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How to Hire Developers for Startup +10 Websites to Find Talent

Vira Kostohlad

Vira Kostohlad

Head of Recruting

11 min

Did you know that a poorly skilled team is one of the top reasons startups fail? It’s true since bringing your idea to life is almost impossible without specialists who can deliver the expected results.  

If you’re starting your new business adventure, let’s say you want to build a mobile app, you must know how to hire developers. This is especially critical if you have a non-technical background.

But where do you start? What questions should you ask? How can you assess whether a developer understands the required technology and skills to build your application? And most importantly, where do you find qualified programmers?

We’ve got you covered. 

In this blog, we dive into key details startup founders need to know to hire developers effectively:

  • Essential steps for identifying programmer roles.
  • Where to find developer candidates.
  • How to interview and evaluate programmers.

This guide will get you up to speed, whether you’re new to hiring for a startup or looking to level up your recruiting skills. 

Let’s dive in!

Challenges of Hiring Developers for a Startup

Hiring developers for a startup can indeed be a complex endeavor. Let’s delve into the challenges startups face when building a strong technical team.

Competitive Talent Market

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of software developer jobs is expected to grow by 21% from 2018 to 2028. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all jobs, which is only 5%.

When the demand for skilled developers grows, finding a talent for your business becomes much harder. This is an issue for startups because big companies are also looking for professional developers. This means that startups have to work extra hard to attract and hire the best specialists.

To solve this, you can hire people who work remotely or from other countries. Outsourcing development services is a great option for finding skilled developers based overseas. It also gives your startup more flexibility and helps to optimize costs in the long term.

Competing with Big Tech Salaries

As we’ve mentioned above, big companies are also looking for talent. Obviously, these organizations can offer a competitive salary and multiple advantages. 

Startups can’t always match the salary expectations of development specialists. Instead, they can offer other things like stock in the company, more flexibility and freedom in terms of ideas and contributions, and interesting or innovative products to work on. These perks might attract proactive and creative professionals. 

Unclear Tech Needs

When you are not sure about the technical roles you need to build your product, it can lead to hiring people with the wrong competencies and values. It is like trying to build a puzzle without knowing what the picture looks like. It’s confusing and frustrating for everyone involved.

Besides, you will waste time and resources on recruitment, training, and overhead costs. Hiring and onboarding new employees takes your precious time and money. 

If you don’t know exactly what roles and competencies you need, consider reaching out to companies that specialize in providing full-stack development services. You can talk to our specialists to figure out what roles your startup needs.

Keeping Your Talent

LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report reveals that 93% of businesses worry about keeping their top employees.

Employee retention is important for companies because it helps them keep things running smoothly and ensures everyone stays productive.

There are a few things that help companies hold onto their employees:

Opportunities to grow

Employees want chances to move up and get better at their jobs. They might leave if they feel stuck or like they can’t advance.

Bonuses and rewards

Getting recognized for doing a good job feels great. Companies that give bonuses and rewards for good work can keep their teams happy and motivated.

Feedback and support

Your staff needs to know how they’re doing and what they can do better. Companies that give regular feedback and help their people evolve will likely keep them around.

To keep employees happy and sticking around, startups can:

  • Give them room to grow. Offer training and chances to move up in the company.
  • Make sure they’re paid well. Provide good salary and/or benefits to keep employees happy.
  • Offer support and feedback. Give them the help they need to do their best work and let them know when they’re doing a good job.
  • Consider outsourcing. Sometimes, hiring outside teams for specific tasks can help keep the company running smoothly and allow your in-house team to focus on their main work.

Now that we have explored the challenges you may face when looking for web developers as a startup, let’s discover the crucial steps of this search journey. 

We are going to cover a few important aspects, including defining the project’s goals, choosing the hiring model, conducting interviews, and more.

Let’s unwrap!

If you decide to find a programmer for startup, you need to remember crucial statistic on why developers matter in the process of product launch.

1. Define What You’re Building 

Before you hire programmers for your startup, ask yourself: 

What is my project about?

Knowing what solution you want to build guides your search for the right programmers.

Are you aiming for mobile users, web users, or both?

If you want a solution for both mobile and web, you’ll need developers who understand hybrid development technologies like React Native, Xamarin, Flutter, or Ionic.

For mobile solutions, decide between Android or iOS or opt for both. There’s no overlap in application development. An Android developer can’t create a native iOS app, and vice versa.

Also, iOS and Android apps require different software development kits (SDKs).

So, figure out the platform before hiring programmers for your startup.

Before founder will think about hiring a developer, he or she needs to think through tech stack to use in startup

2. Choose a Hiring Model

There are three most popular hiring models. Explore each option and select the one that best fits your needs. 

