How to Hire One Hell of a Hacker

Every tech team needs a persistent, creative, code-loving hacker like James Bond needs Q.

The Hipster and Hustler may flaunt around, looking cool and showing off their incredible tech and apps. But without the person behind the software, they’d be as lost as Bond without his Aston Martin ejector seat, his exploding pen or laser watch. Without the inventive genius of Q, Bond would have been dead in the water a hundred times.

Find the right hacker before the big boys snatch them all up

Check out our post about the Hacker, to learn the qualities you should be looking for. Finding and hiring great talent can seem tricky when there are plenty of large companies out there trying to snatch up the best, but with the right process and mindset there’s no reason you can’t get someone gold on your team.

Do you need your own Q to make things happen? Here’s how to find him:

Tip 1: Take Your Time

There’s nothing worse than having someone terrible or even sub-par on your team, and only realizing it when you’re too far down the line to easily change them. And this means more than just coding skills. Communication is not a skill highly prized among Hackers, but you want the rare one who has it.
Also, for projects with more than one coder, that first Hacker you hire is key. If they’re exceptionally good, they’ll recommend other great coders to you because they want to work with the best. If you hire someone bad or just ok, they’ll recommend other poor coders to you, never an A-star Hacker because they won’t want to look bad by comparison. So take your time and get someone great.

Tip 2: Ask the Right Questions

In your process of being fussy and wheedling out the real talent, ask great questions, and get help doing so if it starts to get too technical. Here’s a great article on what questions to ask.

Tip 3: Think Avengers, not Batman

When it comes to coding your project, it’s quite likely you’ll be better off with a crack team of Hackers. Don’t just look for that one superstar. Having more than one also makes your whole project more robust, with more minds to tackle problems. And things won’t collapse if you fall out with or somehow lose your lead coder.

Tip 4: Team Players Beat Coding Skill

Just like any member of the Avengers, your Hacker has to be a cultural fit with your team. Their personality should gel well with yours. This is so important for getting through the tough spots down the line, and we’d even say it’s more important than coding skill. Here’s a great list of Hacker personality traits to look out for.

Tip 5: Sell Job Satisfaction, Impact and Your Dream

Here’s your trump card against the big boys and something money can’t compete with if you want to hire real programming talent. Every coder wants to code and wants to make an impact. They want to get on with what they’re doing and to love it. No bureaucracy, no nonsense. Because you’re small you can sell them on that – job satisfaction. And also, they’ll be making an impact! Get them as excited about your tech business idea as you are, let them know what their work will do in the world. It’s the only way to compete with money.

Follow these steps with care and you should have a very fine Hacker or team of Hackers on board pretty quick, ready to make your tech dreams happen!

Got any questions about hiring your Hacker?

Ask away!

 

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