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Any seasoned CTO will tell you it’s extremely tough to hire developers, especially in Massachusetts. Devs are in high demand and can command top salaries anywhere. So, how do you not only find the right fit but get them to want to work for you?

I’ve been building tech teams for the last 10 years. In my experience, the distinguishing factor to retaining developers is team culture and opportunities for personal growth and development. When I look for new hires, I know that these are my two biggest selling points. But, let’s back up. How do you source top candidates in the first place?

1. Define your company culture

What makes your work environment different, special? What can a developer expect to learn while working with you? What does advancement look like on your team? What personal qualities do you value most in your team members? You need to have these answers clearly articulated for yourself because it makes any pitch you give to a candidate more genuine and concrete.

2. Network, network, network

Our marketing manager networking at a community event.

No secret here. One of the best ways to find developers is at local Meetup events, especially since you can find ones around specific tech stacks. Networking events can be tricky, though. If you go with your recruitment hat on, you’ll be spotted from a mile away. Aim to get to know people, make friends, and maybe sponsor an event. Be a genuine, helpful person.

3. Enlist a good recruiter

Notice, I said a good recruiter. Most recruiters play the numbers game. If they have a 10-hire quota, they will send 1,000 candidates. This offloads all the work onto you — the hiring manager.

A good recruiter works for the developer and knows that culture-fit matters. This is to your benefit. When a recruiter emphasizes culture-fit to place candidates, they only work with the best developers to avoid wasting time with people they know they can’t place.

In my experience, smaller firms or developer agents are more likely to be on the side of the developer. It’s your job to communicate your company culture and what you’re looking for in a new hire. I recommend JS Cheerleader and The Tyche Project.

What do you do in the meantime?

We’ve established that hiring for fit is important, and, for better or for worse, that usually takes time. On average, it takes three months to find and hire a developer. Usually, that’s too long to wait to start getting work done.

That’s where staff augmentation comes in. You can hit the ground running and enjoy some of the benefits of permanent hires in the short term.

The best staff augmentation teams are the Navy SEALS of development. They receive orders, quickly assess the situation, and get to work. In, out, done. They know that over-communicating and adhering to best practices are critical for their work to integrate well with any existing builds and for future success once they’re gone.

You can hire for the specific skill set that you require, then switch out the resource when your needs change. Theoretically, you can have an expert doing what they do best every step of the way.

Also, it’s not a permanent cost. You can have the development help you need for as long as you need it. Not all companies are ready for a permanent hire, especially when you’re only looking for a boost for the next three months to hit a big feature release. It could end up saving you thousands of dollars.

How are you handling the stress of hiring? Are you worried about missing your development deadlines? If you are considering Staff Augmentation as an option sign up for our free staff augment consultation.