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    5 Tips to Build the Perfect Team for a Startup

    5 Tips to Build the Perfect Team for a Startup

    5 Tips to Build the Perfect Team for a Startup

    Posted by Tech.us Category: Business Trends

    Putting together the right team of software developers for your technology startup often feels like a gamble. We have seen the pitfalls of hiring the wrong people, and even when you find the right people, they might not mesh well as a team. The traps are endless, and the process is complicated, so how might you navigate it successfully?

    There’s a lot to consider when building the perfect team of software developers. We believe success can be achieved through following five basic tips.

    1. Hire according to your principles
    2. Find problem solvers
    3. Evaluate thoroughly
    4. Be efficient in your process
    5. Avoid obvious pitfalls

    Following these tips will help you hire software engineers more efficiently and effectively. It may sound simple, but there’s still quite a bit of work involved. Let’s take a closer look at these tips and examine how each one can help you build the perfect team of software developers.

    1.   Hire According to Your Principles

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    Our core principles are essential to the software engineer hiring process. We don’t like to bring anyone on that doesn’t believe in hard work, absolute dedication, and an ability to maintain a sense of humor. Determine what the core principles are for your company, and when going through the hiring process, find someone who matches those principles as closely as possible.

    If you’re looking for inspiration, check out “Principles” by Ray Dalio. He’s a hedge fund manager that implements a strict hiring and employee management system based on key principles. His system seems to be working exceptionally well (check out that fund’s performance and his personal net worth).

    Personality Matters

    Software engineers and coders that don’t fit the skills or psychological profile you’re looking for should be dismissed as options immediately.

    Taking personality into account when hiring is often looked down on, but how else will you assess whether they will fit with your company culture? We don’t want to work with people we don’t get along with, and neither do you.

    Dive Deeper

    Getting to know a candidate outside of their professional CV and qualifications will help you determine who they are and not just what they can do. We recommend taking a deeper dive into their life without being intrusive. It’s important that they can do their job well, but if they do it while frustrating you and everyone else in your company, they’re not the right candidate.


    This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway because of how important it is. Everyone asks a candidate how comfortable they are working on a team and whether they are a team player. However, asking is not enough.

    Ask for experience, and find out whether candidates are more comfortable leading or following. Knowing where they will fit into your team before they start working will give you a headstart. You can incorporate them into the right team, and they can start working right away.

    Coders that don’t work well with others are going to set you back on project progress. Even though their talent may make up for their personality, over enough time, it will be more trouble than it is worth.

    2.   Find Problem-Solvers


    We have seen a trend toward giving potential candidates a test or exam to prove their skills. This can work because it acts as an initial filter. You can root out the less capable candidates and identify who’s at the top of their game. This process comes with its own problems, though.

    The Right Test

    Skills tests are limited in that they might not have the right focus. To fix this, choose the right test. If possible, give them a past or current project and ask them to solve the problem on their own. They might not need to complete it themselves, but you can evaluate their ability to explain how the problem could be solved. This will prove more than a cognitive test or organizing shapes and patterns, which has become an unfortunate and common practice.

    Depth, Not Breadth

    Choose an assessment that shows how deep their knowledge of the subject is. If you test too many skills but not deeply, you won’t know how good they really are. Software programmers have a very valuable and unique skill set, and your assessment should prove whether they have a deep knowledge of their craft.

    3.   Evaluate Thoroughly


    Giving programmers tests and projects to complete as part of the interview process is a great way to determine if candidates are qualified. Unfortunately, these tests do not always give you a full assessment of the candidates’ abilities. Focus on having a conversation about solving the problem instead of just having them solve it. After all, when they work for you, conversations will be your method of communication for solving problems as a team. Test it out.

    4.   Be Efficient in Your Process

    Be efficient but thoughtful, and don’t linger. Make your hiring process efficient and go with your instincts after the initial interview to immediately filter the programmers that have the best chance of working out.

    Being clear from start to finish is critical to the process. We like to update candidates about what stage of the hiring process they are in and how long they might have to wait to hear the news. Keeping software engineers waiting on pins and needles doesn’t make them feel great.


    Our hiring process is efficient and doesn’t have long wait times between rounds. We usually know quickly whether we have found what we are looking for when hiring software engineers. Take the time you need, but if it takes too long, you may not have found the right group of candidates. There should be a core group that stands out, and possibly one that stands out more than the others within that group.

    Open Communication

    Maintaining clear communication with the software engineers that might be joining your company is a great way to start off on the right foot. When people receive honest and open communication, they are more likely to give it back. By the time they join your team, your working relationship will be off to a great start.

    5.   Avoid Obvious Pitfalls

    There are a number of pitfalls that are inevitable when hiring software engineers, and there are some red flags to look for.

    Professional References

    Every candidate likely lists some professional references from their past work experiences. This is a good way to get specifics about their strengths and weaknesses, but it might not reflect their overall work experience. Candidates often choose their best references with nothing but positive things to say.

    A good alternative to this is to ask for personal references. Their professional work should stand on its own, so if you want to get to know the software engineers that might join your company, find out from the people that know them outside of a professional context.

    It’s best not to get too invasive, but someone who has known them for many years, or their whole lives, will have better insights than someone who only knew them for the course of their employment at their company.

    Less Is More

    It’s great to have options, but if you have too many options, it could cause problems. You might miss someone great, and you might not be able to give the time and attention necessary to choose the optimal software engineer.

    If applications are flooding in, set a limit for how many applications you will accept to keep the process from getting overwhelming. We use automated HR software to handle the application load, and it ensures we don’t have more than we can handle.

    It’s tempting to feel like you’re missing someone important, but if you have too many choices, you’ll miss them anyway.

    Why Now?

    Before you post your job online, make sure it’s the right time. Software engineers are a highly specialized and talented bunch, and if they come on board when you don’t have enough work for them, they might not perform as well. Make sure that now is the best time for them, and of course, your company.

    Bad timing for you or your company is a little thought of issue, but it is always on our minds. It’s ok to hire in advance of workload needs every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be a common practice.

    Go Forth

    We think hiring software engineers should be stress-free, efficient, and beneficial for you and the programmers. In the end, the hiring process for finding the perfect software engineers for your company is very specific to you and your needs. At the same time, we think you can use some of these tips to help the process along and get better results.


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