Finding, hiring, and keeping developers is a nightmare. We know because we’ve been down that road. We’ve got some tricks that can help you hire more efficiently and get the best developers on your team.
To ensure victory over competitors in the startup community, a company must win over investors, partners, and customers. A company cannot do this if they have not created a solid team to help them succeed.
It is vital that the right developers are hired to ensure the success and longevity of their products. Finding a top developer for your app or startup can be very challenging and requires a great deal of research and time.
As with any job hiring process, certain steps should be followed to streamline the process and find the best developer for your startup. There are hundreds of articles with hiring tips, some better than others. This article is different because it comes from our own startup experience.
No BS Steps to Find and Hire the Right Developers for Your Startup
Hiring a developer can be tough. You don’t want to hire the wrong person, and you don’t want to hire someone who ends up stealing your code or ripping you off in some other way.
Trying to find the perfect developer can be even tougher, not because they’re so hard to find but because you’re probably not sure exactly what you’re looking for.
So what exactly do you need to do to find the right person and hire them?
Follow the guide below to find the right developer for your startup.
Step 1: Find Out What Kind of Developer You Need
The first step is to determine what you need exactly – you need to outline what you would like them to do for you from the onset.
It can take time to find the right developers, but it is important to take your time and not rush through this part because poor hiring decisions can be very costly.
Define your hiring goals before you start thinking about the process. Everyone at your startup must have a common vision for what they want to achieve.
You will also want to determine how many developers you will need and if you will require any other specific skills. It means creating a job post that outlines your needs and requirements, so potential candidates will know what you are looking for in terms of skill set and experience level.
Here is a quick overview of creating a job description for developers in your startup to make it easier.
Job Description for Developers
The job description should be clear and concise, and it should list the skills you’re looking for. It’s also important to list the salary range you’re willing to offer.
You should also list the physical location of where you are hiring or if the job is remote. This consideration is often overlooked by startup founders, but it’s very important to list whether or not you are willing to consider candidates from outside of the area.
Job Requirements for Developers
At a minimum, your job description should include your software stack.
For instance, if you’re building an iOS mobile application – are you using Swift or Objective C?
It is crucial you have an idea of the technology stack you are using because this will have a major impact on your developer choice. While this may change over time, it is best to know the language and tools your developers will need to use to build your product. We understand that this can be overwhelming for a newbie, but it’s important to do your research.
Other important requirements include things like the amount of time that you are looking for them to work (full-time, part-time), how many hours they will be required to put in each week, and what the work schedule will look like.
Finally, do well to include a brief profile of the company, what you are looking for in your new developer, and how they can expect to be compensated. The best developers want to be part of something special, so make sure your job description reflects your startup’s unique purpose and environment.
Once you know what kind of developer you need, it’s time to look for them.
Step 2: Find Developers You Can Trust
Sourcing: Recruitment vs. Referrals
The best developers don’t need to be recruited – they already have a job. There are plenty of talented people with the right skills and experience, but they’re already employed. Just because they don’t have a job listing on their LinkedIn profiles doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for a new opportunity.
To source great developers, you should consider using different recruiting techniques, such as networking and referrals.
Bonafide recruiters are expensive, but they can be faster than referrals. They will search online job boards and other sources and conduct job interviews on your behalf. This method of finding developers can be a great choice if you are pressed for time or if you are not sure how to interview developers yourself.
When it comes to referrals, this is the best recruiting method of all because you can ask your friends and trusted connections for referrals. With this option, trust is already built into the process, making it a powerful way to find developers that will be a good fit for your team.
Find top developers in your area near you
The best way to do this is by searching for local meetups related to the programming language you are using. This way, you will create a contact list of potential developers.
Additionally, meetups can be a great place to get your brand out there and for developers to take notice. They might not be looking for a new opportunity, but you could offer them a position at your startup.
One of the benefits of hiring developers near you for your startup is that the inconveniences of communicating and collaborating will be much less. Also, it is important to note that you can expect the cultural fit to be better when you hire local developers.
Sourcing Developers Online for your Startup
Today, the internet is full of talent, and you should use it to your advantage.
