A great solution or product is a result of high-performing teams that come together to collaborate and combine their creativity, curiosity, and skills. No matter what product or service you’re looking to introduce, you’ll likely need to hire the best talent to help build your brand and optimize your processes.
Your brilliant startup idea will only work if you have the right talent on board. However, with the existing shortage of talented developers with experience, it can be challenging for startups to find and hire top talent. The increasingly competitive hiring scenario from larger brands makes it even more difficult. But that doesn’t make it an impossibility.
Every startup founder understands the extent of this hiring challenge. Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to find and hire a developer for your startup idea. But before you hire one, be sure to do the following:
- Determine what your project is all about. Whether you want to implement new digital technology or develop a product from scratch, you need to first define what your project is all about.
- Understand what to look for in a developer. Write down a detailed job description that accurately reflects the required skills and level of experience so you can attract the right talent for your startup idea. Do they know how to work in an agile environment using container registries by JFrog? Do they have strong soft skills, like creativity and communication?
- Develop and structure your hiring process. This will make it easy to track your recruitment sources and find a good fit for the job.
With that being said, here are five ways to hire a software developer that fits into your startup business model.
Leverage Your Network
Personal networking is one of the best ways to source potential candidates for the software developer role. Many successful startups have been born out of the social and professional networks of the founders. Don’t be afraid to ask around in your personal network. These can be your business partners, associates, former colleagues, friends, employees, or even family.
Remember quality people tend to hang around with other quality people. If you know anyone in your network who you think can help you find a great developer, go ahead and contact them. They will refer you to someone they may have worked with before or get a referral from their network. Although using this method may seem risky and limiting, it remains one of the most productive sources for qualified candidates.
Use Freelance Platforms
It’s not uncommon for startups to use freelance platforms to find and hire software developers. In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to hire a developer, especially if you’re planning to work with them for the short term. You can get quick work done or small projects completed with the right team of freelance developers. Freelance platforms can be categorized into general freelance platforms and niche freelance platforms.
General platforms like Upwork or Fivver are platforms where you can find programmers, developers, and coders among many other freelance professionals. They usually don’t have any vetting process in place, but each profile offers a resume, portfolio, and verified reviews from clients they’ve worked with. Niche freelance platforms, on the other hand, allow you to find freelance developers and programmers with niche skills. They tend to have a more rigorous vetting procedure to help clients find the right candidate. They include platforms like Toptal and YouTeam.
Pay Attention to Hackathons
Hackathons are social coding events that bring software developers and other interested professionals together to collaborate on projects. These events are usually hosted by tech companies or organizations and provide a venue for problem-solving, creativity, and self-expression using technology. Software developers participate in hackathons for various reasons, including:
- To share ideas, solve real problems, and showcase their skills
- To learn new skills and attain new knowledge
- To challenge themselves out of the comfort zone
- To raise their profile and find new opportunities
- Hackathons are fun and completely focus on coding
- Get cool freebies
- Win cash prizes
Startups are increasingly using hackathons to connect with industry experts and source talented developers. Attending hackathons that are relevant to your startup idea or project will help you build a pipeline of focused, innovative, and passionate developers. Hackathon.io hosts thousands of hackathons every year, so be sure to check them out.
Use Online Developer Communities
Specialized online platforms like Stack Overflow and GitHub are other great places to find and hire software developers. With more than 30 million programmers and developers, GitHub is one of the world’s leading social coding sites. The cloud-based platform allows developers to contribute and collaborate on open-source projects.
You can sign up on GitHub and make meaningful connections with developers and programmers of different levels of expertise and experience. What’s even more interesting is that you can get a developer’s contact information, contributions on the platform, and the number of followers on their profile. Be sure to only shortlist profiles and approach software developers who are open to job opportunities.
Stack Overflow is more of a question and answer (Q&A) site for developers and coders. The process of shortlisting potential candidates on the site is similar to GitHub. Simply use the tags associated with specific questions to find the right developer for your startup idea.
Attend Developer Conferences, Tech Events, and Meetups
Developer events and meetups offer a great opportunity to connect directly with software developers near you. Even if you don’t meet developers who are looking for work, those present can connect you with someone who does, and you might end up forming strategic partnerships with experienced developers.
Take time to search online for regular tech meetups and developer events in your area. If you’re looking for a passionate Python developer, consider checking out PyCon, a tech event that brings together some of the top developer talents. Other events to check out include Java Day for Java developers and frameworks days for web and PHP developers.