Hiring a Developer: The Know-All Guide
For Employers

May 07, 2024

Hiring a Developer: The Know-All Guide

In a recent KPMG survey, a staggering 70% of organizations admitted to at least one project failure in the past year. And half of them confessed that their projects didn't meet their intended goals. Beyond issues like insufficient market research, poor technology choices, and flawed implementation, this eye-opening statistic underscores the critical need for qualified developers to drive projects efficiently and effectively.

Consider this: according to a Statista report, the global developer population is projected to hit 28.7 million by the end of 2024. With such a vast pool of professionals, you might assume that hiring a programmer would be a breeze. But the reality is far from it. CodeSubmit reveals that 64% of IT industry leaders worldwide struggle to hire candidates due to a lack of requisite skills or experience.

Leading challenges in recruiting employees in the IT industry worldwide

It's no secret that programmers are in high demand across industries today, whether it's for a small business website, a smartphone app, or a computer game. While you may have a plethora of brilliant ideas for your project, none of them can materialize without the right programmer.

Indeed, programmers can make or break a company, which is why hiring them can be both challenging and costly. As a global remote work platform, we've crafted this comprehensive guide to hiring a qualified software developer. Inside, you'll discover how to assess your hiring needs, locate qualified candidates, evaluate potential hires, assemble a robust development team, determine fair compensation, and tap into a broader candidate pool.

Our aim with this go-to guide is to provide you with insights, methodologies, and best practices for hiring software developers, covering every aspect from initial planning to integration of your new team members. So, let's explore it step-by-step.

Hire Faster with Index.dev

Plus, you can also choose Index.dev, your go-to partner for hiring the world’s most thoroughly vetted remote tech talent:

  1. Global Talent Pool: With over 15,000 developers, designers, product managers, data engineers, and AI specialists from around the world, we've got the global talent pool you need to find the right fit programmer for your team.
  2. Rigorous Vetting Process: No more sifting through countless resumes! We meticulously vet our developers for both technical prowess and soft skills. Plus, we ensure they have a solid remote work background and adhere to US work ethics.
  3. Curated Candidate Selection: We don't just throw random candidates your way. For every open role you have, we handpick three to five candidates who are ready to interview, saving you time and effort.

Our approach combines precision and accurate matching, both technically and culturally:

  • Mind & Workspace: Leverage the power of our MIND algorithm to find that one ‘true dev’ with just a project or job description. Simply input your project or job details, and we'll provide you with quick candidate matches, complete with insights and scores. Plus, our extensive talent network can directly engage with your job postings, ensuring maximum exposure.
  • AI Matching + Human Touch: Our cutting-edge AI matching technology, fine-tuned by our expert recruiters and matchers, simplifies talent discovery and matching. This unique blend of AI and human expertise reduces time-to-hire and enhances recruiting efficiency.

Hire qualified developers from a vetted talent network right now → 


Step 1: Determining Your Hiring Needs

Identifying Business Objectives

Before you jump into hiring a programmer, take a moment to figure out what your business really needs and what skills your ideal candidate should have. This step is crucial for finding the perfect fit for your job. Think about what your business is lacking. Do you need help developing new software, or maybe maintaining your current website? Pinpointing these specifics will guide you in finding a programmer with the right expertise.

Before you start the hiring process, ask yourself why you need a programmer in the first place. Are you looking for someone to fix a problem with your system, create new software features, or start a project from scratch? Each of these tasks requires different skills, so being clear about your needs helps you find the right fit.

Setting Priorities

Setting a timeline for hiring can make the process smoother. Determine how urgently you need to fill the position. If it's a top priority, you might want to put all your effort into finding the right person quickly. But if it's less urgent, you can take your time and focus on finding the right fit.

Experience Matters

Consider the complexity and importance of the role when deciding on the required years of experience. For a simpler role, like working under a senior programmer, 0-3 years of experience might be enough. But for more responsibility, aim for 4-9 years, and for executive-level positions, look for candidates with 10+ years of experience. Being clear about experience requirements saves you time and effort when shortlisting candidates.

Essential Skills

Every programming job requires certain key skills. These are the core abilities needed to do the most important parts of the job. Look for these skills in candidates' resumes; those without them probably won't make the cut. For example, if you're hiring an Android programmer, you'll want to see Java and Kotlin skills, while for an iOS programmer, Swift or Java skills are essential.

Once you've figured out your business needs, the next step is to define your project scope. This means laying out the goals, features, and expected outcomes of your project. Clearly defining your project scope helps potential programmers understand what's expected of them.

Determining the Scope of Work

To start off on the right foot, clearly outline the scope of your project. Determine what you want to achieve, including objectives, functions, and desired outcomes. This clarity sets the stage for finding the right programmer for the job. Consider both short-term and long-term goals. Do you need help with a one-time project or ongoing support? This helps you find a programmer who matches your business needs and can provide the level of support you require. Take into account any specific requirements or limitations. Budget constraints, timelines, and deadlines should all be factored in to find a programmer who can work within your parameters and deliver results.

Setting Measurable Objectives

Before hiring, define quantifiable objectives or milestones you want to reach with this investment. These could include improving code generation rates or solving specific functionality issues. Having a clear timeline and vision ensures both you and the programmer are aligned.

Ensure your objectives are measurable so progress can be tracked effectively.

Identifying Deliverables

Consider what outcomes you expect from the project. Define success and break down deliverables into manageable phases, known as a work breakdown structure (WBS).

Ask yourself:

  • What WBS structure suits your project best?
  • Have you included all relevant key performance indicators?
  • Are tasks detailed enough to avoid scope creep?
  • Have all extensive and comprehensive tasks been outlined?

Outlining Functional Requirements

List all functional requirements for your software project, describing what the system should do. This includes administrative functions, user operations, and workflows.

Include details like:

  • Administrative functions and permissions
  • User operations for each screen
  • Workflows performed by the application
  • Consider hardware and software restrictions.
  • For complex projects, break down requirements for clarity.

Identifying Desirable & Deal-Breaker Skills

Clearly define desirable (nice to have) and deal-breaker (non-negotiable) skills for your programming profile. Deal-breakers might include respecting deadlines or basic communication skills. Desirable skills could be familiarity with specific technologies.