Project-Based Collaboration

Suited for a defined scope of work / one-time projects. This model is good when you have a clear idea of what needs to be done, and it’s a one-time job. You hire a team to complete the project, and once it’s done, the collaboration is finished.

Extended In-House Team

Fill gaps by outsourcing specialist roles needed to complement your internal team. If your internal team lacks specific skills or expertise, you can hire external specialists to fill those gaps. 

Your internal team manages the overall development process while external specialists handle specific tasks.

Dedicated Development Team

Get an outsourced team contracted for a period of time to work exclusively on your product. 

With this model, you hire an external team to work exclusively on your project for a set timeline. For example, you can hire dedicated backend developers or other specialists from SPDLoad. They will easily integrate with your in-house team and start contributing to your project.

This setup allows for better support of changing requirements, direct communication, and quick feedback loops between your team and the outsourced developers.

Choose a Hiring Model

3. Verify Technical Expertise

Before conducting the interview, you will be sitting with a big list of resumes.

So, the first task involves shortlisting these candidates based on:

  • Experience (Academic plus Practical)
  • What do they do
  • Number of jobs
  • Companies they worked in
  • Products they have helped develop
  • Plaudits and Recommendations (for online portals, check the reviews given by other clients).

In addition, you may choose to use pre-employment skills test to assist with shortlisting. For example, you could ask candidates to do a React skills test (or whichever languages & frameworks are important to the role). Then, you would only choose to interview those who scored highly on the test.

These aspects will give you half the answer to how to find programmers for your startup.

When you want to make sure someone has the right technical skills for a job, here’s what you can do:

  • Look at examples of their previous work, such as projects or code they’ve written. This will give you an idea of what they can do.
  • Give them small tasks to test their knowledge of using the technologies you need for your project. This helps you see if they can do what they say they can.
  • Talk to people they’ve worked with before, like colleagues or clients. This will help you confirm whether they really have the skills they claim to have.

4. Conduct Interviews

Once you’ve sorted out the best candidate based on their resumes, it is time for an interview. During the job conversation process, you need to evaluate two types of skills:

Soft Skills. 

These include the overall personality and presentation of the individuals.

Here are some important soft skills that you should take into consideration:

  • Communication
  • Punctuality
  • Active listening
  • Comprehension
  • Problem-solving
  • Team adaptability
  • Learning attitude
  • Creativity

Hard Skills are all about technical and subject-specific knowledge.

Attributes include:

  • Database management
  • Network Security
  • Development
  • Knowledge about languages, frameworks, and the latest technologies
  • Situation analysis
  • Damage control
  • Bug reporting
  • UI/UX
  • Storage Systems Management

Overall, during the interview, you need to pay attention to how the candidate communicates, what technical skills they possess, and whether they are listening to you actively. 

You want someone who has the right skills, fits well with your team’s culture, and can collaborate effectively.

Entepreneursh should remember these 2 basics before ask on how to find a programmer for thier product or startup

5. Negotiate a Contract

When you’re negotiating a contract, here’s what you need to do:

  • Define the scope of work and milestones

Figure out exactly what needs to be done and by when. This includes breaking the project into different phases – from the product discovery phase to MVP creation to development and testing. Set clear deadlines for each step.

  • Clarify payment terms

Discuss the salary, when it will be paid, and any extra benefits or incentives that might come with the job.

  • Set performance standards and flexibility

Explain what level of quality you expect for the work, how testing will be done, and what documentation is needed. Also, discuss how flexible the contract is in case things need to change along the way.

These were some of the most important steps to hire developers for a startup. Now, I’m happy to share with you some of the best places where you can find the specialists to join your team.

Negotiate a Contract

10 Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Here are the websites and companies where you can hire a developer for a startup. These are reliable and trusted resources that many skilled specialists use when looking for a new project. 

GitHub

GitHub is a platform for developers to collaborate on projects, share code, and build software.

With over 50 million developers using the platform, it presents an excellent opportunity to recruit developers for your startup.

You can search for developers based on their contributions to projects, programming languages, and expertise showcased on their profiles.

  • Pros: Access to a vast community of developers and visibility into developers’ work through their repositories.
  • Cons: Limited to developers who actively contribute to open-source projects.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Upwork

Upwork is a freelance marketplace where businesses can find freelancers for various projects, including software development.

To find potential candidates, you need to post job listings, review freelancer profiles, and then hire based on skills, experience, and reviews.

  • Pros: Large pool of freelancers, flexibility in hiring for short-term projects.
  • Cons: Quality may vary among freelancers, higher fees for businesses.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Wellfound (Formerly AngelList)

Wellfound, formerly known as AngelList, is a platform connecting startups with investors, job seekers, and talent.

