How to Hire Proficient Developers for Your Startup

The life of any startup consists of two parts, which are a search for the niche and scaling. To become successful at early stages, you should strive to the highest degree of product/market fit, an indicator showing how much your product or service satisfies a marketing demand. That is, the paramount task is to create the so-called MVP – a minimum valuable product that solves existing issues and satisfies customers’ requirements.

However, no startup can exist without good developers, and here your HR skills come in handy. Given the great demand for proficient coders, the biggest question is how not to lay an egg when choosing between candidates? Below are some essential tips.

#1 You Don’t Need Proficient Staff to Complete the MVP Stage

A good programmer can solve complex technical problems and does it well. But at the start, the relevant questions are somehow different from what ordinary coders do:

  • Does your product or service solve essential problems? Can it improve people’s lives?
  • How much is the demand for your product? Is the audience wide enough to build a successful business?
  • How many customers treat the problem that you solve as a critical?

Most startups can easily deal without expensive programmers. Facebook, Twitter, Upwork, interviews with users and many more tools are at your disposal!

#2 Present Your Startup as Something Innovative, Interesting and Challenging

Do not talk about your brilliant idea and how you will have a billion-dollar company. Your primary task is to provide that you are not a naive startupper.

Share your success. Tell about what you have already achieved. Disclose facts that are valuable to programmers. Make the candidate trust and believe in you, not your idea! It’s like looking for an investor. Show the numbers. Write the text on paper and cross out all adjectives.

If you are a marketer, show your Facebook page with thousands of likes and shares of your idea. If you’re sales manager, show contracts for the purchase of a yet non-existent product. If you are not too young, tell about the successful projects you have already done, even as an employee.

#3 Good Specialists are Worth Money

As a founder, you must think that your product will change the world and people will be ready to work just to take part in such a project. Alas, they won’t! Good developers always have a choice between a couple of “interesting and challenging projects” with a decent salary. As a rule, the prospect of risking a salary for the sake of “possible millions” doesn’t motivate them.

#4 Don’t Frighten Candidates with Complicated Working Conditions

A very small percentage of programmers understand what “vesting with 1-year cliff” means and what is the difference between options and stocks. If you start talking about this at the interview, most likely, you will frighten the interviewee.

Keep the stakes and options for key employees who have been with you for several years and still believe in your future success. For the rest, money will work better!

#5 Job Search Websites Are Not Too Effective

Alas, any challenging position gathers dozens and hundreds of responses, the lion’s share of which comes from junior programmers with godlike CVs. In the end, you spend a huge amount of time on screenings and interviews with very low efficiency.

#6 Check the Motivation and Expectations of the Candidate

Even if the candidate has brilliantly passed a technical interview, this does not mean that you can make him a job offer. First, make sure that the motivation and expectations of the developer coincide with the values of your company. If the candidate has, for example, a loan for an apartment, most likely, the most powerful arguments will be the guarantees of stability and timely payments.

Often candidates who have worked for several years in a good position in a large company cannot reorganize and fit a non-standard working rhythm of the startup. Many have the illusion of how cool is to work in a startup. Therefore, discuss the reasons for the job search and the candidate’s expectations. Try to assess how much he is willing to work and what drives him.

I hope these six tips will make your hiring process a bit easier. I wish you best of luck in your recruitment endeavors!

Tasha Bronitska / Blogger at IDAP

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