December 29, 2019 Last updated November 12th, 2020 1,216 Reads share

How to Hire Developers for a Startup

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The digital transformation in business has changed everything. No matter what industry you are in, technology is playing an increasing role in your business. Finding qualified people that can implement that technology, however, has never been harder.

Search for software developers on and you will get more than 108,000 openings. On there are 125,000 employers looking to fill software developer positions. ZipRecruiter lists more than 581,000 jobs in software development.

Attracting, recruiting, and hiring developers, especially for a startup, can be difficult when you’re competing with all those other companies. Candidates are stacking your job up against larger brands, higher salaries, perks, and benefits, and increasingly stringent immigration regulations. It will get even tougher in the future. By 2020, business consulting firm McKinsey predicts there will be a shortage of highly-skilled workers in the U.S. and Europe of between 16 and 18 million. That could mean companies may not be able to fill one in 10 jobs they need, according to the study.

If it sounds like a daunting task, it can be. Just posting a job and hoping candidates will apply no longer works in this environment. There are, however, things you can do to attract talent and tip the odds in your favor.

Clearly Define Your Job

“Developer” can mean a lot of things. Are you looking for a software developer, app development specialists, database developer, or front-end expert? The more clearly you can define the role, the better candidates you will attract. You will also cut down the time it takes to review and reject unqualified applicants.

Be careful not to make your list of skills a laundry list of everything you can think of. Focus on the key skills this position requires.

Use The Right Job Sites

The first thing you need to do is tailor your search to surface the right candidates. You may start publishing the job role on your business social handles like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, however, this is not enough. LinkedIn is one of the most popular social recruitment sites with 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn in order to advertise their job openings and seek out the right candidates. Leverage LinkedIn and its tools to target candidates with the right experience and skills.

Additionally, leverage job boards that are tailored to developers, not a general audience. Using the detailed language you created above will help as this audience may be looking for specific ways to grow their skills or specific language they want to work in.

Finding The Passive Job Seekers

If you’re only posting jobs on websites, you’re missing out on most workers.  70% of the global workforce are passive job seekers.  They’re working for someone else and not actively looking for work. However, they might be interested in the right opportunity.

If you have a budget to leverage automation tools, the right tools can help get your position in front of ideal candidates quickly. Tools like  Wonderkind or Joveo create ads for your jobs and run those ads online and get them in front of a qualified audience to attract candidates actively looking and those who are only curious about other opportunities.

Networking and referrals will be your best approach if you have zero or limited budget. You can also do some headhunting yourself by searching by skills, job titles, and companies on websites like LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, or GitHub. Participating in industry pages, forums, and online conversations can also help you connect with the right people.

Manage Your Online Presence

Active and passive job seekers are doing their research online. What they find out about you will have a significant impact on how they perceive your startup. Two-thirds of job seekers say any negative news or company reviews would cause them to stop considering a company.

Check out sites like Glassdoor and Vault to see what current and past employees have said about your organization. If there are negative reviews, you should try to address these with your current team and also be prepared to talk about them and the changes you are making organizationally to candidates.

You’ll also need to have a presence anywhere job seekers are likely to look. If they can’t find you when they search online, they may not view you as a viable company. Even if you are a startup, it’s important that you have professional content showcasing who you are and what you do.

When You Find The Right Fit

When you find the right fit, don’t wait too long to hire. The average length of the interview process for jobs in the U.S. exceeds 23 days.  For tech jobs, it’s even longer. Yet most job seekers say they accept positions within two weeks of applying. If you take too long, you risk losing out on talent.

Highly skilled workers have choices these days and they aren’t going to wait around for you to make a decision. If they are talking to you about a job, they are more than likely in the active market. That means they are also talking to others. If you are unable to offer immediately full-time employment, try to work on a project together. This can be a time to ensure the fit is great in terms of both talent and culture fit.

Outsource Your Development

Hiring top tier talent with the latest skills is expensive and difficult. Even if you can get them on board, there are still going to be knowledge gaps. That’s why many companies are outsourcing their software development.

You want the best company you can afford, but you also need to make sure you are hiring the right one. Not every software development company is the right fit for every app. There are hundreds of mobile app development companies online and it’s hard to tell which one might be right for you. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the top development companies worldwide and sorted them by price and development timelines.



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Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy

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