Identifying deal-breakers early improves the hiring process. For example, for a web programmer role, proficiency in UI/UX might be non-negotiable, while familiarity with AWS could be desirable.

Understanding the Types of Developers 

Before diving into job postings, it's crucial to grasp the different types of developers and their specialties. Frontend, backend, full-stack, and big data developers make up the bulk of tech hires globally. Let's explore each type:

Frontend Developer

These developers focus on the user interface of websites. They utilize HTML and CSS to control the site's appearance, ensuring compatibility across various devices. JavaScript is their go-to for creating interactive elements. Familiarity with JavaScript libraries and frameworks streamlines their work. They also optimize website performance and prioritize search engine optimization and accessibility.

Backend Developer

Backend developers build server-side applications, managing web server software, databases, and operating systems. Technologies like PHP and frameworks like Laravel are common in this realm. They may also work with C#, Python, Java, Ruby on Rails, or Node.js. Collaboration with frontend developers is typical, and they often create APIs to support frontend services.

Full-Stack Developer

Full-stack developers are proficient in all aspects of the development stack, from clients to databases. They handle various technical challenges across the board.

Read more: How Europe’s leading ticket booking service hired full-stack Java developers with Index.dev 

Big Data Developer

These developers specialize in leveraging data analytics tools and methods to benefit businesses. They design, code, and test data software and applications, often using languages like Python, R, Scala, or Julia. SQL proficiency is essential for handling relational databases.

AI/ML Developer

AI/ML developers design and implement software applications incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Their skill set includes programming languages like Python, R, Java, C++, and frameworks such as PyTorch, TensorFlow, or Jupyter. They often work with complex algorithms to process large datasets.

Hiring Models 

When it comes to bringing programmers on board, you've got four main options: full-time, part-time, contractors, and freelance. Each has its perks and drawbacks, so let's break them down:


These are permanent employees who work regular hours, usually 40 per week, and get benefits like health care and paid time off.


  • Face-to-face communication
  • Long-term commitment & cultural fit
  • Control over the working process
  • Alignment with company goals
  • Ability to train employees


  • Time-consuming & costly recruitment
  • High overhead & staff turnover
  • Limited local choices & tough competition

Best for:

  • Long-term projects
  • Flexible budget
  • Complete team coordination


Hiring part-time programmers means they work fewer hours than full-time staff, possibly with some benefits.


  • Flexibility
  • Cost-effectiveness 
  • Specialized expertise
  • Reduced overhead
  • Scalability


  • Limited availability
  • Fragmented communication
  • Less commitment
  • Coordination challenges

Best for:

  • Flexibility needs
  • Specialized Skills
  • Budget Constraints
  • Short-Term Projects


These folks work either full-time or temporarily on specific projects. They're paid hourly or by project and don't get employee benefits.


  • Immediate access to expertise
  • Simplified hiring process
  • Flexible cooperation & easy scaling
  • Moderate costs & quick hiring
  • Remote work & quality assurance
  • Diverse talent pool


  • Communication challenges
  • Transparency risks & less control
  • Cultural differences & management issues
  • Time zone differences

Best for:

  • Tight budgets
  • Niche tasks
  • Specialized projects


Independent programmers who work project by project, setting their rates and schedules.


  • Niche expertise
  • Large candidate pool
  • Small projects & lower costs
  • On-demand skills


  • Low retention & quality risks
  • Communication hurdles & IP protection
  • Lack of commitment
  • No immediate replacements

Best for:

  • Cost savings
  • Quick team scaling
  • Long-term projects

Hire qualified contractors from a vetted talent network across 100 tech skills through Index.dev →


Step 2: Creating a Job Description

Crafting an Effective Job Description

A good job description is essential for finding the right person. Think about the programming languages, tools, and technologies that match your project. Consider both technical skills, like coding abilities in Python or Java, and non-technical skills, like problem-solving and teamwork. 

Also, think about how much experience you need. Do you want someone with lots of experience, or are you okay with someone who's just starting out? Make sure you clearly explain what the job involves, what qualifications you're looking for, and what skills are needed. Keep it short and simple, but give enough detail so candidates know what to expect. You can use bullet points to make it easier to read.

Talk about the project the programmer will be working on. This can help spark interest in candidates who are passionate about similar projects. And don't forget to mention any perks, like flexible hours or remote work options. These can make your job listing more appealing.

And before you hit "post," double-check for any mistakes. A well-written job description shows you're serious about finding the right person.

Key Skills and Qualifications to Include

Technical skills

Each programming role requires specific essential skills, known as "must-have" skills. These are the core abilities needed to carry out the key tasks of the job. Evaluating candidates based on these skills helps narrow down the pool of applicants:

  1. Programming Languages: Programmers should be skilled in languages like Python, Java, or C++, with proficiency in at least one. For example, when hiring an Android programmer, essential skills may include Java and Kotlin proficiency. Conversely, for an iOS programmer, you'd prioritize candidates with Swift or Java expertise. Object-oriented programming (OOP) languages are especially important, as they form the foundation of modern computing. 
  2. Data Structures and Algorithms: Understanding data structures and algorithms is crucial for solving problems efficiently. Programmers need to know how to organize data effectively and implement algorithms to perform various tasks.
  3. Integrated Development Environment (IDE): Familiarity with IDEs streamlines code editing, packaging, and testing. IDEs offer features like automatic code editing and syntax highlighting, enhancing programmers' productivity.
  4. Cloud Computing: Knowledge of cloud systems like AWS, Azure, and GCP is essential. Cloud computing is used for tasks such as data backup, software development, and big data analytics, making it indispensable for businesses.
  5. Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): OOP relies on objects and classes, facilitating the creation of complex systems. Languages like Java and Python support OOP and are preferred for their simplicity and modularity.
  6. Containers: Understanding containers like Kubernetes and Docker enables consistent application deployment across various environments. Containers optimize workflow and accelerate application deployment, making them valuable for programmers.
  7. Git: Proficiency in Git, a version control system, is essential for managing source code changes efficiently. Git enables easy tracking and correction of errors throughout the development process, enhancing collaboration among programmers.
  8. Web Development: Proficiency in web development tools like APIs, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS is crucial for creating and maintaining websites. APIs facilitate communication between different software systems, while JavaScript enhances user interactions. HTML and CSS are fundamental for webpage structure and presentation.
  9. Database and SQL: Knowledge of SQL is essential for interacting with databases and organizing data efficiently. Programmers must understand database concepts and SQL to store and retrieve data effectively.

