How to Hire Best Developers: 10 Rules
You’re a startup that could use a little help from a good developer or maybe your business is booming, and you should have hired a developer yesterday. Developers are in high demand, and the field is competitive, but maybe you don’t know how to hire developers or where to look.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone, as it can be a challenging feat for many companies. Hiring great developers doesn’t need to be difficult, particularly if you consider these rules.
#1 Network Carefully
Where would we be without networking? It’s a great tool to utilize when looking for a plumber at home and for finding a good person to hire in the office. Use your networking skills to find a developer but don’t stop there.
Sometimes when we network, we end up feeling obligated to hire someone because he or she knows someone who knows someone who knows someone (you know how it goes). If this person qualifies for the position, seems like a good fit, and will be an asset, go ahead and hire.
Never hire because you feel like you “owe it” to someone. It’s your company’s livelihood at stake, don’t worry if you’re offending an old coworker, neighbor, or distant relative.
#2 Search for Great Developers Online
Looking online for the right developer may be a bit overwhelming and time consuming. It’s worth the effort because there are some great developers out there, even if it means weeding out some not-so-great ones.
When you go online, head to where the developers look for jobs like Upwork, We Work Remotely, and Freelancer. You can create a job posting and if you don’t know how to write it or what you’re looking for, check out similar job postings first.
#3 Selecting Candidates to Interview: What Do You Want?
Your selection process is likely to be a bit different if you’re looking for an in-house developer or someone who will work remotely. Either way, you’ll want to have some kind of interview. So, how do you narrow down your options to select promising picks for a developer?
First, figure out exactly what you need from a developer (this should be figured out before you create a job posting). If you know little to nothing about developing, ask someone who does. Learning the basics, at the very least, will help you create the right job and ask the right questions at an interview.
#4 Don’t Automatically Hire the Best of The Best
You’re looking for a great developer, right? While you are looking for someone, who is well-versed in everything and can work independently without you checking in regularly, the best of the best may not be right for you.
“All-Star” developers often have a reputation for being hot-headed, far from humble, difficult to work with, and are just trying to find the next best gig. Some aren’t, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Do you want to simply be a stepping stone for a developer or a long-term place of employment?
#5 Pay Attention to Your Candidate’s “People Skills”
Even if you aren’t working with your developer daily, your ideal candidate should know what he or she is doing and have some good people skills.
If your company is pretty laid back and strives for positive reinforcement, an individual who is uptight and negative probably won’t get on well with others.
#6 Make Your Company the Place Where Developers Want To Work
Developers make good money, and even if some of them are “in it” for the money, most of them are doing it because they are passionate about the work. Be the company where the work (and the money) is good.
Even if you never plan to hang out with your colleagues at Happy Hour on a Friday, create a working environment where such an activity wouldn’t feel awkward or dreaded. Developers are looking for good work but also for a company that is supportive and appreciative.
#7 Ask the Right Questions
Interviews, whether done in person or via video conferencing, are obviously important in the hiring process. Many people hate being interviewed or asking questions, but it’s often the best way to feel someone out.
You don’t need to know as much as a developer to ask questions. If there are specific “techy” questions you want to ask, run them by a friend or colleague to make sure they make sense and will get an answer you need.
Asking general questions will tell you more about your job candidate as well as his or her experience as a developer. Don’t be afraid to get a little personable (within reason) and still stay on track professionally.
#8 Be Flexible When Interviewing
Even if some developers have a reputation for being overly confident, some may be extremely introverted and find comfort behind the scenes. Minutes into an interview you will probably have a good sense of what type of developer you are interviewing.
If you notice that your candidate is nervous, try to lighten the mood or even move the interview to a more casual space. Don’t call them out for being “awkward” just do your best to make them feel comfortable and avoid seeing their comfort (or lack of) as a “strike” against them or being disqualified.
#9 See How They Work
You wouldn’t hire a graphic designer without looking at some of his or her work; the same should be true for a developer. Even if he or she answers all your questions to your liking, you will want to see his or her work.
Again, this is a time when you should practice a little flexibility. Remember, some developers work independently, with no one hovering over them, and sometimes when the rest of the office is away.
Even if you would like to see how their mind works and see them in action, this may not be in their comfort zone. If your prospective developer is hesitant to do work in front of you, you can ask them to do a little “homework” and then ask them to explain the process step-by-step.
#10 Hiring A Developer vs. Hiring A Development Agency
In your search for hiring the best developer, you may wonder if it would be better to hire a full-cycle development agency. There are many factors to consider, and your best option will be dependent on your needs and expectations.
One of the major things to consider is whether you require a full-time developer. If you have projects that need to be done on a semi-regular basis (but not necessarily 40 hours a week), you may be hard pressed to find a developer. In this case, a development agency may be your best choice.
The cost is another significant factor to consider. Will you be paying your developer by the hour or a salary? Depending on the project and the work you need to be completed, an agency may end up being more cost-effective because there are usually multiple people working and the project is done quickly.
If you are afraid of overworking a developer with “too many irons in the fire”, but can’t find another developer to add to your team, a development agency can be a good move for your company.
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