How To Hire Developers For Startup?

Nina Semenova
#outsourcing
how to hire programmers for startup

Let’s face it. It’s quite a feat to hire developers for startup, especially in its early stages. The numbers also look discouraging. According to the IMF, there will be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech specialists by 2030.

Besides the general hiring climate, new companies face difficulties finding people with the right skills due to the:

  • rapidly growing competition from high-flying startups and enterprises
  • budget constraints
  • multiple-role jobs which put off candidates
  • lack of stability
  • lack of well-managed processes
  • shortage of tech A-players, most of whom are already occupied and difficult to poach from other companies

Nevertheless, the importance of hiring software engineers is immense. Whether a newborn company is perfecting its website or product, new businesses cannot afford to get wrong.

Devox Software has extensive experience in creating remote development teams. We have an 80+% fill rate, and 95% of our specialists pass the trial period successfully. Our company can deliver the first candidates within seven days. 

How do we do it? In this article, we’ll share some of our expertise, describing the peculiarities of the hiring process and sharing locations to find developers for your startup. Let’s get into it!

  1. 3 Key Methods Of Hiring Developers for Startup
  2. How Many Developers Do I Need for a Startup?
  3. What Should I Do Before Starting the Recruitment Process?
  4. Before You Start
  5. How to Hire Software Developers For Startup in 5 Simple Steps?
  6. 11 Top Places to Find Software Developers For Startup
  7. How Can We Help Early-Stage & Well-Established Startups?

3 Key Methods Of Hiring Developers for Startup

When aggregating a bank of candidates for the position, forward-looking business owners can look both within or outside their office. Understandably, there are advantages, disadvantages, and nuances to all sources of recruitment. Let’s have a closer look at each of them.

1. In-house

In-house recruiting is a business practice when a company opts for recruiting ideal specialists on their own.

This may include internal and external types of hiring. Businesses that hire independently usually have a dedicated team of recruiters in their payroll.

However, the reality is that startups may not have a team of specialists devoted to landing the right talent. Besides, this type of hiring also calls for a CTO who is usually a Jack of all trades at brand new companies.

The main benefit of this model is that hiring programmers for startup in-house significantly contributes to a company’s culture, workflow, and ethics. The things that a new business may lack.

However, having more staff on board also translates into a higher management workload and overhead. New ventures will find this more challenging along with intricate legal technicalities and hefty costs of hiring.

Lastly, this hiring model will not provide the flexibility all startups seek, since companies won’t be able to ramp up or down their teams on demand.

2. Freelance

With the rise of freelance platforms, more and more companies flock to this hiring method. Indeed, getting a self-employed specialist is easier and more cost-effective compared to the first option.

Besides, startups won’t have to pour money down the drain on wasted hours or overheads. Flexibility in case of upsizing or downsizing the team is another notable benefit of hiring freelance developers for startups.

However, this option still requires undivided attention from a CTO and presents significant management challenges.

And although startups won’t have to go the extra mile from a legal standpoint, they’ll still have to maintain a legal hiring process. Needless to say, preserving an organizational culture with freelancers is also difficult.

3. Outsourcing

Over the last few years, a growing number of startups have turned to outsource. This recruitment option allows business owners to hire coders for startups with no administrative burdens. Usually, a company hands over all or part of its permanent recruitment to an external provider.

As for the pros, cost savings pulled by outsourcing can help startups target capital in other critical business areas. Also, outsourcing is the answer to the question of how to hire programmers for a startup without actually bringing new employees into the company. This accounts for less to no administrative and management burdens.

In this case, the provider takes over the hiring process. This means that companies won’t need a technical leader to facilitate a decision-making process and vet technical talent. Also, it’s easy to build up or down your team upon request with a tech vendor.

How Many Developers Do I Need for a Startup?

Before we proceed to the tips on how to find developer for startup, let’s dwell on the question of how many such specialists you require.

Generally, you need a tech team of 7 specialists, give or take a few depending on the project nuances. Overall, the number is highly subjective and is largely dictated by the scale, objectives, and complexity of your product.

Devox Software team considers each project on its individual merits. To come up with the optimal team structure, we perform the project analysis and base the number on the obtained insights.

What Should I Do Before Starting the Recruitment Process?

Before dealing with ‘how,’ you should understand why. The reasons for recruiting new employees will determine their quantity and qualities. Here are the steps that will set your hiring process on the right track from the beginning.

Set Goals

Before even asking yourself, “How to hire developers for a startup?” you must have a clear vision of your project.