Soft skills

In addition to technical skills, soft skills play a vital role in a programmer's success. Here are key soft skills to look for:

  1. Communication: Effective communication is essential for collaborating with team members, stakeholders, and clients. Look for candidates who can express ideas clearly, listen actively, and communicate technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.
  2. Collaboration: Programming projects often require teamwork, so look for candidates who can work well with others. Strong teamwork skills involve being open to feedback, respecting others' opinions, and actively contributing to discussions and problem-solving.
  3. Adaptability: Technology evolves rapidly, so programmers need to adapt to new tools and methodologies. Seek candidates who embrace change, are proactive in learning, and can quickly adjust to new situations.
  4. Critical Thinking: Programmers encounter complex problems that require analytical and creative thinking. Look for candidates who can approach challenges with logical reasoning and innovative solutions.

Read more: 7 traits to look for when hiring top-level remote developers, excluding the hard-skills

Roles and Responsibilities

A programmer's role is to create, test, analyze, and maintain software programs that fulfill business needs. This involves writing and testing software, conducting research, and modifying software specifications as needed throughout its lifecycle.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Designing and creating software
  • Adjusting and upgrading current applications
  • Performing quality checks and tests for applications
  • Making records of operations for future use
  • Executing code builds across environments
  • Debugging existing programs
  • Maintaining software for optimal performance
  • Collaborating with design and marketing teams
  • Addressing user-submitted issues and inquiries

Developer Salary Globally

The salary of a developer varies widely, ranging from $55,000 to $135,000 per year globally. According to Glassdoor, the median salary is around $86,000, with an additional $11,000 in cash bonuses and profit sharing, especially common in startups.

Three main factors affect programmer salaries:

Language Specialization

Different programming languages command different salaries. For instance, Java programmers earn a median wage of about $87,000 annually, while PHP programmers earn around $102,000, and Python programmers earn approximately $120,000.


More experienced developers with a proven track record generally earn higher rates due to their ability to handle complex projects efficiently.


Geographic location plays a significant role in determining salaries, with higher costs of living typically correlating with higher rates. For example, developers in Silicon Valley often charge more compared to those in areas with lower living costs.

Project Complexity

The complexity of the project also influences costs, with more intricate projects requiring advanced skills such as AI algorithms and custom model development generally costing more.

At Index.dev, our vetted contracting engineers' hourly rates typically range from $60 to $80, ensuring quality talent and value for your project.

Hire qualified programmers from a vetted engineering talent network → 


Step 3: Finding Developers

Using Index.dev’s Platform to Find Proven Developers

Hiring programmers can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. So why not leave it to the experts? Let Index.dev, a tech remote work platform, handle the process for you. We specialize in building high-performing tech teams using AI-powered candidate matching and a Human-Led approach. Here's how we approach tech hiring:

4-Step Verification

  1. Extensive Sourcing: We scour over 500 diverse sourcing channels, including engineering communities and global job boards, to find top talent. We actively participate in tech events and conferences worldwide to identify the best candidates.
  2. Technical Skills Assessment: Our rigorous assessments evaluate resumes, interview responses, and hands-on technical skills. This ensures candidates have the required proficiency for the role.
  3. Screening Essential Workplace Skills: We prioritize essential workplace skills like analytical mindset, adaptability to evolving AI landscapes, and effective communication.
  4. Background Checks: We review candidates' GitHub profiles to verify their projects and contributions, ensuring transparency and authenticity.

Mind & Workspace

Utilize our MIND algorithm to find the ideal match based on project or job descriptions. Our talent network can directly engage with job postings, creating a dynamic hiring ecosystem.

AI Matching + Human-Led Approach

Refine talent discovery and matching, reduce time-to-hire, and enhance recruiting efficiency with AI matching, fine-tuned by our expert recruiters.

Through these strategies, we achieve a 97% trial-to-hire success rate, delivering high-performing developers who contribute to your project success from day one.

Alternative Hiring Channels


There are several channels you can explore to find skilled programmers. Online platforms like LinkedIn are great for connecting with experienced professionals. Specialized job boards and recruitment agencies can also help you find programmers with the specific skills you need. When searching on LinkedIn, use the advanced search feature to filter results by location, experience, and programming languages.


GitHub is another valuable resource where developers showcase their work and collaborate on projects. By looking for programmers who have contributed to similar projects, you can find individuals with the expertise you're looking for.


Developer referrals are also a top option for finding qualified developers. Here's why:

  • Employees are more likely to refer candidates who they believe have the right skills and fit well with the company culture.
  • Referrals can speed up the hiring process by quickly identifying and evaluating candidates, reducing time-to-hire.
  • Referrals are often more cost-effective than other methods, saving money on advertising and recruiting fees.
  • Referred employees tend to feel more connected to the company culture and show higher loyalty, leading to better retention rates.
  • Referrals contribute to a positive company culture by fostering a sense of community and collaboration among employees.

Networking and Industry Events 

Networking at industry conferences and meetups can be a valuable way to find skilled programmers. These events allow you to connect with professionals in the field, stay updated on industry trends, and potentially meet programmers who are looking for new opportunities.

Attending developer conferences, meetups, and tech events provides several benefits for hiring:

  • Networking Opportunities: You can meet and interact with developers, learn about their skills, and assess their fit for your company.
  • Insights into Trends: Conferences offer insights into the latest trends and technologies, helping you identify the skills needed for your team.
  • Brand Visibility: You can showcase your company's brand, values, and culture, positioning yourself as an attractive employer.
  • Passive Talent Pool: You can reach developers who are not actively job hunting but may be open to new opportunities if presented with the right offer.


