You Need These Four Things to Hire (and retain) the Best Developers

Posted on Categories Business, Startup, Technology

20% of the time I spend is on hiring and HR related matters. This includes attracting new talent and keeping the ones we have happy.

I feel that if you have these key 4 things in your company, you can easily attract top developers and keep the ones you have:

1) Work on interesting technical problems
2) Work with other talented people
3) Provide a friendly, creative environment
4) Work on software that ends up getting used by lots of people

1) Work on interesting technical problems

I found that people who are at the top of their game want to work on non-routine tasks. This may sound like an obvious point, but for those working in the banking industry, you will be hard pressed to find the hottest web 7.0 talent.

2) Work with other talented people
When we were a small team of 3 (me, my co-founder and lead developer) my lead developer found it a bit hard. You could only bounce ideas in forums such as stackoverflow. As we grew the team, he mentioned that having other team members that got along with improve his productivity. I found it easier to bring on hires when I could point to the other great team members I had on board

3) Provide a friendly, creative environment
I had a friend recently lose ALL 4 of their developers. The reason, they did not know how to provide an environment which allows them to thrive. Managing developers is different than managing sales or marketing people. You need to provide an environment which is friendly and fosters creativity.

4) Work on software that ends up getting used by lots of people
At viafoura (my company) we work on software that gets touched by many millions of users. This is a huge deciding factor for developers. Devs like working on systems that get lots of exposure. I am not sure what the underlying psychological need is (perhaps this will be covered in a more philosophical post on the matter) but they love it.

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