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8 Strategic Steps to Hire Developers

Dec 21st, 2022

In our tech-forward, digital-first world, finding good developers is a crucial part of building any company, especially startups. Many new startups want to grow quickly, but may not have the funds to pay a team of experienced developers or software engineers. This puts pressure on companies to find the best talent.

The process of hiring a good developer comes down to networking, word-of-mouth referrals, and recommendations from those who have already worked with someone. Before making hiring decisions, you will want to take a look at a developer’s portfolio and assess the quality of their work.

Here is a breakdown of how to hire developers, including, 8 strategic steps for finding the best talent.

What are the challenges of hiring a developer? 

If you're reading this blog post, you're probably asking yourself, Where can I find good developers?

Finding top developers can take weeks of searching and hours of interviewing. You will also want to make sure you find developers that want to build with your community and mesh with your company’s teams. 

Costs

One of the main problems businesses face when hiring developers is cost, or being able to offer competitive pay and benefits. Most startups and small businesses don’t have the funds to pay experienced developers a salary that matches what one might expect from a larger company. 

Startups can offset these challenges by offering flexible working conditions such as remote-first policies, equity, and other benefits that might pay off in the long run. 

Outsourcing

With the rise of the gig economy in recent years, much of the workforce has chosen to freelance and work as independent contractors. Many companies need to navigate outsourcing developers because of the movement from full-time employees to contractors. Companies like WhatsApp and Slack started out by outsourcing developers in the early stages of their companies. In 2018, 37% of new businesses chose to outsource their IT teams/developers.

Networking

Another main issue that companies face when hiring developers comes from a lack of networking. Many new startups aren’t sure where to find available, dependable developers at a good rate.

Finding top talent

Across the board, finding reputable local talent has become challenging. Following the COVID pandemic, over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs. Although many believe "The Great Resignation" directly correlated to the pandemic, Americans were leaving their jobs without having a back-up plan long before the COVID outbreak. Studies suggest the US workforce is becoming much pickier about their jobs. Workers want jobs that align better with their values and that provide a better work/life balance. 

What are the types of developers?

  • Software developers 

  • Shopify developers

  • Web developers

  • Front-end developers

  • Full-stack developers 

  • Back-end developers

  • Java developers

  • Mobile app developers (specialized in native or mobile app development)

  • Net developers 

  • Ruby on Rails developer 

  • JS developers 

  • Android developers 

  • Python developers

  • iOS developer 

  • PHP developer

  • Wordpress developers

  • Native app developers 

  • React native developers 

  • AWS developers 

Other roles with similar development skills include:

  • Solutions engineer 

  • Customer support engineers 

  • Project managers 

  • Product managers 

  • Machine learning engineer 

  • Director of engineering 

Technology is always changing, and the best developers keep up with the latest programming languages. Many choose to work in multiple languages, with strengths in 2 or 3.

What should you look for when hiring a developer? 

When looking to hire developers, you should always consider exactly what type of developer it is you are looking for. Do you need a software engineer? Help with web development? An expert in IT and tech? 

Once you find the right type of developer for the job, you should always consider these components before beginning the hiring process: 

  1. Team players: Senior and experienced developers should be able to work in a team environment. Depending on where your company is at in the expansion process, the development team should be one of your top priorities, especially if you want to move developers from freelancers to full-time employees. Most developers will need to be able to communicate not only with other developers, but with marketing and other business units.

  2. Independent workers: As most developers will be working on their own for hours at a time, you will need someone who is also capable of completing tasks without much micromanaging. Most software engineers and other developers will need to be able to set the pace for their own projects while also feeling comfortable to reach out for any support. 

How do I hire a developer? 8 strategic steps

Here are 8 steps that can help your company/startup find the right developer for your needs. 

Step 1: Identity business needs

As you begin to outline your company goals, start by asking yourself, What does my business need help with? Do you need help with coding? What is the scope of your project? Do you need help with app development? Or design?

Depending on the answer, you might need a frontend developer with a UX/UI background, or a backend developer who is a database guru.

Step 2: Look beyond your current location 

You might not be able to find the perfect developer in your city, or even in your country. The good news is that now, thanks to remote work, businesses can hire developers from almost anywhere in the world by posting a job online. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for a developer with a highly specialized background. 

