Jun 3, 2019

How to Find Developers For Your Startup (and not screw it all up)

Hiring developers for a startup can be quite a challenge. Skilled employees are in high demand because they play a significant role in the outcome of a project and guide the direction of the whole development team.

Even though it may seem hard to find a programmer for a startup there are a few ways to find the absolute best people you possibly can. This article will guide you through the world of freelance developers, potential team members and developing agencies and help you to hire real talents.

What Are the Options

There are a few to choose from. Either you decide to hire a software developer to expand your in-house team, hire a freelance developer or an agency — in any case, you need to know what you are signing up for. So, here’s a comprehensive review of all of the variants.

Be Your Own Developer

If you have experience developing applications, it might be enough at the early stages. Even then, you may not need some more sophisticated features for an MVP and you have to outsource a part of the tasks as the project gets bigger. One person may not be enough for all the work and you would still have to think about how to hire a programmer for a startup.

Hire a Freelancer

Freelancers are easy to hire and have lower operating costs. Moreover, they are flexible and can adjust to your schedule. Yet, freelancers may not fully concentrate on your startup as there are other projects they may juggle at the same time. You would also need to find a tech expert for evaluating the candidates or do it yourself, and making sure they know the technologies that you need.

Expand Your Current Team

If you decide to augment your current team with developers you have to find people for full-time work in-house. Make a choice based on the level of expertise you need. An in-house team is easy to control but the best specialists are in high demand. So get ready to spend a lot to make them work for you. On the bright side, once you get them all in one place they’ll have a hustle-free communication and therefore coordinate the workflow better.

Hire a Software Development Agency

If you wonder how to hire developers for a startup, agencies may be a good option. They are usually equipped with various software and have complete teams of qualified members with specific roles. Agencies also have experience working with different projects and can offer valuable insights, useful for your startup. Their services may be pricey, but well worth it.

There are basically two options for you. You can either opt to delegate a whole programming aspect of the project to an external outsource team. Or you can follow an outstaffing model and give remote employees specific tasks and assignments.

Within the outsource model, you get a bunch of professionals with a strong skill set covering a range of capabilities. Such workers are reasonably priced and are controlled by a company’s management. On the other hand, with the outstaffing model, you can control a team’s workflow but it also makes you fully responsible for a development process.

Now that you are familiar with the various options you have, here are some tips and tricks for finding reliable developers for your startup.


How to Find a Developer For Your Startup

There are plenty of places where you can find programmers for your startup. We’re here to offer you some useful advice on how to search for developers in the best possible way.

Know What You are Looking For

Predefine a set of skills your ideal candidate should have to match with your project requirements. The more specific you’ll be, the better. If you struggle with technical terms, one of the options is to co-found a business with a person who has a technical background. Search for a reliable partner through the word of mouth recommendations, or among the skilled trusted people around. This way you’ll have a great advantage while interviewing developers.

Explore Unusual Places for Hire

Most freelancers or agencies may be found on job boards, but look in other places too. For example, social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter and popular messengers like Slack, Telegram, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber are great places to find software developers for hire. Look for the specialized groups where technical people hang out and create job postings there.

Sneak In the Community

Go to offline conferences and hackathons and use online forums such as on Quora, Reddit or StartUp Nation to sneak in the technical network. Those are also wonderful places to find developers for a startup.

Identify experts and lead agencies, build relationships and engage in relevant discussions to spot your possible candidates. You could also post to these platforms asking to recommend professional developers or agencies for your startup. Through such social interactions, you can find the most valuable and trusted programmers.

Look in Other Startups

When hiring programmers for startup search for the experienced Engineering Leads involved in other startups. They may be willing to get a higher position, but currently, don’t get a chance for it. It means you can offer them the desired opportunity within your project.

These people are eager to work in an ever-changing startup environment and face all the difficulties a newly-formed business may have. Basically, they know what they are agreeing with. So, if you want to discover these talents, search on LinkedIn.

Go Directly to Where They Are

Specialized IT sites are a great place to find developers. AngelList, Networking for Professionals, HubSpot and Stack Overflow are just a few websites that you should check. Use them to post jobs, find great agencies and search for professionals’ profiles.

So, once you feel you’ve found a perfect person it’s better to learn about what technical experience and expertise they have. And if you pick an agency, there are also a bunch of important things to evaluate. We’re just about to get into more details on what to take a close look at, priorly to signing a contract.


How to Choose the Right People For Your Project

A basic review of a potential candidate includes a preliminary analysis, interview, and a test task. With a development agency, you also need to check their team and technical tools they operate. Let’s investigate what are the other things to pay attention to when you hire developers for a startup.

Team Member or a Freelancer

When you’re hiring individual specialists, start with their CV and look for experience and expertise. Are they familiar with the technology you need? Can they offer the services you are searching for? Check out their portfolio, it speaks of their experience and could be used as a reference to what you want to build.

Once you’ve decided on a candidate arrange a meeting and prepare a list of questions that are relevant to your startup. Here are a few tips for the interview:

  • Ask about their motivation. True enthusiasm may lead to a long-term partnership, while the lack of it — to a low level of involvement.
  • Make sure the CV corresponds to the real person. Give them a test task to evaluate their skills.
  • Listen to what they have to offer. This way you would hire a developer with no second thoughts.

Team or Agency

Start with a company’s website — it is a great link to what kind of a job they do for clients. Then evaluate their portfolio and experience. Check out if their products are easy-to-use, attractive and functional. If possible, get in touch with the agency’s previous clients and ask about the quality of their work. You may also check reviews websites for the unbiased opinions. For example, there are client reviews about the Gearheart company and their full portfolio at Clutch. If you hesitate about certain things, give an agency a call and ask them directly.

An important factor in choosing an agency is team size and members’ qualifications. One of the advantages of a small team is that they are usually highly specialized. While big teams are more flexible when it comes to an unexpected workload or in case some of the members get ill.

Ask the team or company for their proposal and send them a test task. Similarly to a freelancer, an agency has to show interest in working with you. Keep in mind all these steps to hire software developers that would be entirely dedicated to your startup.

After all, if you are looking to hire software programmers you need to make sure they actually know the technologies you need and have skills to implement and maintain them. Money and effort are worth it when hiring reliable developers. Otherwise, there’s a lot to lose when dealing with an inexperienced or unscrupulous contractor.

Final Thoughts

With any kind of product you aim to bring to the market, developers are a crucial component of its success. Whether you hire a development team, an agency or a bunch of freelancers, make sure investment strategically into your startup plan. Consider the cost, managing opportunities and the level of qualification. No matter what you choose, you should know what you get! Good luck in finding the best fit for your startup!


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