How to Find and Hire a Developer - Tactics that Work
“I need to hire a programmer…” does that sound familiar to you?
Because the problem is more acute than it might seem. Anyone who decided to launch a website or an app could not help but wonder how to hire developers able to turn the idea into reality. Whether it will be an in-house team or an independent programmer depends on your preferences as well as budget and goals.
In our blog post, we’ll consider various methods of how to find a software developer and make your cooperation fruitful.
So… let’s get started?
Most companies consider the process of hiring software engineers at least a headache, more often - a real challenge. This is especially true when it comes to newly created startups with a limited budget, which doesn't allow them a so-called trial-and-error period. And aiming to figure out how to hire good developers without overpaying, remember the main rule: always take your time! Don't rush, you may not have the second chance. It means you had better make the right decision at your very first attempt.
That’s why, before you decide to proceed with the recruiting process, be sure you’ve considered the next steps…
1. Know your development platform
In order to save time, budget, and avoid iterations, choose the platform your app must support. You must focus on your target audience and the technical features you’d like to have in your product.
iOS. Say, you need to build an iOS application. Thus you have to hire an iOS app developer who has expertise in XCode development environment. The iOS developer should clearly understand and operate Apple Developer Guidelines in order to ensure your application isn’t rejected.
Android. On the other hand, if you decided to hire an Android developer, ask if he/she knows the JAVA programming language (or the language, which is in demand at the moment, for Android technologies are constantly evolving).
Both platforms at once. Do you want your application to work on both platforms but cannot afford to overpay? Then you should hire cross-platform app developers.
Web. In this case, your goal is web experts.
Okay, you've decided on the platforms and realized what exactly you need: to hire iPhone app developers or find Android software engineers... but now your wishes and requirements need to be clearly formulated. This brings us to the next point, namely…
2. Create a well-written job description
Start by writing a clear job offer. And first, consider the following questions (the answers to them will form the basis of the job description):
What platforms should your specialist work with? We mentioned this in detail above, but it’s pertinent to dwell on such an important issue once again. In the end, you must know if you should hire iOS programmers, Android devs or web experts.
What programming languages must he know and what technologies should he master? That is, do you plan to hire a PHP developer, offer a job to a RoR expert? Or maybe you have other requirements in mind? What technology have you chosen to power your project?
What can you say about interaction format? Again, suppose you need a PHP developer. But there are a few options to choose from: hire PHP freelancers or prefer an office collaboration option. And if the second option is correct, you need to think of providing flexible working time (say, from 9-10 a.m. till 6-7p.m. IT experts are gonna love it!)
But don’t overdo it when describing your wishes to a potential employee. Avoid using long lists of job requirements and responsibilities. Focus on a candidate’s career growth and benefits. Make your candidates interested in your business and excited about opportunities within your company.
And by the way, if you want to know how to hire software engineers who will work remotely, you're likely to be interested in the next chapter.
3. Freelance websites
If you’re going to hire freelance developers, consider these websites to look for your potential candidates:
Upwork (formerly oDesk). Browse Upwork to find your specialist in the ocean of top-notch talents from all over the world. Hire freelance web developers or mobile ones (or whoever you need) and pay them per hour.
Toptal. You’ve probably heard of Toptal - a freelance development environment where you can get in touch with a designer or software engineer able to help your business scale. Toptal is a great international resource, which is in high demand among those who want to hire a programmer to make an app or a website.
Freelancer is the leading crowdsourcing marketplace by the number of users and projects. You post your project on the website, choose a proper specialist, and pay once you’re happy with your results.
These sites would be good options if you need freelance eCommerce developers. Also, we're going to list some more useful resources where you’ll find the right expert.
GitHub is the biggest social network where you can check samples of code. Developers use GitHub to exchange their current development projects. If you need specialists experienced in open-source technologies or want to collect more detailed information on potential candidates, then make sure to include GitHub in your checklist. It’s definitely a smart way to hire programmers online.
5. Design associations
Behance and Dribble are great instances of designers’ networks and communities. If you’re going to deal with a web designer or want to hire a mobile app developer, you’re free to search these sources. You’ll get inspired and discover numerous portfolios of amazing talents.
Using Behance you’ll find high-level designers, view their art projects as well as see whether candidates are available at the moment.
With Dribble, you can track designers’ works in progress. You may also use “explore by tags” features and filter your search. It’s very easy to contact designers through their Dribble accounts where you’ll see the designer’s location as well as his or her professional websites.
We’ve examined several steps on finding experienced web and mobile experts and told you about the best place to hire developers. Now let’s move on and have a look at methods you may apply during the hiring process.
1. Hire web developers passionate about their work
What we have in mind is to find a computer geek obsessed with programming and learning new stuff. Great programmers adore what they do. They’re used to coding after work, at home, during their lunchtime or even vacation. For them, this is their lifestyle and not just a method to earn a fortune. They’re very enthusiastic about their work. They learn new programming languages not because they’re obliged to but because they’re computer madmen.
Software development is a constantly progressing sphere. Each year new technology appears thus replacing the old ones. Due to this, the standards of the IT area often change, which complicates the task to find and hire a software development team.