Step 3: Understand remote working policies/laws

Once you begin to hire developers in other states (or even countries), you will need to find ways to integrate them into your team. Consider factors such as time zones, potential language barriers, and what currency you need to make payments in.

If you’re looking for full-time developers, make sure to perform extensive research about what employment benefits are required in the country you plan to hire in. This will help you avoid any future litigation and tax problems.

Hiring employees from other countries puts you in the global marketplace and offers a number of benefits, but you may want to consider using an EOR service like Via to streamline the process. Via already has established entities and a legal team abroad to help navigate the process for onboarding developers across borders.

Step 4: Determine whether you need full-time employees or contractors

You will also need to decide if you want to hire full-time employees or independent contractors. Do you want the developer to become a full-time member of your team, or do you just need them to help you finish a few projects? For short-term projects, hiring an independent contractor makes the most sense. 

If you’re hiring developers abroad, the situation can become even more complicated. In some countries (including Mexico and Portugal) hiring an independent contractor is significantly more difficult. Before hiring abroad, consult with local tax and legal experts, or partner with an international onboarding partner like Via.  

Step 5: Network and search freelance websites/job boards 

Create a job posting and begin the process of networking and searching freelance developer websites. Seek out recommendations from trusted sources, such as other businesses, friends, or even family members who might know someone.

Step 6: Verify experience

No matter what your needs are for hiring a developer, verify and check their background. You don’t want to hire someone who could be a detriment to your business in the early stages. 

If you're outsourcing or searching for talent on freelance platforms like Upwork, always 1) read reviews on the developers and 2) ask them for examples of projects they’ve already completed. 

Step 7: Conduct interviews

After reviewing all of your potential developers' experiences and resume, conduct a thorough interview (either in-person or over a video call).

Try to interview a few candidates and pick someone who is passionate about their work and stands out to you personally. Checking for both technical and soft skills, including communication.

Here are some good first interview questions for hiring developers: 

  • How do you keep up with advances in programming, trends, and other changes in the field? 

  • Tell me about a project that you consider to be a success. What made it stand out? 

  • What operating systems do you have experience in? 

  • How do you handle stress related to work? 

  • How do you prioritize your tasks as a developer? 

You will also want to give your candidates a technical interview that tests their specific code skills. Years of experience can be a useful metric, but it doesn’t actually say whether a developer has the right skills under their belt, especially if the project is highly specific.

Step 8: Onboard employees 

Onboarding is a crucial step, even for contractors. A strong orientation program helps people feel safe and secure in their new position. 

Begin the onboarding process before their first day. Make their first experiences with your company successful and clear. Establish clear communication habits over platforms like Slack. Make it easy for new developers to reach out to their supervisors if any problems arise while they’re working through problems. 

If new developers feel like they have been properly integrated into the company, they are going to meet the goals and expectations for their projects without any hiccups. 

Should you hire a remote developer?

Yes! In our post-pandemic world, hiring remote developers is becoming the norm, with workers based all over the world. Working with remote developers opens the door to more top talent, allowing companies to expand beyond the traditional office setting. 

Why companies choose Via

Many businesses want to hire developers, but are unsure of how to navigate the hiring and recruiting process. Via makes hiring international talent seamless. With our-easy-to-use platform, Via manages the local HR processes for global employment such as work visas and permits, benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-or-record/entity, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team. 

With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors across borders with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace. You can get started in 1-2 business days. That’s why a lot of businesses partner with an EOR service like Via. We expedite the process of hiring and recruiting, setting up HR, and adhering to all employment laws in other countries. 

With startups, there is a bare structure and a small team behind the process that makes it extremely difficult to compete with larger companies who can offer benefits and higher salaries.

FAQs

How much does it cost to hire a team of developers?

The cost of hiring a developer will depend on what type of work you need help with and how much experience the person has. The average salary range for a developer starts at $27 per hour and goes all the way up to $330 depending on their experience and type of work. 

How much does it cost to hire a product developer? 

The average salary for a product developer is $27-$50 per hour, depending on their experience. 

How much do developers charge per hour? 

The average rate for developers per hour ranges anywhere from $27-$120, depending on the type of work and their experience. Some developers charge by project, as opposed to hourly.

How do I hire a developer in Canada?

To hire a developer in Canada, leverage your local network or check out freelancing websites like Upwork.

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Janelle Watson
Janelle Watson
My name is Janelle Watson and I'm a Colorado native. I have a BA in...

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