Step 4: Evaluating Candidates

Initial Screening and Resume Review

When faced with a large pool of applicants, it's crucial to implement effective pre-screening processes to identify the most suitable candidates efficiently. Here's how you can simplify your initial screening and resume review:

  1. Utilize Multiple Filters: Implement various filters such as geographical location, language proficiency, and technical skills to narrow down the candidate pool based on your specific requirements.
  2. Eliminate Unqualified Candidates: Exclude candidates who do not meet the essential qualifications outlined in the job description during the initial round of shortlisting. This ensures that only candidates who meet the minimum criteria proceed to the next stage.
  3. Review Online Resources: Examine candidates' online portfolios, code samples, or links to previous projects to evaluate the quality of their work and assess their alignment with your organization's needs.
  4. Phone or Video Screening: Conduct brief phone or video screenings with shortlisted candidates to gauge their experience and communication skills, interest in the role, and clarify any questions they may have.

By implementing these screening techniques, you can efficiently sift through the applicant pool and identify candidates who are the best fit for your organization. 


Experience the power of Index.dev

Additionally, platforms like Index.dev can further enhance your recruitment process by leveraging advanced AI technology to refine talent discovery and matching, leading to faster and more accurate hiring decisions.

Index.dev offers a supervised Hybrid AI to optimize talent discovery and matching processes, ensuring that clients find the perfect fit for their job openings with ease. With just a job description, our platform revolutionizes the recruitment experience, enabling swift and accurate candidate selection.

Moreover, our extensive talent network engages directly with job postings on the platform, fostering a dynamic ecosystem that benefits both companies and candidates. This leads to a reduced time-to-hire and improved overall recruitment outcomes. 

Hire the elite 5% developers from a pool of 15,000 engineer profiles, covering over 100 skills and tech stacks, all in a fraction of the time and resources you'd spend otherwise →


Technical Interviews and Coding Challenges

Assessing Technical Skills

Technical prowess is crucial when hiring programmers. Consider administering coding tests or requesting code samples to gauge candidates' proficiency in required programming languages. These assessments should assess both language proficiency and problem-solving abilities. Analyzing candidates' code and solutions provides valuable insights into their grasp of programming concepts and their capability to tackle intricate problems.

Additionally, it's essential to consider candidates' experience with relevant frameworks and libraries. Proficiency in popular frameworks suggests a candidate's efficiency in leveraging existing tools to address complex challenges.

Coding Challenges and Assignments

Coding challenges and assignments offer a hands-on approach to assess a developer's capacity to debug and write code in scenarios resembling real-world complexities. Platforms like HackerRank provide a range of standardized challenges and allow for custom assignments tailored to the job's tech stack. This method offers a holistic evaluation of technical knowledge and practical coding skills.

Examples of coding challenges include:

  • Algorithm optimization: Tasks focused on refining and improving existing algorithms for enhanced performance.
  • Feature development: Assignments involving the addition of new features to an existing codebase, testing a developer's ability to innovate and integrate.
  • Debugging exercises: Specific tasks aimed at identifying and resolving bugs in provided code, evaluating a developer's attention to detail and problem-solving prowess.
  • System design: Scenarios where developers are tasked with designing a system or architecture, showcasing their understanding of complex software systems.

Read more: Best Practices for Evaluating Developer Skills

Live Coding Sessions and Pair Programming

Live coding sessions and pair programming provide dynamic methods for evaluating a developer's problem-solving abilities and adaptability. During live coding sessions, candidates are tasked with writing code in real-time, typically using languages like Python, Java, or JavaScript. This format offers valuable insights into candidates' thinking processes as they tackle coding tasks. It allows recruiters to assess technical skills while observing how developers communicate and collaborate under pressure. Pair programming takes this evaluation a step further by involving two programmers working together at one workstation. One programmer, known as the "driver," writes the code, while the other, the "observer" or "navigator," reviews each line of code as it's typed. The roles are switched frequently, enabling assessment of both technical skills and collaboration abilities in a dynamic environment.

Automated coding tests and platforms

Automated coding tests and platforms offer a scalable approach to assessing coding abilities across different languages and frameworks. These tools provide standardized tests, ensuring an impartial evaluation of programming skills. Here are some popular examples of assessment tools:

  1. CodeSignal: Known for its diverse range of coding challenges.
  2. LeetCode: Offers a comprehensive suite of problems that test various skills.
  3. HackerRank: Provides industry-specific challenges and tests.
  4. Codility: Focuses on real-life coding scenarios and efficient problem-solving.
Soft skills will be more critical to the success than tech expertise

Assessing Soft Skills and Cultural Fit

While technical skills are vital, don't underestimate the significance of soft skills. A developer who can communicate effectively, collaborate seamlessly, and adapt to changing circumstances can significantly improve project outcomes.

  1. Effective Communication: Look for candidates who can express ideas clearly, actively listen to others, and convey complex technical concepts concisely. Strong communication skills enable developers to bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders, facilitating smooth information flow.
  2. Cultural Fit Assessment: Hiring individuals who align with your organizational culture fosters better collaboration, job satisfaction, and productivity. Assess candidates' fit by asking about their past work culture experiences, approach to team conflicts, and alignment with company values.
  3. Shared Values and Vision: Alignment with company values and vision boosts motivation, engagement, and job satisfaction. When developers understand how their work contributes to overarching goals, it cultivates a sense of belonging and loyalty.
  4. Communication Styles and Collaboration: Effective communication is vital for smooth collaboration within technical teams. Developers should articulate technical concepts clearly and respect diverse perspectives. The ability to communicate with both technical and non-technical team members fosters smoother collaboration and problem-solving.
  5. Adaptability and Continuous Learning: Look for candidates who embrace adaptability and continuous learning. A culture that supports ongoing skills development attracts developers who strive to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

Read more: How Index.dev vets its developers for soft skills

Using Index's Platform for Candidate Evaluation

Our approach combines precision-driven methodologies and AI-driven matching to ensure exceptional service and targeted outcomes. With a streamlined 4-step vetting process, we swiftly and efficiently place top talent. It begins with a two-day workshop for requirement gathering, followed by a structured timeline for talent identification, vetting, and integration within a month.

