Promising ideas and efficient teams are what makes startups successful. So why do two out of ten startups die within two years, followed by only one out of ten staying afloat? Young companies need good developers in order to meet with success. In this article, we will talk about the options for cooperating with them and touch on the issues of motivating technical specialists.
Creating a startup: difficulties and challenges
A startup is a young business at the beginning of its path. Startup founders have an innovative idea and a desire to implement it. But both assessing the project profitability and planning resource is difficult in the early stages, which makes such a campaign risky.
Another challenge when creating a startup is to form a team correctly. Startups begin with a small number of employees who combine two or more roles – developers perform tasks of project managers, and so on.
How to select candidates for a team
Qualification is an essential parameter when recruiting developers, which consists of technical skills, experience, and interpersonal or soft skills.
Technical skills imply mastery of development tools: programming languages, algorithms, platforms, etc. To confirm their technical skills, candidates are asked to complete a test task.
Experience is about knowing how to act in a given situation. The more situations a developer has gone through, the more experience they have. The experience should be consistent with the goals of the startup. A rich background and a large number of completed projects allow developers to act more confidently in stressful situations.
Team members should know how to communicate with colleagues, customers, and the manager. Specialists who clearly render their thoughts can successfully convey their ideas to people they talk to, react adequately in conflict situations, and work productively. All this contributes to a calm working environment and mutual understanding within the team.
Where to look for developers
There are several options for cooperating with a development team. You can hire in-house specialists, involve freelancers for a specific project, or outsource development services. Let’s take a look at each of these options.
Working with freelance developers.
If you know for sure what kind of specialist is needed and for what tasks, you can quickly start working on your project. The main advantage of this approach is that you are not limited geographically. In the era of remote work, hiring freelancers has become even more popular.
Working with freelancers is not as expensive as in the case with the other two options. You select specialists, taking into account your budget, and save on office rent, equipment, etc.
The disadvantage of working with freelancers is that it is difficult to build an incentive system when a team consists of individuals and everyone works for themselves. You can motivate freelancers financially, but raising their team spirit is almost impossible.
Working with freelancers from other countries is accompanied by time differences, differences in mentality, and other issues.
With this option, the employer delves into the process of headhunting. Employing implies a long-term relationship, so it’s worth taking a closer look at the candidate. Involve your HR department or contact recruiting agencies.
In order to hire full-time staff, you need resources and money. The employer pays salaries and incurs additional costs associated with illness, maternity leave, and other circumstances. Think about whether your business is ready for such serious steps.
Outsourcing means that a business delegates the work on its project to an external development team. Hiring an outsourcing team is more costly than hiring freelancers. It’s often about long-term projects where expertise is required.
The advantage is that you choose a ready-made tight-knit team with relevant experience, where employees work harmoniously. The partner company can also replace part of the team, if necessary. Collaboration with well-known outsourcing development companies like, for example, Andersen, gives confidence in the quality of work.
To decide on which of the three collaboration options to choose, consider the long-term and short-term goals of your startup. Some companies come up with the decision to apply a combined option – they hire a couple of in-house specialists and involve third-party teams if there is a need to scale the project.
How to assemble a strong team: lifehacks
Searching for and hiring IT specialists is a process that will become ongoing in your company. This is because the IT sector is constantly changing: the sector scales, market conditions fluctuate, and so on. Here are general tips on how to act when recruiting specialists for your development team:
Make sure that your team has a professional CTO who ensures the proper functioning of the technical processes.
Find the balance between qualifications and soft skills. The experience and technical skills of professionals are as important as their ability to interact and communicate with others. The best option is when a person possesses both. But bear in mind that gaining technical experience is easier than developing soft skills.
Divide the job interview into several stages. People manifest themselves differently in different situations. An online interview, live communication in the office, a written test task, an online programming task that is to be implemented right at the interview – the more steps a candidate goes through, the more chances you have to assess them.
Consider candidates from other countries. The challenges associated with timezone and mentality differences are minor compared to the benefits that strong specialists will bring to your project.
Don’t underestimate recruiting as a challenge. Finding and hiring personnel is as labor-intensive as other processes in the company, especially in today’s highly competitive hiring market. The quality of the HR work affects the business efficiency. Assess and plan the recruiting process accurately because, for some positions, recruiting can take a significant amount of time.
Share company plans and goals with employees. Motivate your future developer and share your ambitious plans with them right at the interview. When processes are transparent, employee trust and motivation are higher. By engaging candidates in the company’s plans and goals early on, you are investing in their future performance.
Seek advice from specialists. A startup is the beginning of a long journey. There are specialists on the market who are ready to share their knowledge if you don’t know all the nuances. Take advice, attend seminars and specialized exhibitions. Saving on expertise at the beginning of the journey can result in huge costs when the project is already in commercial operation.
Finally, here is a piece of advice on how to motivate developers to work effectively. IT staff has several levels of motivation: financial interest, the opportunity to gain new experience and grow, work on interesting products, and communication with experts. When you involve like-minded people in projects, it is easier to motivate them in the future.
One of the key factors for a startup’s success is a strong technical team that is hired, outsourced, or composed of freelancers. It is essential to select the right specialists and provide them with a sufficient level of motivation.