1. You already have other top tier tech talent that they can learn from, get mentorship from, and be challenged by.
2. You're working on a technically interesting problem.
3. A technical person is the one recruiting them.
4. You can pay at or above market rate, which is already pretty high right now. You don't lowball, sending a signal that you don't value devs.
5. You've built up some kind of a relationship over time--because recruiting (as opposed to hiring) is a long term game.
6. You can provide flexibility in terms of choosing which technology solutions, languages, tools they can use.
7. There are technical people on the management team of your company.
8. Your startup has real business traction.
9. Your startup is generating a lot of awareness and buzz.
10. You're quick to get them through your interview process and make them an offer.
11. They already know some of the people they're working with on the dev team.
12. It's not clear what the future of their existing job is--as opposed to knowing that things are going under by a specific date, which they'll often ride out for loyalty's sake when their team is honest and upfront with them.
13. You can give them work environment flexibilty--working remotely, hours, etc.
14. The mission of the company is something they're interested in--saving the world, transforming education, or selling awesome stuff.
15. They're not going to be overly managed by a million product managers, project managers, etc., who can't get on the same page.
16. Your dev environment (pair programming, silo, etc) matches with how their brain works.
17. They'll be able to contribute to product ideas, not just execute yours.
18. You have development practices in place (Agile, Scrum, test driven, etc). See the Joel Test.
19. You have clear product goals in relationship to who you want to be in your market.
20. They know what they're looking for at this stage in their career and there's a clear path for them to grow/meet those goals with the company.
21. The non-tech people (product managers, designers) know about how things work, even if they can't build it.
22. You actively contribute to open source projects as part of your development.
23. Your team understands the technology it is using--sounds silly but when people use the new new hotness, they don't always understand it completely.
24. Your technical lead has good enough business sense to have the full respect of the rest of the management team.
25. They believe in you, the founder.
If you're looking for teams that fit this profile, we've got them in spades at First Round. Our team has been doing a lot lately to focus on helping our companies recruit--so if you're looking for talented people to work with as a developer, please reach out to me at Charlie@firstround.com. I can undoubtedly intro you today to 3-4 awesome teams hiring right now... and so can anyone else on our team.