How to pick great talent for a Startup Company?

When hiring for startups/product companies, you will come across candidates who are rejected for not knowing ‘basics’. For these companies, it is very important that candidates should have strong computer fundamentals irrespective of the tech stack they are working on.

There are many language agnostic things that can be looked into — e.g. candidates with strong exposure to data structures, algorithms, design patterns form the basic search.

Additionally, for startups below indicators play a vital role, that may tip the balance in favor of these candidates:

  • A high learning quotient
  • Hunger to improve dev skills by disciplined effort.
  • Ability to zoom-in on what matters and to prioritize.
  • Focus on delivering value and making an impact.
  • Good communication skills.

Figuring out whether candidates have these qualities might seem a little difficult from just their profiles online but you can make inferences from some signals that might indicate these qualities.

High learning quotient

  • Has mastery over one editor / IDE, doesn’t matter which one, but she should know most keyboard shortcuts.
  • Has tinkered with non-mainstream programming languages like Scheme, Haskell, Golang, Rust, Erlang, Elixir, CommonLisp, etc.

Hunger to improve dev skills by disciplined effort

  • Has read the manuals for whichever language/frameworks he/she has worked on.
  • Has read any foundation technical books e.g. SICP, Domain Driven Design, Code Complete, Pragmatic Programmer.
  • Has been a hobby programmer / Likes participating in coding competitions , hackathons.

Ability to zoom-in on what matters and to prioritize
Has started a business or been a startup co-founder or been an early employee. — Has worked at a consulting org or has worked directly with customers.

Good communication skills
Has posted a well-written blog entry.
Has interesting side-projects. Hacks on code / tinkers with hardware / writes / blogs / plays musical instruments / paints / etc.

Focus on delivering value and making an impact
Has a valuable open source project on Github or elsewhere.
Has contributed to any popular open source project — could be code, documentation, bug fixes, design, or participating on the mailing-list, etc.

These attributes are great to look out for because they often are the difference between candidates who get offers at startups/product companies and those that do not.

Post By: Raghu tenneti


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