10 Startups share their Tips for Hiring Developers [+Free Ebook]

“Oxford Economics found that 90% of Indian startups fail within the first five years”


Do you know the main reasons for the startup failure in India?

It’s lack of skilled workforce.

Are you able to hire such Employees who are passionate enough? Developers who are skilled enough to create the next Facebook or Twitter.


In the past two years, we at AirCTO have figured out that a lot of the early age startups have no clue when it comes to building a Tech Team!

Hence we have created a 40+ pages Ebook on “Building your Tech Team” with contributions from Farooq Adam (Co-Founder at Fynd), Induja Rajendran (Lead Talent Acquisition at Freshworks), Himanshu Periwal ( VP at Growth) and others.

You can get the Ebook using the form below.

We spoke to more than 10 successful startup founders and recruiters to know their secret hiring tips. Here’s what they had to say-

#1. Farooq Adam (Co-Founder of Fynd)

Fynd aims to partner with offline brand stores near your vicinity, giving you the latest in-season fashion at the store price.

Farooq is the middle person

Here’s what he recommends -

AngelList is a good source to get candidates for startups.
•Think of the hiring process as a funnel, to hire 1 person you’ll need to screen at-least 40–50 resumes.
•Make use of the application Trello to manage the hiring process
•Avoid hiring people based on brand, fancy degree
•Hiring employees from Bangalore if you company is not based in Bangalore.

#2. Induja Rajendran (Lead Talent Acquisation at Freshworks)

Induja Rajendran

Freshworks suite of products is designed to work tightly together to increase collaboration and help teams better connect and communicate with their customers and co-workers. They were recently became an unicorn.

She says -

The key is to look for candidates that have a strong knowledge of Computer Science fundamentals like Data Structures and Algorithms, which could be applied to any technology problems. A lot of times we as individuals tend to look for candidates that can code in a specific language/technology.

This approach narrows down the target pool and during the course may lead to losing some good candidates.

The quality of the code can be analysed by checking if the candidate is careful about edge cases, corner cases and null cases. The key is to not settle for candidates that only can write Pseudo codes. Candidates who have run test cases for their own code is a good sign.

Any candidate who holds a patent(approved or not filled) could be a subject matter expert in their respective discipline.

She advises to avoid post-offer negligence.

A lot of times, once the candidate is given the offer letter, we tend to invest less/no bandwidth in further engagement assuming the job is done once the offer is released.

A lot of times, this is the most important timeframe. Once a candidate expresses interest in coming out in the market there is a wide range of options available. If you don’t spend enough time in an effective post offer engagement there is a high risk of losing the talent.

#3. Himanshu Periwal (VP at Ixigo)

Himanshu Periwal

Ixigo helps in booking cheap flights, hotels and train tickets.

He says -

•The most important part is to check the attitude and passion of a particular candidate, skill set is always secondary when it comes to hiring for a startup.

•Hire someone who is smarter than you and smarter than 50% of your team. So after each hire you’ll be raising the bar.

•Test aptitude over multiple skills, not just one core competency.

Creativity and resourcefulness count a lot at startups. The more full stack a person, the better.

#4. Kartik Mandaville (Founder of SpringRole)

SpringRole is a blockchain powered attestation protocol for verifying professional profiles.


He says -

Go to developer events and hang out with them to understand to understand salary requirements, culture fit, individual vs team contributor etc.

Avoid having a long interview process. Always test programming skills through an online test through DoSelect.

#5. Arjun Krishna Vasisht (CTO at TapChief)

Arjun is the first person from the right

Tapchief is a platform connecting individuals in need of advice in a specific domain to individuals who have expertise in the same.

He says -

Initially, always hire someone who increases the median skill level of your team.

He advises to avoid hiring those who talk badly about the company(boss employees) they last worked at. You could end up being one of them.

#6. Akhil Mohan (Founder of Instant Post)

Akhil Mohan

InstantPost aspire to change this perception about the lost world of printed conduct through our innovative on-demand printing, publishing and distribution.

Akhil says —

Try to execute Prioritise vision based hiring than requirement based hiring. Do not hire for a specific requirement. A requirement may easily become irrelevant while the person may not! If you are hiring very specific then your objective is way too small and so will be the thought process of the person for the company.

It’s very important to prioritise growth structure. There should be a clear growth plan for the person if they are willing to take it forward within the company.

Do not hire Engineer to write code but to become CTO or even CEO.

Avoid cash heavy hires. If someone wants a cash-only deal, then they should not be on-board for long. When the company would run low on cash, you will anyway need to ask them to leave first. You cannot rely on someone who would be the first one to leave.

#7. Udit Goenka (CEO at PowerUpHosting)

Udit Goenka

PowerUpHosting provides blazing fast & cheap SSD VPS Hosting for Windows and Linux Operating System with Fully managed dedicated services.

Udit says -

Using a Chatbot like the AirCTO HR Chatbot and automation has really helped me vet out unwanted profiles.If someone doesn’t even take time to spend 15 minutes going through our chatbot process, we don’t even entertain those profiles.

It has helped my HR massively to save a huge amount of time where now he just gets on a call with candidates who are serious.

When hiring I usually go through two rounds:

Round #1- It is all generic questions to get to know about them.

Round #2- This round is technical and we highly encourage users to use Google to find answers to understand whether they have self-problem solving capabilities because as a startup, that’s is important.

#8. Neeraj Joshi (Founder of Pushstart)

Neeraj Joshi (2nd person from the right)

Pushstart is India’s most active community for entrepreneurs to Learn, Share knowledge and Grow.

Neeraj says -

Initially try to hire via referral. The sources can be communities like Pushstart, college network, personal network or the existing professional network of your company.

Don’t go by the resume. Try to work with the person on a mini project before hiring.

Always Prefer a developer who has worked in startups over the one who hasn’t. The work profile of a developer in MNCs is way different from that in a startup.

#9. Devesh Dwivedi (Buisness Coach & Author)

Devesh Dwivedi

Devesh is a serial entrepreneur who loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their businesses. To know more check his website.

Devesh says -

Hire & Fire based on the core values of the company.

Core values shouldn’t be just 3–4 fancy words picked for your plan or website content, core values are what you want to be the thread of the fabric called your company’s culture.

These are uncompromisable regardless of person or situation and hence making hiring and firing very straightforward but more importantly, help you build the company culture you want.

#10. Bhavik Jain (Community leader at Pushstart)

Pushstart is India’s most active community for entrepreneurs to Learn, Share knowledge and Grow.

When you have zero memberS in team, hiring the right person becomes a very tough task, coz when you are building a team. You should hire only those people who believe in your idea, who are ready to sweat as much as you do and also consider your company as their own then work as per it.

Then such team becomes the base of your company and also of the human empire in your company.

#11. Ashish Deora (Tech Lead at Great Manager Institute)

Ashish(person on the right)

Great Manager Institute™ is a global digital institute for personalised education and certification of People Managers.

Ashish says -
It’s quite simple. When you have no team at all, you hire owners — people with owner mindset who have fire in the belly to pull up and build with sweat and blood.

When you have 10–50 members, you can afford to hire people who can be called as “employees”.

About Us

AirCTO is a platform for tech recruitment that challenges current sourcing and selection business practices.

Through a combination of artificial and human intelligence, AirCTO identifies the best IT talents to match the job requirements at a fraction of the cost charged by recruiting agencies and at a fraction of the time and effort spent browsing and searching job boards to find, contact and interview candidates.

Hope you were able to learn a lot from industry experts. If you liked our content don’t forget to clap (atleast 50 times :P )

You can get the free ebook from here.