When Discord launched back in 2015, its main competitors were Skype and TeamSpeak. It quickly rose to preeminence in the world of online communications. Soon, the majority of gamers were choosing Discord over other communication platforms.
While Discord originally marketed itself as being for gamers, it has recently begun expanding its reach. Now, it's clear that the versatility of their platform can be used for businesses — in fact, it's currently competing with platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
One of the things that set Discord apart from other platforms is the freedom it gives server administrators to run their server the way they see fit. This can include having multiple channels for users to discuss different topics and even time-limited threads within channels.
For example, an office might have one channel set aside for their IT team to discuss problems. Within that channel, the IT team might have one thread about improving password security and another thread discussing a recent security breach.
But Discord doesn’t stop at channels and threads. They also allow developers to create bots to perform unique tasks within the servers.
Discord bots are AI-driven tools that allow your members to experience unique benefits. One might use them to add music to a channel, perform basic administrative tasks, welcome new members, or even ban members who are behaving inappropriately.
Bot developers can create new bots that handle specific tasks you need to have performed on your server. Some bot developers even work as a sort of video game developer, engaging with a team of artists and writers to create unique ways to play on Discord.
You can make Discord work for you in unique ways with the right bot developer in your back pocket. But hiring one can be tricky, especially if you’re new to using Discord. In this guide, we’ll walk you through finding the right bot developer for your team so you can bring your Discord use to the next level.
The Role of a Discord Bot Developer
Discord bots can take on a variety of jobs, from simple jobs like rolling dice for tabletop games to more complex jobs like encouraging server members to donate and sending those donations to an administrator’s Paypal account.
Discord bot developers are the people who work behind the scenes to create these bots. These programmers specialize in working with Discord servers and using the platform's tools to create complex bots for a variety of tasks.
Administrators can hire their own bot developers to create bots that will perform specific tasks. So, if you have a vision for a job you would like a bot to be able to automatically perform on your server, you may be interested in hiring a Discord bot developer.
Discord bot developers are an incredibly varied bunch. Some do freelance bot development as their full-time job. Others develop bots in their spare time, considering it more of a hobby or as a way to make income on the side.
Either way, it isn't the intention of most bot developers to become full-time team members. Most of the time, their role is to develop a single bot for your team’s unique needs. If you're looking for a bot developer to take on a more full-time role in your team, it’s important to make that clear from the beginning of the hiring process.
What Should the Hiring Process Look Like for Discord Developers?
The hiring process for a Discord developer looks a little different from the hiring process for a full-time team member. Instead of looking for soft skills, such as the ability to interact with customers or become a full-time member of your existing team, your focus should be more on their expertise with Discord and the developer portal.
One option is to search for Discord bot developers for hire and seek out the expertise of someone who’s already advertising their skills online. However, to receive the best applicants for your position, a better option is to create a traditional job board listing and solicit applicants.
Identify What You're Looking for in Bots in Discord
The first step to hiring bot developers is to determine what you’re actually looking for in a bot or a series of bots. This can start off simply as a brainstormed list, with the functionality you’re looking for on one side of the list and potential user commands on the other side of the list.
When considering Discord bots, the functionality is what you actually want the bot to do. For example, the TacoShack bot functions as a game and allows users to manage their taco shack by purchasing advertisements and employees, updating their menu, earning virtual currency, and even joining a taco franchise. All these things act together as TacoShack’s functionality.
User commands refer to the instructions you type into Discord to activate the bot’s functionality. In general, for each function your bot has, it will need a separate user command. In the above example, the TacoShat bot would need different commands — it would need one command to find employees compared and another to update their menu.
Create a Job Posting and Sort Through Applications
Once you have an understanding of the bot or bots you want to have developed, the next step is to create a job posting. When creating your job posting, remember to include key details, including:
- An overview of the position: This should include an estimate of the amount of time it should take to complete the project or an explanation of the complexity of the project, as well as information about whether there’s a potential for more work from your company down the road or if this is a one-time task.
- An estimated salary: Many job postings neglect a very important subject line — the salary. While you may think that hiding your salary gives you negotiating power, the truth is that top candidates may not spend time on job applications if they don’t know whether the pay would be worth their time. Including a salary avoids awkwardness in the hiring process and ensures that the right candidates apply.
- Defined expectations: Any time you may be working with freelancers, it’s a good idea to have expectations upfront. For example, your potential hires should know how you like them to communicate with you and how readily you need them to be available throughout the week. Some freelancers have chosen their career paths to increase their workplace flexibility or to set their own hours, so being clear about your expectations will help you find the right developer for your project.
- Expected qualifications: To receive top-quality candidates and ensure they include the information you need, your job posting should outline the qualifications you expect from a bot developer. This should include not only a list of skills and educational requirements that applicants need to qualify, but also a notification that you would like each applicant to include a portfolio of their work that you can examine.
Your job description should also use clear, concise language. An online editor like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor can help you rework complicated sentences. This makes your job posting easy to read and instills a sense of trustworthiness, which can boost the number of qualified applications you receive.
Screen Potential Candidates
Once you start receiving applications for your job, the next step is to screen applications to find potential candidates.