Besides looking for amazing talents and software rockstars, don’t neglect a programmer’s soft skills, they’re extremely important in the business environment. A really good developer should be… (take a look at the picture!)
Remember: you have to find people who will be a cultural fit for your company. This will make the working process smoother and more effective.
2. Check their portfolio
If you intend not only to hire a software developer, but also to be satisfied with the subsequent cooperation, ask your candidate to share his/her portfolio and show you references from previous employers.
Very often, when you examine your candidate’s resume, you come across a long list of various programming languages, platforms, and technical skills. However, the number of real development projects isn’t so impressive.
You can access GitHub and delve deeper into the developer’s account. You’ll see the project to which he/she contributed as well as the way an engineer writes a code. This is a great means to check samples of the candidate’s code and evaluate his or her from a technical perspective.
Check if the UI/UX of their apps is user-engaging. An effective and aesthetically pleasing UX is considered to be half of your app or website success.
These procedures may increase the average time to hire software engineers, but you'll save it in the future when you start working together.
3. Ensure your developer understands your business
This is one of the crucial steps in choosing your perfect candidate. It’s important that a programmer sees the idea behind your project thus speaks the same language with you. Or at least make sure you’re able to really inspire him by showing the fascination of the upcoming work.
4. Give a test project
The best way to check the developer’s skills and expertise is in practice. Give a programmer a real project to test his or her approach to work as well as technical skills and time management. It’s the less risky method to consider when hiring programmers for a startup.
5. Ask rational questions
You don’t need to be a technical wizard to hire a developer. Check your potential candidate's fit and capabilities by asking the right questions.
Could you describe your latest project?
An experienced and qualified engineer can easily provide you with examples of past projects and apps that he/she created. A qualified developer will be eager to share the links to App Store and Google Play. In case you deal with a novice, your candidate should be honest about his/her contributions to the app development.
Who were your clients?
Speaking with your future candidate about his/her clients might be very helpful and demonstrate how the person handles and communicates during the development process. Pay attention to the developer’s tone when he/she discusses the projects: if he or she speaks excitedly and can share real examples from working practice it means a lot. You may always ask for references or contact previous employers through social media channels.
What is the best way to implement the monetization process?
Your future programmer should know about implementing monetization features into the app as well as an efficient way to reduce software development time.
Among other questions that you should ask a candidate if you want to hire software developers online are the following few examples, such as...
Can you describe our interaction during site or app development?
In order to make sure your developer is on the same page with you, get deeper into how he/she will communicate with you during the development process. To be maximum effective and successful, you should focus on the candidate who communicates consistently, collects feedback, deals with obstacles, and sticks to agile methodology.
How will you test and maintain my app after it’s launched?
The creation of the app is half the business. What comes next is testing and maintaining it.
Testing should take place during development itself, and user support must be 24/7 after the app launch.
Of course, a single freelance developer can’t guarantee full-time maintenance, while a web development company with a QA team and support desk would be able to assure a much stronger and polished outcome.
What else is important?
According to the Stack Overflow, the largest community for the developers, once you have a perfect candidate and you want to continue your cooperation, remember about the job opportunities. Among the most important things is the ability to learn and grow, work remotely and use a flexible methodology.
When it comes to technical talents, there is a huge supply-demand disparity. In fact, there is 1 available developer on 5 potential jobs. As of April 2017, there was a 98% employment rate.
It's time to talk about one more thing, which is really significant if you're willing to hire app developers... the cost factor!
The cost of hiring a software developer
You should consider the cost factor as the most important when you want to hire a mobile app development company or a software engineer. It all depends on both the programmer’s technical competence and years of experience and location.
Let’s take a closer look!
Office worker vs. Freelancer vs. Company
Usually, staff developers earn more than freelances. It means you’ll have to pay them more too, but you’ll be able to better control their work.
And, of course, hiring a software company is the most expensive option… on the other hand, it’s also the most trustworthy way to achieve the desired result. The reason is that when you interact with a company you get a team of engineers, designers, QA, project managers, and business analysts. And they’re skilled enough to help you solve your problem in the best way.
Among others, the cost of hiring an app or web developer depends on such components as the scope of the project and platform. Alas, it’s hard to predict in advance how things will turn out. The market situation, the demand for experts (which is changing), and so on, play a role. And the price to hire Android developers may cost more or less than the price to cooperate with another specialist… also, sometimes the salary and rate of experts are influenced by specific technologies that will have to be dealt with. So you should make your own desk research first!
In many countries, the cost of hiring a software development company is too high. That’s why it’s preferable to outsource software project to another country capable of building a product less costly.
As an example, let’s consider Eastern Europe. The quality of web and mobile development and the knowledge of software engineers are considered to be the highest and advanced globally. This is like winning a lottery because at the same time the price of IT services is among the cheapest compared to the USA or Western Europe. An average hourly rate in Eastern Europe varies between $25-55. It includes such countries as Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Baltic states.
To summarize how to hire an app developer, we'd like to remind you of the need to build relationships and communication with your employees. Find someone whom you can rely on and who is interested in growing your business. Focus on the value that a developer might bring instead of cost.
Following our advice, you’ll find the specialist you really need. We gave you all the necessary tips! Even difficult cases (say, how to hire game developers) aren’t a hopeless option if you approach the matter wisely.