6 Mistakes to Avoid when Hiring Devs for Your Startup

Developer coding in laptop and using computer

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 my 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 6 mistakes startup hiring mistakes you should avoid when looking for you your first developer:

1. Searching For Local Developers Instead of Global

This is one of the first common mistakes companies looking for tech talent make. Let’s take a look at the number of developers in the United States and Europe. 

  • In the US there are approximately 3.4 million developers
  • In Europe, there are about 5.5 million developers 

Just in Europe and the US, there are almost 9 million developers, and we are not counting other countries. Not only are there millions of developers thrilled to have the possibility of working from home, but also, the chances of getting the talent you were looking for are extremely high.

You have a larger pool of talent and candidates that not only suit your professional requirements but also fit perfectly into your company’s culture. Another significant advantage of hiring globally – besides having IT talent and happy employees – is that you save on costs. Many employees live in cities where the cost of living is less expensive. Businesses with remote workers save an average of $11,000 per year. Why? No need to pay for office space, electricity bills, supplies, coffee/snacks, etc. 

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 startups 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 wanting 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

This is another developer hiring mistake companies and recruitment agencies make. How can you hire the candidate you are looking for without having a clue about coding or the target development language? It’s almost impossible. That’s why if you want to hire developers for your startup, you need specialists that know about IT recruitment. Recruiters that are aware of what kind of person you want and which skills you are looking for.  

There are several unique ways to evaluate developers besides asking the typical questions. You need to get creative to hire the candidate you are dreaming of.

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 makes you get 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, or a Redux developer, or a Clojure Developer. (Especially relevant after a nasty break-up. Who doesn’t want Clojure?!)

Be creative and explain shortly 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 sometimes make generic job descriptions and end up hiring an employee that has no clue about what they are asking him to do. And the software engineering world is huge, so you need to know for sure what kind of developer you want to hire.

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 found out also 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 6 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 us help you.

Hire the best IT talent

In 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!

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Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman believes every company, from the biggest enterprise to the newly-launched garage startup, should have access to world’s top talent. That’s why he used over 10 years of experience in tech industry recruitment & HR to create DistantJob. His unique recruitment model allows DistantJob’s clients to get high quality IT experts working remotely at a fraction of the usual cost - with no red tape and within two weeks.