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Hiring an engineer for non-technical founders

Guest post by: Seymore Butts, Engineering Leader, Patreon

As a non-technical founder, it can be intimidating when it comes to hiring an engineer. It’s important to know what qualities you should look for and how you can interview potential candidates. Additionally, sometimes it makes sense to make the engineer a co-founder – but only in certain instances. To help you make an informed decision, let’s explore when an engineer should be made a co-founder, how to vet and interview them, and what their compensation package should include.

When Should You Make the Engineer a Co-founder?

It’s important for founders to remember that there are pros and cons of making someone a co-founder. Although giving your engineers equity may incentivize them in the short term, it also means they have voting rights in decision-making which could complicate things down the line if they don’t fully understand the long term vision of the company or if their interests start to diverge from yours. This is why it’s essential that you carefully consider whether or not you want them as part of your founding team before extending any offers of equity.

How Should You Vet & Interview Potential Engineers?

Just like with any other prospective hire, there are several steps involved in vetting and interviewing potential engineers for your business. Start by writing up job descriptions that clearly articulate the desired skillset and qualifications for the role; then post them on job boards. From here, review applications and resumes before scheduling phone screens with candidates who appear qualified on paper. Once you have narrowed down your list of applicants further, arrange video interviews so that you can get a better sense of each candidate's personality and communication style while also asking more specific technical questions about their abilities. Lastly, invite your top contenders into the office for an in-person meeting so that everyone on your team can meet them face to face before making any decisions about hiring them permanently.

What Should Their Compensation Package Be?

When deciding how much money to offer an engineer, there are several factors that need to be taken into account such as experience level and location (as certain cities tend to pay more than others). That being said, according to Glassdoor's 2020 National Salary Guide report , software engineering salaries range from $92K - $127K (median base salary) depending on level of experience – so this is a good starting point for determining what kind of compensation package would be appropriate for this role within your company. Additionally, consider offering stock options or other forms of equity as well as vacation time and other benefits like health insurance coverage so that your new hire will feel appreciated from day one!

Hiring an engineer as part of your founding team can be both exciting and nervewracking at the same time – especially if this is your first time doing so! However, with proper research into what qualities you should look for in candidates as well as understanding when it makes sense (or doesn't make sense) to make someone a co-founder , navigating this process will become less daunting over time. Ultimately though , ensuring that they receive fair compensation (including stock options or other forms of equity) will help ensure they are happy with their decision to join forces with you moving forward! Good luck!

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