Software developer 15 min read 01/14/2024

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Hiring a Programmer?

Startups are some of the most in-demand for programmers – unfortunately, it’s not a level playing field out there; where often startups get edged for the finest software programmers by behemoth-like competitors.

Things are not looking good:

According to a ManpowerGroup survey, 69% of employers in the US had a hard time filling positions in 2020 - with tech positions (including programmers) the second hardest roles to fill. So how can startups beat off competition to hire incredibly talented computer programmers from around the web? (While this post could have run into tens of pages, we’ve highlighted a few essential steps you should be taking to stand up to today’s fierce competition for computer programmers.) To punch above your weight as a startup company, and stand a chance of recruiting fantastic freelance developers you must consider the following before anything else.

Have a clear requirements profile

It is super important to know what you want in a prospective coder before you start recruitment.

If you're at the pivotal stage of seeking a programmer to elevate your startup, you understand the importance of finding someone who not only has technical expertise but also shares your vision. Our job portal is designed to help startups like yours connect with top programming talent who can turn your ideas into reality.

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Empower Your Startup with the Right Programmer

  • Find Your Perfect Match: Attract programmers who align with your startup's goals and culture.
  • Easy and Efficient Job Posting: Quickly post your job opening on our intuitive platform.
  • Cost-Effective Solution for Startups: Post for free and focus your resources on growth.

Discover Your Ideal Programmer Now!

Now, let’s continue exploring what to look for in a programmer and how to ensure they're the right fit for your startup’s unique journey

Expert advice: Rather than weighing heavily on skill proficiency alone, look for a candidate that has some special interest areas to go with their skills. 

The benefit of such a profile is that it is such an intelligible way to land an applicant that can handle various responsibilities. For example, traits like creativity and hobbyist interests like writing are needed for many job functions. Additionally, it’s a logical path to create a custom-fit position for prospective candidates beyond traditional job responsibilities. That is, offer them an opportunity to use their interests on the job (or as the job). Ultimately, if you're a bit lax on canned requirements and open to tailored job functions, then it is much more likely you can trump even your most established rivals for the same candidate.

*Note: Creating a well-thought-out requirement profile should complement your business objective perfectly.

Communicate with sharp and hard-hitting content

Attracting prospective candidates with succinctly put website content or any form of copy is another no-brainer – no matter what industry you’re in. One simple reason is that as a startup you want to be taken seriously. And a vision and mission or an about page for example, that sings and soars can make potential candidates decide they want to pitch their tent with you. As a startup, you need all the advantages you can get. Project a forward-thinking, fun, and all-inclusive ambiance in your content. However, it is incredibly important to use snappy copywriting and visuals to pass your message so you can stand out from the crowd.

Why is this important?

Everyone wants to be part of something special - sell your company to prospects through content. By doing this, it won’t be a surprise if you have the best programmers contact you to be part of what you’re building.

Pay right

Attracting qualified programmers to your startup, most realistically through competitive pay, will give you a selling point that would benefit your chances of hiring the best programmer.

Sadly, for a start, it is not always possible - since as a startup, money is a constraint. So what do you do?

You have 3 options:

  • Hire a (Cheap) freelancer. We are sure you know the downside.
  • Work with a professional part-timer. You only need to find them from trusted online sites that have earned their reputation like EliteBrains. (More on this later)
  • Make promises of better pay. This is a turn off to many candidates

From our experiences, the second option is best. You get the value of an A-lister without the cost of owning and maintaining one.

Skills and qualities to look for in a good computer programmer

Cultural Fit

Recruiting the perfect programmer for your startup is like dating -  the right balance in chemistry, intuition, and beliefs plays a significant role in success. So with the right skills and the right conditions to do a good job in place, ensure he/she can fit into whatever you have going on in your startup without fuss. 

Cross-platform capabilities

Your ideal candidate should have a vast knowledge that will allow them to build web applications that can work across various platforms. Good developers have knowledge of multiple operating systems, are preferably experienced, and build apps that work on any mobile device as well as desktop.

And since user experience (UX) determines the success of an app. User interfaces (UI) must therefore be optimized for all platforms; a skilled software programmer should be able to guarantee stable, error-free, and safe operation across multiple devices, platforms, and operating systems.

In the end, he/she should demonstrate competency in at least any 2 of the following development environment:

  • Android Studio
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Xcode
  • Visual Studio
  • Notepad ++
  • Visual Studio
  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • PyCharm
  • PhpStorm
  • Eclipse
  • WebStorm
  • Xcode
  • Syncfusion

Mastery of Programming languages

Technical job requirements would vary depending on what you're trying to achieve.

That said, a good programmer should be skilled in the following essential programming languages:

  • Node.js
  • JavaScript
  • TypeScript
  •  Java
  • PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)

Cyber ​​Security

As a startup, you should pay attention to this - the stability and security of an app must be guaranteed. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the law or battling with hackers now and then when your time and resources can be better spent growing your company. A good developer works in a structured way, delivers (virtually) clean code, and uses the latest and best security tools with a view to encryption and data loss.