The screening process can be one of the lengthiest processes in the job application process. Many teams choose to use artificial intelligence to pre-screen candidates by combing over applications to ensure they contain certain keywords and phrases.
For example, if you’ve determined that a Discord bot programmer needs to have at least some experience with using the platform, you might use a recruiting tool that has AI to parse out all applications that don’t mention the term "Discord" anywhere.
While pre-screening candidates with AI can save you time, it’s important to remember that this method brings certain problems along with it. For example, the federal government is looking into whether AI screening unfairly discriminates against people with certain disabilities. It’s always a good idea to have one team member quality assure the screening process the AI does to ensure valuable candidates are not getting lost in the shuffle.
Screening candidates involves a number of steps, including reading their cover letters, looking over their resumes, and checking out reviews of their work on social media pages and via previous employers. Here are a few major things you need to examine to decide the best fit for your task.
Experience With a Discord Bot and Discord Server
The first thing you want to look at is the amount of experience a candidate has with Discord servers and Discord bots. Look for information on their application that specifically talks about working with Discord. This service is different from others, and a very good programmer may still struggle with the ins and outs of developing Discord bots.
Understanding of a Wide Range of Discord APIs
The next thing you want to look for is whether an applicant understands Discord’s APIs.
An API is a set of functions and features that allows developers to create bots in the first place. Developers that don't have an intimate knowledge of Discord’s APIs won't be able to develop the bot of your dreams. Discord offers a variety of complex APIs, and the greatest developer will be familiar with most of them — if not all.
Knowledge of Bot Commands and How to Implement Them
Similarly, applicants need to understand how to implement bot commands to make APIs work to their advantage. Bot commands tell bots to run certain tasks, and Discord has numerous built-in bot commands that developers can use to create their unique bots.
A Portfolio or Demonstration Purposes of Their Skills
As with applicants for most positions, the final thing you’ll want to look for from candidates is proof of their experience. For Discord bot developers, this often comes in the form of a portfolio where they can showcase previous bots they’ve developed.
Discord portfolios are unique because you can’t just flip through them. To get a feel for their expertise, you’ll need to open up a Discord server and test out their previous bots. One great idea is to have a server dedicated to all the members of the hiring committee. There, you can try out different bots that developers have created and get a feel for their ease of use and functionality.
Interview Questions for Pre-Screened Candidates
Once you’ve narrowed your candidates down to a promising selection of pre-screened candidates, the next step is to interview them. This will likely occur over the phone or as a video chat.
Since you’re looking for someone comfortable with Discord, hosting your interviews there can be a great way to see them in action. As part of the interview process, you can even have them show off any of the bots on their portfolio that you hadn’t fully understood.
The interview process is not only a time for you to get to know your candidates better, but also for them to get to know your team better. It’s a good idea to outline the scope of your project during this step in the hiring process to ensure the candidates you’re talking to feel up to the task. Other questions to ask include:
- Have you ever done a project of this magnitude before?
- How long do you expect a project of this size to take you to develop?
- How much would you charge for this project?
- How frequently are you available for check-ins and conversations?
- What is your testing and quality assurance process like?
- How much can we ask you to adjust this bot after you’ve developed it? Is there any space for us to test the bot on our end and ask for changes?
- How much time do you have per week to dedicate to this project?
- What are your typical office hours?
- What’s your preferred method of communication?
- How quickly do you get back to emails or phone calls?
- How many projects do you take on at a time?
- How do you stay organized if/when you take on more than one development project at a time?
- Which programming languages are you comfortable working with?
- Can you provide an example of a time when you focused on user experience while you were developing a bot?
- How do you set goals and priorities when working on a new project?
The Onboarding and Verification Process
Once you’ve found a candidate you think is right for your project, the next step is to verify their identity and bring them onto your team.
Verification can include contacting their previous contacts, looking at reviews of their work online, and asking for copies of things like their license and education records to prove their identity.
Once they’ve been verified, you can start onboarding them by introducing them to your team, giving them the contact information they need for their project, and showing them how you keep everyone up-to-date on project announcements.
For example, if you keep remote teams in contact through the use of a Trello board, this is the time to show your new bot developer how that process works. You should also explain your particular culture for keeping boards organized and for communicating with members of the team.
Find a Developer to Develop Your Multi-Purpose Bot
Developing a multi-purpose bot for your Discord server might be outside your wheelhouse. But that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for just those bots that already exist. If you have a vision for a bot-driven task, finding the right developer may help you improve your use of Discord and get the most out of your server.
Get started today by outlining the functions you’re looking for in bots — this will help you visualize the type of bot developer you’re looking for. If you just need a bot to do a basic function, you may be able to pay less to hire a bot developer with a little less experience. However, if you’re looking for a complicated set of functions, you’ll want to focus on hiring a developer with significant experience to ensure they can develop a bot that does everything you need it to do.
Regardless of the scope of your project or the functionality you want your Discord bot to have, Revelo has you covered. Our platform allows to you source, hire, and manage Discord bot developers and similar top-tier tech talent. All of our developers are pre-vetted for their skills, knowledge, and English proficiency.
Contact us today to start recruiting.