One of the most important things when creating a startup is the project team. It requires a lot of time and resources to properly assemble, and even then, there is no guarantee that the people you’ve found will work well as a group. The main question remains: how to hire developers for a startup (in this case, app developers) that fit your project perfectly? To answer that, let’s look at some important factors of the searching process.
When startups need new employees
There is a new business idea
Say, you have an idea that has the potential to generate millions of dollars in revenue. You need a developer to implement it, but you don’t exactly know what kind of expertise you need right off the bat. It’s good to make an approximate list of the features and capabilities you want in your application before going on a search for specialists. Remember: nobody knows the project idea better than you do, so try to make your requirements very clear.
At this stage, before making research and development, most startup founders have no idea regarding potential development costs, therefore, sometimes they may need to get a loan or get some money from crowdfundings, grants, friends, or relatives, to move forward even with the initial steps.
Since software development for startups is a costly endeavour, you have to make sure that the finances you spend on it pay off. The best way to ensure your profits is to start your research and development with a discovery phase and hire a qualified dev team with a proven track record to complete it.
There are four main strategies when you need to hire developers for a startup:
- entice an experienced specialist with your perspective idea;
- hire an employee for growth – e. g. a promising student or a recent graduate eager for the experience;
- hire freelancers;
- consider outsourcing software development for startups.
In general, it all depends on the person who came up with the startup. If the founder knows how to program, they can build the MVP independently; otherwise, it’s a common thing when tech startups hire offshore development teams. Some companies resort to having an IT professional on site, but currently, finding a reliable third-party developer is the most popular solution in the world of the gig economy and distributed teams. In fact, it’s recommended even if you do have some programming skills: since companies that offer outsourcing of software development for startups rely on the quality of their specialists to thrive, their field expertise allows them to deliver the most polished and resource-effective products on the market. What’s more, these offshore teams can totally alleviate the need to search for specialists again if you happen to need some new professional on board (a visual designer, for example). The flexibility and efficiency of these services make them the number one option for those looking to make their app idea a reality.
Having a ready MVP comes with some great advantages. It’s a project with a minimal set of functions that can give you, your customers, and the developers a glimpse into what the end product will become. Minimum features, minimum time, and minimum budget – in just a few months, you’ll be able to launch your startup (granted, the timeframe may vary depending on the software’s complexity). While you should have some funding prepared from the start, an MVP can be extremely effective in attracting investors to your project.
With the MVP as a base, a company that offers software development services for startups can begin to refine the product by constantly contacting the client, clarifying and fulfilling their requests. Therefore, it is important to hire developers for a startup who are equally proficient in coding and communication. Having your own IT department helps a lot, as being able to contact the programmer directly is a huge advantage. But if your in-house developer does not possess proper management skills, the amount of complex work is likely to become overwhelming; this may lead to the situation when tech startups hiring new specialists simply receive a poorly put together product. In this case, offshoring becomes the more cost-effective option. Remote teams tend to come with project managers by default, and the expertise they provide is irreplaceable when it comes to making research and development for startups at the stage of building an MVP. Essentially, the only flaw of hiring offshore companies is the possible lag in communication because of different timezones.
Where to find a developer for your startup
Let’s say you’ve found a free market niche, conjured up a lucrative concept, and think it’s time to turn your idea into a product. The first thing you should do when your tech startup hires developers is to structure your thoughts on the matter; try to understand what kind of specialist your project needs. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which developers do I need? Web, mobile, or desktop?
- How complex should the interface be, do I need a professional UX/UI designer?
- Do I wish to use any particular programming language, framework, or technology?
- What is my budget limitation?
- What is my time frame? Do I have a preferred release date for the project?
Take some time to review the competitors of your future product – how were they made? By demonstrating the examples of your competitors, you’ll give a clearer understanding of your solution’s concept and features to be delivered.
Before approaching a recruiting agency or outsourcing software development, a great decision would be to talk to a technical consultant, who can clarify which specialists you need and where to find them. A lot of companies that provide software development services for startups offer such an opportunity.
Enquire a free consultation with an expert from Bamboo Agile to determine what kind of software professionals you may need for the research and development of your project.
Where to hire developers for a startup
Acquaintances, friends, and friends’ friends
The software development for startups at the initial stage implies the creation of a prototype. If your budget leaves something to be desired and you want to work with the most trustworthy people, then tell relatives and friends that your tech startup is hiring developers and ask if they have anyone in mind. Briefly explain your idea to them: what you have already done, what else is needed, what role the developers will play in this process – this can land you a pretty affordable deal.
However, word of mouth needs to be taken with a grain of salt: while your friends and relatives may mean well, they might not have the proper expertise to judge the quality of the specialists they’re recommending. So, unless the person endorsing a certain developer is an actual industry professional who has expertise in software development for startups, it’s best to put your trust in other sources.
