Why Hiring right talent has been still challenging?
I often hear that software developers are the most complicated hire for non-technical founders.
The procedure and questions to determine a candidate’s fit is anonymity to most of these founders. And in spite of whether they’re looking for a Chief Technology Officer or a freelancer to help hack the first account of a product, they often feel completely out of their depth when speaking with developer candidates.
As a consequence, they rely on what they think they know about recruiting talent. For the most part, this means relying on their own understanding in hiring people which as it turns out is usually, at least for first-time founders, very limited. And let’s be honest, there are few people in the world who have a perfect hiring track record.
If your endeavor relies on software, and just about all do, the need to get hiring decisions right is important. In fact, it’s essential because (and speaking from experience) receiving it wrong can be fatal.
At an inclusive level software developers are (and will continue to be) in high demand. But the rate at which developers whip from one business to another is also very high as is the number of graduates from software development courses.
So if there are software developers looking for their next prospect why are they so difficult to find?
It often comes down to how the founders approach the hiring practice. The punch line is that they forget, reprioritize or don’t give any reflection on seven important ideas.
The opinion of developers as machines
This might sound eccentric but non-technical founders have an extraordinary similarity for relating software development output i.e. code, with the idea that it is created by a machine.
This idea becomes even stranger when these same founders think that all equipment are created equally. In other words, they think that developers know everything there is to know about software development.
This favoritism influences hiring and bureau practices and basically devalues the role that developers play in digital companies.
As observable as this sound, developers are people. Treat them like people.
Noe One not at all captured their imagination
Subsequent on from the first proposal, many non-technical founders never sell the image to developers in the same way they would to investors, partners or customers. as an alternative, they lead with the task or capability-based job description or worse still, software ‘requirements’ documents to gauge interest.
The ‘why’ matters to each hire.
I memorize making this mistake at Arish when we occupied an offshore software development team to accelerate product development. They were gracious, competent and delivered what we asked. The only issue was that I completely forget to explain why they were working with us.
Their output tripled once they learned Arish’s why because they could relate to the use case. They also saw the global application for the technology they were building. Most importantly, they started to act like owners and make suitable risk-weighted decisions when we couldn’t be contacted because
They understood the context and mission.
Somebody believe engineering is all science
This point also ties back to the first idea and the opinion that code looks structured and scientific to non-developers. The truth is that while there are best practices for how to write, structure, explain and deploy code across the many software languages, there is also a myriad of customs that code can be written, structured, annotated and deployed.
This is because at its most basic, writing software is all about creating and making. It is a very creative pursuit and one that takes time.
This tip is often missed by non-technical founders. As a consequence, they can become aggravated with developers lack of enthusiasm to provide concrete deadlines for delivery of tasks, particularly those which require building features or whole products from scratch.
Somebody think developers incorporate faster than other
Visualize this. It’s 1 pm and a buddy walks into your office and asks for your advice on a 20,000-word university assignment. The assignment carries an important weighting for the final mark and they have left it to the last minute. Your evaluation is critical and you would love to help but they need your opinion by 5 pm because it’s due for submission at 6 pm.
Could you provide detailed feedback in time? Possibly not.
I use this story with non-technical founders who are aggravated when it takes more than a day for a newly allotted developer to get ‘their head around’ a code base they had no hand in writing.
Whatever your approximation of time for new developers is to become familiar with your code, quadruple it.
They need time to know what’s there.
As part of the onboarding procedure, ask the new developer how they would write the code if they could start from scrape. This will make for a fruitful start to the relationship.
Somebody anticipate being in a monogamous relationship
Never happens. Each software developer has a plane project.
Providing it doesn’t negatively impact the agreed workload is good with it. Eventually, this is helping the developer improve their skill set.
Lead with the incorrect remuneration
Startups are resource inhibited. You know it and so do developers.
The opening strategy from most non-technical founders is to offer justice to offset the inexpensive wage that they have no choice but to offer. That is in the best attention of the company but it’s usually a long way from acceptable for the developers.
Apart from developers being very susceptible about not getting paid for work they have done (there are too many experiences where developers have been short-changed by founders due to various misunderstandings), founders often forget three basics.
First, developers will employ if the problem is appealing enough. If there is tepid interest, there is no point talking incentives because you are likely to get unenthusiastic performance (at best!).
Second, developers, like everyone else have everyday expenditure and need to be paid. Don’t overplay the value of impartiality as a means to pay them less. This will be injurious to the relationship in the average term, especially if it’s later exposed you could afford to pay more. In any case, developers recognize the risk of startups and know the chance of equity appreciating is always lower than advertised.
“Nothing is more important than finding a right talent to build a great tech team, so hire dedicated developers and build a sturdy technical team”