Specifying the solution you want to create will help you understand which developers to look for. Building a mobile or web app requires specialists well-versed in native technologies. However, if you want your solution to operate in both environments, you need someone proficient in hybrid development.

If you focus on building a mobile app, you have to decide which platform it will work on. Will it be iOS, Android, or both? Different platforms require different software development toolkits and, consequently, hiring different specialists.

Analyze Competitors

Your solution is unique, but you can still learn much from other businesses operating in the same niche. Firstly, the competitor analysis can give you clues on setting goals for your project.

Secondly, it can help you to shape your hiring strategy. How large are the development teams of your competitors? What are their team structures? How do they hire their programmers? The answers may well help you understand how to hire developers for a startup.

Define your Value Proposition

From a marketing standpoint, a value proposition is an essential tool to generate sales and build a customer base. It’s a promise made to convey how the startup differentiates from its competition, and how the end-user will benefit from the solution. 

You should be able to point out the value and potential of your solution to the prospective candidates if you want to have them on board. Even if you can pay high salaries, you might want to provide some other good reasons why your project suits them. If you manage to find people who are really interested in your idea, they will put their hearts into your project.

Determine the Core Functionality

Finally, before starting to plan how to find a developer for your startup, create a list of must-have features for your future solution. You can even consider drafting a UX and UI mockup of the application or creating a user journey to know exactly how the audience will interact with the application. 

Your ideal candidate should have the knowledge and experience in working with just the right tech stack to build all those features. During testing rounds and interviews, you will be able to determine who has sufficient expertise to suggest and implement the best solutions.

Before You Start

Stage#1: Ideation

  • Goal setting

Even before asking yourself “How to hire a programmer for a startup”, you must have a clear vision of your project.

Specifying the solution you want to create will help you find developers for startup well-suited to the project. Thus, building a mobile or web app requires specialists well-versed in native technologies.

If your solution will run in both environments, you need an expert proficient in hybrid development technologies.

  • Competitor analysis

After deciding on the technology, look at the existing solutions in your niche. This will allow you to develop a bigger image of your solution and decide on the right team structure.

Also, studying the competitor landscape will assist in proving the viability of any solution.

  • Market value

From a marketing standpoint, a value proposition is an essential tool to generate sales and build a customer base. It’s a promise made to convey how the startup differentiates from its competition, and how the end-user will benefit from the solution. Among other things, sharing your values and mission will help you better communicate the agenda to the potential candidate.

  • Core functionality

Finally, before hiring developers for startups, curate a list of must-have features for your future solution.

You can even consider drafting a UX and UI mockup of the application or creating a user journey to know exactly how the audience will interact with the application. This will help you navigate the interview since your perfect candidate should know which technology and framework are fitting for your product.

Stage #2: The Types of Specialists You Might Need

When you set out to find a programmer for startup, remember that one person can’t have all the project needs covered. While you can employ an all-rounder specialist for the project to drive down the costs, it is better to split the responsibilities.

With that said, let’s look into the different types of software engineers:

  • CTO – a complex executive-level position accountable for a company’s technological needs, starting from a technology strategy to product development. CTOs need to be aware of current tech trends and have the knowledge to align innovation with business objectives.
  • Architect – a software development expert who keeps in touch with businesses and clients to design and implement solutions with a software development team. Software architects make executive software design decisions, outline the architecture and design principles, and ensure compliance with the chosen architecture.
  • Team lead – this position calls for a profound understanding of both the technical side of the project and team management. These tech specialists manage a team of developers, oversee the technical side, get involved in the project architecture, and code reviews.
  • Back-end developers – software engineers responsible for server-side web application logic and powering the components which enable the front-end side of the solution. They write the web services and APIs that underpin the work of front-end developers and mobile application developers.
  • Front-end developers – web developers who code the user-facing side of the application using coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Full stack developers – specialists who can build both client and server software. They can take over databases, user-facing applications, or even work with clients during the planning phase.

Moreover, startups often need to ramp up their capacity with additional specialists such as Q&A developers, UI/UX designers, and DevOps.

How to Hire Software Developers For Startup in 5 Simple Steps?

If you wonder how to find software developer for startup, a clear, efficient, and thorough hiring process is what you need. While most companies have established their own recruiting processes, there are some crucial pointers critical to hiring the right software engineers.

  • Write Description

Job descriptions lay the foundation for your staffing programs, job postings, recruitment, selection, and setting expectations.

An employee statement of work should include detailed information about the duties you expect potential developers to accomplish as well as requirements and qualifications for the potential candidate. Specify both the soft and hard skills a candidate should possess. Mention the key tech stack required for a position, not just attractive or trendy technologies.

