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9 Killer Strategies for Finding Great Designers and Developers


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If you're looking to hire a designer or developer for your digital business or startup, then this is for you. Steve Penfold shares with you 9 great tips on how to find great developers other companies can probably only dream of.

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9 Killer Strategies for Finding Great Designers and Developers

  1. 1. 9 Killer Strategies for Finding Great Designers and Developers Photo Credit:
  2. 2. Introduction: Are you having a hard time finding a great designer or developer for your digital agency or startup? In our industry that is currently booming and with talent in high demand, how can you get the best of the best? I have outlined here some tips to help you get your next developer on board your happy ship! See here for the full blog post:
  3. 3. 1. Consider getting freelancers first. “For entrepreneurs with so much on their plate at any given time—and not necessarily all things they’re good at—bringing on a project-based employee is a great way to knock tasks off one at a time.” Rich Pearson, CMO – Elance Best places to find freelancers: ● Go local and look at sites like Wired Sussex or LinkedIn ● Ask fellow digital startups for any recommendation. ● Get social and attend local networking events, it’s a great way to get introduced to people who freelance in design or web development ● Spread the word that you’re looking to hire freelancers via social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter ● Use websites such as Odesk, Elance, Guru, or See here for the full blog post:
  4. 4. 2. ‘ABR’ – Always Be Recruiting This doesn’t mean getting full time staff in anticipation that you might need their skills in some future time. It means being on the lookout always for great people, and keeping in touch with them until the right job becomes available. How about creating a ‘People I Would Hire’ list? With people you’ve met before, start building a list by adding 2 people to it every month. Just imagine, by the end of 12 months, you’ll have 24 people to choose from when a need comes up making looking for your next hire MUCH easier. See here for the full blog post:
  5. 5. 3. Get creative with your Job ads Most job ads look the same, boring and uninspiring. If you want to attract the best, think like the best. Get inspiration from these 3: 1. Ribot, (note their awesome recent re-branding) had an unbelievably creative job ad for one of their past vacancies. (Okay, I’m biased – I’m a board advisor at ribot.) 2. Grouper, a startup, puts the character of their business into their jobs page. 3. AirBnb also posted inspiring jobs page with tons of info on what’s in it for you should you decide to work there. See here for the full blog post:
  6. 6. 4. Partner with Universities Joel Spolsky, CEO of Fog Creek Software, has this very interesting advice: it’s a must to hire people fresh from college or university. Why? Because great talent is never on the market. A highly motivated graduate will never need to apply for a job. He will enter into an internship with a company the university recommended and then get hired by said company. He would normally work doubly hard because he still has that great passion to achieve great things. Internships are a great way of finding and testing graduates, and lots of universities and colleges have programs to help you find that one right person. See here for the full blog post:
  7. 7. 5. Use recruitment agencies Mention the words “Recruitment Agencies” and I see some eyes rolling. But they’re really worth a try. The great thing about them is that you only need to pay them if they find someone that’s a perfect fit for the tasks you have in mind. Create a shortlist of three agencies to work with that specialize in your industry. If any other agencies call up, just firmly and politely say no. Give your 3 selected agencies clear job description for the type of role you are trying to fill so that proper expectations are set. See here for the full blog post:
  8. 8. 6. Have a great interview process Mark Suster, General Partner at GRP Partners, when interviewing applicants for example likes to flip things on their head. Meaning: he asks questions in reverse. “If we did get aligned to offer you this role, do you plan on accepting? What other offers do you have? What do we need to do to win? What steps do you still need before you decide to go with us?” These are questions that’ll definitely surprise interviewees. But here’s the thing – remember that you are selling your digital agency or startup as much as each candidate is selling themselves. And you’ll also get an idea how they’d react to unexpected questions. See here for the full blog post:
  9. 9. 7. Speak at Industry Conferences This is a great way to meet designers and developers. People who attend conferences already show some skills worth taking note of: ● initiative ● passion for their job ● a willingness to learn. Not only that, this is also a better way of giving your business more exposure. Chances are, not a lot of people have heard about your company yet. You not only give your company some needed air time, but you also give your business’s credibility a big boost. See here for the full blog post:
  10. 10. 8. For developers – Sponsor a Hackathon There’s a great chance that the best talents already have a job. The thing is that you can still gain access to them. How? Have a hackathon! The types of developers who attend this event have 3 great characteristics: ● amazingly driven ● exceedingly curious ● have a passion for experimentation You get to see them in action & know how they thrive in a very competitive environment. Thus, you’ve just created a hot bed for awesome developers. See here for the full blog post:
  11. 11. 9. Offer a finder’s fee In case you haven’t heard yet, there’s a worldwide war for great developers. Take Hubspot for example. They are offering $30,000 (yes, the numbers are correct!) to anyone who can refer an ‘awesome’ developer that they go on to hire. This is not saying you offer the same amount, this is simply to emphasize further that good developers are really high in demand. Why not create a similar scheme for you digital business to encourage more referrals? See here for the full blog post:
  12. 12. Want the nitty-gritty details for each step? Click here for the full blog post