It operates like a social media platform, making it simple for candidates to discover your job postings.

To post a job on the platform, visit Wellfound’s recruitment page. After signing in, you’ll be asked to fill out a form with details about your company.

  • Pros: Focuses on the startup ecosystem and the potential for finding developers interested in startup culture.
  • Cons: Limited to startups and may have less variety compared to larger job platforms.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer platform for programmers where developers can ask and answer technical questions.

Just like LinkedIn, Stack Overflow has a job board where you can post ads and hire developers.

Explore user profiles, view contributions, and participate in discussions to identify skilled developers.

  • Pros: Active community of developers, insights into developers’ expertise and problem-solving abilities.
  • Cons: It is not primarily a job platform but it requires active engagement to identify potential candidates.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Gun.io

 Gun.io is a talent marketplace that connects businesses with elite software developers for project-based work.

To find a perfect candidate, you will have to post project requirements and review profiles of curated developers.

  • Pros: Focus on quality developers, personalized matching, and project-based hiring model.
  • Cons: Higher costs associated with hiring top-tier developers.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Toptal

Toptal is a platform that connects businesses with top-tier freelance developers and designers.

To hire developers on Toptal, start by creating an account. Then, you can search for talent for free.

If you’re hiring a full-time developer, it typically costs between $2,000 to $3,200 per week. Additionally, note that you’ll need to place a $500 deposit to hire through Toptal.

  • Pros: Rigorous screening process for developers and access to high-quality talent.
  • Cons: Premium pricing may not be suitable for all budget levels.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Guru

Guru is a freelance marketplace where businesses can find freelancers for various projects, including software development.

You can post job listings, review freelancer profiles, and hire based on skills, experience, and reviews to find your perfect match.

  • Pros: Large pool of freelancers, flexibility in hiring for short-term projects.
  • Cons: Quality may vary among freelancers, and transaction fees may apply.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Lemon.io

Lemon.io is a platform connecting businesses with vetted software developers for project-based work. 

Their main promise is to find you a startup developer within just 24 hours. They follow a four-step process to check developers: first, they review resumes, and then they have a call to check soft skills and language abilities. After that, they test technical skills to ensure they’re capable. Finally, senior team members ensure candidates are enthusiastic about startup life.

  • Pros: Simplified hiring process, pre-vetted developers.
  • Cons: Limited to project-based work, developers may have limited availability for certain technologies or skill sets.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Working Nomads

Working Nomads is a job board that curates remote job listings from various industries, including software development.

As the name reveals, this is a great place to find a digital nomad. Just browse remote job listings until you find a match. 

  • Pros: Focus on remote work opportunities and access to the global talent pool.
  • Cons: Job postings start at $150, but you can get discounts by buying three or five postings at once.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Spdload

Spdload is an outsourcing agency where you can find skillful and reliable developers for your startup. 

We specialize in providing full-cycle development, including MVP development, design services, web and mobile development, and more. When collaborating with us, you basically receive a team that works like in-house but is more flexible and without overhead costs.

Our team includes over 40 experienced developers. Contact us to learn more about how we can help. We value your time and respond quickly. 

  • Pros: Tailored software development services and direct communication with the development team.
  • Cons: May not provide as much flexibility as freelance marketplaces.
Websites to Find Developers for Your Startup in 2024

Custom Software Development for Startup Success with SPDLoad

Finding and hiring developers for your startup can be complicated, but that’s where our team at SpdLoad comes in. 

We simplify the hiring process for startups by providing carefully selected lists of expert developers who will match your needs and goals.

With our smooth onboarding, projects can launch successfully, and developers can seamlessly integrate into long-term plans. 

As a startup-focused agency, we put together custom teams with experts in everything your project needs – developers, designers, testers, project managers, and more.

You avoid the stress of hiring because we find and vet top talent suited to your project.

With over 10 years of experience helping startups, we understand the importance of timing, quality, and communication. 

From shaping your product to agile builds designed for fast growth, our support helps you achieve success.

Next Steps

In this article, we’ve untangled the challenges and crucial steps in hiring startup developers.

We’ve also discussed the top 3 hiring models you can choose from. These are project-based models, an extended in-house team, and a dedicated development team. 

Hiring developers for a startup requires careful planning, effective recruitment strategies, and a commitment to fostering a positive work culture. Prioritize these aspects to build a talented team capable of bringing your vision to fruition.

Our SPDLoad team is here to support you in your startup journey. Let us know what you’re building, and we will be happy to recommend reliable and skilled developers who can help you reach your goals.

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