How to hire great software developers for your startup - Eric Kryski

Great to see Eric put this into a blog post :slight_smile: I’ll quote the 10 item TLDR version, click through for details on each section.

  1. Determine if you really need to hire and whether you can afford it. I hate that I have to say this but so many times I’ve heard of people being hired at a startup and up-rooting their life, only to have to look for another job a couple months down the line.
  2. Pinpoint the skillset you’re looking for and actively seek out candidates yourself based on this skillset. Less ideal: have someone on your team or a recruiter do it (if you must) with your outreach template and guidance. However, reply emails should go back to the new hire’s direct boss.
  3. Pitch the person you want to hire similar to pitching an investor. After all, you are trying to get them to invest their life’s work in your venture. They should be excited about what you want to achieve or it’s not going to be a good fit during inevitable rough patches.
  4. Get to know them. What makes them tick? What do they want it life? How do they deal with adversity? Are they a good culture fit?
  5. Extend a fun , self-guided take home project and let them dictate their timeline and end goal. No on-the-spot brain teasers, trick questions, or pressure cooker whiteboard coding sessions.
  6. Have an odd number of their potential team members review their project. We use an odd number in case there is a vote split on whether to hire the person.
  7. Have a team member pair up with the potential new hire to improve their project and see if there is team chemistry.
  8. Extend an offer with a range of options for the person to choose from based on fair market value and what you can afford. Be honest with them.
  9. Onboarding with a buddy for 8 weeks with clear, achievable goals.
  10. Check in on progress every 2, 4 and 8 weeks. How are they feeling? How is their buddy feeling? Is this still a good fit?
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I would suggest that for any role, you want to be clear within the first three months if things are working – both for you as a company and for the individual as an employee.

Weekly sprints – and weekly 1-on-1s – can be used for this, above and beyond more formal 2, 4, and 8 week check ins.