Our extensive network features over 15,000 senior remote tech talents, rigorously vetted for quality and diversity. Each candidate undergoes thorough evaluation, assessing technical capabilities, soft skills, teamwork, collaboration, and cultural adaptability. This ensures we provide skilled professionals who seamlessly integrate into diverse work environments. Our talent pool spans over 100 technology stacks, enabling us to meet diverse client needs across sectors.

Here's how we ensure the best fit for you:

1. Extensive Sourcing

We leverage over 500 diverse channels, including engineering communities, forums, global job boards, and specialized platforms. Additionally, we actively engage in tech events, hackathons, and conferences worldwide to discover top talent.

2. Meticulous Technical Skills Assessment

Our thorough assessment process involves reviewing CVs to ensure alignment with essential tech skills such as programming languages, frameworks, algorithms, and system designs. We focus on evaluating candidates' ability to perform specific tasks and prioritize the quality of their work on platforms like GitHub. Rather than seeking proficiency in multiple languages, we prioritize candidates who excel in one or two key tech skills. Our aim is to identify developers who demonstrate reliability and excellence within their tech domain, reflecting their performance within tech teams.

3. Screening Essential Soft Skills

Our comprehensive developer assessment extends beyond technical expertise to evaluate essential soft skills, including:

  • Flexible Problem-Solving: Ability to adapt agile approaches to software development.
  • Communication Skills: Proficiency in effectively communicating with diverse stakeholders.
  • Creative Thinking: Essential for innovative problem-solving.
  • Focus on Analysis: Understanding the broader project implications beyond coding.
  • Time Management: Crucial for meeting deadlines, especially in remote settings.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Handling stress, collaborating effectively, and taking accountability.
  • Self-Learning: Recognizing the importance of staying updated with technological advancements.
  • Attention to Detail: Adherence to coding standards and best practices.

4. Laser-Focused Matching

While AI technology aids our processes, our core strategy revolves around handpicking tech talent for our clients. We conduct thorough evaluations considering a broad spectrum of criteria, including technical expertise, soft skills, alignment with specific tech needs, industry fit, communication prowess, problem-solving abilities, and more. Unlike platforms relying solely on skill-to-skill matching algorithms, we recognize the nuances in tech applications. For instance, Python can serve various purposes, and our human-led approach ensures a deeper and more nuanced assessment. This guarantees that the developers we recommend perfectly match the unique requirements of each company. 

We also address potential challenges associated with remote work, including communication barriers, onboarding, productivity oversight, and technical infrastructure. Our comprehensive strategies include robust communication tools, best practices training, and continuous support, ensuring smooth collaboration and success.

Hire the elite 5% developers from a pool of 15,000 engineer profiles, covering over 100 skills and tech stacks and saving 40% on development costs  →


Step 5: Making the Hiring Decision

Creating a Shortlist of Candidates

Once you've filtered your list of candidates, it's time to narrow it down further. Here's a step-by-step approach:

  1. Introductory Call: Initiate introductory calls with the shortlisted candidates to assess their communication skills and discuss their portfolios or previous projects. This helps gauge their fit for the role and team dynamics.
  2. Portfolio and Project Review: Request candidates to showcase their portfolios or previous projects. Evaluate the quality of their work, problem-solving approach, and relevance to the position's requirements.
  3. Final Selection: Based on the introductory calls and portfolio reviews, finalize a list of candidates to proceed to the interview rounds.

Here’s how you can effectively shortlist the best-fit candidates:

  • Resume Review: Thoroughly review resumes, cover letters, and job applications to assess candidates' qualifications and suitability for the AI position.
  • Work Experience: Evaluate candidates' past roles and responsibilities to understand their practical expertise and relevance to the software developer position.
  • Skills Alignment: Look for skills relevant to the role, including proficiency in machine learning, data science, natural language processing, and programming languages like Python for an AI developer role. 
  • Tools and Frameworks: Assess candidates' familiarity with essential tools and frameworks such as React, Angular, Node.js, crucial for success in e.g. JavaScript roles.
  • Achievements and Outcomes: Prioritize candidates with proven achievements (e.g. improving AI model accuracy and optimizing data pipelines for a Data Scientist role), showcasing their impact on previous projects.
  • Educational Background: Consider candidates' educational qualifications, including degrees in computer science, data science, or machine learning, as well as relevant certifications validating their expertise for (e.g. AI developer role). 

Conducting Final Interviews

The number of interview rounds can vary based on the job level. For entry-level roles, one or two rounds are usually enough. But for more experienced programmers, like those with over 5 years of experience, multiple rounds and technical tests may be needed. Some companies even do live coding tests before making a decision. Different organizations have different ways of conducting interviews. For entry-level positions, the team leader or project manager often conducts the interviews. For mid-level roles, it's usually the head of the department. And for senior positions, like those involving the CEO or CTO, they should be part of the interview process. 

Here’s are some tips for conducting final interviews: 

Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions are great for understanding how developers handle different work situations, like teamwork, stress, and conflict. These questions help assess their communication, adaptability, and problem-solving skills by asking about past experiences. Here are some examples:

  • Can you describe a time when you had to resolve a conflict within a team?
  • How did you handle a tight deadline or high-pressure task in your previous role?
  • Tell me about a situation where you had to adapt to unexpected changes in a project.

Scenario-Based Exercises

Scenario-based exercises, like role-playing, provide a hands-on way for candidates to demonstrate their skills in navigating workplace situations and collaborating on problem-solving tasks. These exercises typically involve presenting candidates with hypothetical scenarios that mimic real-world challenges they may encounter on the job. By observing how candidates respond to these scenarios, hiring teams can assess their communication, problem-solving, and teamwork abilities.

Group Interviews or Team Interaction Sessions

Group interviews or team interaction sessions provide a valuable way to observe how developers engage with potential team members. During these sessions, developers are placed in a group setting with other interviewees or current team members to participate in discussions or collaborative tasks. This approach allows hiring teams to assess candidates' ability to work in a team environment, respect diverse opinions, and contribute effectively to group tasks. By observing how developers navigate these interactions, hiring teams gain insights into their potential fit within the team and their ability to collaborate with others.

