Building a Winning Team: How to Hire the Right Talent for Your Software Development Startup


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Software Development Startup

In order to build a successful company, you need to have a winning team. What does a winning team look like? It’s a team that scales with you – one that learns to adapt to new environments and is eager to take on new challenges.

Hiring the right people is no easy task. In fact, recruiting talent is so difficult that, according to IBISWorld, there are 12,554 recruitment agencies in the United States alone!

Now, you are probably not reading this blog with the intention to use a recruitment agency and pay a 15-20% fee on your new hire’s annual salary. So, below, we’re going to outline our top 10 tips when it comes to hiring the right team for your software development startup.

How to Hire the Right Team: 10 Tips

There are a ton of things to consider when looking to hire the right software team. Work through these tips one by one. While it seems overwhelming as a whole, each individual tip is an obtainable objective that you can work through.

The 10 tips that are outlined below range from the very beginning of the hiring process to planning ahead and bringing on an individual you can retain. Let’s begin.

1. Clearly outline the job role and relevant responsibilities 

It is important to be incredibly detailed and clear in your job description when beginning your recruitment process. You want to be sure that the candidates have a very defined understanding of what their role will be. 

Along with a written description of the role, you want to include additional information that will help attract the right candidates to apply. Some of this additional information could be:

  • Required skills
  • Preferred experience
  • Unique qualifications

2. Build a strong employer brand

In order to attract the best talent to your application, you need to have a recognizable brand that communicates your company’s mission, vision, and values. 

If you are a smaller company without a large public presence, consider putting together a “career” page on your website that showcases things like your company’s social media presence, employee testimonials, team photos, etc.

3. Leverage multiple recruiting channels

If you want to have an effective recruitment process, you need to leverage multiple channels. You cannot just rely on things like posting to LinkedIn that you’re hiring. Consider avenues like creating social media posts, posting to job boards, as well as adding a banner on your website.

Although, the most important channel you can leverage is employee referrals. Your employees know your company the best, so their referrals will be the most effective in finding top-talent that is pre-vetted for your company culture. Be sure to offer a bonus to your employees if they recruit anyone who ends up getting hired. 

4. Competitive compensation and benefits

In order to get the best talent, you need to compete with the best companies. This means that you need to make your job position attractive. How can you do that: through salary and benefits. 

Make sure that you are offering industry-standard salaries to your team members as well as unique employee benefits. Some employee benefits or perks that attract talent can include:

  • Remote work
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Equity stake in the company
  • Mental health or wellness stipend
  • Flexible time off

5. Look for industry/role-related experience and skill-sets

When looking for the right person, you want to be sure that they have experience within your specific niche. This means that when you are assessing the applications coming in, you should put value in the candidates past experiences and breadth of skill-sets, even beyond what is required in your job description. 

6. Identify cultural fit

Someone who doesn’t fit your company culture will likely not stay with you, and that means that they are a costly hire. You want to hire team members who intend on staying and growing with you. 

One way to help facilitate this is through hiring people who align with your company’s culture. Make sure to ask behavioral questions in the interview process to ensure that the candidate aligns with the culture and values of your team.

7. Include a technical assessment in your interview

If you are hiring for a technical position, it is imperative that you include a technical assessment as part of your interview process. This commonly will be separate from the general interview. Maybe you do the technical assessment in real-time as a 2nd round interview, or maybe you do it as a take-home exercise. 

Whatever it be, you should be sure that you assess your candidates ability to perform the type of work you intend for them to take on.

8. It’s not all about technical skills

Be sure that you clearly communicate (and value in your process) that you are looking for a candidate who goes beyond technical skills. You want someone who also has necessary soft skills that allow for a good team dynamic and working relationship. 

Search for skills that center around communication, collaboration and problem solving. Look for candidates who demonstrate a willingness to learn, adapt and collaborate. 

9. Adapt to the remote-work trends

Remote work is one of the most sought after employee benefits in today’s modern digital age. Especially for engineers, who can do their work remotely, you should consider letting team members live where they want. This will help you attract top talent.

However, if you are going to allow for remote work, be sure that you are extra clear about communication style, working hours, deliverables, and expected deadlines.

10. Make the interview process a positive experience

The taste that you leave in a candidate’s mouth from the interview experience will influence their opinion of your company and whether or not they want to work for you, so be sure to respect the candidates that you interview. 

You can create a positive interview experience by clearly communicating the process the candidate will be going through, offering timely feedback, maintaining a professional demeanor, and respecting the candidate’s time by being punctual and not going over your allotted time.

Creating a positive lasting impression will not only help encourage candidates to want to work for you, but it will help strengthen your employer brand as these candidates talk to one another.

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