6 Mistakes You Make When Hiring Developers for Your Startup or SMB | DistantJob - Remote Recruitment Agency
Hiring & recruiting developers

6 Mistakes You Make When Hiring Developers for Your Startup or SMB

Sharon Koifman
Founder and Remote CEO at DistantJob - - - 3 min. to read

Hiring the right developer to be by your side in your journey can be possible if you have the right hiring process. You should start with simple questions like 1) How do you hire a talented developer who will commit to your startup project? 2) Where do I find the best IT talent at an affordable price?

There might be a lot of questions, but with the right guidance, you are going to find the talent you are looking for.

Before diving deeper into the IT ocean, here are six mistakes startup hiring mistakes you should avoid when bringing a new developer to the team:

1. Searching For Local Developers Instead of Global

Understanding the vast landscape of available tech talent, particularly in the United States and Europe, is crucial for companies on the brink of expansion or innovation. It’s not just about acknowledging the millions of developers out there but about strategically navigating this pool to find the right fit for your specific project needs.

In this context, the sheer number of developers available globally is both an opportunity and a challenge. Yes, the odds of finding someone who not only meets the technical requirements but also fits culturally within your project team are in your favor. However, navigating this abundance requires a methodical approach, one that starts with you defining what success looks like for your project.

By outlining your needs, not just in terms of technical skills but also considering the cultural fit and work ethos, you stand a better chance of not just hiring a developer but forming a partnership. This partnership is pivotal, as the right developer can propel your project forward, ensuring not just completion but success in the truest sense.

In this video, I explain my experience in working with remote employees:

2. Hiring Developers in Freelancing Platforms

Freelance developers are an attractive option because of two things: 

  1. They charge accessible prices
  2. They get the job done. 

One of the most common startup hiring mistakes is assuming it’s easy to find a freelance developer who does an excellent job. Freelancing platforms are chaotic; a lot of bidders, and freelancers want just money and to increase their reviews. 

Most freelance developers never fully integrate into your company. So they might do an ‘Eh. It’s ok’ job instead of a ‘Wow’ job. Also, once they finish your project and get their money, they are gone because they have more projects in their minds. 

If you want a talented developer who understands the processes and the culture of your company, freelancing platforms are not the right place to find them.

3. HR Without IT Knowledge

Hiring developers without a solid IT background can lead to mismatches in expectations and reality, making it crucial for startups to involve recruiters with a deep understanding of tech or have someone in house, who can do the heavy lifting for you.

There are several unique ways to evaluate developers besides asking the typical questions. You need to get creative to hire candidates who are not only technically proficient but also a good cultural fit for your startup.

4. Hire a Developer Based Only on Reviews 

When you buy a product, you always want to have some reference if the product is worth it or not. The same usually happens when companies hire employees. Not that people are products, but employers want to get a reference about the person they are going to be working with in the future, and that’s reasonable. 

Yet, it shouldn’t be the only factor. For example, hiring marketplaces or freelance platforms have people with a lot of reviews, but this doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your company. They could be excellent at one skill, but they might be lacking another aspect that on reviews you wouldn’t be able to see.

When you are thinking about hiring someone, knowing their abilities and their personality gives you a hint if they are going to be able to integrate into your company’s culture and understand the goals you want to achieve in the future.

5. Having a Generic Job Description 

If you are hiring software developers for your startup, you need to make good job descriptions about the position you are trying to fill. If you want a developer, you need to know what kind of developer you want. For example, be specific if you’re going to hire a DevOps engineer, a Redux developer, or a Clojure Developer. (Especially relevant after a nasty breakup. Who doesn’t want Clojure?!)

Be creative and explain briefly but concisely what your startup is about. Don’t write a whole book describing the whole culture of your company – save that for your future Amazon bestseller – but stick to answering the top questions future candidates would have. For example:

  • What is the job position?
  • What is the company about?
  • What skills are you looking for?
  • What professional background are you looking for?

Companies that make generic job descriptions end up hiring an employee who has no clue about what they are asking them to do. The software engineering world is huge, so you need to know for sure what kind of developer you want to join your team.

6. Considering Just the Technical Skills

When you are hiring, of course, technical skills matter. Let’s say you want to hire a MongoDB Developer. In that case,  they need to be aware of what Namespace is, or the structure of ObjectID. However, they could be the Einstein of developers, and still not be the perfect candidate for you. They must know how to communicate (whether they are remote workers or not) in order to work in a team, along with possessing other skills that usually are not taken into account when hiring.

Have you ever asked yourself why so many new hires failed at a general level? According to a study by Leadership IQ, 46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months, and only 19% will succeed. The study also found out that 26% of new hires fail because they are unable to accept feedback, 17% are not motivated enough, 15% they have the wrong temperament for the job. 

Taking emotional intelligence into account and other soft skills can make a huge difference when screening for a developer. 

Best Hiring Practice? Seek the help of IT recruiters

Having a good developer means taking your company to the next level; that’s why hiring the right person for the job is not easy. These six mistakes are common, and they make companies waste time and money by hiring the wrong person for the job.

To get the best candidate for your company, you need to understand the IT world, know about the area you are looking for, and have the capacity to find the best talent.  So, how do you find the best candidate for your startup? By letting DistantJob help you.

At DistantJob, we specialize in IT recruitment. But not any kind of recruitment, we are headhunters. We search all over the world for the best candidate that suits your company perfectly. Our recruiters know to ask the right questions and to evaluate candidates not only based on their CV but with other strategies that allow them to see if they are the right fit for your company.

Interested? – Talk to us now!

Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman, the founder and remote president at DistantJob, specializes in recruiting top remote developers and spearheading remote workforce strategies. Sharon's approach combines cutting-edge remote recruitment practices with a deep commitment to building effective, globally distributed teams.

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Let’s talk about scaling up your team at half the cost!

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