When You Hire a Developer, Don't Settle for 'Cheap.'

Developers are those crucial people we bring into our businesses to create functional and secure websites, servers and other online applications. And, here, those of us who hire these developers often encounter the thorny issue of salary.

Related: 10 Tips for Finding and Hiring a Top Developer

Specifically, developers who are underpaid often under-achieve. And those who do not know what they are really worth are likely to be under-educated or lack necessary experience. Either way, if you choose one of these options, you'll be hiring someone you shouldn't because you'll be settling in order to save money.

Instead, you should be hiring a developer with proper education, a proven track record of success and high recommendations to avoid the following pitfalls:

More From Entrepreneur.com

1. Less experience

While it is ideal to have developers of different experience levels on your team, senior staff should be paid accordingly. Those with less experience should be paid entry-level wages and be encouraged to impress senior staff to receive promotions and pay increases.

2. Outdated practices

Working in the tech industry and staying up to date on trends and new tools is a must. Developers using outdated tools and methods do not provide the tools that consumers or the business need as far as functionality is concerned. Eager developers continue their education even after they are settled in with a company.

If you notice that a developer on your team is not up to date with the times and current tools used in the industry, consider offering an incentive to encourage him or her to master the updates in the field. Developers are more valuable to a company when they know how to use the latest industry tools and tricks.

3. Lack of motivation

Developers who come cheap are known for lacking motivation and not having much desire to advance. This shows that their career goals are nearly non-existent, that they are there just for the paycheck in most cases. Give your development team a reason to want to work, to advance and to work toward a pay increase.

Related: 7 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Mobile App Developer

4. Unaware of their personal value

When developers apply for a position with a new company, their salary requirements may be undervalued. Some developers do not even know what they are really worth. In fact, top augmented reality developers can earn up to $140,000 per year, and top PHP developers can earn up to $150,000 per year. Entry-level developers average $33,000 to $40,000 per year, depending on the area of development they work in.

These careers often pay a higher salary than general labor jobs due to the education required, the nature of the business and the need for their work to be perfect every time, since internet security is always a concern.

5. Lacking advanced education

Young companies, such as startups, often hire interns rather than graduates due to funding issues. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, although some developers will wish to impress the boss in hopes of being offered a permanent, paying position. Paid internships are a better idea. Advanced education is a must for developers. Technology and security needs change often; therefore, developers need to be able to adapt and learn new methods constantly.

6. Education not matching the job

A degree in computer science does not always mean that the candidate can be a developer. Computer science is a separate field. A computer science specialist should be hired for your company for a single role only that is not combined with a developer role. Many higher-education programs are a decade behind in computer science education and the information is always evergreen, as it constantly changes.

So, what should someone hiring a developer do? Here are two solutions to consider:

Consider a re-hire. If you are not having any luck finding the right high-end developer for your business, consider hiring back a previous employee. There is an advantage to re-hiring a previous employee. If the employee was just unsatisfied with the pay, consider offering a higher wage to have him or her want to come back. Previous employees already know the framework of your system and are familiar with the company and its needs. This means less of an adjustment period when they start back to work for the company.

Make the hiring process fun. Consider making the hiring process fun when you are looking for a stellar team of developers. Think about hosting a hackathon to test potential candidates on their skills. The developers who can hack the company’s mainframe and security system the fastest are the ones you want on your team.

The idea behind this type of event is to gauge the different skills that each level of developer has and which qualities are the most valuable to your business. Not only can this type of event show you which developers will work the best together, but show you their level of expertise at the same time.

Related: Top Predictions for Hiring and Retaining Software Developers

Closing thoughts

When sifting through the candidates you have for developers, make sure to break them down into categories to compare candidates against those in their own group. Ensure that your most experienced and most educated developers are making a competitive wage in comparison to other top developers in the country. Appreciation and competitive pay will help you keep developers with your company for a longer period of time. And that's exactly what you want, not just cost-savings.