Web developers come in all shapes and sizes, with various amounts of experience and different personalities. Hiring such a professional for a project or team can make all the difference between success and failure. Therefore, when wondering how to how to hire a web developer, think about how a candidate will fit the company’s culture and team.
Attracting the top web developers on the market requires that your team knows what they are looking for and where to find the right candidates.
1. Freelancer Pools
Pre-vetted freelancer pools can be a fabulous research tool. You can easily compare the skill level and cost on a sliding scale. What expertise is expected at each tier? What skills and experience can you find? What is the overall culture of these freelancer pools?
All of these are important questions that will help you understand, not only your options but also the freelancer’s options on the market.
2. Independent Contractors
Independent freelance web developers essentially work as a single-person company.
Some of these solo endeavors or small partnerships can be quite well-regarded and sought-after.
3. Professional Recruiting Services
Recruiters, for a not-so-small fee, find freelancers for your needs. They also render a lot of the research and technical examination portion of the interview. Thus, if you don’t want in-house interviews, you can rely on one of the services that select and onboard flexible top web developers based on your needs.
Here are several tips that can help a company make the selection process easier:
4. Hire for Attitude and Determination
Managers tend to hire the most skilled and experienced people for their organization, but the attitude of many employees doesn’t match the company’s culture. Work experience is important, but it’s not such a big predictor of success. Ask yourself what is more important and then create a checklist with the traits you are looking to find in your next developer.
Now, you know more about the prospective web developer, but you may want to dive a little deeper. What experience do they have in the industry? More importantly, can past managers and coworkers vouch for them? Are they capable, reliable, and honest?
Ask to see past projects, collaborations, and portfolio submissions. Getting a feel of what the candidate knows is great in deterring prospects that are wasting your time or simply not putting themselves in the best light.
6. Deeper Insights
While looking at the interviewee’s portfolio, discover more details by asking a few key questions:
- What sparked your interest in web development?
- What tools do you usually use?
- How long do these projects take you, on average?
- What’s a mistake you’ve made on a web development project in the past? What did you learn?
- Have you ever been blamed for something that wasn’t your fault? How did you react?
- Tell me about a project that disappointed you. How would you change it?
- Can you describe how your current team is structured? How do you work together? How do you make decisions?
- What do you do outside of work hours to become a better developer?
7. Start With a Small Project to Be 100% Sure You Made the Right Decision
Even though you believe you found your top web developer, assign him or her a small project to analyze if he or she is efficiently delivering results if the candidate can communicate problems on time and observe how the final product is.
Thus, you will also have the opportunity to observe how he or she will organize and prioritize his or her activities.
8. Adapting to Change and Learning New Technologies Are Important Criteria
When a new technology comes along, you want a web developer who can adapt quickly to change. By asking a developer about his or her favorite tech events, courses, and what new programming languages he or she has learned recently, you can find out if he or she is interested in discovering new things.
It is the personal traits of the developer that matters most when assembling a team that produces consistent work at a reasonable pace. The interview process is the time to figure out if the candidate is skilled enough, but also if the candidate will ultimately fit into your workplace culture.
The battle for great web developers is a fierce one. For young companies and for new entrepreneurs, the hunt for excellent developers can seem like a futile gesture. Instead of succumbing to the frustrations of hiring top web development talent, however, you can overcome the usual hiring hurdles and secure the best web developers on the market.
How do you get ahead of larger organizations and hire dedicated web developers? There are a few methods you should be aware of. Here are the top tips for hiring web developers as swiftly as possible:
9. Create a Well-researched Job Description
Attracting the right web developer can be a tricky thing. On one hand, you don’t want to bore potential candidates with an overlong description. On the other hand, you don’t want to get inundated with irrelevant resumes because of a vague but intriguing job listing. Do your research in order to avoid both traps.
A great web developer job description will list essential job duties, skills, experience, and education. In addition, you’ll want an attention-grabbing hook at the start of your job ad and a punchy call-to-action at the close.
What makes your company unique? What makes the web developer role such an amazing opportunity. Pull from other popular web developer job listings to craft the perfect balance of intriguing and informative.
10. Write a Unique Interview Script
Boring interviews kill otherwise wonderful hiring processes. One fatal mistake to rip an interview script from another company, blog, or site without refining it or playing an interview by ear.
The alluring ease of an already-finished interview script can be overwhelmingly tempting. However, it’s important to resist that temptation. A canned interview can ruin the rapport you are trying to build with interviewees.
Pull from technical interview questions for web developers, personal interview questions about an interviewee’s passions, hobbies, and dreams, and cultural questions that assess the interviewee’s work style and personality. Weave these questions together to create a unique interview script that expresses what your company is about and what your company is looking for in a web developer.
11. Consult Other Web Developers
The best way to find out what web developers want and what web developers do may be simpler than you think. If you want to know how a web developer thinks, simply talk to a web developer. Whether you have a small development team or a large one, you will surely gain valuable insight simply by surveying your team.
