How to hire developers for a startup?


HackerEarth is scaling. We’re rapidly adding developers, marketers and sales people to our team. At least with developers, you’d think that HackerEarth would have it easy, right? For a company that sources the best developers to companies all over, we shouldn’t have a problem finding a few developers for ourselves, right?

Unfortunately, recruiting is a lot more that finding developers. It’s a lot like dating – there are men and women in this world. Most of these men and women are looking for partners. But does that make finding a date easy? Of course not!

The point is, at a startup, you’re not only looking for a kickass developer. You’re looking for someone who relates to the problem your company is trying to solve. If they relate to it, they’ve also got to be motivated enough to tirelessly work on it. And if they’re willing to tirelessly work on it, they must be willing to take a significant pay cut from their market value and value company equity as the same.

And if you manage to find someone who’s willing to go through all of this, then you’ve still got to make sure that they fit the culture that you’ve envisioned for the company.

So you see, hiring a developer for a startup isn’t as easy as you think it is. However, having been associated with startups for a good few years, here’s a 5 step process that can help you hire a developer for your startup.

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4 things that will piss off your developer

Pissed off developer

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No matter what kind of company you’re running today, the use of technology is inevitable. You’re either using some kind of technology product or service to conduct your business. Furthermore, as your business scales, the requirement to build your technology becomes more and more pressing.

Enter the awesome developer. The answer to all of your scaling problem. The wizard who can will your ideas into working products.

Every company needs these kind of developers. But developers, at the end of the day are people. They’re people with emotions and they too have limits. You often hear of companies with high attrition rates. Yes, a large part of it could be the availability of another offer. But a lot of times, developers leave companies because they are angry.

They could be angry about a host of things, from the way the company is run, to the way they’re treated or because of their insensitive boss barking meaningless orders at them. Having worked with some of the brightest developers from the world, we’ve compiled a list of four things that will piss off your developers -

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Update on IndiaHacks Jobs and Prizes

HE prizes

Hey everyone. Here’s an update for everyone who took part in IndiaHacks. To recap, everyone who took part in IndiaHacks has the opportunity to sit for job interviews from Amazon and Flipkart. Apart from this, there were exciting prizes, namely -

1) 10000 INR Flipkart vouchers for ranks 1-3

2) 2000 INR Flipkart vouchers for ranks 4-50

3) 50 USD AWS credits for 200 top developers

4) Intel powered tablets for ranks 1 – 10.

5) iPod Shuffles for ranks 11 – 15.

The links for the AWS credits have already been issued to the eligible developers. With respect to the other prizes, processing is taking some time on the sponsors front and is now getting cleared up. Eligible candidates should receive intimation from the us on the prizes by the mid or late next week. Check your inbox for a mail from Saurabh from our team :).

On the jobs front, those eligible for the job description from Amazon and Flipkart have been sent the subscription form and those interested have already filled it out. We are forwarding the resumes to the respective companies and you will hear directly from the companies, if you have applied.

Once again, thanks so much for being a part of IndiaHacks. With respect to the sheer number  of people who took part in IndiaHacks, it is definitely right up there with any of the largest Hackathons in the world. And given how difficult the problems were we were surprised with the number of submissions we got.

Thanks for being patient!

The worst thing about working at the world’s best companies

I hate my job

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No company is flawless. As the promoter of a company, you can never keep everyone happy. There will always be something that you do in your company that can be done better or even something that just isn’t right about it. This happens to the best of the companies as well, including the ones that people have a cult following.

From an engineering standpoint, companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple will look at one of the best places in the world to work for. And they are. However, we’ve found out some interesting, some even shocking things about these companies, straight from the employees.

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How to fire an employee


The fear of the pink slip is in the back of every one of your employees’ minds. But little do they know that you, the managers of the company, fear giving out the pink slip too. No matter how valid the reason to let an employee go, the guilt of the rejecter often outweighs the pain of the rejected. But, if you’ve got to let go of a team member, it needs to be done. The effect of inefficient or unethical resources in your company will hinder it’s growth, and in turn affect the other employees as well.

In most instances, firing someone is a bad affair. There is no good way in which it can be done. There can only be the least bad way to firing anemployee. With that in mind, here are 5 things you’ve got to get right to make firing an employee as less painful an experience as it can be -

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And the winner’s of IndiaHacks are…

HE prizes

Each and every one of you.

Seriously, you guys, were awesome!

When the first kick off announcement was made on HackerEarth Facebook page regarding our once a year 24 hour coding extravaganza, one of our users said that 24 hours was too much. That’s like a full day, right?

But that was the thesis. We believed that if there was a contest, with really challenging questions, with an exciting list of prizes to be won, programmers wouldn’t mind sacrificing 24 hours from their weekend. Besides, if it’s what you love doing, it’s was going to be 24 hours of fun, right?

