How to Find Developers for Your Startup

How to Find Developers for Your Startup

In 2023, many founders are faced with a shortage of tech talent. The problem is especially acute if you're building your software development team in the United States and Western Europe. According to recent reports, the unemployment rate for software developers in the USA is as low as 2,3%, which means many companies struggle to find solid developers for startups. Moreover, startups often have to compete with more mature companies when it comes to hiring seasoned specialists they need to bring their ideas and ambitions to fruition.

The quality of your product can make or break your venture and it largely depends on the skills of the people who work on it. With that in mind, your goal is to find talented and experienced engineers eager to join your dynamic startup environment. If you plan to expand your core team, we've put together some tips for hiring a software developer at a startup.

Challenges to overcome when hiring a developer for a startup

Expanding your startup's core team is a challenging endeavor. Thus, when addressing the question of "how to find developers for your startup" it's important to be aware of the hurdles you may come across during the growth stage. One such challenge is to find a developer for a startup who will excel at project management, team work and be a solid programmer at the same time.

Each startup has a unique way of structuring work, which can put a damper on the hiring process. Even if you have a solid budget for hiring programmers for your startup, many tech leaders end up making poor recruitment decisions and regret their choices afterward.

With that in mind, let's have a look at some challenges you may encounter when poaching startup programmers.

Tech expertise

It's can be difficult to find a developer for a startup with all the needed technical expertise and qualities, especially when you are on a tight budget. To make matters worse, developers with a combination of excellent project management skills and a strong tech background may not be interested in working for a small and relatively unknown company. Thus, attracting and hiring developers for your startup with the skills you need requires soaring salaries, which brings us to the next point.

Limited budgets

As a startup, you probably have a small, knit-tight team. As your staff grows, it will surely result in increased costs beyond what you currently spend on your core team. Unfortunately, when it comes to hiring programmers for your startup, financial constraints can be a serious limiting factor.

Development costs have grown significantly in recent years, especially when it comes to senior roles. As a result of this, few fledgling companies can afford to hire developers for a startup that meet both their skill requirements and budget constraints. This is one of the biggest challenges you may face when you grow your team.


If you lack experience hiring developers for a startup, it can be challenging to identify the reliability of potential candidates. Although having strong tech background is a must, a seasoned developer should also be reliable to become a valuable addition to your core staff.

That being said, here's how you can test a candidate's reliability when hiring programmers for your startup. For example, you may want to pay attention to such things as showing up on time for an interview or asking questions during an assessment, which reflects a genuine interest in your business vision. Additionally, you can also use recommendations as a way to corroborate a candidate's reliability.

Now that we've highlighted these crucial challenges, you are better informed on how to hire programmers for a startup. Let’s move on to the next important point – the steps to hire developers for a startup.

How to find a developer for your startup: Key steps

Your venture’s success depends on hiring suitable candidates who will be a good fit for your company, including tech skills, soft skills, and domain knowledge. The steps we describe below will help you hire developers for startups who aren't just good performers but also reliable partners who can help you achieve your goal. Finally, following our guide will take the headache out of the process of hiring developers for a startup.

Step 1. Outline the scope of your project

Before hiring a developer for a startup, you need to define the level of complexity of the product you want to build. Doing so will help you narrow down your search to a circle of candidates who possess the needed expertise to handle the kind of project you have. When sizing up your project's complexity, take into account a few points:

  • Back-end complexity;
  • Opportunities to use ready-made solutions;
  • The number of features you aim to develop;
  • The necessity for custom-made solutions.

Step 2. Define the need for a CTO

As your startup scales, you may need to hire a partner to help you manage your growing team. Finding developers for a startup is much simpler than adding a professional who will be responsible for the strategy, project management, implementing new technologies, and applying their business acumen to develop your product properly. Moreover, someone in this role should be bound to work on your project for a long time. If you require such a role in your startup, the best way to find a CTO is by networking and finding references. You can also find tech leaders stemming from your business vertical and connect with them.

