Best Guide to Find and Hire Developers for Startups in 2022

Best Guide to Find and Hire Developers for Startups in 2022

You will inevitably need to hire developers for your startup if it uses some digital technology. Making sure you have a solid plan can either make or break your business, so it’s essential to make sure you’re going in the right direction.

In the following section, we’ll explore where and how you can hire startup developers. More importantly, though, we’ll help you determine the best approach to solving your problem based on your company’s needs.

The following decision tree will help you understand the circumstances of your startup better when looking for developers:

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Startup Developers: Where to Find Them

Startup programs are programs or applications that run automatically once the system boots up. Startup programs are often background services that run automatically. Daemons in Unix-like operating systems and Windows are analogous to Windows services.

What is the best place to find in-house developers?

  • Job agencies and recruiters in your area
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, local social media
  • Jobs on AngelList, Mashable, CrunchBoard, TechCrunch
  • GitHub
  • StackOverflow
  • Tech conferences
  • Meetups
  • Hackathons

How can I find freelance developers?

  • Upwork
  • Guru
  • Toptal
  • Crossover
  • Most other freelance marketplaces
  • Agencies that can match you with an entire team

How can I find companies that develop software?

  • Tech Conferences
  • Local referrals
  • Agencies that specialize in specific markets or industries and can match you with the right company


Recruiting developers for Stage 1: Idea to MVP

Making a developer work on your vision before you have validated it is one of the biggest mistakes. In a tech startup, development costs are the most significant expenses, so overspending until you are sure what you are building is necessary for the market, is the easiest way to lose your time and money.

The lack of product-market fit is responsible for more than 35% of startups failing. For a startup, overspending on unnecessary technology is the biggest mistake.

Consequently, you need to figure out a way to build a minimum viable product for very little money since this will enable you to test your assumptions and determine if your idea is feasible.

To do this, you can do either of the following:

  • One of the founding team members knowledgeable about programming can handle it for you.
  • Creating an MVP without needing a developer using no-code solutions is possible.


What is the importance of innovative technology to your startup?

‍A low-tech startup might not require a developer:

If you are starting an online store, as an example, the products are the core of your business rather than the store itself.

A good eCommerce website setup does not require technical expertise in 2022. Finding a tech person for your team may be redundant because most of the work would be in marketing and operations, not software development.

Whatever your technical background, plenty of excellent no-code services can help you. Shopify is one of the most popular no-code platforms in the eCommerce industry.


What no-code solutions to use for an MVP?

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The key here is to realize that an MVP’s goal is to provide you with a tool to validate your idea. MVPs aren’t meant to scale well (although they could if they are simple enough); they are just meant to give your first customers a good idea of what you are trying to sell them. It is possible to “cheat” by doing manual things that should be automated when the scale is required.

Sometimes, in the example above, you can build a Shopify website or a WordPress blog with a MailChimp sign-up form to make the tech side of your idea simple. When it comes to stitching together something more original, you may have to be a little more creative:

Solutions for frontend no-code startups:

Your customers’ first point of contact. It’s not impossible to create a landing page and several static pages that would replicate the user experience of your final product using no-code website builders (although it’s important to distil the user experience to the essential components).

Some of the most accessible and most popular tools are:

  • Squarespace: Great all-around.
  • Shopify: Great for eCommerce.
  • Appy Pie: Great for apps.
  • WordPress: Good for blogs.
  • Webflow: Good for custom designs.
  • Clickfunnels: Great for sales funnels.
  • Card: Great for simple landing pages.

Solutions for backend startup no-code:

To simulate the desired backend functionality of your website/app, you can be a bit more creative here. Having a computer is the most crucial element: your founding team will do the tasks your product will eventually automate. Zapier and any other relevant apps can make their job easier, however. With Zapier + Google Docs (Forms and Sheets), you could generate a database without writing code.

If you are a beginner, you may consider using Bubble for your frontend and backend simultaneously. However, this tool has a steep learning curve, and another alternative is Softr.

Keeping it simple enough allows your founding team to focus on non-tech aspects of your company.

To start a high-tech company, you’ll need a technical co-founder:

Nevertheless, there’s a possibility your startup will be tech-focused. Then you will need an expert co-founder. It would be possible for the co-founder to use all the no-code (and open-source) solutions available to put together a working MVP faster. Still, they would have the knowledge and experience to customize things much more heavily to bring it to the level of professionalism needed.


Are you looking for a tech co-founder?

If you live in a city, you may have different options, but you have a lot of choices.

Common sense dictates that you should build your network. It is instrumental if you know more IT professionals, but even without them, you should note on your social media accounts that you are looking for someone in that field.

Online and offline, you can try your luck in the natural habitat of software developers outside of your network.

