Software Developers for Startups: How and Where Small Businesses Can Hire Engineers

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Your software development team is essential for the success of your startup. You have to invest time and effort into building a team of professionals who will turn your dream idea into life.

Luckily, there are a couple of approaches that you can take. The most popular approach that was used for many years is to hire in-house developers through recruiters. However, 2020 did bring changes in here as well. It became harder to hire in-house through personal on-site interviews. Businesses started to consider freelance and offshore opportunities and many others. Keep reading and find out all the approaches to hiring developers out there.

Top 5 Ways for a Startup to Find Software Engineers

1. Hiring In-House Developers

Hiring in-house developers gained its popularity due to the numerous advantages it has. First of all, the in-house development team that works full-time will be more committed to your startup, and more interested in company culture and its growth. Secondly, face-to-face communication is more clear and efficient. Thirdly, you will be able to change features or design faster. There are 4 main ways to hire an in-house developer:

  • Recruiters

Recruiters are able to find the best fit for your organization. A good recruiting team knows exactly who you need, what skills to look for in a candidate, and what candidates are the best addition to the existing team. Yet, you have to find these good recruiters first and their service can be quite expensive.

  • Referral

If you have a good network, you can ask around and tell people that you are looking for a software engineer. Usually, acquaintances have a person they know that can be interested and has a wide skill set. Yet, you have to think critically since a referral does not always mean that potential candidates are really good.

  • Networking Events

Job seekers can be found in tech conferences and hackathons. In such an atmosphere, you will be able to get to know potential team members without the pressure of the office. You will be able to know them as people and tell more about your startup than you will be able to do so on a job posting. This channel is not available during the quarantine, though some networking online events still can be an option.

  • Top Job Boards

The job posting is somehow a passive hiring process. You sit around and wait for the programmer to see what you have to offer. Yet, you can be specific about technical and soft skills in the job description. Moreover, it is very cost-effective. You can visit, Indeed, or GitHub to find the best developers.

2. Hiring Remote Developers – Outstaffing

The outstaffing hiring process means that you have a trusted person within your company who hires other web developers and maintains them while they are working remotely. Apart from the tech leadership duties, the trusted employee`s responsibilities are wages, bonuses, task distribution, team motivation for a remote team.

You will have full control over the development and access to every member of your remote team. This approach is a good decision for startups who need to extend their development team but its functionality is questionable if you do not have a trusted person who can manage the remote team.

3. Hiring Remote Development Team – Outsourcing

If you are at the early stage of the startup and are looking for the whole tech team, it is better to choose outsourcing. This approach brings you a wide pool of advantages:

  • Cost-Effective

You can outsource developers from Ukraine, Poland, or Brazil that have much lower pay rates than the professionals from Silicon Valley and you get the same or better quality of work if you hire developers from other countries.

  • Time-Saving

Outsourcing companies have a bench of professionals from different spheres ready to start a new project as soon as possible. They will be able to find the best fit for your project in a matter of days.

  • Experience in Development

Outsourcing teams are involved on a project basis which means that they developed drastically different solutions. Their problem-solving skills are on point and they are able to grasp new projects surprisingly easily.

  • Focus on Business

Outsourcing companies do all the project management: they set KPIs and deadlines for the team, control their achievement, motivate workers, and so on. Basically, you give over all the responsibility over the tech team and its tasks to another organization. Instead, you will have time for marketing, social media management, and brand building.

  • A Wider Tech Talent Pool

You are not limited by the office walls or country borders. You can hire talents from anywhere in the world and it is known that Eastern Europe and South America provide better specialists every year and are of high demand.

4. Hiring Freelance Developers

Freelancers usually do not take over long-term tasks and work remotely. Freelance developers are known to have lower pricing, a very specific skill set, and a flexible schedule. Yet, you have to make sure that the freelancer you have chosen is reliable: take a look at the portfolio and recommendations from previous project owners. It is hard to control freelancers as well.

If you do not care much about the risks, you can find a freelance developer on such big platforms as Upwork or TopTal.

5. Hiring Via Specialized Hiring Platforms

Hiring platforms usually provide you with the best developers out there: they have a thorough recruiting process where they check technical skills, language knowledge, and soft skills. They are secure since they are a legal tech company and have all the required documents. Hiring platforms can help not only in hiring but managing your team professionally, aim at long-term cooperation, and can help your startup to mediate with all possible problems with a development team. If you decide upon using this approach, take a look at YouTeam.


There are so many approaches one can take that it can become overwhelming. However, as soon as you understand how every other approach works, you will realize what works the best for your startups. In this article, we have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each hiring strategy (in-house, outstaffing, outsourcing, freelance portals, and hiring platforms) that, hopefully, helped you to find your best fit. If you want to learn more on this topic, you can find it in the article about how to find software developers for remote work.

Software Developers for Startups: How and Where Small Businesses Can Hire Engineers
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