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How to Hire Developers For a Start-up?

It is obvious that the most crucial point for a start-up is to deliver its product to the market as fast as possible. And there are many reasons for that: competitors can appear on the market with the similar product faster or to start gaining first customers to get the funding for further development and promotion and so on. But how can a start-up develop a product really fast? Actually what it might need for sure is a developer or a development team for execution. While transferring this job to the development team, the business can concentrate on core activities like business promotion, marketing, strategic planning, etc. Let’s have a look how to find a developer or a whole team of developers and what are the alternatives?

What is the first step?

Before starting to look for a developer or a team, clearly outline the scope of the project, describe as precisely as possible the requirements, preferably prepare a technical and business specification, or requirements to the developers. Also decide who will be responsible for managing the team, a Project manager on your side or a vendor Project manager or even an independent Project manager. Who will be responsible for the UI/UX design of the application or is it already in place? If you have a prototype, it will ease the design to development hand-off. If you have an MVP and already tested it on real users then most likely you know what features should be added first hand and how the rest development plan should look like.

Do not forget about the deadline as it is essential for a startup project.

Here’s a sample of a checklist of what you need to prepare:

  1. Outline the scope of the project;
  2. Prepare the requirements;
  3. Create UI/UX design;
  4. Describe the features and split them by priority;
  5. Outline the timeline and budget;
  6. Decide on the management;
  7. Look for the developers.

Once set with the above mentioned points start looking for the developer or a development team.

Where to Find Developers?

First decide whether you will hire a developer in-house or outsource the development work to a vendor.

If the working space and budget allows you to hire developers internally, try this option but bear in mind the hiring efforts and the time spent on the process itself, not mentioning the social and legal responsibility for the employees further.

Place a job posting in social media like Linkedin Jobs or on the well-known job portals like Angel.co, Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com, Crunchbase.com or any other relevant portal in your area.

If you decide to hire a remote developer there are many places where to find them:

  • Specialized developer and incubator communities;
  • Freelancers portals;
  • Vendor rating and top listings portals;
  • Social media;
  • Conferences, meetups and hackathons;
  • Offshore destinations.

Let’s have a look at a few samples of such places.

A few samples of specialized development communities are GitHub, Stack Overflow and Reddit.

GitHub is an online platform for open-source projects created by both freelance developers and software companies. It is easy to check the level of expertise and competence of a certain specialist or vendor there.

Stack Overflow is an online community where developers learn, share knowledge and look for a job.

The number of incubators for startups are numerous and vary from country to country. For example, in the USA the most known are: Techstars, Capital Factory, MassChallenge, AngelPad, 500 Startups, etc. Such incubators provide different assistance starting from getting funding to providing a list of reliable vendors to work with.

As for the freelancers portals, the most well-known are Upwork, Toptal, Guru and Crossover. Upwork and Guru are great places to search for developers for short-term projects. For large scale projects TopTal and Crossover will be a better choice.‍ 

Another place to get a high rated IT company is a directory of agencies such as Clutch, Goodfirms, SoftwareWorld, DesignRush, etc. Those platforms include information on different companies, list of the services they provide as well as the real client reviews. Based on that criteria these directories range the companies and include them into the top listings in several categories: Top Custom Software Development Companies, Top Java Developers, Top Fintech Software Development Companies, Best eCommerce Software Developers, etc. The listings can be made based on country, on technology, on industry focus, on the services and so on.

Among social media platforms the most powerful today is probably Linkedin. It allows you to place a job posting, look for the candidates and review their profile information as well as to look for IT companies around the world. It also includes numerous Groups where professional engineers discuss know-hows, share knowledge, give advice, etc.

The last but not least source is devoted to several conferences, meetups, hackathons. If you have enough time to attend such events it is a great opportunity to meet people in-person, talk to them and understand whether there is a fit or not. Real-life communication is always better as it significantly saves time to get to know each other. Although there are also offline meetups and hackertons like Meetup.com that allow to find potential candidates without going to the event, to network with the most sort-out technical experts and build mutually beneficial relationships with them.

Offshore destinations such as Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe have become very popular to outsource development work due to a great number of highly-qualified developers to choose from and reduced rates in comparison to the local market. For start-ups time and cost are almost crucial points in their intention to deliver the product, so hiring a development company with all processes set and a huge pool of engineers to choose from can be a real goldmine.

What’s next?

Once you’ve decided which way to go, create a shortlist of potential candidates or vendors, contact them with your project idea and/or requirements and ask for the quote or interview them or give them a test task to do. While selecting the candidates pay attention to their experience, portfolio, reputation, customer reviews and some other criteria important to you (price, level of communication, time zone difference, cultural difference, etc). In case of a developer interview, get a list of questions prepared beforehand. After you have selected a developer or a vendor, provide them with clear instructions on further steps and expectations, do proper on-boarding, decide on project management and communication tools.

Bottom line

Hiring a developer is one of the important steps for a start-up as a wrongly selected developer can fail the project which might cost a start-up its business and a great loss of self or investor fundings.

Take this process seriously, think thoroughly on the scope of the project, do research and investigation before making any choice, ask for references and recommendations.

Finally, weigh all your options, decide whether to hire a freelance developer or a development company like SCAND, with a pool of 250+ engineers on board, a 20-year experience in IT and more than 600+ satisfied customers across the globe. We are proud to be rated as one of the Top Custom Software Development Companies, Top Java Development Company, Top Web Development Company and many more.

Our hard work and dedication to quality has been appreciated by our customers and reflected in their reviews. We are committed to long-term work with our customers starting working with them at the very early stages and helping to grow their business.

Feel free to contact us and ask any questions.

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