It is possible to mingle and grow your network with local IT professionals while offline. Obtain recommendations from people who know developers interested in early-stage startups, even if you don’t find your partner directly.

  • ‍‍Networking spaces for freelancers and tech nomads are co-working spaces.
  • Almost any technology your project requires will be covered in a tech conference. Find a seminar near you and attend.
  • The best way to discover potential partners’ skills is at meetups and hackathons.

You also need to make sure you pitch your idea (and yourself) in the most popular developer communities succinctly and convincingly. Considering a remote co-founder may be a good idea, and should you not find one, concentrate your search on local communities online.

  • Social media groups (Facebook groups for developers, etc.)
  • Developer, technology, and startup subreddits
  • GitHub
  • Stack Overflow
  • Job boards: AngelList, Mashable, CrunchBoard, TechCrunch


Where can you find an experienced tech co-founder for your idea?

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Your startup idea must be well-marketed to attract the right tech co-founder. The same goes for the other side. You don’t want a partner who is not competent and committed. You must convince the person that you have domain expertise, that your idea has merit, that you have the skills to make it work, and that you are serious.

Finding an investor is similar to finding a technical co-founder. The only difference is that in the first case, you are trying to persuade someone to invest their time into the project, whereas in the second case, it is necessary to convince someone to invest money. Generally, people do not want to waste these assets, which are both very valuable. To attract a professional partner, you need to act professionally.

How should you vet potential tech co-founders without being a tech person yourself?

Keeping in mind that you are not a tech expert is essential to remember. Because of this, you cannot accurately judge another person’s technical skills.

  • Portfolio and experience: Have they worked on a project similar to yours? Test out some of the past products they’ve developed. Please make sure the people you partner with have something tangible they can show you.
  • Consult with someone who’s worked with them previously, preferably one who has some knowledge of technology, before committing. Consult with someone who’s worked with them previously, preferably one who has some knowledge of technology, before committing.
  • An too busy individual with other projects could be a red flag – you need someone committed to your project. The individual could be very knowledgeable and easy to work with.


The hiring process for Stage 2: Scaling up the MVP

In other words, you have successfully developed an MVP, either by using no-code solutions or by working with a fantastic tech co-founder. A validation test has been run, and the results are positive – the proof of concept is working, customers are paying, and the product-market fit is satisfactory. Well done, you’re a real startup!

Now is the time to move past the MVP and develop a self-sustaining, scalable business, requiring you to write significantly more code than you did so far.

When you have a budget, there are many ways you can hire someone to write your code. Which option will be most affordable depends on your unique situation.

Your business must answer the question: Is technology a vital differentiator and source of value?

If, however, you are running an eCommerce business, then it most likely isn’t. You may have a different answer if, for example, your eCommerce platform is unique from a traditional online store, which makes people more likely to become customers.

It’s clear from the emphasis here that value and differentiation are more important than innovation. MVPs care more about the technical difficulty of a problem than the technology itself. However, when you get your project into a real business, you have to consider the overall impact of the tech and the competition more closely.

  • Even if you aren’t doing anything innovative technically, you generally need a Chief Technical Officer if tech plays a significant role in your business.
  • Generally speaking, if the implications of your startup’s technology are not too significant, it is better to outsource your entire tech department.


What should you look for in a CTO?

Searching for a CTO is similar to searching for an engineering co-founder, so you can easily follow the advice given above, regarding finding and attracting the developer you need.

However, there is one fundamental difference between them:

You are offering a competitive salary and any performance-based payments when recruiting a CTO outside the company. The candidate pool would also be much larger than the candidate pool for the co-founder post. People would be more inclined to oversell themselves and the skillset they bring to the table if there was direct pay.

However, you are not technically literate, so you can’t judge what developers can accomplish. It’s, therefore, an excellent idea to hire a (local) professional recruiter to assist you in effectively screening your CTO candidates if you have the budget for it (and you probably do, if you are in the position to hire a CTO in the first place). A CTO search shouldn’t be entirely outsourced. Your organization needs this person, so you should use your channels to find the best candidate. After you hire them, you must vet them with someone who can accurately judge their experience and skills.

Your CTO is in charge of finding and organizing the programmers who will write your startup’s code once you have hired him. Generally speaking, the CTO can do two things:


In-house developers vs freelancers

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Hiring in-house developers are the traditional approach, but this is generally more problematic than it seems, and it is not always the most convenient option.

A few critical questions need to be answered:

  • What are your thoughts on hiring developers in a competitive market?

A developer might be pretty expensive in your area, and they are often in high demand. What conditions can you offer (money and extras) to entice and retain your developers? A high employee turnover rate and only being able to attract junior developers could be a real problem.

  • Will you be able to keep them busy all day long?

You will probably have enough work if your startup is highly technical. Otherwise, there will be downtime, in which you are wasting resources. In-house developers’ salaries are not affected by how much work there is or isn’t among freelancers or companies.

