How to hire the Most Skilled Web Developers?

Did you know that by 2020, it’s expected that there will be 1 million programming jobs unfilled? Unfortunately, great developers are rare to find. If you have tried to hire a developer for your startup, you’d know how difficult it is to find qualified candidates who don’t only have the required skills but also fit your culture. 
Depending on your project specifications and needs, you may want to hire freelance developers or part-timers to execute short-term projects. After all, it depends on your eventual goal and what you want to accomplish. 
In this guide, I will walk you through the following steps: 
  • Identify what you need 
  • Types of web developers 
  • Qualities you should look for 
  • Types of commitment (remote/in- house - Freelancers)
  • Best places to hire web developers 
  • On-boarding best practices 
  • Identify what you need 
You can’t just decide to hire a web developer without identifying your project goals, milestones, and the skills required. This is the first and most important step when it comes to hiring a web developer. Below are a few questions to ask to narrow down your requirements: 
  • Do you need a Frontend developer, a Backend developer, or a full-stack? 
  • List the skills that the developer should have e.g. React Native, PHP, and etc.
  • How long will you need the developer? 
  • How soon do you need the developer? 
  • Do you have a CTO or a project manager? 
Types of web developer
Web development is a generic term. You need to specify exactly what type of developer you’re looking for. To begin with, here’s an overview of the types of developers you can hire from: 
1. Web designers 
A web designer will work on the aesthetic look of your website. They will choose the color palette, typography and all the visual elements of your brand. Great web designers are also familiar with UX and UI design and they will use their expertise to create a fantastic user experience to keep your website visitors hooked. 
2. Frontend developers 
Frontend development is often called client-side development because at this stage developers turn the visual design into a functioning website that users can see and interact with.code. They mainly use HTML, CSS, and Javascript technologies and they need to be familiar with frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, Backbone, AngularJS, and EmberJS, which ensure great-looking content, and libraries like jQuery and LESS, which package code into a more useful, time-saving form. 
3. Backend developers 
Backend developers are responsible for the functionality of your website. Let's say you have a form that users are required to fill out, your backend developer will build the functionality of such actions. There are many languages that backend developers deal with, the most common ones are often PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, and Java. Backend developers should also be familiar with MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server to find, save, or change data.  

