How to Hire a Programmer Even If You Are Not a Techie?

Oksana Zabolotna
HBD at Qubit Labs

In today’s business environment it’s almost impossible to run a company without a digital presence, which means that every business will need a website or an app or even its own special software to operate and bring revenue.

Hiring a programmer is essential to establish your business as a digital service. They will help you analyze your business needs and create technical solutions to solve those business issues. This can encompass a myriad of different tasks, like designing and testing software, writing code, debugging the software and developing new features for it with time.

Let’s get a little deeper into what steps you could take to make the hire of your future software developer a success.


Set up your tech goals:

  • Determine the tasks you need the programmer to work on – to build software, desktop app, mobile app, develop a game, website design etc. (Keep in mind that there are a lot of different programmers and niches they work in. Every developer has their strongest suit and you should make sure you hire according to those.)


  • Figure out what type of programmer you need. You can acquaint yourself with different development technology types and what they entail on our website.


  • Set your budget. Spend a little extra time on this one. You don’t want to overpay for services but keep in mind that high-quality development work isn’t something to save on. (You can consult with this salary guide.)


Create a vacancy listing:

  • Write down clear tasks you want the programmer to do. Establish clarity and efficiency of communication from the get-go.


  • Mention the salary you can offer. There’s no point in beating around the bush, the clearer the parameters, the smoother the process. Do layout all the possible bonuses and extras you can offer though – everybody loves a good bonus.
  • Determine the type of position – full-time, part-time, remote work. You don’t need to hire a full-time employee if you only need them for that one project and occasional maintenance. In fact, if you don’t need the person/team to be physically present in the office, consider setting up an offshore development center. This will open up the talent market beyond your geographical placement for you.


  • To reiterate: Mention the additional opportunities – career development, bonuses, education opportunities, medical insurance and any other perks.


  • Mention the company name and provide a link to your website (if you have any). People should know what they are going to be working with. The more info you share about your company, the better you can establish the scope of work.


  • Publish your vacancy on as many platforms and websites as possible. Though, surely, research the platforms first and only post the position on platforms with good performance reviews and rates. (Mention your website where it is allowed and accessible.)




Naturally, a time will come, after some narrowing down of candidates, to interview. What questions to ask if you interview QA, Microservices Frameworks, PHP, React, Javascript, Cybersecurity developer.  And if it’s your first time hiring a tech person while you’re not one at all, it can be a little intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be because while your candidates will most definitely prepare for this interview, you can prep, too.

Here are a few steps:


  • Ask technical questions and explain technical problems with your product. If the candidate starts suggesting solutions like new features or design improvements, don’t hesitate to ask for a purely technical solution, something only a “techie” can think up. The business side of your company is for you to take care of, you’re hiring an IT person to solve tech issues, not entrepreneurial or design ones.


  • Ask for explanations of technical concepts. You don’t need to be a coding genius to be a professional in the field you’re creating your product or service in. If the answer you’re getting from the candidate sounds too convoluted or flat out gibberish, ask the candidate to explain their solution in simpler terms. Let them break it down as if they were explaining it to their grandma or a fourth-grader.


  • Ask about previous experience. Ask the candidate about the biggest challenge they faced in their previous projects. Do not hire anyone who tells you about struggles with deadlines, difficult clients or colleagues, or even worse, gives you a bunch of excuses for those. Every developer faces those issues, but good programmers usually take on these challenges as problems they need to solve and come out on top.


  • Ask for feedback from their past clients. Good developers are proud of their work and will be happy to share it with you. Those testimonials on websites are there for a reason. So, ask each promising candidate for references at the end of the interview. If they can’t get you in touch with any satisfied clients, chances are, you don’t want them working for you.



Test the programmer 

You should look for someone comfortable with the possibility of being asked to write some code on the spot. Great developers think in code and it won’t be any trouble for them to write up a small algorithm right in front of you. You can ask them to code something that produces some well-known sequence like the Fibonacci one and then explain it to you. A good developer can do this in several different ways in minutes. You can prep to know the ways in advance or save the task and consult an IT-savvy friend later.

Also, ask the candidate about their hobbies and interests, see if there’s any activity they’ve mastered apart from their profession. Maybe they play the piano or maybe they’re a virtuoso pole-dancer – mastery in anything is a really good predictor of mastering something else, like your project for example.



Set up a probation period

In clear and transparent terms, set a testing period for the candidate once you’ve decided you found a good fit for your project. Discuss conditions with them and layout the results you expect to get at the end of the probation term. There’s no better way to figure out if a person fits your needs than to watch them tackle real tasks over time. You can even get a side opinion from someone who understands these things better.


If you do not have previous experience in hiring and don’t feel entirely comfortable doing it yourself or just don’t have enough time to give this your full attention, you can use these tips:


1) Hire a recruiter or a recruiting agency

There are plenty in your area, almost no matter where you are. The main reason to turn to a recruiter is usually that a candidate(s) you really want to work for you, already works elsewhere, and the recruitment agencies can do well at finding those passive job seekers and fast. This will most probably cost you a pretty penny, however. Most times it’s also that the recruiter won’t be able to guarantee to find you a team that will perfectly fit your company, be it culturally or ethically.


2) Hire web development company

Working with a software development company is usually with doing for bigger projects and longer-term contracts. This, too, comes with bigger costs and often higher risks. There will most likely be a middle-man from the company to handle all the communication for you and you might find yourself a little ostracized from your own project if the communication isn’t effectively set up. Some companies can also take advantage of your finances and charge you for the work of a middle developer for a job perfectly suitable for a junior dev.


3) Hire offshore software development company – Qubit Labs

Now is the age in which technology has reached the levels allowing us to comfortably communicate and work from any point on this planet, so businesses in mass are realizing the evident advantages of hiring their tech professionals through an offshore software development centers like Qubit Labs. It’s fast, secure and set up to give you simultaneous freedom and control over your project.

Ukraine has rightfully become a prominent hub for offshore outsourcing and happens to be home to Qubit-Labs, a leading offshore soft-dev center where a top-tier team of Ukrainian developers is already waiting for your project ready to start virtually immediately.

Qubit-Labs can be your solution in finding you the right programmer and navigating you through some of the thorniest aspects of hiring IT specialists. Qubit Labs are on a mission to make hiring developers and dedicated teams smooth and risk-free. Every project is unique, hence the approach to hiring is tailored accordingly, based on the client’s requirements and needs. If you’re hiring a whole team, it can be scaled to the scope of work, while developers essentially work with your company as if it was your in-house team.

Related Articles:

How to Recruit and Hire Great Software Engineers for Your Startup?

GDPR and Recruitment: How Does GDPR Influence Recruitment Process?

IT Recruitment & Relocation: Game Changer for Companies

Qubit Labs Finds Elixir Specialists For German Business Consulting Firm

Qubit Labs Introduces New Software Development Team Support Models: Mixed and Fully Remote Team

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Oksana Zabolotna
HBD at Qubit Labs

HBD and Head of Partnerships at Qubit Labs. Oksana is proficient at Search Engine Optimization; performs as a speaker for international tech conferences; author of webinars and guides on peculiarities of remote recruitment, top markets for hiring IT experts, and latest tech trends. Oksana is one of the partners of Women in Tech Ukraine – large-scale social project created to increase the number of women in IT industry.