  • How stable is your financial situation?

A long-term financial commitment is hiring in-house staff. An in-house team that is too big may lead to bankruptcy, especially if your business is financially unstable. An excellent example of this is Sharkius’ story: “I made mistakes in managing people, hiring too fast, terminating too slowly.”

Especially for startups, contractors’ (freelancers or companies’) flexibility could be a crucial advantage. An in-house team downsizes much slower and more painfully.

  • Is your developer’s work challenging enough to keep them happy?

Repetitive, tedious tech tasks and problems are frequently encountered in low-tech products, and this is not the ideal career path for highly talented, ambitious developers. Due to the nature of your business, you may end up with a high churn rate, which is not perfect.

When your company meets all of the above criteria, hiring an in-house team could be the ideal option since it provides intangible benefits compared to remote freelancer teams such as culture, motivation, community, and more accessible communication.

You might want to build a top-tier in-house team if you have a lot of resources at your disposal and your technical challenges are challenging enough.

When startups are at the MVP to Scale-up stage, it’s prudent to keep the in-house development team as small as possible and outsource most technical work to freelancers (or consultancies) because the costs and flexibility are lower. Startups may find it challenging to manage a remote team, but the benefits usually outweigh the costs.

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Team members working remotely:

An in-house team provides many intangible benefits, such as culture, loyalty, more accessible communication, and being able to put everyone together physically. In addition, those in the vicinity and easily accessible make project management more effortless.

Covid has forced most offices to transition to (at least partially) remote work. When hiring right now, does it make sense to take on full-time in-house developers since your experiences with them would not be much different from your experiences with a remote freelance team? If you’re trying to lock in high-tier talent, you probably should do this anyway, but it weakens the case for full-time development teams for startups.

Additionally, remote working seems to stay in the tech sector, and this means it’s implausible to avoid remote teamwork regardless of hiring full-time employees or freelancers. Therefore, managing a remote team is extremely important.

In-house developers can be found and hired at:

It’s best to follow the offline-online events and communities we mentioned in the “find a tech co-founder” section (LinkedIn, local Facebook groups, Hackathons, Tech Conferences, etc.) in combination with the traditional local hiring methods (recruiters, job agencies, etc.).

If you want to attract and select the best candidates, make sure you leverage your CTO’s technology expertise with good HR practices (and ideally hiring HR professionals for help writing job descriptions and handling interviews).

Finding and hiring freelance developers:

Freelancer portals. Tech talent can be found on Upwork or Guru, usually for short-term remote projects. The pre-vetted freelance platforms such as TopTal and Crossover are also worth looking into if you’re planning something ambitious.‍

If you do not want to build a freelance team, you can hire a software development company instead of a CTO. This setup is rarer, though, since it is much more expensive, and a CTO would do a lot of the company’s work for them.)

Without a CTO, here are some tips on finding and hiring developers:

Hiring a CTO may be redundant in your startup if the tech doesn’t add value and distinguishes your business from your competitors.

Fully outsourcing the tech side of your business can be a viable (and often the right) decision. As a result, you would employ developer companies rather than individual developers.

By using a full-service software development company, you will benefit from having a CTO and a developer team combined. It can be expensive because a consultant works on a project, manages the project, and writes the code. If your business does not rely heavily on technology, you might still be able to get a lower price than an in-house team while staying as flexible as a freelance team.

Whether to go for a local or overseas IT consultant is the crucial question here. Similar to choosing between hiring employees in-house or hiring freelancers (remote). Local hiring would provide more convenience and intangible benefits (similar culture, same time zone, ease of communication, etc.), while outsourced hiring would be less expensive.

If you’re located in a region where it’s expensive to live (North America, Western Europe, etc. ), you could save plenty of money by hiring an offshore developer. Nevertheless, suppose you live in a country with a thriving IT industry and lower living costs, such as India, China, or Eastern Europe. In that case, it is simple to choose a local company – the savings are minimal.


What are your options for finding the right software development company?

Look for local resources to help you decide if you are searching for a local developer. Get referrals from your network.

However, a computer consultancy that is based offshore would require you to seek assistance online.

The market leader,, offers a comprehensive database of developer agencies and consultancies, letting you filter them based on technologies, location, price, and reviews, making it easy for you to find potential candidates.‍



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As a result, you should be able to figure out and hire the right developers for your startup by understanding it from two essential angles:

Whether or not you need a tech co-founder/CTO and whether you should outsource or hire developers depends on the size and difficulty of the tech problem and the development stage of your startup.

You can start searching for the right people (by visiting the online or offline places listed at the beginning of the article) with this understanding!

Please reach out to us if you have any questions, as we are heavily involved in the dev space and may be able to assist you and offer recommendations and introductions.

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