4. Full Stack developers 
Full Stack developers are the specialists that work with both stacks (frontend and backend). They have a general knowledge of both worlds which enables them to work on the entire flow of the project. However, they’re not fully versed in both stacks, consider hiring a full stack developer if it’s a simple project.  
Once you have a general idea of the specialist developer you need, it’s important to type of employment. Here’s an explanation of different employment types and the pros and cons of each. 
Employment type (Remote, In-house, Freelancers) 
You have a few options here depending on your project size and goals. For example, if you are working on a short-term project, you would want to hire a freelance developer. (More on where to find them later). Freelance developers are often charged per hour or per project basis. They are the best option if you’re just looking to add new features to your website. 
If you’re working on a huge large scale project that requires constant updates, then you’re better off hiring a full-time developer. Full-time developers can either be in-house or remote. 
Advantages of hiring in-house developers:
In house development teams are fully integrated into your company and its culture so you wouldn’t have to worry about employees feeling out of the loop. When you have in-house developers, you can have more control over the coordination of your project as direct feedback, and communication become easier. 
However, You may need to consider the additional costs that come with hiring in-house developers. This includes the cost of renting an office space, purchasing necessary hardware, tools, developer benefits, and etc. 
Advantages of hiring remote developers:
Remote jobs are very common in the IT industry because employees don’t have to be in the office to get work done. Moreover, employers who want to access global talent often rely on hiring remotely, especially if they’re looking for a technology that has few developers specialized in it. By hiring remotely, you can access a larger talent pool which helps you opt for skilled and professional developers that match your requirements. This is the most prominent advantage of hiring remote developers. Moreover, hiring remote developers means that you will save plenty of cash related to renting office spaces, purchasing equipment, and tools.  
Where to find the top web developers? 
Upwork: The biggest freelance platform with millions of registered tech specialists. Upwork is suitable for hiring freelancers to work on short-term projects. The only downside is the high competition and the low quality of work. Freelancers are forced to lower their prices which resulted in lowering the quality of work as well. 
Freelancers: With more than 25 million registered users, you will definitely find the talent you’re looking for. Plus, you won’t have to pay until your project is 100% completed and you’re satisfied with it. 
Remoteplatz: A community of remote developers who are pre-vetted, tested, and ready to become long-term members of your team. You won’t have to go through the hassle of interviewing and shortlisting as they take care of the whole process including the payment, and onboarding processes. 
Toptal: An online platform for hiring professional designers and developers. They only accept the top 3% of candidates so they have pretty high standards for selecting candidates. It’s suitable for hiring long-term and short term candidates. However, prices are significantly higher than the rest of the online marketplaces. 
Indeed: if you are looking to hire full time, part-time, remote or even interns, then this is where you should go. You can choose either to post a job for free or to sponsor it. 
AngelList: AngelList is one of the most popular online platforms among startups. All you need to do is to create a profile for your company, create a job post and once your job post is live, you will start receiving hundreds of applicants. 
What makes a great software developer? 
The difference between great and average developer is that the former is 10 times more productive. They don’t mind going above and beyond to solve a complex problem. They are curious, have an analytical mindset and aren’t above learning new technologies and skills. In sum, soft skills are what distinguishes great developers from the average ones. 
John Sonmez, the author of "Soft skills: The software developer's life manual" says: 
"What separates a good developer from a great one is the combination of technical expertise and strong soft skills. This combination is proving to be the key to excelling on a global level within the industry." 
The interview phase is when you’re going to spot the right developer in a sea of applicants. Here’s what to look for: 
Communication skill: If you decide to hire remotely, you should dig deeper into the developer’s personality and communication skills. Most of the time, you will be communicating with them over the phone or chat app, so there’s no room for poor communicators. Great communicators can express themselves well, you will be able to have a meaningful conversation with them. 
Problem-solving skills: At its core, software development is all about solving coding problems. Distinguishing developers who are great problem solvers by their resumes is not enough. Live coding challenge is a good way to test your candidate’s problem-solving skills on the spot.  
Teamwork: Just because developers are working with one another, doesn’t mean they are contributing to successful and meaningful work. Teamwork is more than just collaborating with one another. It’s about working towards a shared goal and sharing the same mindset. 
Previous experience: It’s crucial to check if your candidate has previous experience in the specific technology you need. For example, some backend developers are well-versed in PHP, but have little to no experience with Python. If your project requires solid experience in Python, look for candidates with an excellent record of using this language. 
On-boarding best practices
So finally you found the developer you were looking for. The next step is to make them start coding as soon as possible. What you need to do is to develop a simple on-boarding system to 
Record hiring details 
Even if you’re a startup with only a few employees, keeping track of each employee hiring date, name and responsibilities would be impossible without some sort of documentation. Keep this information stored and accessible to you and your HR manager. 
Send a welcome email
On their first day at work, send the developer a welcome email to greet them and make them comfortable on this day. Especially when you hire remote developers, it’s important to make them feel included in your company by asking other employees to welcome them and offer them assistance if they needed. 
Create a remote access policy
Data security and GDPR compliance are often overlooked by employers. When Hiring web developers, you should determine if they will have complete access to your servers. Create a remote access policy where you state clearly the names and the responsibilities of every new hire that has the right to access company’s servers. No employees, whether remote or not, should have complete access to the company’s servers or to files they don’t use for their daily tasks.
Add developers to your chat and project management apps 
If your company uses chat apps such as Slack and project management tools such as Trello, or Jira, make sure to add new developers into channels and boards they will use on a daily basis. 
Hiring a good web developer can be exhausting, especially for startups. If you follow the steps above and started by narrowing down your needs, you will hire a developer in less than a month. Then, repeating the process will be easier and more efficient than ever.



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