The QA space is changing, and so is the makeup of QA teams. As development cycles move faster and faster, and the tools used for testing become more complex and technical. As teams look to build lean, highly-effective development teams, they often have questions about who they should bring onto the team as their first QA hire. This role is critical, because it will help determine how quality scales as the product and team grow.

I’m fortunate enough to work with some of the brightest leadership in Quality as a customer success manager here at Rainforest QA. Many of our customers hire their first QA team member while they are onboarding the Rainforest platform. We’ve seen first-hand what qualities make an ideal hire.


Your first QA hire must have experience with building and scaling process to ensure that the same issues that arise do not float up repeatedly. Our best QA Managers take the extra time to build out documentation required to educate the rest of the team on what the QA process is, where defects are coming from and why, and what new process will be implemented to avoid them in the future.


Your QA hire must be open to leveraging the most appropriate toolset for your organization in order to streamline communication, project management, test execution, results triage, QA analytics and proactive QA strategy.


QA can be a very strategic role if you empower your QA hire to think critically and with the business goals top-of-mind. Your QA hire should feel equipped to make decisions based on the impact to the bottom-line. For example, prioritizing how defects are resolved, which test cases are executed, how the team should spend money on manual execution versus automation, all require an analytical mindset.

Direct communicator

The QA hire must be open to communicating with the rest of the company about why defects are arising in the first place after complete a root cause diagnosis of every high priority defects that occur. While pre-production defects found typically signal that QA is doing its job well, this also usually means that something may broken in the process preceding that should be reviewed and revised.

Learn more about what to look for in your first QA Hire

To learn more about what it takes for your first QA hire to be successful, download our guide, Level Up Your QA Career. In the guide, we draw lessons from both QA/QE managers and leaders of successful QA teams to explore what they’ve done to become more impactful members of their organization.