9GAG, GoGoVan and AfterShip Discuss the Challenges of Hiring Developers in Hong Kong


Let’s be honest – it is not an easy task to hire developers in Hong Kong. If you have tried with different job listing sites (jobsdb, recruit.net, angel.co, WHUB) but still could not be able to hire a fit developer – you’re not alone.

Startups getting funded do not mean they do not face challenges in recruitment. With a shortage of (startup friendly) developers, I have interviewed Alex Wang , VP of engineering at 9GAG, Steven Lam, CEO & Co-Founder at GoGoVan and Teddy Chan, CEO & Co-Founder at AfterShip for their experience of hiring developers in HK.

1. What are the difficulties you face when hiring developers in HK?

[email protected]: Culture fit, having startup concepts, big scaling knowledge. Startup company is not just like “free food” “free time” ..

[email protected]not enough local candidates, most of the candidates with a mindset of “coming to work” “I’m working for a job not for a mission” , not the right fit for startup

[email protected]: Developers apply for startup because they simply dont want to work for corporate; however, their skillset doesn’t match the startup needs.


2. What’s your experience in using recruitment agencies’ services?

[email protected]Hard to find a recruitment agency which can provides the best sourcing. Every agencies sources are similar.

[email protected]: Expensive!!! hard to find the person with right culture fit, cos most agencies candidates are for big corp, with a corp. mindset

[email protected]Most recruitment agencies have the same talent pool. We prefer putting resources on our own recruitment channels instead as their fee is around 20% of yearly salary per referred candidate.

3. What kind of developers are you looking for? How many? 

[email protected]Mobile engineer / Data engineer / Service engineer. Around 8-10, depends on candidates quality

[email protected]Ruby on Rails, iOS, Android developers. need approx. 10

[email protected]: Backend engineer / System Architect. Around 8 more engineers by 2015.

4. What are the stack / programming languages you’re using?

[email protected]

    • Ngnix / HHVM / Php / React / Java / Node.js / Lua / Erlang ..
    • Mysql / Cassandra / Redis / Memcache / MQ / Solr ..
    • Hadoop / Hive
    • iOS / Android
    • AWS related
[email protected]: Ruby on Rails

[email protected]NodeJS, MongoDB, Redis, Beanstalkd, AWS, Google BigQuery, Grunt.JS, jQuery, CSS (LESS)


5. What’s the company culture?

[email protected]Work hard work smart / give before you get / High flexibility on tech

[email protected]Energetic and positive, Entrepreneurial – dare to venture, hard work, no bull shit, fun with sense of humour

[email protected]: Independent thinker and ability to adapt to changes (pick up new tools / projects / roles)


6. Do you hire any overseas developers?

[email protected]Yes, definitely.

[email protected]: yup! many! we like diversity team culture

[email protected]yes – our team comes from Sweden, Fiji, Spain, Russia, Botswana, India, China and….HK


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