Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Hiring Software Developers in Indonesia

Finding qualified software engineers in Indonesia is difficult but not impossible.


Indonesia is at the forefront of Southeast Asia’s technology boom, forecasted to have the region’s largest internet economy by 2025. Unfortunately, the country’s labor market is dramatically hindering this growth.  

Only 10% of 127 million working Indonesians have a college degree, and less than 1% of graduates studied in the IT field.  While the country proudly boasts 5 of the region’s 12 unicorn start-ups, Indonesia is only producing only 278 engineers per 1 million workers.

This shortfall has created a talent war between tech giants and budding start-ups, all clamoring for IT talent in a very small pool of qualified candidates. 

Skilled talent in the following areas is in high demand, and companies in Indonesia are struggling to fill the positions with candidates with both knowledge and experience such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence Specialist 
  • DevOps Engineer 
  • Data Scientist
  • JavaScript Developer 
  • Back-End Developer 
  • Software Quality Assurance

Table of contents

    How to find software developers in Indonesia

    Recruiting IT talent in Indonesia is difficult, but it is not impossible. Below we cover a few solutions to finding the right candidates.

    Top technology universities in Indonesia

    The country’s largest technical schools, combine for nearly 100,000 students in current enrollment, with applications increasing steadily each year. 

    UniversityLocationTotal StudentsIT Specialisations
    Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)Bandung17,120Software Development, Artificial Intelligence, Front End Web Development, Telecom Engineering
    Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS)Surabaya14,624Back End Development, Software Development, Artificial Intelligence, Javascript, Informatics, Robotics
    Bina Nusantara (BINUS)Jakarta13,699Software Development, Creative and Graphic Arts, 3D design, Game, and Mobile Application
    Gunadarma UniversityJakarta24,179Network Engineering, Cyber Security, Back end Development
    Telkom UniversityBandung28,789Informatics, Network, and Telecom Engineering

    The fresh talent may be a solution for many companies, but the best candidates are usually recruited by large companies before they graduate. 

    High availability of junior talent and low salary costs lead many of Indonesia’s tech start-ups to have development headquarters in cities outside of Jakarta, such as Bandung, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta.

    Hiring in the tech sector is also frustrating since it is the industry with the highest turnover rate. Skilled developers are difficult to retain. In Indonesia, many gain experience and are lured to work for unicorns and larger companies in Jakarta. 

    Smaller companies have difficulty filling positions requiring 3-5 years of experience and management skills, which are vital for team and company performance. 

    Job portals for software developers in Indonesia

    The most popular job boards used in Indonesia are Jobstreet, JobIndo, and JobsDB, and they have hundreds of postings for IT jobs.  However, the majority of positions and applicants using these portals are entry-level. Developers with mid- to senior-level qualifications rarely use these job boards. 

    Hiring developers by using a personal network

    Within IT, job roles that require specific skills, background and experience will most likely not be filled with entry-level candidates or through job portals. The pool of qualified candidates is small, and the market is growing more competitive.

    Corporate headhunters such as Emerhub Talent Solutions understand the market, the demands for IT, and have a network of candidates who can be found locally and abroad.

    Hiring foreign IT developers in Indonesia 

    While it is possible to find junior developers in Indonesia, it is much more problematic to find the right candidates for managerial roles, such as Senior Developers and DevOps positions. For this reason, you may consider hiring a foreign IT professional.  

    Larger companies recruit foreigners for their experience and proven track records for project management.  Companies looking to grow quickly can hire a foreign manager to oversee a team of junior talent, who will learn to execute projects efficiently while keeping costs low. 

    Using a corporate headhunter in Indonesia

    Finding the right candidates for mid- to senior-level management positions requires a great deal of time, effort, and money.  This step should not be underestimated, especially within the IT sector where skills are highly specialized. 

    A professional corporate headhunter can help you navigate the waters for hiring IT developers in Indonesia.

    The process of employing a new talent consists of several time-consuming steps, including:

    • Mapping the requirements for candidates
    • Headhunting and sourcing from within Indonesia and abroad
    • Screening CV’s and interviewing candidates 
    • Evaluation based on skills, personality, and potential
    • Shortlisting to make the final choice
    • Background checks

    Freelance IT professionals in Indonesia

    When hiring for IT positions, you can also consider temporary contracts for Indonesian and foreign workers. Under Emerhub Talent Solutions, we already have several professionals who can help you out with both short- and long-term projects.

    Or, let us know about your requirements by simply filling in the form below. Our recruitment team will get back to you as soon as possible to map the profile of the employees you’re looking for.

    Let's grow your business in Indonesia

    Emerhub has years of experience with headhunting in Indonesia.

    Get in touch with Emerhub by filling in the form below and our consultants will reach out to you within a few working hours.

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