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5 Lessons Learned From Hiring Developers

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5 Lessons Learned From Hiring Developers

Hiring can be a difficult process, especially in a field like development where there are so many candidates. Follow these five tips to make your process a little easier.

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Hiring Must Be a Top Priority

In most tech companies, especially those fast growing ones, hiring is a top priority. People are one of the core success factors for every tech company.

Or as Sam Altman from YC states:

Mediocre teams do not build great companies.

Define the Responsibility of Hiring

When looking at most startups and small companies, we see that hiring is a big topic among CEOs and/or co-founders. In most cases, small companies do not have their own Human Resource department or an HR person.

The responsibility of hiring people is mostly assigned to the CEO or is shared between the co-founders.

Moritz Plassnig, CEO at Codeship, wrote this great piece on hiring, and why hiring is the single most important skill as a founder.

Hire the Best Full Stack Developers You Can Get

In general, there are quite a few discussions on whether to focus on hiring specialists (e.g. front-end, back-end developers) or generalists (full-stack developers).

Depending on your team size, your answer probably differs. For us, as a team of 5 – 10 developers, one of the biggest lessons we learned was go general.

And hire the best full stack developers you can get.

Or as Raquel Velez from npm put it in her talk at ScriptConf: “No one in our team is an expert in anything.”

Hiring is not magic, it’s not luck, it’s a skill.

Being a full-stack developer requires you to know about all the front-end technologies and all the back-end technologies.

It demands that you know all of the programming languages. Or at least the most used ones.

You need to be good at working with everything, ranging from databases to user interfaces and the stuff in between. But is that even possible? Is it unrealistic to expect someone to be good at everything?

Hire a Diverse Team

According to Stackoverflow’s developer study, 73% of all developers think that diversity is “at least somewhat important in the workplace.”

And even more important, developers who influence hiring decisions are “more likely to believe in the value of diversity” than other developer types.

Hiring a diverse tech team is not easy, however, it must be on everyone’s list.

Hire for Cultural Fit

Don’t get me wrong here. If you do not have the required technical skills, cultural fit won’t save you.

However, it’s easier to teach someone technical skills. Teaching someone how to fit into our culture, on the other hand, is close to impossible.

I don’t want to state that you need to find people who are similar. It’s pretty troublesome in the long run if you only hire developers with whom you can be best friends.

Overall, it’s important that the people you are going to hire share the same company values and visions.

Wrapping it Up

As stated in the headline, hiring developers is not easy. There are quite a few obstacles you need to overcome. And even if you’ve found the best developer who is willing to work for you, you still need to ensure that you’re building a diverse team with a shared vision.

As remote work is gaining in popularity, you also need to find a clear answer on where you stand on that topic.

As we at Usersnap are still growing the team, I’m sure that there will be many more lessons we learn in the upcoming months and years.

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