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Think twice before rejecting for lack of experience


In many world cultures, experience is revered. There are so many things, that only time can bring – maturity, calmness, expertise etc etc. Human resources extrapolates this to organisational structure too. The whitest heads are at the top of the organisation and the youngest ones learn the ropes by working in entry and mid level jobs.

The reason for this practice is closely related to education. If you look at the system today, you’re learning broad, general things at the undergraduate level. The requirements of industry are based on the concepts taught in college, but require more specific expertise to perform a job. Hence a new recruit is put through a training process, and with work experience, the candidate grows.

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When recruiting and marketing collide


Having worked with recruiters for a good amount of time now, one very interesting, and not so apparent fact comes to surface – recruiters are actually very good sales people. Selling a company’s offerings to a prospective hire requires a great degree of salesmanship. However, there is a very big demand for jobs today. And much to the discomfort the recruiter, there is not a big filtering process, before which a recruiters selling skills can be actually put to use.

Everyone wants a job, whether they’re qualified for it not. This is the main reason for the high signal to noise ratio. Add to the fact that the really good programmers are distributed very unequally. There is no one place where you can find enough of these guys.

The solution to this kind of situation in other disciplines has been marketing. And it will be so for recruiting as well. We at HackerEarth strongly believe that companies will have to use conventional marketing techniques to get the right kind of developers to be knocking at their door.

Quite a few forward thinking companies have caught on to this need and have shown the way for some very interesting marketing techniques that have attracted great developers to the company. We’ve made a list of cool marketing strategies used by companies to attract top developer talent -

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Introducing HackerEarth Date!

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We’re proud to announce the launch of HackerEarth date. As programmers, we have found it very difficult to find the right partners of life. Men and women programmers in our circles have found it very difficult to find the partners who relate to their passion for technology and their interests. Upon conducting an extensive market research, we have found that we and our friends weren’t the only people facing this problem.

Also, we were in the business of getting people hired, which, with every passing day, is seeming like matchmaking. Companies always want candidates who are the ‘right fit’ for them, just like how people want compatibility with their partners. Placing a candidate into a company is probably 30% skill validation and 70% matchmaking. We do it every single day.

So we thought, why not do the same for people? Everyone is looking for love and friendship in life. And hence, HackerEarth Date.

HackerEarth date will magically suggest guys and girls you should get to know, based on programming attributes, location, problems solved, likes and dislikes and many more things. Meeting them and taking things forward is completely the user’s prerogative.

Regular users of HackerEarth were given an early, sneak peek access to HackerEarth Date and we were surprised by the number of people who hooked up! Many programmers from around the world have profusely thanked us for helping them find their soul mates. One of our users, who’s name has not been revealed upon her discretion, said “Thanks to HackerEarth Date, I have found the CSS to my HTML, the Mongo for my DB. It’s magical! Thanks HackerEarth!”

We have extrapolated our match making algorithm for hiring, to match making for people. Of course, we have beefed it up using big data tools and cutting edge cloud computing techniques, artificial intelligence, machine learning, perceptive computing and our secret ingredient, love.

Sign up for HackerEarth date today.

Love and friendship is just a click away –

Last call – this is your chance to programming greatness! IndiaHacks is starting!

HE prizes

If you’re a programmer you have GOT to participate in IndiaHacks. And we’ll tell you exactly why -

For years, competitive Hackathons have been a great measure of finding out the best programmers in a community. But they were restricted by location. There are at least a 100,000 top notch competitive coders in India, and the only way to find the best was an elimination style contest. This was time consuming and expensive.

Platforms have evolved now., for example, can administer a full fledged competition to thousands of programmers at one go. That’s our business; we help companies find great developers in the fastest way possible.

But we’re programmers too. Why can’t our platform serve the programmer who’s in it for the joy of coding? We’ve been doing this for many months now, through our monthly challenges, where hundreds of programmers participate with us. IndiaHacks is the grand daddy of all of them.

If you’re participating in this year’s edition of IndiaHacks, you’re in for a surprise. There are jobs and exciting prizes to be won in this year’s edition of IndiaHacks. Firstly, Amazon and Flipkart, two of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world want the best programmers from IndiaHacks to work for them.

Also, Flipkart is giving away 10,000 INR worth gift vouchers to the first three winners. Rank 4 to 50 are also getting 2000 INR gift vouchers from Flipkart. AWS is giving away 200 developers 50 USD worth AWS credits. And as if that wasn’t enough, we’re giving away Intel Tablets to the first 10 programmers. 11 – 15 ranked programmers are getting Apple iPods.

Oh, and then there’s the wildcard entry. The top 29 candidates will get a wildcard entry to any HackerEarth hiring challenge, subject to eligibility. If you’re eligible for a job opening on HackerEarth, and you’re in the first 29 rank in IndiaHacks, you don’t have to take the test. You can use your wildcard entry and automatically put your name in the final shortlist.

So buckle up. This is going to be the most exhilarating 24 hours of your coding life. And you only have a handful of minutes to register, if you haven’t.

Register here -

Good luck guys!