Today I’m going to answer a question from Aurelien, the lead developer of a health-related tech startup. His question is… 

How do I write a job description to hire a startup developer? 

Before answering this question, let’s add a bit of context.

Aurelien was first working as a freelancer for the CEO and is now becoming an associate and taking on the CTO role.

Currently closing their second round of funding, they are hiring two developers to accelerate product development.

So to answer his question, let’s go over my recommendations for startup job descriptions.

First, we agree that as a startup, we might not be able to provide the type of high salary a large company would offer. Therefore, we have to show off the more advantageous aspects startups can have.

Startups have a lot to offer. Every day is different with a new challenge to overcome, so employees usually learn a lot. Plus, we tend to have cool and flexible work environments, with options like working remotely.

So let’s see what makes a good job description. Here is the list of what you need to put together.

What you need to prepare

  1. Job description title
  2. Project overview
  3. Company description
  4. Team organization
  5. Challenges
  6. Required skills
  7. Expected mindset
  8. What’s in it for them (aka salary)
  9. Personal touch

Example

  • Health-related tech startup
  • Web + mobile Web development
  • Full-stack JS developer (frontend + backend skills)

To review each part one by one, let’s say you need a full-stack developer with Node.js as a backend skill and React plus React Native as a framework as a frontend skillset.

1. Job description title

Full-stack lead developer for fast-growing startup (Node.JS/React JS)

The very first part, is obviously the job description title. It needs to be specific, with the main technology and framework skills required. This title needs to catch the developer‘s attention. So be specific with the startup environment, the required knowledge and the position.

Full-stack Node.JS/React JS are the skills, lead developer is the position, and fast-growing startup is the environment.

2. Project overview

Improve the current website platform developed in React JS

Create the mobile version of the platform under React Native  

Then you need to explain what’s the overall project. These are not the specifications, of course, but the current state of the project and what needs to be developed.

Never mislead the candidate. Explain what he will be working on upfront.

For example, improve the current website platform developed in React JS, then create the mobile version of the platform under React Native. And maybe add, 5% to 10% of your time will be for customer support.

Lots of startups use developers for customer support to create a connection between the customers’ needs and the technical team.

3. Company description

Our company is providing the services X, Y, Z
Our clients range from SMEs to large companies in the health/sports industry
We already have a working product with a handful of corporate clients
We aim to get 35 more clients by the end of the year

Next, the company description. Describe what service or offer the company is providing and in which market. It’s important to understand who your developer is going to serve. They need to have a minimum interest in that market, and a good candidate should inquire about that market before applying for the position.

It can be something like, “Our company is providing the services X, Y, Z. Our client range from SMEs to large companies in the health or sports industry, and we already have a working product with a handful of corporate clients. We aim to get 35 more corporate clients by the end of the year.” Obviously, be as detailed as possible to attract the right people.

4. Team organization

  • Who they are going to work with 
  • What their responsibilities will be 
  • How goals are constantly set 
  • How the project is organized 

Then describe the team organization. People need to know who they are going to work with, what their responsibilities will be, how goals are constantly set and how the project is organized. It could be something like:

You will work directly with the CTO and the CEO of the company.
You will contribute to the roadmap definition and work on the development independently under agile scrum organization.
The daily scrum meeting will be held by a quick chat every morning.
You will need to participate weekly in a few remote meetings with the entire team.

5. Challenges

Making our current platform more reliable
Developing new features
Creating a mobile application

Building a startup is all about overcoming challenges. Share what the company’s challenges are and consequently, what the team’s challenge will be. For example:

The challenges our company will face in the next 6 months are prioritized as follows: 1) Making our current platform more reliable, 2) Developing new features, and 3) Creating a mobile application.

6. Required skills

  • Required knowledge (technologies, languages, etc.)
  • Level
  • Project management skills
  • Writing and communication skills
  • Expected previous experience
  • Required degree

Now that the mission is clear and the challenges well-described, it’s time to share the required skill set to tackle them. This is the core of the job description.

Make sure you state the required knowledge (technologies, languages, etc.), at what level, the project management skills, the writing and communication skills, the expected previous experience and the required degree.

Share everything that might be of use. And this brings us to next point, the mindset or the culture you want to communicate.

7. Expected mindset

#COMMITTED #FOCUSED #HAPPY #HARDWORKER #LIKESACHIEVEMENT #GOODTEAMPLAYER #GEEK #FUN #WELLORGANIZED

The project is not everything. And especially these days, the people we work with are very important too.

So in this part, I recommend you to share a bit of your personality, giving people the reason to work with you and learn from you.

Sometimes, the exact words may not exist. I personally like to express this part with hashtags like: #COMMITTED, #FOCUSED, #HAPPY, #HARDWORKER, #LIKESACHIEVEMENT, #GOODTEAMPLAYER, #GEEK, #FUN and #WELLORGANIZED.

8. What’s in it for them

  • Salary
  • Extra benefits
  • Work environment

First impressions matter, but last thoughts are very important as well.

This last part of the job description is like a sales page. You will describe: the salary, the extra benefits and the work environment.

The work environment can be something like, “You will be working in a well-designed startup bootcamp in the center of Paris.” Sell the current level of the team and the opportunity for them to learn a lot. That’s also part of the environment.

It can also be the flexibility. For example, “Although our company has offices in Paris, you will be free to work in a fully remote environment, with only two days of in-person meetings per month.” Again, salary is not the only factor when getting a job. In fact, it has become less and less important. While things like the team, the environment and the challenge, are now the number one criteria when getting a startup.

For example, this project’s CTO, Aurelien, is currently working from Panama while searching for a remote developer. He enjoys a fully remote lifestyle and works on very interesting projects. Many developers would love to quit their 9-to-5 jobs to get another job like that.

9. Personal touch

And to finish your job description, add a personal touch!

Something like, “So if you frequently wake up in the morning with new ideas and you want to have the opportunity to feed your creative mind with a promising project, this job is definitely for you.”

Add as much personal touch as you can in your job description.

Conclusion

It’s time to sum up and answer Aurelien’s question. Here again are the multiple parts you need to cover in order to build an attractive job description and get the right candidate for you:

  1. Job description title
  2. Project overview
  3. Company description
  4. Team organization
  5. Challenges
  6. Required skills
  7. Expected mindset
  8. What’s in it for them (aka salary)
  9. Personal touch

Now if like Aurelien, you have a specific question for your project, just go ahead and ask on myctofriend.co/ask.

I will do my best to answer your question by video or redirect you to any existing content that will answer it.

I publish a new video every week, so subscribe now and learn how to be better at tech management and build your startup successfully.

Also be sure to go through our other content here at myctofriend.co to learn more from real startup growth experiences.

I will be waiting for your questions, and I look forward to seeing you in other videos. Cheers.