How to Hire Developers in 2024: 15 Actionable Tips
Are you a business or enthusiast who plans to build a tech startup? Are you looking for developers who could help you realize a project that would help you grow your business? That sounds familiar. Quite a few businesses decide to create their own apps when the time comes – after all, it’s a great opportunity to reach more Clients.
That being said, finding the right people for your team could be quite challenging for startups, especially if you don’t have any experience in software development yourself. To help you with the process, you can get in touch with SumatoSoft, a company that specializes in custom development and can assist you in your search. Beyond that, it’s worth following these tips for hiring a software developer in 2024.
Tip #1: Learn More About Developers
First and foremost, you should learn more about developers to understand who they are. Some people confuse developers with programmers even though the two are different. Developers build and create software and applications. Unlike programmers, developers have a much bigger scope of work with more responsibilities and roles to perform.
On the other hand, there are some similarities between developers and programmers. Both of them create and write error-free codes for software and applications or are involved with the process in one way or another. A lot of people use the word “programmer” to refer to developers, but it’s better to differentiate the two.
Developers usually work on a more general level while programmers handle specific tasks within a project. Developers can do the same things programmers are doing (i.e. programming and coding), but they are usually doing even more than that. Developers are more involved in the creative side of things while still solving technical problems.
By understanding these differences, you will have the knowledge necessary to make the right choices when hiring a software developer. It’s best to be prepared before you make any impactful decisions.
Tip #2: Decide If You Truly Need A Developer
Before you start using any of the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup presented below, you need to stop for a moment. Do you truly need a developer? Or are you just looking for a way to solve a problem that needs a completely different solution? You might not need a developer just yet – or you might not have the resources to hire one.
Developers usually perform a wide variety of tasks, including:
- Overseeing the software or application development project
- Identifying errors in the existing software or applications
- Troubleshooting, quality assurance, debugging, and improving current software or applications through upgrading their user interface and performance, fixing errors, testing efficiency, etc.
- Analyzing user data to modify existing software or applications or create a new one
- Writing error-free codes for software or applications
These are the main tasks and responsibilities of most developers, but they can have more duties depending on the project they are working on. If you need someone to complete such tasks, then you definitely need either one or several developers to join your team. Also, take into account the stage your business is currently at – is it the right moment for hiring?
Tip #3: Picture What You Are Looking For
Picturing what you are looking for is one of the most important tips for hiring a software developer at a startup successfully. By knowing what you want in terms of the tasks you need to complete, you will be able to find the right person or people to do these tasks. This can be a single project (e.g. developing a mobile app) or continuous activities in your company.
To define your vision, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Which problem will the developer have to solve for your startup?
- Will the software or application be developed for web, desktop, or mobile use?
- What will the software or application be used for?
- Which goals do you want to achieve with the help of this software or application?
The kind of software you want to develop needs to be in line with your branding and business strategy. To put it simply, the program or app that your developer creates for you needs to “fit in” with everything your company does. Your chosen developer will have to understand the core of your business to be able to create the product that is most suitable for your goals.
Tip #4: Estimate Available Resources
The next one of the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup that you have to utilize is estimating the resources available to you at the moment. As mentioned earlier, you might not have the resources necessary to hire a developer just yet. You need to be reasonable in your estimations and understand what you are and aren’t able to do now with what you have.
In addition to analyzing what resources you have right now, it’s also a good idea to calculate your chances of acquiring more resources to hire a developer and complete your project. Good developers can be quite expensive to hire, so you shouldn’t expect to find cheap specialists. Whether you want to find full-time, part-time, or freelance developers, you need to prepare to pay them well to get a high-quality product in the end.
The kind of education, experience, and skills developers receive is absolutely necessary for them to do their jobs well. This is why their salaries tend to be relatively high. As an employer, you need to understand this and be ready to pay developers well. Unfortunately, this also means that it can be quite costly for startups to hire developers.
Tip #5: Prepare Well Before You Begin
Another one of the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup is preparation. You absolutely must prepare well before you begin your search for developers. Essentially, you will be doing the same things you would do when hiring any other kind of professional. Posting a job listing, creating a detailed onboarding process, etc. – all of these are fundamental steps in the hiring process.
Similarly, you will also need to prepare a project description that your developer can consult while working on the said project. A project description is particularly important if you decide to hire a part-time or freelance developer, but full-time developers will need it too. With a document like this, it is much easier for developers to do their jobs well.
If you don’t know how to write a project description, you can hire a professional, experienced writer from the writing services reviews site Rated by Students. A writer like this will be able to create a comprehensive and detailed document which corresponds to all your requirements and clearly explains what is expected from the developer.
Tip #6: Look In The Right Places
One more crucial one of the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup is looking in the right places. You will be surprised just how difficult it can be to find good developers if you keep searching in the wrong places. Moreover, if you choose the right places to look for developers, you could find the best talent that you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.
There are two main spaces that you can use to look for experienced and highly skilled developers:
- Online/Offline Events: There are numerous online and offline events where developers gather regularly to network and discuss the latest news in the industry. These include conferences, hackathons, and tech events among others.
- Online Communities: Online groups, communities, and forums are also spaces where you can find many good developers. Think of places like Stack Overflow and Github. Members often publish their own work, so you can check these examples and reach out to developers you are most interested in hiring.
Tip #7: Consider IT Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation is not something new, but many people still don’t know about it. In reality, it’s a great solution for many companies and especially during startup development. That’s why this is the next one of the tips for hiring a software designer you should consider. To put it simply, by benefiting from staff augmentation, you can assess the expertise of your developers as part-time or freelance employees before you hire them for full-time positions.
