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It has been estimated that 90% of startups fail. And within such common reasons as lack of planning, emotional pricing and wasted advertising budget there is one more driving reason that you can omit even before launching your startup — incompetence of developers.

Incompetence is a collective concept and might denote a lack of knowledge or experience, inability to write code, or writing a code that is hard to maintain, suffering from lack of productivity or not delivering on time. If any of the meanings of the word “incompetent” can be applied to a software engineer, the truth is that you don’t need such an engineer. Whether you are hiring software developers for a small startup or a large multi-million project — you should understand a golden rule: an awesome developer is ten times more efficient than an average one, so it’s definitely not a thing to save on. But even if you are emotionally and financially ready to hire software developers that charge a lot, please mind, unless you have a genie to grant your wishes, it will take effort to win in this war for talent.

We prepared for you some helpful tips on how to hire software developers unless you have a genie, of course.

Tip#1. Represent yourself

Best developers want to work for the best companies. Therefore, before starting a hiring process, make sure your company looks representative, as you won’t have a second chance to make a first impression. Your company’s website and clients’ referrals on Clutch make the image of your company. Some of the candidates may apply on a job posting and others will definitely check it after you invite them for an interview. Make it simple and transparent: structure the requirements, the purpose of hiring, salary, and company perks.

Tip#2. Find a real talent

It’s not a secret that the hiring process starts long before an interview. Don’t expect to see a first-class engineer with a plate “a software developer for hire” on LinkedIn. You need to search in the best places to recruit a software engineer that will meet your demands. Here, we would recommend you to start from personal networking. You definitely know some outstanding developers, ask them for personal referrals. An a-level engineer will recommend only an a-level engineer, it’s a rule of thumb.

Some other places for talent search are:

Technical posts and blogs

The people writing about their job and sharing experience are the most passionate about what they are doing. Apart from an inartificial interest in the field, you also get an insight into the developer’s technical acumen and problem-solving approach.

Technical conferences

Top experts gather there to exchange the knowledge, demonstrate their expertise, and just to have a small talk and a drink. Why not take a chance and visit such a conference or delegate someone? Even if they are not currently looking for a job, they may recommend someone. And you remember, an a-level engineer always recommends an …, right?

Open source code sites

On such sites as GitHub and SourceForge, you can not only find potential candidates but also evaluate their codes.

Tip #3. Evaluate technical competence

Once you have found a software developer for hire, you need to check their technical acumen. You can ask “I’ve seen a perfect resume, shall I still conduct an interview?” The answer is — for sure! Some of the developers are not very good at “selling themselves” and you can still sort out some great candidates, while the others can exaggerate a little (or not a little) their self-reported skills. So, a technical interview consists of:

A deep insight into the programmer’s portfolio

The best idea is to do it beforehand, as you can prepare some questions based on the context of previous projects of the developer.

Assessment of technical experience

Ask questions based on the nuances of a programming language or technology you are hiring for. Present a candidate with a programming challenge and ask what code solution would they offer. It’ll help not only to check the knowledge of computer science but also to estimate the creativity and problem-solving skills of the developer.

A short technical test

Prepare a short programming test with some problems to solve and bugs to detect. Encourage a developer to explain their thought process and share the ideas of the code improvement.

Final thoughts

So… You have published a job posting, ensured your company’s image is great, found some great candidates, conducted a technical interview, and now it’s high time for a final decision. If you are lucky to have a choice, we highly recommend having your decision based on your feelings. It might sound subjective but having a day-to-day interaction with a person whom you and team members find unpleasant may not only reduce the productivity and speed but also cause a lot of misunderstandings inside the development team.

We hope, these 3 simple tips will help you to hire software engineers that are best in the industry.

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