Mistakes to avoid when hiring a developer for a specific project

Hiring the wrong developer
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Published On

March 23, 2023



Hiring a developer can be daunting, especially if you don't know what you're looking for. Making the wrong decision about a software developer could result in wasted time and money, so it's essential to do your research before hiring one. If a developer isn't the right fit for your project or your company's values and culture, there could be more headaches. Here are some common mistakes that companies make when hiring remote developers.


What to look for when hiring a developer

When looking for a developer, it's important to understand the different types of developers and their skill sets. You don't want to hire a front-end developer if you need someone to do back-end work.

You also need to consider how much time and money you're willing to spend on your project. Suppose it's an important part of your business and will significantly impact its success. In that case, hiring an experienced full-stack engineer or team is worth the investment--but if this is a one-off project, then you can look at freelance developers.

And let's not forget, when hiring a developer, personality matters too! You want to make sure you choose someone who is skilled, has a good sense of humor, and can handle the occasional dad joke (or pun, if that's more your style). They don't need to be a comedian, but make sure they fit with your company culture.

When interviewing potential developers, asking them about their problem-solving skills is important. You want to find someone who can think creatively and outside the box when faced with a difficult coding challenge. The ability to troubleshoot and come up with innovative solutions is crucial in the world of programming and can make all the difference in the success of your project. Ask for examples of how they've solved challenging problems in the past, and look for candidates who are confident, adaptable, and able to work well under pressure.


Know what type of developer you need

There are many different types of remote software developers, and knowing what type you need for a specific project is important. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Front-end Developers - These are the people who create websites and web apps that users see, interact with, and can use, also known as "client-side" work. They're responsible for designing interfaces (the layout) and ensuring everything works when users interact with them. They use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a website or app's visual and interactive elements.
  • Back-end Developers - These people focus on how things work behind the scenes. They write code that makes your website run smoothly without any problems or bugs, so if something happens unexpectedly, this is where we look first! They are responsible for building the application's server side, which handles data storage, server-side scripting, and database management. They work with languages like PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Python.
  • Full-stack developers - These developers have expertise in both front-end and back-end development. They can work on all aspects of an application, from the user interface to the server-side code.
  • Web developers - These developers specialize in building websites. They use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create the visual and interactive elements of a website, as well as back-end languages like PHP, Python, or Ruby on Rails to build the application's server side.
  • App developers - These developers specialize in building applications for mobile devices. They use programming languages like Java, Swift, or Kotlin to build the app's functionality and may work on both the front-end and back-end.
  • Other developers - There are other important types of developers to keep in mind, including database developers, who specialize in managing and designing databases; DevOps developers, who are responsible for managing the development process from start to finish; and AI and machine learning developers, who specialize in building applications that use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.


The impact of hiring the wrong developer

Hiring the wrong developer can have a significant impact on your business. The cost of hiring the wrong employee includes:

  • Quality of work - If you hire someone who doesn't know what they're doing, their work could be subpar at best--and could even result in legal issues if something goes wrong with their code or design work!
  • Financial Loss - You can save a lot of money by hiring someone who knows what they are doing. The wrong developer can cost your company more money than you think. For example, if they do not know how to use the right tools and technologies, they will have to spend more time learning and trying different solutions. This will result in slower progress and an increase in costs.
  • Loss of time - Hiring the wrong developer can cause your project to take longer than expected. This could mean you miss deadlines or milestones, negatively impacting your business operations and profits. On top of that, you may have to spend even more time and money finding a replacement. Having an experienced developer on board ensures that they know precisely how long it will take them to complete the project without having to keep asking questions all along the way.
  • Impact on company reputation - If you hire an inexperienced developer for a specific project, then it may reflect poorly on your company as a whole because people will likely see them as being incompetent or unprofessional when working with clients or customers who are not aware that your business hired this person.

If you decide to hire a developer, ensure they are qualified and experienced in the field. Otherwise, you could end up with a poor-quality product which will only cost you more money in the long run.

Hiring a developer? Onboard them the right way with our free checklist!


Common hiring mistakes

Many common hiring mistakes occur when hiring software developers. Let's review some of them so that your hiring managers know what to do in the interview process to find the best new hires for your job openings.


Not defining the scope of work

When hiring a new developer for a project, it's essential to define the scope of work upfront. This means understanding what you want to accomplish, who will be involved, what resources are required, and any constraints or limitations. You want to avoid misleading job descriptions, so you don't look for the wrong candidate. It's like setting the GPS coordinates before embarking on a road trip: you want to ensure you're headed in the right direction before hitting the gas!

Outline the technical requirements: In the hiring process, outline the technology stack you want the developer to work with and any other technical specifications or job requirements that are important to you.

By clearly defining the technical requirements, you're helping your developer make informed decisions about how best to develop your product or service. This knowledge can help avoid misunderstandings or miscommunications and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

If you're unsure what technical requirements you need, don't hesitate to ask for help! A good developer can guide you in the right direction and help you find the right tools and technologies to bring your project to life. Remember, job seekers, want to avoid common hiring mistakes too. The last thing they want is to waste their time with insufficient job descriptions, bad hires, or poor job interviews.

Some other things to clarify when defining the scope of work:

Communication plan: Establishing a clear communication plan with your developer is critical to ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the project. This includes determining how often you'll check in, what channels you use, and who will communicate with other team members or stakeholders. You might use email, phone, video chat, or project management software. Communication skills are often overlooked but essential skills needed to be an effective software developer. Setting clear expectations and establishing a regular cadence for communication can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure the project stays on track.

