How to Find Awesome Developers

Are you about to embark on a journey to find the perfect developers for your startup idea, website, mobile app or software program? Then you’ll want to pay attention to my tips below. There are many great developers out there, but you have to be very careful if you want to avoid hiring the wrong ones.

There are several steps we want to focus on, including the initial ad or job posting, the interview and testing.

The Ad

You have a number of possibilities for posting your ad. You can post an ad in local newspapers or circulars, on your local Craigslist or a local job board. This option is perfect if your aim is to find candidates quickly, since they will be able to come to your office more easily than someone in another state or country.

Another option is posting your ad on freelancer sites. Keep in mind that you will get bids from people all over the world, but on some of them you can specify what country the bidders should be from. Using a freelance site is great if you don’t mind the developers working from somewhere else. In this case, you would keep in contact with them through email, chatting or Skype. Another advantage of freelance sites is that deadlines and milestones can be set, and the freelance site usually has features that keep the freelancer on track with their timing, including things like turning in work at a certain time, submission of timesheets and milestone completion.

You can also post your opening on the major job posting and job search sites. On many of these sites, you can also take advantage of additional services, like job or resume matching. With this type of service, you will enter information about the job opening, and the site will search its own database for possible candidates who match the qualifications of your job description. Generally, these job sites require a fee for posting of your 30 or 60 day ad. Sites such as Monster.com also have a bevy of resources you can use including advice, reports and community features.

Where you post the ad is important but the text of the actual ad is also critical. Include details of what language you expect the candidate to be proficient in. Likewise, include information on what type of projects they will be working on. Also be sure to detail other skills that may be needed that are related to the job, such as software testing, conversions and troubleshooting. Something else you might see included in job ads might be an idea of what general qualities are expected of the candidate, for instance a strong work ethic, communication skills and the ability to work with a team or without supervision. Be as detailed as possible when listing your needs and requirements, as it can be especially critical when trying to find a great developer. This is because every developer has different skillsets and languages that they work in.

The Screening and Interview Process

Once you’ve received a number of applicants for your job opening, you can begin the screening process. When using a freelance site, you will have the option of reviewing proposals from potential developers. You can log into the freelance site and review their proposals, but also check the feedback, portfolio and full profile of the freelancer or company who is applying for the job. Be wary of proposals that overpromise but don’t have any feedback yet. Also be wary of any developers who have problematic feedback ratings and reviews. A 3 star rating might seem acceptable at first, but what that likely means is that they received a 1 star rating and a 5 star rating, to average out to 3 stars. So, don’t just check their overall star ratings and consider your work done; it’s critical to read all of their feedback. In some cases, employers leave a high star review yet include a negative comment in the review area, and vice versa. Performing a careful scrutiny of their reviews and ratings is absolutely critical, since you may not have the opportunity to do an interview with a freelance applicant.

When reviewing the resumes of people from your local area and job posting sites, the process will be quite different. In this case, you may not have previous reviews and ratings to lean on. Instead, you’ll need to rely on the information in their resume and also an interview. Be sure to thoroughly read and consider the resumes you have received. Try to verify references and recommendations. Then try to narrow down your selections as much as possible. Once you have a shortlist of developers to consider, you will want to have interview questions ready. Make sure to ask technical questions specific to the projects they will be working on. Then you can narrow your shortlist even further.

Skills Testing

Now comes one of the most important parts of the process—testing and verifying the skills of the remaining candidates. Thankfully, there’s a wide array of options out there to help you with testing, not the least of which are recruitment testing services. These handy services allow you to log into a website and create a programming skills test that will let you know if the candidate has the skills they claim on their resume or in their feedback. You can even send these tests to a freelancer to verify their skills as well. There are some real advantages to using one of these sites. Consider TestDome.com. This is a site which allows employers to log in and create a test for two of the most popular programming languages. The test includes sections on problem solving and even a live coding section where their skills are tested on-the-fly. These sites make it difficult, even impossible, to fake skills. Then, as an employer, you can view the results of the test. Some testing solutions have a pass/fail type analysis, while others will let you see the answers and give you a percentage ranking on how they did. With this analysis, you can more easily decide which developers you will choose.

Quite simply, if you take the above steps seriously, and implement skills testing on your final shortlist of candidates, you are virtually assured of hiring awesome developers.

About the Author:

Peter Rastovic is an entrepreneur and startup enthusiast who currently helps Testdome.com, recruitment testing service, to gain momentum and reach a broader audience.