If you don’t have a full-time web developer on your team already, try asking web developers outside of your company for advice, through friends, LinkedIn connections, or software development Q&A platforms like Stack Overflow.
Ask web developers questions like:
- What is your ideal web developer role?
- What motivates you as a web developer?
- What attracts you to one company over another?
- What kind of interview questions interest you? What kind of questions disinterest you?
By gathering information about what web developers like and what they crave from companies can be a tremendous help to your company. Writing unique interview scripts and compelling job advertisements with concise job descriptions will prove much easier.
Web developers are in high demand. Sadly, not every company can compete. The best web developers often get absorbed into large companies that can afford to offer alluring compensation packages and exceptional benefits. All is not lost for small and medium companies, however.
By employing smart hiring strategies, your company can get a shot at hiring top web developers. Companies can attract top web developers by crafting well-researched job listings with compelling blurbs about your company and the opportunity you are offering.
Go the extra mile to attract the best web developers by writing an interview script tailored to your company’s style. Be sure to pepper in technical and personal questions as well. One of the best ways to make sure you’re asking the right questions is to confer with other web developers. Don’t forget that their insight can be invaluable to your hiring journey.
Use the tips explained above to get ahead of the crowd to attract and hire some of the best web developers on the market. With a bit of patience and persistence, these tips could help you build a better web development team for your business.
Top 4 Web Developer Interviewer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Interviewing web developers is hard work. Using a boilerplate list of interview questions simply isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to craft a custom interview script according to your business’s needs.
In order to do that, you’ll need to avoid the most common web developer interview mistakes. Here are the top 4 interview mistakes interviewers make and how to avoid them:
1. Not Asking for a Portfolio
The portfolio is the most integral step of hiring a web developer. It demonstrates what the candidate believes his or her best skill may be. This is important for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s hard to get a feel for a candidate with just their resume alone. Secondly, it’s a good way to gauge not only the quality of work but the consistency of that work.
Asking for the development portfolio before the interview is the preferred method. Why? This way you’ll be able to come up with important follow-up questions about their resume.
Ask questions like:
- Which project are you most proud of?
- Which project did you learn the most from?
- I’m very impressed with this project… can you go through the planning and development process?
- I’m seeing some issues with this project… how long did you have to create this website? What was your role?
2. Failing to Find Out More About the Interviewee
When interviewing candidates for a web developer position, interviewers can often get lost in assessing skills. They want to make sure the candidate is a firm grasp on web programming, web development frameworks, and design patterns.
While assessing someone’s technical prowess is definitely an important facet of an interview for a technical position, it is only a facet. It is still of utmost importance to assess whether or not the web developer you’re interviewing is a cultural fit.
Contrary to popular belief, top web developers have high social and emotional intelligence. They can’t simply code away at their computer alone. They need to be team players.
Try asking questions like:
- What are you passionate about?
- What made you decide to become a web developer?
- What do you know about our company?
- What attracted you to this opportunity?
- What web developer tools do you prefer?
3. Forgetting to Pass the Mic to the Web Developer Candidate
One of the most useful interview techniques doesn’t involve you asking any questions. It involves quite the opposite really. You turn the tables and ask the interviewee to ask you questions.
If the interviewee can come up with some insightful questions, or, better yet, has some questions prepared, that can act as a key indicator of the dedication, passion, and curiosity.
Look for questions like:
- What would my role be?
- I see you have worked on these kinds of projects… How would you describe the development process?
- I see that your company has this motto… Could you describe the ethos of your company a little more in-depth for me?
- What’s the best way to communicate and collaborate as a team?
- I’m interested in growing and learning with this company. What growth opportunities does your company provide?
4. Skipping the Face-to-face Meeting
In this day and age, it’s easy to forgo meeting in person. After a few quick phone calls and a couple of courteous emails, you may be ready to pull the trigger and hire a promising web developer candidate. After all — you were able to see all of their work on GitHub, peruse their projects, and delve into their professional history — all without ever having a face-to-face meeting. Great, right?
While this sounds appealing, it’s actually quite dangerous to hire this way. Not because a candidate poses any kind of threat per se — but because making a wrong hire can be extremely costly. Even if you’re hiring a remote web developer, you’ll want to schedule a Skype meeting with them so you can read their body language before you bring them on full-time.
Remember: when you’re interviewing, you’re assessing how well a candidate fits into the role. You’re not simply assessing the talent or experience of an individual, but also their passion, personality, and teamwork skills. How to conduct interviews well is still a matter of debate — however, there are some tips that can help you get the best results possible.
In the interview, you’ll need to assess:
- Technical ability.
- Professional history.
- Work ethic.
- Cultural fit.
In order to assess the traits listed above, you’ll need to ask for their portfolio, find out more about the interviewee, open up the discussion to include questions from the interviewee, and get some face time with well-performing candidates.