Another important thing is to give candidates a good idea about their position in the team structure and their potential colleagues. Also, mention how the work is organized (the possibilities for working remotely, for instance).

  • Choose Sources of Candidates

Part of the answer to thehow to hire developers for a startup-question lies in understanding where to look for such specialists.

Once you have articulated your demand and agreed on candidate specifications, the next step of is scouring the hiring destinations. You can opt for hiring recruitment agencies or marketplaces to provide relevant resumes. However, if you want to do the job yourself, there are plenty of options, both online and offline.

Here are the top sources of talents for those who consider hiring software developers for startup:

  • Job search websites (Glassdoor, LinkedIn)
  • Social media
  • Online tech-related spaces and communities (Github, StackOverflow, Reddit, etc)
  • Offline events (for instance, conferences)
  • Hackathons

We’ll dwell on the top destinations for recruiters further in the article.

  • Screen Candidates

It is impossible to explain how to find a developer for your startup without mentioning resume analysis. Resumes are the go-to way of showcasing skills and expertise to potential employers. Therefore, after you’ve aggregated a database of candidates, look through the candidates’ resumes to find out:

  • Skills and educational background
  • Hands-on experience relevant to your position
  • The last three to five years of job responsibilities

At this stage, you should also pay attention to the presence of ‘red flags’:

  • Long or frequent gaps in employment
  • Job-hopping – frequently changing positions without staying at one company for a long time
  • Lack of career development

Spotting one or more patterns from the list above doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with the candidate. However, it can justify more scrutiny during the subsequent interviews.

  • Hold Interviews

The next stage in our ‘how to find developers for startup’ – guide is conducting job interviews. First comes the quick recruiter interview to get more information about the candidate’s experience and its relevance to the job description.

Then follows the hard skills assessment, which usually consists of a technical interview and coding challenge. The former evaluates the depth of candidates’ knowledge in their domains. The latter allows employers to access their coding skills. If you are a non-tech person, we recommend getting help from coders or consultants to conduct this stage.

If a candidate’s hard skills fit your needs, you conduct the final interview to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s. At this point, you are trying to evaluate:

  • Personality (overall amicability, creativity, motivation, leadership skills, etc.)
  • Mental acuity
  • Ability and willingness to learn
  • Culture fit for your company
  • Onboard Newcomers

If you have successfully gone through this battle and found developers for startup, your hiring process is complete. All you have to do now is to make sure a fresh-faced employee successfully integrates with a company and new role.

The onboarding process at Devox Software includes the following steps:

  • Helping the developer to learn about the client company, its processes, values, and culture
  • Dealing with the HR paperwork
  • Providing access to the necessary tools and software as well as tutorials, instructions, documentation
  • Pairing the new developer with one of the teammates to offer guidance.

11 Top Places to Find Software Developers For Startup

Your search strategy is half the battle to hire developers for startup. While there are some obvious locations where you can find active job seekers, you’d also want to target those who are not actively looking for employment.

This strategy will increase your candidate base and also add some bonus points to your brand awareness.

On this note, let’s see where to find developers for startup.

  • LinkedIn

With more than half a billion members, LinkedIn is a formidable recruiting tool that addresses your query of how to hire developers for a startup. Once you develop a company profile, you can either advertise your job openings or go the freeway.

To hire coders for startup, use the Q&A section to establish relationships with experts, access employees’ networks for referrals, or get recommendations to raise your brand awareness.

  • GitHub

If trawling LinkedIn doesn’t help, this is your next destination in the ‘how to find a developer for your startup’-journey. Almost every developer is using GitHub. What’s more important, each of them has to set up a detailed profile visible to the audience. This makes the process of hiring a software engineer for startup easier and more targeted.

  • StackOverflow

Put simply, StackOverflow is a Quora for programmers. There, tech specialists can pick up new skills, share their knowledge, and boost their careers. But besides that, it is also a talent platform, where startups can filter the right candidates or check them out in the Careers section.

  • Reddit

Boasting over 330 mln active users, Reddit is another recruitment mecca for hiring developers for startup. First, start with setting up a company profile and finding suitable threads such as web development subreddits and such.

Then get involved in the Reddit recruiting community in an authentic way with no spamming or right-in-the-face hiring. Since Reddit is a valuable source of highly skilled programmers, you have high chances of finding coding talent for startup.