One of the best online tools for sourcing great developers is Github. Make sure to list your stack on the job description so developers with the right skills can connect. Sites like LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, and Quora are also great places to look for developers.
If you are working on a freelance basis, sites like Toptal and Upwork can be helpful.
Outsource software development to a Reputable Agency
If you lack time to find developers yourself or want to be sure that you are working with the best people, then an agency is probably your best bet.
There are countless companies out there, and you need to be careful when choosing the right one. Make sure that they have a solid portfolio and that their developers will communicate with you directly.
For startups, one of the biggest pain points is cost. But it isn’t always about how much something costs – often, you have to think about how much you are getting in return for your money. You should consider whether the developers that the agency is providing you with will complete the project you have in mind adequately.
Consider an agency that provides you with a team of developers instead of a single person. That way, the entire development process will be taken care of by subject matter experts, and you will have access to many different points of view.
Look for developers that employ agile methodologies in their work. Agile can be a great way to handle the stress that startups often feel regarding deadlines and budgets.
Finally, the agency must be providing regular reports regarding the progress made by your project. You should consider an agency that will explain their work and will not be afraid to answer your questions.
Step 3: Hire Your Dream Team
Contact the developers that caught your attention
Upon reaching this stage, you should have a list of a few developers or development agencies. Start by reaching out to the ones that caught your attention and send them a message explaining your idea and asking if they’d like to help you out. If their response is positive, schedule a meeting or conference call to discuss your idea and what they can provide.
Prepare Questions for Developer Job Interviews
Interviews are like dates in that you need to ensure the other party ticks all your boxes. You need to make sure that you ask the right questions to weed out all the undesirables and tell the difference between a good developer and a great developer.
So what are some of the best questions to ask? Here are just five of them:
- What is your experience with our (specified technology)?
- What are notable achievements you have made in your previous position?
- How do you handle deadlines?
- In your words, how can you explain coding best practices?
- What is your preferred working environment?
It is important to remember that these questions are only a guideline. You should feel free to add more and adapt these to your specific circumstances.
Another great way to check a developer’s skills is to have them complete a small project before hiring them, as this will allow you to see how good they are.
You should also ask for a portfolio or GitHub account and have them explain some of their projects to you. If they cannot do this, then it is a huge red flag as it shows that they are either unable or unwilling to talk about their work.
Put together a decent offer
Keep in mind that the best developers are always in high demand, so you will need to include a competitive salary and plenty of other incentives for them to consider working with your company.
Remember that hiring cheap developers often leads to failure. If you hire a cheap developer, then either the quality of their work will be low, or they won’t stay for long.
Nail the Onboarding Process
One of the mistakes startups make is thinking that they can begin their development process as soon as the developers come on board. However, this is not always the case. In some instances, it can take months until both the startup and the developers are truly ready to begin working together.
Several steps can help set the process of beginning the development work up for success:
- Introduce the new hire to your current team
- Create a development plan with the new developer
- Identify which tools you will use for communication, task management, and project documentation.
- Put together a playbook that includes guidelines, best practices, and useful information
Other onboarding considerations include:
- Building rapport with your new developer is essential. After all, if you want them to feel at home and create a good relationship with the rest of your team, then they need to trust their employer.
- Put together a project timeline. Make sure that expectations are realistic and achievable, as otherwise, the project’s failure will lead to many problems for your startup.
- Ensure that all parties involved are aware of deadlines, milestones, and deliverables.
- Make sure that there are written agreements about the work to be done, payment, and other details.
- Establish a set of expectations for how you will communicate throughout the rest of the process.
The importance of onboarding cannot be overstated, and these steps should help make the development process go as smoothly as possible.
Conclusion: Hiring Developers for Startups
While it may seem tempting for startups to hire developers in-house, it can be expensive – it is not the best move for a startup’s success. Outsourcing is the smarter choice if you want to save money and still receive quality work from experts with years of experience. The best approach is always to think about what kind of team you’d like to have and what type of people would make that dream come true. After you’ve reached that decision, hire only those who impressed you. If you have questions regarding hiring a developer, you can get in touch.