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10 Tips for Hiring Python Developers

You’ve just joined a new startup as the CTO and are ready to hire your first developer. But you’re stumped; you have no idea where to start! The Python community is huge, and there are plenty of developers out there, but how do you identify the ones that will fit your team? How do you make sure you’re hiring someone who can hit the ground running? Follow these ten tips when hire Python developers to make sure you get it right the first time!

1) Determine your budget

You may be willing to pay a premium for top-notch talent, but you still need to know how much money you’re willing to set aside for hiring before you begin your search. To save time and ensure that you’re only contacting candidates who fit your budget, consider posting two or three different job descriptions—one each at $50,000 and $75,000 per year—then see which roles attract more interest.

2) Look at your specific hiring needs

There are three main ways to go about hiring Python developers:

1) do it yourself,

2) contract with a freelance developer, or

3) hire a specialized company to find and vet potential employees. If you have an in-house IT staff that understands your organization’s specific needs and can serve as a quality control, in-house hiring is worth considering. However, if you don’t want to take on these tasks (or need someone who has more experience than your team), hire a freelancer. Recruiters will cost more but may well be worth it—they charge by project and/or hour but should typically know what they’re doing when vetting candidates for you.

3) Hire on skill, not resume

But, you may ask, how do I hire developers who fit my bill and aren’t already working? Especially if they don’t have experience in Python? The best way to hire a software developer is to look at their skillset, not their resume. When evaluating a candidate’s skills you should consider what languages they have used (and how much), what technologies they understand and how familiar they are with them and what role(s) they have had.

4) Build a strong application

First, build a strong application. Python developers are in high demand—they have a lot of job opportunities to choose from. If you don’t have an open position now, that’s OK—just be clear that you’re hiring them with future work in mind. Avoid ambiguous job postings, and instead give your potential employees good reasons to consider working with you: Are there interesting projects on deck? Will they learn new skills? What is their potential for growth and development?

5) Make an offer that works for both parties

If you’re hiring a freelance developer, you’ll have to work out an hourly rate and other details. Be clear about what your project needs and make sure your budget allows for salary, infrastructure costs, office space, and benefits (like health insurance). You may be able to negotiate with developers who are freelancing their own time—some will discount their fees if they can do it on nights or weekends. Also consider incentivizing your team with equity in your company if they bring significant value to it.

6) Don’t outsource core projects to foreign countries until you have enough business to warrant it

Hiring is expensive, especially when you first start out. And while hiring overseas is an option, it’s one that you should only consider once your business is large enough to offset all of those travel and communication costs. Outsource work to foreign countries when you’re ready to bring in extra help on big projects, not before.

7) Give new employees plenty of time to learn and make mistakes in low-stakes situations

As you’re probably aware, new employees need time to learn and adjust to a team’s unique culture. In addition, it’s important that new hires are given ample opportunity to make mistakes in low-stakes situations rather than during their first week on a big project. Doing so lets them work out any kinks they might have while your business isn’t in jeopardy. It also gives you an early sense of whether or not they fit with your organization’s culture.

8) Use code samples from past experience

Past experience is a powerful tool that you can use to your advantage when looking to hire python developers. However, it’s important to note that past experience doesn’t guarantee future performance. To hire python developers who will stick around, you need to make sure they fit your company culture and work ethic. The best way to do that is through a combination of in-person and phone interviews.

9) Test your developers with challenges throughout the interview process, including coding tests

You want to hire python developers that can find solutions to real-world problems—so it’s only natural to ask them for sample work. And, at least initially, try it out solo: Have your developer log into a shared machine and show you how they would solve a specific problem. Ask them if they have any questions while they code (they probably do) and make sure they explain their thought process as they go. This is an important part of hiring python developers!

10) Have some type of probationary period if you can afford it.

This gives you an extra period of time to see how a developer works out after you’ve made your first impression. If their work quality is subpar during that probationary period, then firing them is easier and doesn’t leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth. Most developers will appreciate the flexibility of being able to show what they can do on their own schedule, but when it comes time to prove themselves, you both have an incentive to get things done.