Moreover, group interviews offer an opportunity to evaluate candidates' leadership qualities and how they handle differing viewpoints, which are essential for maintaining a harmonious and productive team dynamic.

Reference Checks and Background Verifications

Review of previous work and projects

Reviewing a developer's previous work, such as GitHub repositories or contributions to open-source projects, offers valuable insights into their coding style, project complexity, and consistency in coding practices. By examining these repositories, you can understand how developers organize code, document their work, and solve problems. This review reveals their real-world impact and collaborative skills.

For instance, analyzing involvement in open-source projects shows how developers engage in community-driven development and handle diverse coding challenges. This method is crucial for assessing technical competencies and practical experience in teamwork dynamics. Overall, reviewing previous work provides a comprehensive understanding of a developer's abilities and suitability for the role.

Reference checks

Reference checks with former employers or colleagues provide valuable insights into a developer's past work behavior, teamwork capabilities, and overall soft skills. By contacting references, hiring teams can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the developer's professional conduct and interpersonal dynamics in previous roles.

During reference checks, it's important to ask specific, work-related questions that explore the developer's reliability, emotional intelligence, and ability to handle feedback constructively. These inquiries can reveal how the developer has contributed to team projects, managed relationships with colleagues, and adapted to various work environments.

Negotiating Salary and Terms

Negotiating salary and terms involves several key steps to ensure a fair and mutually beneficial agreement:

  1. Check the market standards: Understand the standard salary ranges for the programming profile you're hiring for. This baseline helps you gauge what is reasonable to offer and whether you can exceed it to attract super-qualified talent.
  2. Know your candidate's expectations: Inquire about the candidate's financial and non-financial expectations early in the process to avoid surprises later on. If their expectations are above your budget or market standards, discuss this openly and decide if there's room for negotiation.
  3. Consider your ROI: Evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of hiring the candidate. Discuss with relevant stakeholders to ensure alignment and address any objections. If the ROI is positive and all parties agree, proceed with making the offer.

Build a high-performance technical team with confidence by hiring qualified and vetted developers with Index.dev →


Step 6: Onboarding and Integration

Preparing for the Developer's Arrival

When your new developers join the team, make sure they have everything they need to start strong, fit right in and pass the ‘empty chair test’. Tell them what they'll be working on in their first few weeks, when they should be working, who their team is, what coding rules to follow, and how you'll all communicate and work together. Leave no stone unturned in providing a seamless onboarding experience with:

First-Day Rituals

It's important to start off on the right foot. On the first day, set up traditions to help new hires feel welcomed and like they're part of the team. These traditions might involve a welcome breakfast, a meeting with the team to introduce everyone, or a special note from the manager. Make sure to handle the technical stuff too by giving them login details and access to all the tools they'll need, like project management systems, email, chat apps, and learning platforms.

Provision of Equipment and Essential Tools

New hires need the right gear and tools to get started smoothly. Make sure they have everything they need to dive into their daily tasks.

  1. Setting Up the Development Environment: New developers should have all the necessary software installed, licenses sorted, and access granted. This includes the IDE (Integrated Development Environment), source control tools, databases, and any other essential software.
  2. Access to Codebase and Overview: Provide access to the code repository and give them a tour of the codebase. Understanding the architecture at a high level is key to grasping how different parts of the system fit together.
  3. Access to Documentation: Direct new developers to existing documentation covering coding standards, design patterns, and workflows. If possible, give them a reading list for their first few days. Even better, show them examples of well-written code to learn from.

Assigning an Onboarding Buddy or Mentor

Starting a new job can feel daunting. Pairing each new hire with an onboarding buddy or mentor can ease the transition. Here's how it works:

  • Onboarding Buddy: Each new hire gets paired with a seasoned team member who acts as their onboarding buddy. This buddy is there to answer questions, introduce them to the team, and share insights into your workflows, processes, and culture.
  • Mentorship: In addition to the onboarding buddy, assign a mentor who's a more experienced professional in the same field. The mentor offers industry-specific guidance and helps new team members build thriving careers.

Initial Training and Orientation

Once you've equipped them for success, it's time to paint the bigger picture. Help new hires grasp what they're working on and why it matters. Outline details of current projects, clarify the company's development and testing standards, and ensure the new software engineer comprehends the company's goals. For the first week and month, you can use the following tactics:

First-week project-focused orientation

During the first week, delve into the project intricacies, your industry sector, and the clientele you serve. Highlighting satisfied clients who are leaders in the industry will inspire and motivate your new developers, encouraging them to swiftly complete the onboarding process and dive into their work with enthusiasm.

Additionally, appoint a senior developer to provide a detailed overview of the company's operational processes. Unlike the initial day, new hires should engage hands-on with company-specific coding methodologies before fully immersing themselves in a project.

First-month mentoring and motivation

During the initial month of onboarding remote developers, your primary goal should be to sustain their enthusiasm from day one. Shift your focus from hiring and onboarding to training and development to bolster retention efforts. Gradually increase the responsibilities of your new developers as they grow more accustomed to the team and its objectives. In addition to assigning low-risk coding tasks as part of the software developer onboarding process, provide opportunities for upskilling through courses to further develop their skills and improve their confidence. Follow up with one-on-one meetings to review their progress and offer constructive feedback.

Setting Expectations and Goals

Ensure clear expectations are set for your new developers, outlining performance metrics, deliverables, and how their work and productivity will be assessed. Simplify the process for new hires by providing a list of their regular tasks, goals, and key performance indicators.

Offer consistent feedback and support to assist new developers in meeting these expectations. Be ready to provide additional training or resources if necessary to aid in their development.

Promote Collaboration

Software development thrives on collaboration, so cultivate an environment that fosters teamwork and open communication. Actively seek out diverse viewpoints and encourage cross-team collaboration to enrich discussions and streamline the developer onboarding process.