Step 3. Come up with a set of tasks

How to find a developer for your startup who will be a good fit for your business? It's crucial to have an idea of tasks your startup programmers will work on, at least for the first version of your product. You may want to consider the following aspects:

  • The developers' levels you require and whether they need to have expertise in your domain or niche;
  • Product description, target audience, and their problems to be solved;
  • How data will be processed and the type of database you're going to use;
  • The need to hire backend developers;
  • Milestones and timelines for feature delivery;
  • Your budget for a team of developers.

If you want to know how to find a suitable developer for your startup, you should define your requirements and check them against the skills of the developer candidates in question.

Step 4. Define the needed skillsets

At this step, you should define the set of skills you need to add to your team. For example, if you need to find a web developer for startups, you may be looking for someone who knows how to develop a web app that will run on both mobile and browser. Thus, the required set of skills may include the following:

  • React Native;
  • Flutter;
  • Xamarin;
  • JavaScript.

When you try to find web developers for startups, use the list of skillsets you created for candidate search. Alternatively, you can partner with a company like Hiretop to match you with qualified software developers for startups according to your tech requirements.

Step 5. Consider hiring developers remotely

This is one of the essential decisions for your startup – to set up an in-house team or to build one remotely. Here you should take into account a few aspects: Your project duration, the scope of work, and the budget.

When hiring an in-house team, you should be ready to provide competing salaries and employee bonuses. Additionally, your company and project should be exciting enough to attract professionals who are often poached by established brands.

Chances are building an in-house team is not the best move for you, then you may be asking: "How to find a developer for a startup?" We at Hiretop understand the challenges you're grappling with when it comes to hiring developers for your startup. We help startups access developers in Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and the Baltics) based on their individual candidate requirements. We can build a long-term team made of the skills you require, within your budget and time frame. The team we provide will be scalable and become a dedicated part of your organization.

If you only have several short-term tasks to complete, consider freelancers. The best site to hire programmers can be platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. However, note that freelance developers for hire tend to require special handling when it comes to their onboarding and integration into your team.

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Step 6. Conduct proper candidate screening

Now that we outlined the process of how to find developers for your startup, it's time for a thorough interviewing process. This is a crucial step where you will speak with a lot of candidates and narrow down to a few suitable ones.

With Hiretop, you can get pre-vetted candidates you can interview and decide if you want to add to your team. We will have your back covered when it comes to diving into the market and reviewing candidates to provide you with the best-fitting ones. We will focus on candidates with relevant expertise in your domain, technologies you need, Computer Science background, and experience working in a dynamic, remote setting.

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Add startup programmers with Hiretop

To sum up, we reviewed the challenges and steps to hire developers for a startup. Considering the challenges of meeting budget and tech requirements, it's important to find a reliable partner that can help you fill the vacancies in your startup team. Hiretop offers a unique solution to the question of how to find a developer for your startup.

Flexibility: Our approach lets you add more team members or dissolve the team whenever you need to boost or cool down your development capacity.

Affordability: The budget is the main concern of startup founders. Oftentimes, the cost of building a local squad can be exorbitant. If you choose us, you will get a team in one of the most affordable and skilled hubs, Eastern Europe. Our solution helps you cut the budget significantly. Feel free to dive into our rate card to see it for yourself.

Best-in-class talent: With Hiretop, you can be assured of the quality of developers for hire. We have a rigorous screening process and match you with verified candidates to ensure that you get the best talent available. All developers we provide will have a proven track record of delivering quality work and meeting deadlines. Additionally, we deliver continuous support for your team and monitoring to ensure its performance is at its best.

Fast start: We can help you find a developer for a startup quicker than you can do it locally. With us, you can build your team at your own pace. If you need it fast, we may be ready to show you some relevant candidates within a few days (or even sooner) after our initial call, as we have access to a vast network of developers.

Contact us and let’s discuss your need for startup programmers and how we can help you with that.