Testing and quality assurance: Testing and quality assurance are essential components of any software development project. You should determine how testing will be handled throughout the project, including who will be responsible for testing, what types of tests, and how often they'll be performed. Ensure the final product meets your expectations and is free of bugs and other issues. This may involve establishing specific testing criteria or using automated testing tools to streamline the process.

Scope creep: Scope creep is a common challenge in software development projects, where the project's scope expands beyond its original parameters. This can happen for various reasons, including changes in requirements, unforeseen technical challenges, or stakeholder feedback. Establishing a process for handling any changes or additions to the project is crucial to prevent scope creep from derailing your project. This may involve defining a change management process, which includes assessing the impact of any proposed changes on the timeline and budget and obtaining sign-off from all relevant stakeholders before moving forward. By staying vigilant for scope creep and having a straightforward process for managing changes, you can ensure your project stays on track and meets your expectations.


Not defining a budget or timeline

Budget and timeline are also aspects of scoping new development jobs.

Before you begin the hiring process, knowing your budget is important. You may be tempted just to start looking for developers and then decide on how much money you want to spend later. But if this is your first time hiring a developer, then it's best to avoid making any rash decisions regarding price. This will also help you determine which technologies to use and set a timeline within your budget.

The same goes for timelines--you should also know how long it will take before starting this process. The more specific and detailed these things are in advance, the better chance that everyone involved will be happy with their respective roles. Ensure the timeline is realistic and consistent for all team members and everyone has agreed to the project requirements.


Not providing enough detail on your project

Do you want to hire a developer but are unsure what you want? That's like going to a restaurant and telling the chef, "just make me something delicious," without further guidance. 

While a good developer will ask questions to understand your project, you need to be able to provide enough details to help them make an informed estimate. If you can't answer basic questions about your project, it's hard for a developer to know how much time and effort it will take to bring your vision to life. Don't worry; even if you're not a tech expert, there are resources to help you identify your project's needs and goals. The more you can tell your developer about what you want, the better they can deliver a solution that meets your needs and expectations.

When hiring a web developer for any type of work, both parties need to define expectations from the start, so there are no surprises later when things start getting expensive (or worse yet: impossible).


Not finding the proper skill set

Another mistake you can make when hiring a developer is not finding the right skill set. If you're looking for someone with experience with a specific technology or framework, it's essential to find out if they have that experience.

For example, if your project involves building an iOS app using Swift 4 and Xcode 9, it would be best to hire someone who has worked on similar projects before; otherwise, it could take longer than necessary and cost more money. Because they are new hires, they will need training from scratch instead of picking up where another developer left off (or even worse -- not knowing what they are doing).

It's not just about finding someone with experience with the right technology or framework but also about finding someone with the right mindset and approach to problem-solving. Technical skills can be learned, but a developer who is curious, proactive, creative, and a good problem solver can be a game changer. They will help you build a great product, challenge you to think about things from a different perspective, and suggest solutions you might have yet to consider otherwise. 

When interviewing potential candidates, try to get a sense of their work style, personality, and technical skills. Ask them how they have solved problems and overcame challenges or project roadblocks. Ultimately, you want to find someone with the right technical skills, attitude, and approach to help your project succeed.


Not knowing what you're looking for in a developer or a remote development team

When hiring a developer or development team, knowing what you're looking for is important before you start your search. This means defining your requirements and ensuring they are clear to everyone involved. By doing this, you can avoid wasting anyone's time and ensure that you find the right match for your project's needs.

Getting all the information up front is key to avoiding surprises later on. Understand the necessary skills, experience, and technology required for your project to find the right person or team. Take the time to research applicants and identify talented candidates with the right set of skills and experience that will be most valuable to your project.

By knowing what you need, you can avoid hiring the wrong person or team for the job. Before starting your search, take the time to understand what problem you need to hire software developers to solve. This way, you can match your requirements with the right candidate or team and set your project up for success.


Treating software developers like commodities

Developers are not commodities. They are people, and they have lives outside of work. They also have preferences and personalities that can make them better suited for specific tasks or work environments than others. That's why it's so important to find a developer or team you can trust--a group of people who will listen to what you want to be done and then do it with integrity and care.

It's not about finding someone who is interchangeable with your current developer; it has everything to do with finding someone who understands what makes them unique, then leveraging those strengths to create something amazing together!


How to avoid future hiring mistakes


Have a defined hiring process

A lack of research is one of the most common mistakes in hiring a developer. You can't just hire someone because they're inexpensive or available. You need to find a developer with the skill set to complete your project on time and within budget. This requires a defined hiring process that outlines your requirements and expectations for the developer so that you can find the right candidate for the job.


Communicate expectations with hiring managers

When hiring a developer, it's important to communicate your expectations with the hiring manager. Ensure they understand what skills and experience are needed, as well as the technology and processes developers use. Hire a developer who is passionate about your project, well-qualified for the job description, and reliable. And ensure regular communication between yourself and the developer to avoid miscommunication or misunderstandings that could lead to project delays or failures. Following a defined hiring process and communicating your expectations with the hiring manager can increase your chances of finding the right developer for your project.


Final thoughts

While it's important to find the right person for your project, it's also crucial that you do so in a way that will ensure success for both parties involved. If you're looking for help finding and hiring developers, check out our blog post on what questions to ask when interviewing potential candidates!

If you’re looking to hire the right developer for your next project for the first time, contact Talentcrowd. We have a network of highly skilled developers ready to take on whatever challenge you can throw at them. We operate as a digital talent platform providing employers with pipelines of highly vetted senior-level technology talent and on-demand engineering resources. We're tech agnostic and cost-competitive. Find your next all-star developer at Talentcrowd.