into numerous pitfalls when hiring software QA testers. Here are 3 things to keep in mind before you embark on the recruitment process:

  • Carefully consider the company’s budget

Before deciding to hire a Software Tester, it is crucial to thoroughly evaluate the associated costs. Employing an in-house Software Tester can be a significant financial undertaking, which may pose challenges for small businesses or start-ups. This can limit their own ability to compete with larger competitors regarding quality. 

Consider the budget before hiring QA testers

While aiming to find a highly qualified candidate, it’s important to note that individuals with extensive knowledge and experience often come with higher price tags. Therefore, it is essential for your company to carefully consider the internal cost implications of hiring software testers before proceeding.

  • Don’t swap the role of software QA testers with developers

One of the prevalent mistakes is the improper interchange of roles between in-house developers and Software Testers, which is not advisable for several reasons.

One reason is that developers have a narrow perspective and may find it difficult to think outside the box. As a result, finding a developer who can fluidly switch between coding, product development, and quality assurance becomes difficult. Another mistake is that developers often prioritize the number of tests performed rather than the quality of those tests.

Turning developers into Software Testers frequently results in a big problem: their technical mindset, which is focused on mathematical and logical features. This can impede their ability to approach testing from a broad perspective. This narrow-mindedness stifles creativity and distorts perceptions of the quality of software products.

  • Don’t focus solely on the candidate’s resume

Placing excessive emphasis on candidates’ education or technical expertise requirements may cause you to overlook other valuable aspects of their experiences.

While it is natural to seek the best candidate, it is not always necessary for them to possess a flawless academic record from a prestigious university or extensive technical experience.

Consider individuals who managed to work full-time while pursuing their studies or those with unconventional references but substantial practical experience. This is better than solely relying on outstanding references without prior hands-on experience.

5 steps to hiring software QA testers

If you are not sure where to start your hiring process, here are the 5 steps to hire the best software QA testers for your company:

Step 1: Define project requirements

One critical phase while recruiting software QA testers is determining the project requirements. This step entails explicitly establishing and documenting the software testing phase’s expectations, goals, and specifications.

Defining the project requirements is the first step in hiring QA testers

Defining project requirements is critical for several reasons. For instance, it provides QA testers with clear guidance, ensuring they understand their task’s objectives and scope. It also helps align their efforts with the project goals and ensures that all parties involved understand what has to be accomplished.

Step 2: Search for potential candidates

This step entails carefully finding candidates with the required abilities, experience, and qualifications for the role.

Several methods can be used to find potential candidates. Businesses frequently use job boards, professional networking platforms, and recruiting services to find qualified individuals. Posting job openings on relevant sites and contacting professional networks can also help attract qualified candidates.

Reviewing resumes, portfolios, and online profiles throughout the recruitment search can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s skills and expertise. Candidates must be shortlisted based on their relevant experience, educational background, certifications, and any extra criteria the hiring team determines.

Step 3: Conduct initial interviews

After shortlisting the candidates who possess the most desirable skills and align well with your team, the next step is to invite them for an interview. The interview will help you delve deeper into the potential of working together.

To comprehensively understand your candidates, the following interview questions are designed to explore specific dimensions. These broad questions are suitable for interviewing candidates for any software QA tester role and can be customized to meet your specific requirements.

  1. How do you assess the extent of testing required for a software component?
  2. How do you establish the criteria that indicate when QA testing should conclude?
  3. What techniques do you employ to verify software quality during the QA process?
  4. Which QA tools do you utilize, and what factors inform your selection?
  5. How do you approach starting work on a new project?
  6. Describe your approach to designing test cases.
  7. If you encounter recommendations or requirements that you dislike, how would you handle them during a project?
  8. Are you acquainted with exploratory testing methodologies?

Step 4: Assess the candidate’s technical skills

During an interview, you can dedicate an hour to discussing the “Theory of testing,” or you can assess a candidate’s competence by administering a test.

Testing the candidate’s skills is extremely important

The test can take various forms, from simple questions and diagrams on paper to a basic application intentionally containing errors. If you lack expertise in testing, especially if it’s your first time hiring a tester, seeking advice or consultation on appropriate interview questions is advisable. 

Alternatively, you can involve your developers in the interview process or create an application designed to include bugs for evaluation purposes.

Step 5: Make a job offer and sign the contract

When you can identify the potential candidate with qualified experience and cultural fit for your business, it’s time to make an offer. 

Expressing the offer’s specifics clearly, including the employment title, start date, salary, benefits, and any other terms or restrictions, is critical. Giving the candidate a thorough description of the role and responsibilities will allow them to make an informed selection.

Once the job offer has been accepted, proceeding with signing the contract is necessary. It is important to keep clear and open communication during this process, responding quickly to any concerns or comments.

How can Mageplaza help you hire software QA testers?

If you hire software QA testers to verify payment gateways or test order management systems, Mageplaza can help you with that. Here’s what you can expect from Mageplaza:

  • In-depth Expertise: Our team has nearly a decade of experience, specializing in E-commerce platform features. Their extensive knowledge and expertise enable them to deliver outstanding services tailored to your business needs. By partnering with our dedicated professionals, we guarantee the success of your project with exceptional support and guidance.
  • Continuous Support: Our team of professionals offers businesses continuous technical support, proactively addressing emerging issues. Whether troubleshooting problems or performing maintenance tasks, we are here to ensure a seamless operation for your business. By entrusting us with these technical complexities, you can focus on your business with peace of mind.
  • Competitive Pricing: Our service offers exceptional value for your investment, with a competitive rate of just $15 per hour. We understand that every business has unique needs and budget considerations. Therefore, we provide flexible engagement options to cater to your specific requirements.

If you want to improve the user experience, expand your business, and thrive in the competitive technology industry, don’t hesitate to contact Mageplaza. We can help you unleash your business potential!

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Conclusion

Hiring qualified software QA testers is a demanding process that requires a lot of effort from businesses. This in-depth guide has given you valuable insights into the importance of QA testers, the skills and qualities to look for, and the hiring process. By carefully evaluating candidates, you will be able to find the best QA testers to ensure your project’s success!

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