Companies that offer staff augmentation services give you access to pre-vetted developers for a specific period of time to work on a single project or complete several tasks in your company. This way, you will be avoiding the risks associated with hiring part-time or freelance developers. If you are satisfied by the work these developers have done, you can hire them on a full-time basis.
Tip #8: Ensure Clear Communication
While you might be overlooking this one of the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup, but it is actually way more important than you think. It is crucial that you ensure clear communication both with your candidates and with the developers you decide to hire and work with. Communication is the key to success of any business, and because software development is a part of your business, clear communication in it is necessary as well.
During the hiring process, explain your expectations clearly. Describe everything: daily duties and quotas, related departments, project details (complexity, duration, etc.), and so on. Communicate which hard and soft skills you want developers to have – candidates need to understand whether they qualify for the job as well as its extent.
Tip #9: Prioritize Company Culture And Strategy
When you are hiring new employees into your team, you will want them to seamlessly integrate and become an important part of your company. This is why prioritizing company culture and strategy is such an important one of the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup. Essentially, it’s about looking at a candidate’s values and deciding whether they will fit into your company.
How well your new employee fits into your team could determine how successful they are at their job. In other words, the values, vision, and mission of your company need to be the ones your developer can fully connect with and support. It goes without saying that you can’t be a hundred percent certain about this, but after interviewing your candidates, you will already have an idea of who they are as people and what they are looking for in the employer.
Tip #10: Test Candidates With “Real” Cases
In terms of practical tips for hiring a software developer at a startup, you need to test candidates with “real” cases. Real-life problems that you have encountered at your company can be perfect for seeing your candidates in action before you decide to hire anyone. It can be time-consuming to organize these assessments which is precisely why you might want to try staff augmentation.
That being said, if you don’t use staff augmentation, you should still test your candidates in some way. Ask them to solve a real, small-scale problem related to development. You can also ask your new hires to go through a probationary period when they can work on smaller projects before you give them something bigger to work on.
As mentioned before, you should clearly explain the details of the project – or, in this case, the problem at hand. You can hire an expert writer from the custom writing reviews site Top Writing Reviews to help you with this. You don’t have to rely solely on yourself if you know that your writing skills are not good enough.
Tip #11: Assess Inner Traits, Experience, And Expertise
When it comes to the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup to avoid making critical mistakes, this one is by far the most important one of them all. You need to assess the inner traits of your candidates as well as their experience and expertise. It’s not enough to focus only on their soft skills while forgetting their hard skills or vice versa. How good your developer will do their job depends on many things, so you should evaluate them all.
The abovementioned method for testing candidates by giving them small problems to solve is ideal for this. You will be able to see how flexible and adaptable the candidate is as well as see their decision-making and problem-solving process. Their resume will show you their education and past experience but seeing them “in action” will help you assess their skills.
Tip #12: Get Professional, Technical Help
While you already consulted quite a few tips for hiring a software developer at a startup, you might sill be clueless about the technical side of things. Indeed, if you don’t have any experience in development yourself, it can be difficult to tell apart good and bad developers. That’s why you need to get professional help by finding someone who does have such technical experience or expertise and could give you a consultation.
A good idea is to contact an agency or company that specializes in such consultation (e.g. SumatoSoft). Experts from such companies can give you invaluable advice that will ultimately help you make the right decision and hire the most appropriate developer for the job you want them to do at your company.
Tip #13: Onboard And Provide Feedback
The hiring process is important, but what’s also important is what comes after it – that is, onboarding. That’s why this is the next one of the tips for hiring a software developer at a startup. You need to successfully onboard your new employee and provide them with feedback and guidance. This is the only way they can truly become a part of your team and start doing their job well.
Introduce your developer to your team, explain to them the working process, discuss the details of their first project, communicate with them clearly, and provide them feedback throughout the entire process. If you have any company policies they need to get acquainted with, let them know about these as soon as possible. During discussions, encourage them to speak up, voice their opinion, make suggestions, and ask questions.
Tip #14: Implement a Trial Period for a Win-Win Evaluation
Implementing a trial period is a strategic way to assess a developer’s fit within your organization without long-term commitment. It minimizes hiring risks and allows you to evaluate technical skills, work ethics, and cultural alignment.
- Scope & Objectives: Outline tasks and goals for the trial, so both parties have clear expectations.
- Duration: A trial period could last from two weeks to a month. Choose a timeframe that allows sufficient evaluation without dragging on too long.
- Compensation: Even during the trial, offer appropriate compensation for the developer’s time and effort.
Key Evaluation Metrics
- Technical Proficiency: Does the developer deliver quality work within deadlines?
- Soft Skills: Observe teamwork and communication skills during the trial.
- Cultural Fit: How well does the developer integrate with your existing team and work culture?
- Feedback: Have brief check-ins to gauge how things are progressing.
- Decision Time: Use evaluations from the trial period to decide whether to extend a permanent offer.
Consult your legal department to ensure compliance with employment laws during the trial period.
Tip #15: Avoid Common Hiring Mistakes
Last but not least, you should try to avoid making common hiring mistakes while also following the best tips for hiring a software developer at a startup. These mistakes are usually easy to avoid, but in some cases, you can only implement the necessary measures to reduce potential risks:
- Don’t offer low pay – You need to pay your developers well if you expect good performance high quality of the final product.
- Hire at the right time – You need to hire developers at the right time to ensure the growth of your startup.
- Set realistic expectations – You need to have realistic expectations, especially depending on the type of developers you hire (full-time, part-time, or freelance).
- Follow best practices – You need to use the tips recommended by other startup owners who have hired developers before you.
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All in all, by following these tips for hiring a software developer at a startup, you will be able to find the right people for your team in no time. Alternatively, you can also seek professional help to aid you in the hiring process. To find out more about SumatoSoft, check out our portfolio and get in touch with us!
If you have any questions, email us [email protected]