  • Social media

Social media is the panacea for all troubles including hiring. So if you wonder how to find software developer for startup, try pitching your startup idea on your social media accounts. A secret tip here is to browse niche-specific communities and use the power of content media to get noticed.

  • Quora

As such, Quora is a bonanza of software engineering talent. Developers use this Q&A platform on a regular basis, not being afraid to share their opinions and their expertise.

Just like Reddit, you have to build your reputation here first by answering to both related and unrelated threads. Once you pick up some weight, go through software development topics to find domain experts.

  • Meetups and developer events

When all recruitment opportunities have dried out, turn to event sites for finding promising developers for your startup. Not only will you get access to talent, but you’ll obtain great branding opportunities to get your name out there.

  • Glassdoor

According to Glassdoor itself, 51% of job seekers say they prefer finding job opportunities on online job sites. And for a reason.

Therefore, it’s a smart tool for startups to build their brands, aggregate competitive intelligence, and source more candidates. By fetching feedback on Glassdoor, you can establish a brand that clicks with the suitable candidates and roll it out through your recruitment materials.

  • Hackathons

You can also tap into external hackathons for hiring coders for your startup. Hackathons can allow businesses to recruit only the best brains and leave out the unskilled ones. Startups are banking on Hackathons to create strong brand visibility and get more candidates in the hiring funnel.

Also, since such events are putting attendees in near real-life situations, recruiters can judge candidates based on a variety of criteria to find the best fit.

  • Recruitment agencies

If you want to delegate the hiring process completely, you can turn to recruitment agencies for high-quality candidates and extended reach.

In this case, the contractor knows the available talent, where they are, and how to reach out to them. Recruitment agencies are also well aware of the current salary rates, career expectations, and possible hiring complexities.

  • Outsourcing companies

Lastly, you don’t have to be limited to local tech talent. Companies can transgress the national boundaries and tap into the global talent by outsourcing their IT functions. In this case, a software development outsourcing company takes over the hiring process and all administrative hassles.

At the same time, startups can leverage a wealth of benefits ranging from low-cost labor, improved quality to the product, and a fast recruitment process.

How Can We Help Early-Stage & Well-Established Startups?

Over the years, our team has been assisting lots of freshly baked businesses in hiring software engineers for startup. We believe that with the right approach, hiring a remote workforce can be as effective and convenient as having an internal team.

So if you’re still wondering how to find developers for startup, here’s how you can benefit from collaborating with Devox Software.

  • A diverse base of developers

For years of work, we have developed a thorough understanding of the hiring market and curated a broad talent pool. Hence, it won’t take you a lifetime to reach exceptional candidates with the right skills and experience. On the contrary, our team can compile an exceptional shortlist for you in a mere two to six weeks.

Note that the time frame depends heavily on your requirements, needed technology, and the seniority level.

  • Ready-to-go development team

If you are not looking for a customized recruitment process, we can offer a setup team of software engineers ready to deliver new products. Thus, you can ramp up a full-cycle ready-to-go team swiftly and kick off the development process right after signing a contract.

  • Flexible recruitment models

With Devox Software, you can build up or down your team upon request. We offer flexible engagement models for both full-time or part-time hiring. You can also decide whether you need a single developer or a whole group of certified specialists to turn your business ideas into reality.

  • Mixed teams

Along with pairing up with a software developer, you can also employ an additional workforce to amplify your business processes. This includes a Q&A engineer, UI/UX designer, a DevOps, or a PM. More important is that you can also hire all those specialists on a full/part-time basis as per your needs.

  • Expertise

Throughout the years, we’ve continually refined our candidate sourcing methods, allowing us to reach top developers with exceptional domain expertise. Thanks to our bespoke selection process, we have the knowledge to match up a coder according to both hard and soft skills.

The Final Word

In today’s competitive world hiring a dedicated programmer who has the right skill plays a pivotal role in meeting the business target. Although employing proficient developers for your startup is even harder than raising finances for a startup, this mean feat can be pulled off.

At Devox Software, we realize how hard it can be to find the right candidate. Therefore, we offer the opportunity for you to share this burden with us. All we need for a swift and easy hiring process is a detailed idea of your project and specific job descriptions.

Nina Semenova

Recruitment Team Lead

Nina Semenova is team leader of experienced recruiters and sources at Devox Software. She has over 6 years of experience in IT recruiting. During the recruitment process, she focuses on 2 indicators - speed and quality. Nina knows everything about building a recruiting process from scratch, delivering the best candidates to clients, IT market metrics and analytics. The strength of her team is the active search and work with the internal database of candidates, which is more than 20 thousand specialists.
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