Jobs and Freelance Websites
The most common way to hire developers for a startup is to place a vacancy on such services as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, upwork.com, StackOverflow Jobs, freelancer.com, and so on. In this case, be ready for a tiring selection process. Mind you, experienced specialists tend to avoid startup offers and work in companies that can offer software development outsourcing with more stable prospects.
The problem is, the website method leaves the employee unable to properly organize the workflow. Development teams must work as a single mechanism, control is absolutely crucial. So if one engineer slacks off and only creates the illusion of making research and development, the whole project falls through. That’s not to say that all freelance programmers are no good – that’s just untrue. However, you should be extremely careful when choosing the perfect candidate. Don’t let your money go down the drain.
Outsourced software development services for startups
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the highest quality developers are generally found in web development companies that provide software development services for startups. The information on said companies is featured on such resources as DesignRush, Clutch, Goodfirms, etc. All data is compiled in lists, so finding the ultimate developer for you is very easy.
You may think that their price is too high, but in reality, outsourcing tends to be the most cost-effective option for startups. If you want to hire developers for a startup in-house, it is likely to end up more expensive because of the extra spendings that go into recruiting, arranging a workspace, sick days, vacations, and other full-time benefits and/or overheads. The process of outsourcing software development also removes the hassle of having to search for every single specialist yourself. This is especially convenient for those who are new to software development and aren’t sure what types of professionals their project will require exactly. One of the key features of outsourcing companies is their flexibility, so it’s natural for them to provide specialists that are perfect for all kinds of solutions. This sort of range makes them very proficient since they’re able to construct a team that will help your idea achieve its maximum potential.
So, in spite of the seemingly higher costs, all of the abovementioned factors make outsourcing the safest choice for delivering a top-notch product.
How to choose from the list
Searching for good developers is not as easy as it seems. If you decide to hire one, there are many criteria for finding a suitable candidate. Below is a shortlist of the main points to look out for when you want to hire developers for a startup.
- Portfolio. Decent developers have a respectable track record of completed projects. Check their portfolios. If your tech startup hires specialists of that type, ask them to submit some example projects with features similar to the ones you need.
- Testimonials. Trusted specialists should have a good number of positive reviews. Try to look for some testimonials and comments from the customers of the development or the company that you intend to hire. Of course, you can’t please everyone – sometimes a negative review is unavoidable. However, their percentage should be insignificant compared to the favourable ones.
- Reference. When looking for developers all on your own sounds daunting, you can always ask a specialist from a tech company for help. They will make research better than if you are looking for a developer by yourself. The main thing is that such companies can find the perfect match for your project a lot faster and will be able to more accurately assess the potential employee’s reliability.
How to secure your project when you hire developers for a startup
Your idea should be copy-protected, so be sure to take care of signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before starting software development. An NDA guarantees the complete confidentiality of the project. If you don’t want to put your intellectual property at risk, do not start research and development without signing this document.
Keep in mind that the wording has to be very precise in order for the measures to work as intended. Be ready to dedicate some time to make sure everything is laid out as clearly as possible; perhaps, consult a lawyer to check that everything is accounted for and formatted correctly. Not every freelancer will be willing to take on the commitment of an NDA, so be prepared for some of them rejecting the work on your project under this condition. In this case, outsourcing is a lot easier to deal with than the process when tech startups hire specialists in-house, since offshore developers are more than willing to sign such an agreement. A lot of these companies will help you compose the document as well.
Confirmation of the idea
The ultimate way of protecting your IP after a copyright infringement is a court proceeding. In court proceedings, it is important to prove that you began to work on the implementation of the idea in question first and that the other person stole the initial concept for software development they began. To obtain such temporal evidence, it’s recommended to write down all the information related to the idea on paper or on a disk, and then send it to your address in a sealed envelope. Once received, the envelope cannot be opened – it will become an important piece of evidence for the court. While not obligatory, it can turn the tide of a seemingly unwinnable cause.
Working with specialists from your country
Depending on your location, working with local specialists can be either very convenient or terribly inefficient. While tech startups hire professionals from your home country, it comes with a couple of substantial benefits, such as similar timezones, easier communication, and likemindedness (as well as a far more straightforward legal process), offshore companies might actually be more effective in terms of development costs. There is a good reason why many startups in the US and Western Europe prefer outsourcing software development to Eastern European and Indian specialists. The fact of the matter is, some countries have much lower tax rates and, consequently, much lower hourly developer rates. Considering the skill level of Eastern European software engineers compared favourably to their Western competitors, the lower rate makes them an obvious choice for many client companies that need research and development. International copyright laws still apply, so as long as you sign an NDA agreement, you have very little to worry about.
Hiring developers for a startup is really hard work. Whether to choose in-house developers, freelancers, or a company that offers custom software development services for startups is up to you. However, as mentioned above, offshore development companies tend to provide the best value for promising startups. If you have an ambitious idea of your own but aren’t sure how to set the development in motion, simply contact the Bamboo Agile team by filling this form. Our industry specialists will gladly give you a free consultation and help solve your tech startups hiring problems.
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