Avoid Overwhelming New Developers

Recognize that adjusting to a new role in software development can take time. Avoid overwhelming new developers with large tasks and tight deadlines too early on. Rushing this process can lead to unnecessary stress and mistakes. Taking a gradual approach allows developers to acclimate comfortably, ultimately benefiting the team in the long term.

Ongoing Support and Development

In many companies, the onboarding process wraps up within a month or after meeting new hire requirements. However, it's beneficial for HR or managers to conduct regular check-ins with new developers, especially for distributed tech teams. Some remote developers may require coaching, mentoring, and ongoing learning opportunities to achieve their goals successfully. 

At Index.dev, we advocate for continuous support and development to seamlessly integrate remote software developers into your workflow. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Provide Access to Technology Courses: Offer remote software developers access to in-demand technology courses to enhance their skills and advance their careers.
  2. Foster Collaboration: Ensure remote developers are included in discussions alongside on-site team members. Utilize tools and techniques to drive collaboration and keep everyone connected.
  3. Implement Pair Programming: Pair programming promotes collaboration and accelerates the integration of new developers. By working on the same code together in real time, developers improve product quality and learn from each other's expertise.
  4. Encourage active participation: Foster a positive team culture from all team members, including remote employees. Remote work culture should prioritize collaboration, open communication, and mutual respect. When remote team members feel valued and engaged, their commitment to the organization grows.

Read more: How to Build an Effective Developer Onboarding Process 


Enterprise-Level Remote Support

At Index.dev, our clients are our top priority. That's why we provide dedicated support tailored to your needs throughout the entire process, from remote hiring to ongoing management. Here's what our Enterprise-Level Support entails:

  • Personalized Service: Your dedicated Account Manager understands your unique requirements and works closely with you to address any challenges or issues that may arise.
  • Prompt Issue Resolution: Whether it's troubleshooting technical problems or resolving any other issues, your Account Manager ensures a seamless experience by swiftly addressing any concerns.
  • Talent Retention: We are committed to maintaining high talent retention rates, and your Account Manager plays a crucial role in fostering strong relationships between clients and our tech talent.
  • Value Optimization: Your Account Manager is dedicated to maximizing the value of your partnership with Index.dev. They offer guidance and support at every stage, helping you achieve your goals effectively.

Save 40% on development costs by hiring the top 5% of 15,000 engineer profiles →


Step 7: Building a Strong Developer Team

Promoting Collaboration and Teamwork

Shared Vision and Goals

Team cohesion thrives on shared objectives and aims, fostering engagement and dedication. Effective tech leadership involves crafting an inspiring product vision and elucidating how each team member's contributions propel the organization toward this vision. Establishing quantitative targets for features, quality, and release dates ensures alignment across the team. Regular progress updates toward these objectives reinforce everyone's commitment.

Understanding one's role within the broader purpose leads to more thoughtful decision-making. Team members are less likely to divert attention from crucial tasks when they recognize their impact on overarching goals. Thus, shared objectives serve as a catalyst for cohesive collaboration in attaining project milestones.

Efficient Communication Methods

To avoid overlooking critical tasks, utilize streamlined communication channels. Software platforms like Jira and Asana facilitate organized issue tracking and approval processes, while chat applications such as Slack or Teams offer rapid responses to queries and clarifications.

Regular stand-up meetings promote alignment among team members. By sharing daily plans and identifying obstacles, dependencies are promptly addressed.

However, using too many disparate tools can lead to information overload. Leaders should establish protocols for team communication, selecting universally agreed-upon channels. For instance, important design deliberations may warrant face-to-face conversations, while bug fixes can be managed through task-oriented workflows.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Leaders can promote cross-functional collaboration through initiatives like hackathons, tiger teams, and job shadowing. Cross-team collaboration allows designers and developers to collaborate on prototyping, fostering mutual understanding. Testers benefit from gaining deeper knowledge of app functionality by working closely with engineers, while engineers develop a better grasp of quality risks. This approach also aligns with DevOps principles, promoting faster development processes. Sharing knowledge across roles prevents requirements from being lost in translation and stimulates creativity and innovation. 

Choosing the Right Tools

Software development thrives when teams have the appropriate tools, enabling them to concentrate on innovation rather than managing integrations and manual tasks. DevOps tooling should unite teams throughout the software development process, allowing developers, QA, security professionals, product managers, designers, and team leads to collaborate and track project progress. Using the correct tools aids in overcoming obstacles, maintaining version control, and boosting productivity. Key tools for enhancing team velocity include:

  • Automation: Integrating automation reduces the risk of human error and frees developers from mundane tasks. This allows them to focus more on delivering value to the business and customers. Automation also handles tasks that might be overlooked during busy release cycles, such as load balancing and security testing scheduling.
  • Security: Security is a shared responsibility throughout the development lifecycle but remains a significant bottleneck in software releases. A comprehensive security solution, including SAST, DAST, dependency scanning, and license compliance, helps mitigate risks and ensures higher-quality, secure code.
  • Integrated CI/CD: CI/CD facilitates faster delivery of high-quality software to customers. By integrating CI/CD, teams catch errors earlier in the development cycle, preventing poor-quality code from reaching production. This results in less manual effort and fewer integration issues.
  • Project Management: Effective project management tools aid in release planning, increasing visibility, maintaining project timelines, and identifying stakeholders. Features such as Kanban boards, issue tracking, and epics help teams stay organized and focused on project requirements.

Read more: 18 Indispensable Productivity Tools for Remote Development Teams

Regular Meetings & Check-Ins

Daily standups, sprint planning sessions, retrospectives, and periodic progress reviews are vital for maintaining alignment within the team. These routine sync points enable team members to identify dependencies, address blockers, and ensure everyone is on the same page. Providing meeting guides and clear agendas helps keep discussions focused and productive. Managers should foster an environment of openness during meetings by actively encouraging input from all team members, including introverts, and valuing constructive feedback. This inclusive approach promotes effective communication, free from inhibitions or biases, leading to better collaboration and outcomes.

Continuous Learning and Skill Development

Instead of just focusing on promotions, organizations should adopt a holistic approach to career development. This means implementing clear, fair, and personalized policies for tech career advancement. Understanding what motivates your tech talent is crucial for keeping them engaged and helping them reach their full potential. Blindly promoting employees without guidance can lead to disengagement and lower productivity.

