5 Ways You Can Find Your Next Tech Hire - Neutech, Inc.
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5 Ways You Can Find Your Next Tech Hire

If I have to read another resume or conduct another Zoom interview I’m going to …” my friend mimes gouging his eye out with his bottle of Heineken.

We all laugh and nod because we’ve been there. We’re sipping beers in Brooklyn and my friend is lamenting the challenges specific to hiring in tech. Not only is tech hiring time-consuming and surprisingly expensive, it can be totally overwhelming. Click To Tweet

Should you go with an affordable but unvetted freelancer? Or the staffing agency who’s going to charge 30% of the hire’s salary? Should you hire someone full time and deal with HR and benefits packages and equity shares?

After a decade in tech and working with dozens of clients, I’ve seen pretty much every business model and hiring structure under the sun. Unsurprisingly, I have opinions about said business models and hiring practices!

If you need to scale your business or you’ve got a big project and need more people, read on.

5 Ways You Can Find Your Next Tech Hire

Hiring freelancers

You know how this works; you can find freelancers through Upwork, Fiverr, different Slack or Discord communities – or through friends. Typically, you hire them to work on one specific project or task. Depending on the freelancer, they may charge a set project fee or they may charge by the hour.

Pros of hiring freelancers:

Freelancers are usually quite affordable and easy to find (as you can see from the long list above of freelancing resources). They may be available to start immediately.

Cons of hiring freelancers:

It can be hard to gauge the quality of their work and how they work before you start working together. Sure, you might have seen their portfolio or a friend-of-a-friend worked with them two years ago, but that doesn’t tell you how quickly they reply to emails or if they know how to Scrum, you know?

Hiring a solo freelancer doesn’t scale; you’re limited by their ability and availability. If they don’t know how to design a clickable prototype in Figma, you’re going to have to spend time, money, and energy finding someone who does.

Also, if they have other clients – which most freelancers do – they won’t be fully dedicated to you and your work. If you do happen to find that needle in a haystack and you ARE their only client, things could go more smoothly … as long as they’re in a timezone that works with yours and you only need one person.

And if you do need more than one person you’ll have to spend more time, money, and energy finding that second freelancer.

Hiring traditional tech agencies

Whatever it is you’re looking for, there’s probably a tech agency that can do it for you. You can hire an agency to help you build a website, develop a web or mobile app – the sky’s pretty much the limit.

Pros of hiring traditional tech agencies

Whatever you need help with – they’ve (probably) got someone who can do it! Because they have a big pool of vetted talent, when you need help with something specific or niche, they can probably meet that need immediately. If you’ve got no idea where to start and no technical founder, this could be a great option. Working with a traditional tech agency is the most hands-off way to bring your MVP to life. 

A traditional tech agency will also have an expert there to hold your hand and help shape the creation of your product. If you’re someone who often comes up with new ideas that require adding another person mid-project, traditional agencies can be a good fit because they probably have the capacity to add another person or find someone with the skill set you need.

Cons of hiring traditional tech agencies

Some agencies “blackbox” their talent. Are their folks freelancers? Where are they based? How much experience do they have? Are the same people working on your project the whole time or is there a lot of turnover? YOU MAY NEVER KNOW.

Depending on how they structure their business model, the pricing / value of working with traditional tech agencies can be a bit … wonky. 

How set rates work with traditional tech agencies

This is the most common way to work with a traditional tech agency. You explain your project to them and they give you an estimate for the work: They’ll charge you X to deliver Y by Z date.

But set rates come with their share of issues (which is why we don’t use them here at Neutech.) If the agency finishes your project quickly and easily, you will be charged the same amount as you would if the project is slow and difficult.

And if the project is slow and difficult? The agency is often aware of their ever-decreasing profit margin and may try to cut corners or use junior developers to save money.

Set rates are also infamously difficult with tech projects since tech is constantly changing. It’s entirely possible that a quote from January wouldn’t be applicable in May with new updates to APIs and libraries. 

Hiring in-house

We all understand how traditional employment works, right? Your company hires a W2 employee, pays them a salary, provides benefits, and may offer them equity in the company. 