Hiring a programmer for your startup - The recruitment Process

The beautiful thing about looking for a programmer to hire online is that you can handle the entire process yourself. While advanced roles and skill tests may require expertise, most startups never need to concern themselves about outsourcing the recruitment process.

That being said, there are the 3 stages you need to follow to help you enjoy a seamless and drama-free experience. They are:

Stage 1: Screen out the misfits

The most common stumbling block for most startups looking for programmers today is that they fail to identify red flags that signal misfits. Okay, so the obvious thing to do is to look at the applications you received and compare them against your must-have requirements. The delight is in the detail and knowing exactly what you want to achieve means you can instantly start weeding out weaker candidates in favor of the ones that will help you achieve your goals.

Stage 2: Interview

We recently had the CTO of a startup ask us how they could decide between options of candidates that made it past the screening phase. Form the look of things they were spoilt for choice. The key here is to try to access the candidate beyond their claims and make them demonstrate proof. Details count - their posturing, enthusiasm, communication, and oh yes, “evidence of competence” like we like to say. Not in all situations would you conduct a practical skill test for your candidates. You will have to find a strategy that affords you the highest returns but within the constraints of your business - meaning you could just have them share a code they’ve written and then discuss what they’ve done.

Choosing the right programmer for your startup is the best place to apply your natural disbelief. Ask questions during interviews, do not assume. Also, encourage your candidates to ask questions of their own. The interview is equally a process to determine the cultural fit of the candidates, so we advise you don't gloss over issues at this point. Finally, ask each candidate the same questions for the sake of fairness and to allow you to objectively compare candidates.

Stage 3: Make your decision

Now you’ve identified your most probable choice of programmers at this stage and chances are you already have your main shortlist of programmers. So how do you pick the best fit for your business? As any smart recruiter will tell you for sure: score applicants on skills, culture fit, and the outcome of their skill test. Your criteria may be more than this, but the aforementioned are the basics. Make comparisons based on the result gotten. Be unbiased and resist the temptation of going with a gut feel.

The next step would be to inform the successful candidate and make your offer. As for those that didn't make the cut, we strongly suggest you reach out to them as well - provide feedback and keep it humane. We assure you, should the table turn and you need their goodwill in the future, they would more than likely oblige you. Remember, you are running a business, and gathering as much goodwill as you can only do you good.

How to retain the programmer you have recruited

Many believe that once you have found a programmer and signed the contract, the recruitment is complete. Alas, that is when it starts. A masterfully executed onboarding process is crucial during the first few months is also critical.

It is not uncommon for programmers to change jobs after a couple of weeks. In order to ensure the investment you put into hiring doesn’t become futile, it is important to understand the person's driving forces and motivation. If you do not understand it, it is easy to press the wrong motivational buttons and it backfires.

Make your latest team member feel included and welcome: you can invite the person to lunch, organize a welcome party, introduce the person to different team activities, or get them a gift/treat. Think outside the box - there are tons of things you can do to send the right signal to your recruit assuring them they made the right choice.

Hire programmers online: A Breakthrough Solution for Startups

Do you know that more and more programmers desire flexible roles? It is therefore not surprising that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right candidate through job advertising alone. Traditional recruitment processes simply no longer work. The best programmers will more than likely never show interest in your call for applications - it is instead up to you who is recruiting to look for, contact, and sell the role.

This is where EliteBrains comes to your rescue.

EliteBrains aggregates some of the best programmers in the market today so you don’t have to look for them. And with that out of the way, you just home in on your choices and sell the role.

EliteBrains has:

  • Vetted and validated the claims and credentials of 8.300+ developers on the platform. All of the developers have to pass the 5-step testing process before being accepted to EliteBrains.
  • A structured network of IT professionals with varying levels of expertise and experience to meet the varying needs of any kind of startup.
  • 8 hours risk-free trial policy to test out the skills of the candidates.
  • Zero hiring fee and transparent pricing so there are no nasty surprises or upsells.
  • An unbeatable claim to supplying top software developers with reasonable rates.
  • A no-strings-attached policy that allows you to get top programmers on-demand without obligations to keep them when you're done needing one. 

So, for those of you who want to own your own recruitment process yet recruit the best-fit programmer, EliteBrains provides the opportunity.


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Our clients say

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With senior resources from EliteBrains, we are able to drive our digital harmonization agenda: Migration of different reporting platforms to QlikSense analytics and Harmonization of different digital detailing systems into Veeva CLM.

Jiri Matousek, Head of CRM at Hexal AG Jiri Matousek, Head of CRM at Hexal AG
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EliteBrains provided us with a top PHP developer who has been working for us for more than 4 years. Jan became indispensable part of our team within few weeks.

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