Here are some tips for providing effective learning opportunities to your tech team:

  • Offer challenging assignments that go beyond their daily tasks. This hands-on experience encourages growth and allows them to apply their skills in new ways.
  • Provide access to a variety of training resources. Consider online courses, conferences, workshops, and internal knowledge-sharing initiatives to accommodate different learning preferences.
  • Foster transparency and open communication. Share organizational challenges, future plans, and strategic goals to give your team a sense of purpose and ownership.
  • Create a platform for open discussions and feedback. Encourage employees to voice their concerns, share ideas, and contribute to the team's direction.
  • Implement coaching and mentoring programs. Pairing experienced individuals with new hires or high-potential employees can accelerate learning and provide valuable support.
  • Help them see the bigger picture. Show how their individual growth and skill development contribute to the organization's success and help achieve its goals.

Read more: Top 13 Tech Certifications for 2024

Strategies of retaining top tech talent

Managing and Retaining Talent

A mere 13% of businesses claim they can both hire and retain the tech talent they need most. Yet, a mere quarter of the 1,179 leaders surveyed in Deloitte’s 2023 Global Technology Leadership Study see attracting and nurturing talent as a top priority for their tech departments. It's not merely about filling tech positions – it's a strategic imperative that could impact the enterprise's growth.

Consider these key factors for retaining tech talent:


Offering flexible or hybrid work setups is the top method to retain high-performing tech talent – and these professionals now expect it. A significant 52% of tech talent prefers remote-first models, with a third desiring fully remote work indefinitely. Moreover, 46 percent of tech employees would contemplate leaving an organization that restricts remote work flexibility.


Qualified tech talent seeks organizations with a clear sense of purpose. Creating a compelling mission, vision, and purpose is seen as the second-best way to retain high-performing talent. Tech professionals are drawn to job opportunities primarily based on the meaningful work they'll undertake.


A significant 41% of IT workers express dissatisfaction with their jobs due to a lack of career advancement opportunities. Supporting their learning and development is crucial, but equally important is recognizing the value of diverse career paths. This means offering insight into various career opportunities, providing frequent performance feedback, and granting autonomy to shape their careers.

Soft Skills

While technical expertise remains vital, softer skills like leadership, communication, problem-solving, and collaboration are increasingly crucial for tech talent' success. These non-technical skills significantly contribute to a tech-focused team's effectiveness and may endure longer over time.

Find not only skilled workers but also long-term teammates. Index.dev contractors stay engaged for an average of 14 months and exceed, in 95% of cases, customers' average employee retention rates →

Handling Conflicts and Challenges

In software development conflicts can arise from various sources, whether it's a disagreement over code or a team member having a rough day. Even minor miscommunications can snowball into larger issues that disrupt the entire team. Here are some steps to mitigate conflicts and friction within your software development team:

Establish Clear Communication Channels

By setting up channels like regular team meetings, dedicated communication platforms, and feedback mechanisms, you create an environment where team members feel comfortable addressing conflicts and concerns constructively.

Promote Active Listening and Empathy

By listening attentively and showing empathy, team members can acknowledge differing viewpoints, fostering an environment where conflicts are approached with understanding and respect.

Implement Mediation Processes

Formal mediation processes provide structured frameworks for resolving conflicts. Designating trained mediators who can guide discussions and help parties find mutually acceptable solutions can be invaluable in addressing complex conflicts within software development teams.

Encourage Collaborative Problem-Solving

Engaging team members in collaborative problem-solving empowers them to collectively address conflicts. This approach fosters creativity and idea-sharing, leading to comprehensive resolutions that consider various perspectives and potential outcomes.

Establish Constructive Feedback Mechanisms

Creating a culture of ongoing feedback and constructive criticism is crucial for preventing conflicts from escalating and promoting continuous improvement within the team. Providing feedback in a respectful and transparent manner promotes growth and encourages proactive conflict resolution.

Also read: Index.dev’s Formula on Building High-Performing Tech Teams


Why Choose Index.dev for Hiring Developers?

Finding the right developers through traditional methods can be cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming. However, with Index.dev, you can swiftly access the top 5% of developers from a meticulously curated and thoroughly vetted network of global frontend, full-stack, back-end, data engineering, and AI/ML talent within just 48 hours.

Here's why tech companies prefer hiring programmers through Index.dev:

1. Rigorous Vetting Process

Every applicant to the Index.dev network undergoes a rigorous 4-step vetting process. Our highly selective approach ensures a remarkable 97% trial-to-hire success rate, giving you confidence in the quality of candidates.

2. Time Efficiency

Our commitment is to present you with 3 qualified, interview-ready candidates for any open role within 48 hours. You take the lead in conducting interviews, saving you valuable time and effort.

3. One-Month Trial

With no upfront costs, complimentary platform access, and a fee based on successful completion of a one-month trial, we align our success with yours. This trial period allows you to assess the candidate's fit before making a long-term commitment.

4. Cost Savings

By hiring developers through Index.dev, companies can significantly reduce hiring and development costs. Whether you need to hire 1 or 10+ contractors, you'll enjoy substantial cost savings compared to traditional hiring methods.

5. High Retention

Index.dev boasts a remarkable talent retention rate, meaning that companies not only find skilled workers but also long-term teammates. Our developers stay engaged for over 14 months on average, ensuring stability and continuity in your projects.

6. High Trial-to-Hire Rate

97% of ML engineers placed by Index.dev successfully pass the trial period and continue with the company long term. This high rate indicates a high level of satisfaction and success in the hiring process.

7. Risk Management

Index.dev handles all the risks associated with hiring remote developers. Our constantly improved hiring process and methods ensure successful outcomes for our clients, minimizing risk and maximizing results.

Let Index.dev be your trusted partner in hiring qualified and vetted developers or building a robust high-performing technical team with confidence. 

And if you're a skilled developer seeking high-paying remote jobs, joining Index.dev can connect you with promising projects in the US, UK, and EU markets.