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Five top tips on how to hire a developer

Friday, 16 November 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

A serial entrepreneur has compiled a step-by-step guide for start-ups on how to hire developers, insisting start-ups need to recruit differently to big companies if they are to compete for talent.

 

Iris Shoor is the co-founder of Takipi, a start-up based in Tel Aviv, which is looking to change the way developers work in the cloud.

 

Prior to Takipi, Shoor co-founded B2B start-up VisualTao, which was acquired by Autodesk. In a guest post for OnStartups, Shoor outlines how start-ups should go about hiring developers.

 

“How can you convince the best developers out there to join a company where the CEO’s office is an Ikea desk?” Shoor said.

 

“Here’s one answer – recruit like a start-up, in a creative and agile way, doing things the way big companies can’t.”

 

“There aren’t any magic tricks involved, but here are some tips and methods which helped us get ninjas, rock stars and other highly talented people on board.”

 

Here are Shoor’s key tips:

 

1. Have the founders make first contact

 

Shoor said she and her co-founders always send the first email to potential candidates.

 

“At first, I was worried some candidates may think we have too much free time,” she said.

 

“I soon found out that when candidates receive a personal and flattering email from a co-founder, it sends a message that this start-up is all about its employees.”

 

2. Let candidates meet their potential co-workers

 

While we tend to tell candidates everything about the role, the managers and the company, there’s one part that’s usually missing – who will they work with?” Shoor said.

 

“One of the most common answers I get when asking people why they’ve chosen one job over the other is knowing other employees there. Let candidates know who’ll be sitting next to their desk.”

 

3. Pick your pitch carefully

 

“There truly are great things about joining a start-up – new technological challenges, opportunities for moving up the ladder more quickly, learning about the business side of things, stock options and more,” Shoor said.

 

“Don’t sell them all at once. Pitching becoming a manager to an engineer who just wants to experiment with new technologies? Wrong move.”

 

4. Have a uniform employment agreement

 

“The candidate you really liked said yes, and now all is left is to sign the employment agreement. This can turn into a very risky period,” Shoor said.

 

“The current employer is likely to come with a counter offer and so can other companies.” 

 

Shoor said it’s important to avoid having your star recruit waste time on legal issues. To get around this, she suggests having the same employment agreement for every staff member.

 

“Other than the terms themselves, everything is the same… Once I tell candidates that everyone – the CEO, the engineers and myself – have all signed the exact same contract, and therefore we can’t change it, it usually takes them only a day or two to sign it.”

 

5. Deal with the “no” word

 

This not only means saying no to a candidate, but hearing no from a candidate, Shoor said.

 

If you’re hearing no, Shoor suggests staying in touch with good candidates who chose a different company over yours.

 

If you’re saying no, be sure to offer some sort of explanation as well. This will help you find other great developers in the future, Shoor said.