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The Challenges of Hiring Developers for Startups

The Challenges of Hiring Developers for Startups

Although COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges to people all over the world, tech startups have stepped up and exceeded expectations. Lockdown measures meant that people were confined to their homes and looking for ways to connect and normalize daily operations. At the same time, the tech industry was working on bigger things. Consequently, the world has been introduced to numerous innovative tech startups across different sectors, with a focus on helping people as much as possible. We can expect even more exciting developments from startups in 2022, who are utilizing cutting-edge technology such as advanced analytics, smart solutions artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud tools. These advancements necessarily require stronger skill sets than ever before.

In 2021, the tech industry was valued at approximately $5.2 trillion, with the United States having the largest tech industry in the world. According to Forbes, startups that provide tech-enabled solutions are more successful than ever. The increased demand for experienced and skilled software developers has been fueled by the growth in the number of tech startups and the tech industry. The need for developers is greater than ever!

The team you build for your startup is just as important as the product itself in terms of success. You need more than a great founder or a CTO – you need developers and engineers who work well together. A good team with amazing tech skills can take your startup to new heights. However, forming such a team takes time and effort. It could take months to find the right prospect, negotiate with them, and hire them. It takes 30 days or more on average to hire software engineers, developers, and other technical team members in the US.

Most of you may believe that hiring procedures have become much simpler in recent years. Several HR assistance platforms have made it easier for businesses to evaluate and hire candidates. This may be appropriate for non-technical positions but hiring for technical positions could be stressful.

Hiring developers for a startup can be challenging. Like building a house, you want to make sure you have the right foundation and blocks in place. A good developer with the right skills and expertise can add value to your product, while one wrong choice can waste time and resources. Developers and engineers are critical for a startup’s success, here is why…

Why are developers important for startups?

Startups are usually looking for more developers to join their teams in order to spur innovation and create better solutions. These individuals will take the product and figure out how to code it so that it can be pushed into production. Being curious is essential for this role, as there will be macro and micro problems that need to be solved. Some of the primary responsibilities of developers in a startup are as follows:

  • Code, design, test and debug the software product
  • Coordinate with the rest of the team to follow timelines and deadlines
  • Review current systems and plan improvements
  • Test updates and products before they go live

Startups need builders who not only find solutions and write code but also make sure these solutions work properly by running automation tests. A software developer’s responsibilities include deciding on an appropriate technology stack and data structure for the project as well as delivering a working product at the end of it all. Consequently, developers play an important role in MVP creation stages, final optimization phases–and throughout a startup’s lifespan.

Startups face many difficulties when attempting to hire developers, which often delays the release of their products. If a product is not launched at precisely the right time for its target audience, it risks having a poor product-market fit. Hiring developers for startups present universal challenges; if you are a startup founder or a hiring specialist, you will face at least one of these:

What are the challenges of hiring developers for startups?

Startups are known for being innovative and shaking up the status quo, and this includes how they go about hiring employees. In a world where many people are struggling to make ends meet, some startups are offering developers lavish packages that set them apart from other startups.

In recent times BharatPe has set an exceptional example by offering salary packages greater than market value alongside multiple additional benefits. The startup aims to build a huge development team, hence, is offering attractions that developers may never refuse to accept. BharatPe is offering all new employees an option to choose between a “Bike Package” or a “Gadget Package”. The Bike package has 5 bikes as options to choose from. Whereas, the gadget package includes – Apple iPad Pro (with Pencil), Bose Headphone, Harman Kardon Speaker, Samsung Galaxy Watch, WFH desk and chair, and Firefox Typhoon 27.5 D bicycle. Not just this, BharatPe also plans to send all members of the tech team to ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai.

You may be enticed by what BharatPe has to offer, but this is not what most startups could afford or would prefer to do. As a result, the difficulties in hiring developers will continue to haunt you. When it comes to hiring developers or software engineers, startups face the following challenges:

Limited pool of candidates and global competition

Because an increasing number of startups require developers and software engineers, the available pool of potential candidates is limited. And out of this constrained pool, many are already being courted by other companies.

There are fewer developers available for work in the market due to global acceptance and competition. We became an even closer global village after COVID-19 when the world finally accepted remote work and recognized that this is the new world dynamic. Multinational corporations, national enterprises, and startups became more connected and accepting of talent from different corners of the globe. With businesses seeking developers from all over, many new opportunities arose for talented engineers. However, this trend also made it more difficult for small startups to fill open positions.

Lack of brand recognition and trust

Employee branding is more important than ever in 2022! Employees today focus on brand reputation and recognition in the same way that consumers do before making a purchase decision. This is a fantastic practice, but unfortunately, startups struggle with it greatly!

Startups have more difficulties than established businesses when it comes to validating their ideas and creating an MVP. This is because they don’t have as many market interactions and no reputation to fall back on. Also, developers are more interested in joining early-stage startups that share equity. As a result, startups need not only to establish themselves in the market to attract customers but employees too by demonstrating positive growth prospects.

Low-quality Computer Science graduates

Hiring developers and software engineers for startups are more than just looking for candidates with a single major skill that fits all. There are numerous jobs for developers in a startup, so startups must find employees with the required educational background and experience. However, every year many computer sciences and IT professionals graduate without landing a job because they lack certain skills. Most developers do not upgrade their certifications either, which only furthers the knowledge gap between potential employers and those seeking positions

Being a developer requires excellent hard skills, but recruiters typically have the most difficulty finding developers with good soft skills. A candidate may be able to write code very well, but if they do not have teamwork or problem-solving abilities, it is more difficult for them to succeed in development. Lacking communication ability will prevent a developer from being able to interact productively with their team and complete required tasks.

Strong Competition in the hiring market

Every startup aspires to build the world’s best tech team. The reason for this is their reliance on the product they intend to launch. A good, experienced tech team equals a good, long-lasting product. The difficulties in hiring developers and engineers, on the other hand, make the dream project a little more difficult.

With many startups willing to do almost anything to attract and keep members on their tech team, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for those who cannot afford such lavish offerings. For instance, BharatPe is one example out of many. Developers in the US earn $92,226 annually on average, while ones hired on an extravagant package make $151,202 annually. 

With an oversaturation of startups, the demand for developers has also grown. This has made competition fiercer as startups now offer bigger salary packages than before to attract top talent. Recruiters often approach developers who are already working with startups and try to poach them with offers that are difficult to pass up.

This not only puts more pressure on the startup to make a counteroffer but also makes the startup seem less stable and reliable. These days, startup developers want more than just a salary; they also want insurance, certification funding, pension management, bonuses, and other perks.


Given all the difficulties in hiring developers for startups, what is the best way to build a tech team without wasting time? Hiring a full-fledged tech team generally involves incurring recruitment costs and offering extravagant salary packages that the startup may never be able to afford. And hiring is only half the battle – choosing a tech stack and setting up development environments and processes yet take more time and effort.

Startup studios are emerging as a solution for this problem because they eliminate all the struggles mentioned above! Startup studios like Venturenox take your idea to the next level by validating your ideas and then building a high-performing product exactly how your customers want it. Once your startup has gained traction or raised funding, it becomes easier for you to hire an engineering team. Before that, startup studios provide an excellent alternative.


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