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Hiring for your startup when you have limited funds?

Authored by: Tech Team
9/7/2020 12:00:00 AM

The need to increase your team's headcount is a good sign that you and your business is readyto grow.

Founding Team – Balancing Act

A tech startup will begin life with the founding team, this could be one or more members which currently own 100% of the company between them. At this early stage without any solid investment, it is common that some will be working elsewhere and balancing their commitment towards the new venture.

Multiple roles

Due to the lack of initial investment, early-stage start-ups will be unable to resource every possible role from day one. The current team will be required to perform multiple roles and in many cases, we have seen individuals performing duties that they have little to no prior experience of.

Time vs. Resources vs. Cost

Even when you have successfully completed your funding round and secured a nice healthy investment, many founders will need to consider the love-triangle between:

  • Time – product to market, what pace and how quickly
  • Resources – number of staff required to achieve the time to market
  • Cost – how much are you comfortable spending

Startup hiring developers

It is extremely difficult to find, hire and retain software engineers. They are in high demand and just like many other professions, each will have different skills, strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Identify what roles and skills you need
  2. Consider the employment type
  3. Don’t hire too early

Identify what roles and skills you need

Before interviewing candidates, you should consider if you are hiring senior, mid-level or junior developers. The salary or contract rate expectations will be higher for the more experienced engineers.

Consider which technologies and skills you require, always hire according to your tech stack. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all developers are the same and can work across technologies. Hiring an Angular developer isn’t going to help if you are planning on writing an iOS app.

Also think about how much of the work is going to be frontend or backend, hiring developersto build an API is very different from the type of engineers you will need to build and UI.

Consider the employment type

Freelance or part-time resource may be more suitable If you only need a pair of hands to help finish a small part of the product, which is unlikely to evolve any further beyond the initial requirement. Alternatively, a full-time engagement will be more efficient if there is substantial work or a longer technical road map.

In some cases, you may need to look towards contract resources. This could be due to the administration overhead, holidays, benefits and sick pay that comes with permanent staff hires. Another reason could be that the technical skills required have a higher dependency on contactors because of market demand.

Think about the short and long-term impacts whenhiring software developers. Knowledge transfer and upskilling will be an important aspect, consider how you will schedule a new hires time to help others acquire the skills and help reduce any risk to the business. This will be critical with short-term engagements.

Don’t hire too early

Hiring software engineers early can burn valuable funds if you don’t have sufficient detail before any development work is defined and ready for a new hire.

The most cost-effective time to take on any new hire is as close as possible to when the work is ready to be started. Timing is key but finding the perfect candidate can take time so I wouldn’t leave it too long.

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