Pros of hiring in-house

You’ve got the security of knowing this person is 100% committed to you and your products – particularly if they have equity. They’re available for all your projects and are more likely to feel like a “real” part of the team. 

This means that when you find a huge bug in your application at 2 a.m. and have your investor presentation at 9 am, your in-house hire might be willing to jump out of bed to save the day before the big presentation.

Cons of hiring in-house

The cost of an in-house hire extends beyond their salary. A competitive benefits package can cost up to 30% of a full-time employee’s salary – so an engineer earning $100,000 actually costs the company $130,000.

The act of hiring or laying off an in-house engineer is also expensive. It’s estimated that the act of hiring a new W2 tech employee is $4,700. And if you have to lay someone off and give them severance, you could be paying up to $50,000 per person laid off. 

It’s also much harder to let go of a W2 employee who’s not working out. There should probably be multiple meetings and a professional improvement plan – both of which take time, money, and energy.

Tech Staffing agencies

When a company works with a staffing agency, the hope is that the company will eventually offer a full time position to the person the staffing agency has found for them. The staffing agency does the legwork of finding and vetting the employee, saving the company a lot of time and energy.

If the company ends up hiring this person, a percentage of the new employee’s salary will go to the staffing agency for the first year or two; that’s how staffing agencies make money.

Typically, tech staffing agencies take a 20 – 30% cut of the new hire’s salary. So if that new hire is earning $100,000 a year, the staffing agency gets $20,000 – $30,000.

Pros of using a tech staffing agency

Finding, recruiting, and vetting potential hires can be incredibly time-consuming and surprisingly expensive! Finding a trusted tech staffing agency can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

Cons of using a tech staffing agency

The drawbacks here are the same as with any full time employee – the cost of benefits packages, equity, and potential severance packages can add up. Add the extra expense of a 20%-30% finders fee and costs can get high..

Additionally, every company goes through seasons where they’re scaling up or working on a big project and they need more help, but only for 6 – 9 months. They need more hands on deck, but not indefinitely.

Which is where staff augmentation agencies come …

Staff augmentation agencies

Neutech is a staff augmentation agency; we’re a combination of all the above! And – spoiler alert – we believe it’s the best hiring and business model for tech companies. Here’s why:

How a staff augmentation agency works:

Similar to a tech agency, you hire the staff augmentation agency as a whole and they pull from their pool of talent to work on your project.

Neutech’s talent pool includes over 100 people! We have …

  • backend engineers
  • Designers
  • front end engineers
  • full stack engineers
  • QA engineers
  • agile knowledge management
  • product managers
  • product owners
  • scrum masters
  • software architects
  • business analysts
  • QA leads
  • tech leads
  • CTOs
  • AI engineers
  • machine learning engineers
  • automated QA engineers
  • AR and VR engineers
  • video game engineers
  • product management
  • project management
  • QA and software architects
  • … and more!

Unlike a staffing agency, a staffing augmentation agency does the training and hiring of the talent for you. So you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re great or they wouldn’t have a coveted staff position at the augmentation agency.

One of the biggest benefits of working with a staff augmentation agency is that you don’t have to spend your time, money, and energy reading through a pile of resumes or recruiting people whose LinkedIn profile seems to match your needs. We’ll introduce you to our team of highly trained folks, you interview them, and then we plug and play!

Once you’ve chosen the people you’d like to have on your project, they will be fully integrated into your teams similar to an in-house hire. They work on the project full time either until the project is completed or until you decide to scale back – whichever you prefer.

A staffing augmentation agency gives you the benefits of a full time employee - someone who’s totally committed to the project and integrated into your team - without the unwieldy time and financial commitments. Click To Tweet
Many staff augmentation agencies have a six month to 1 year minimum, but Neutech offers month-to-month plans. This means you can scale up or down, as long as you give us 30 days notice. 

Discover you need help with a few quick integrations or some touch up work on your Figma designs for the next two months? Within a week, we can have two senior level resources embedded on your team, putting in 40 hours a week to help you get where you want to go.

We know that hiring in tech can feel overwhelming – that’s why we’ve spent the last ten years fine tuning our unique approach to training and staffing our incredible engineers. If you need to add some committed, senior-level talent to your team for an upcoming project, we’d love to chat!

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