The first developers you hire can make or break your company, and finding the right candidate is a very difficult task if this is your first startup. We’ve compiled a few pieces of advice for you to get started.
1. First Know Your Product Very Well.
The clearer a mindmap of what it is you’re trying to build, the easier it is for you to find the right pieces and figure out how you want to put them together. The ideal scenario is to have a technical cofounder or at least someone who’s been in the industry long enough to have that granular understanding of the product you want to build.
You may not have a technical cofounder. It isn’t the end of the world. Rest assured, you need to develop that granularity yourself. Either way, your investors will want to know that you know what you’re doing. Your clients might not have the nose for it, but they are the final judge of how good your product is at the end of the day.
2. Make Sure They’re Polyvalent
Small teams, big loads of work, that’s the bane of any new budding startup, which means each member of the team must show a number of different skills. In most cases, you should turn toward full-stack developers to reduce the number of employees needed, but they should also be able to handle some IT, and maybe some app development too!
3. You’re Better Off Starting With a Senior
All that knowledge and polyvalence is hardly ever found in juniors, which is why it’s in your interest to at least start with a senior. Remember, this person is in charge of translating the vision of your company into a technical tool or platform. You want someone who isn’t learning from scratch but rather building on years of experience. The challenge here is that a senior is likely to be a specialist, so you’ll have some work to do in order for them to leave their comfort zone. And lastly, a senior might be more expensive than you are initially willing to commit to, but it will pay off in the long run.
4. You Still Want to Consider Juniors
If you’ve already found a senior to head the technical side of your business, you’ll want to start recruiting juniors. They’re usually full of energy and eager to work hard to acquire experience. The downside for you here is that they absolutely need a learning phase. That’s OK, hire for attitude, train for skill. Your first concern is to find a candidate that is autonomous and entrepreneurial; a fast learner with a knack for finding solutions. Finding such people is hard but highly rewarding on the long run.
5. Whoever They Are, You Need a Shared Vision
Junior, senior, front end, back end, full stack, no matter who you choose to hire, first make sure they share the vision and values of your company. The earlier the hire, the stronger the need for that bond. Your first employees are the ones who will have the most hours of sleep to sacrifice and the biggest workload. They need to believe in what you’re doing to keep their motivation and involvement high at all times.
If the people we’re talking about sound hard to find, it’s because they are. Hire the first candidates you find and you risk crashing faster than you found them. Take your time to choose them and they can help take your company further than you even imagined.