Startups are often caught in a dilemma.

They have to contain their costs, optimize their working capital, and do full justice to the investments made. At the same time, startups have to hire quality software engineers.

Letting code out into the wild is like taking undue risks without good software engineers. Startups have to be super careful about this. Even a small glitch in a prototype can make the customers suspicious and picky about whether they will use any startup products.

5 Tips on How Startups Can Hire Software Engineers on a Startup Budget?

Here are some points as to how startups can hire software engineers on a startup budget rather than an enterprise budget.

Attract Creative and Driven Candidates


Remember that there are software engineers who like to work in challenging environments as much as environments with good benefits schemes for employees. These are talented and creative software engineers. They cannot work in sweatshops fixing obsolete or stale code someone wrote decades ago. They cannot work on products conceptualized and designed by other minds, and they have to fit into this. They’d rather exercise their original thinking by being part of a core group of professionals building a revolutionary product. The product becomes a manifestation of their mindset or output of their creative thought process.

Such professionals find redemption in startups. At startups, software engineers are not just mere bricklayers. They are brick makers. They are responsible for theorizing, conceptualizing, and implementing their ideas. Startups heavily rely on the minds of such engineers. So, a startup can identify such candidates by assessing their interest level, motivation level, zeal, technical expertise, and love for programming. Importantly – their passion for building new products.


Use Curated Tests to Sieve Out the Best


Whatever said and done, startups need the crème de la crème.

These people will define the destiny of this company. The ideas they put into motion will dictate the company’s trajectory in the future. And it’s not that difficult to find such engineers. Instead of using redundant hiring techniques, a better approach is to create a curated online assessment. The test can be highly specific – because no two software engineers are the same.

A software engineer who is good at building good UIs may not necessarily know Query languages and vice versa. In the software development world, horses for courses methodology work best. But startups most often need engineers who are full-stack. These are unicorn designers and developers – finding them is rare, but finding them is possible with curated tests.

Such professionals want to work in stimulating environments because their minds are wired that way.


Hire Freshers


When Zuckerberg started building Facebook, he had many projects under his belt. But he was not a ‘corporate-ised’ software engineer. He was a garage software engineer. He would code for the love of expressing himself. So, he was a fresher in that sense.

Similarly, plenty of freshers love to code for the love of coding because it is a form of expressing oneself. Ironically, these freshers don’t get a way into large enterprises because they are categorized as freshers. Large enterprises are highly prejudiced in this regard. They don’t want to gamble on freshers.

Startups need not gamble on freshers. They have a better yardstick to measure the technical expertise of freshers. Using online tests is one of the good ways to do it. An online test that checks a software engineer’s understanding of core computing concepts will fare way better than traditional recruiting processes. Startups have the best access to freshers. And bright minds have the craziest and most revolutionary ideas.

Tapping into them is a great way to look for a path-breaking idea.


Train Freshers


Hiring freshers and putting them on the job right away is not a good idea. Reserve a budget to train and onboard them. Allow them space and time as they need a lot of it. Their minds are wacky and ready to make inroads into the toughest problem areas. Allowing them the freedom to breathe is like providing sunlight to a plant.

The more the sunlight, the more the growth.

Training should be a combination of soft skills and technical skills. In an organization, as much as technical skills matter, soft skills also matter. Communication is the bridge on which ideas, thoughts, and information pass.

Even more important is behavioral training. Teaching freshers how to collaborate safely and professionally eases the office environment. It sets a congenial environment for collaboration and innovation.


Hire Remote Software Engineers


Living expenses could differ by location.

In certain locations, the cost of living might not be as high. Hiring remote software engineers from such locations is a good way to stay within budget and get quality talent. If a startup uses this strategy, then there is no stopping from where to hire.

The world is a vast place. There are talented software engineers across the globe. It is up to the startup to pinpoint such talent and keep them engaged.

The startup can build a business model where it hires remote software engineers and uses a local verifying agency in that location to verify these engineers‘ location and credentials. This way, a global workforce can be built. All within budget and not relenting on quality.

Currently, many startups are using this strategy and succeeding. A startup can double up its recruiting accuracy by using curated online assessments to get the best quality software engineers.



Hiring software engineers on a budget needs good planning.

Planning and prioritization are the keys. Otherwise, if a project comes in, the startup might be constrained to hire expensive software engineers to fulfill the project’s demands. Planning 6 months in advance is a good way to build capacity. Then, this capacity can be showcased to get projects.

A mix of local and remote software engineers can complete the projects. The success rates of these projects can be high, especially if the startup uses online assessment tools such as TestGorilla and others.

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