How To Hire A Web Developer For Your In-House Team
11 November 2020
Hundreds of thousands of websites are created every day. With over a billion websites now circulating on the internet, having a good website is only the bare minimum. As hundreds of websites are created for various industries and specific niches, expanding the online presence and business reach in the marketplace is one of the challenges faced by many small businesses.
Having an intuitive and responsive website that offers immersive browsing and customer experience is great leverage for businesses to widen their client reach and improve brand awareness.
Also, there are online branding strategies that can have a great impact on the brand itself. To have a well-functioning website, a business must optimize web development to help generate leads, and hire a team of web developers.
This article created by our team at TMS will provide key information on how to hire a web developer.
In-House Web Development
In-house web development requires businesses to include web developers in their regular workforce. Having in-house web developers is ideal for businesses with web projects that need full-time support. It helps business owners to build a unique and robust online platform or web application for their products and services. Hiring in-house is also perfect for those who plan to scale up their business and introduce advanced functionalities aside from basic customer relationship management (CRM).
Web developers are divided into three different types, the front-end, the back-end, and the full-stack developers. It is important to understand their differences to know which type of web developer you need for your business.
Front-end web developers are responsible for the slight modifications to the “front” of a website or the part that visitors usually see and interact with. They make changes to the web design and layout to make sure that the website stays responsive and organized when viewed on different devices.
Although the functions seem similar, take note that front-end developers are different from web designers. Web designers are more focused on the visual design, overall appearance, user experience of a website. They create the design components or visual elements that will be used on a website such as a layout, color scheme, theme, and more.
Front-end web developers have a particular skillset. They can code front-end mockups created by designers, and engage visitors to provide feedback to improve the interface.
On the other hand, a back-end web developer performs one of the fundamental roles in web development. Back-end developers usually work behind the scenes or the front-end. They design and create the website structure, and make sure that the website is running smoothly. A few of their tasks include solving technical issues, integrating third-party services, streamlining dataflow, and improving the load speed of the website.
Back-end developers utilize coding tools such as PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, and database languages like MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and more. They design and optimize databases according to business needs and other requirements. They code any changes in the data using the database languages before sending them back to the front-end.
Full-stack web developers are often called the “Superman” or the “Superwoman” because they can work either at the front-end or back-end of a website. They are often preferred by small businesses and start-ups with limited resources because it’s more practical to pay one specialist for two separate jobs. Since they have a wider skill set, they usually have higher hourly rates than front-end and back-end developers.
What are the Advantages of Hiring a Web Developer?
Before diving into the meaty part of how to hire a web developer, let’s look at the advantages of hiring one.
Aside from the fact that web development is a time-intensive and highly skilled endeavor, hiring a web developer will help you in the following areas:
A team of in-house web developers will help you focus on tasks other than web development services. Since they are part of your regular workforce and daily business operations, they will have a clearer understanding of your business needs, allowing them to provide you with the most appropriate web development solutions.
As a business owner, it enables you to set your annual company budget and manage organizational workflow effectively. It gives you wider control of your business. You can also use your web development team to guide you through decision-making processes to have a broader set of ideas and concepts for your business, and ensure the success of your project.
How To Choose the Right Developer for Your Business?
Always keep in mind that full-time web developers are like employees for your website. They are responsible for the daily management and maintenance of your website. Hiring an expert for your team can be challenging especially if you have no prior experience of the position and its responsibilities. Resumes can help simplify the selection process, but a resume can’t tell you if the skills indicated are up to your standards.
Recruitment is a crucial process for every business, and choosing the right person to work with can be very challenging. So, how do you know if the applicant is the right web developer for your business?
There are steps that can help you improve your chances of hiring the perfect web developer.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web Developer
It is always important to make your goals and requirements clear for your business project before adding new members to your professional team. To guide you in the right direction, you must answer these fundamental questions:
Is this a newly created position?
Make sure that you are hiring a new person for a completely new role to avoid paying a premium salary for a job that’s already existing in your company.
Is the workload consistent from day to day?
Study and analyze your digital marketing needs throughout the year to know if it’s really a regular job and if they can work at 100% capacity during seasonal promotions for example. Are you busy during the holidays? Do you have quarterly promotions? Or do you need to promote large company events?
Do you have the budget to hire the person or team you need?
The company budget is the most important factor to consider before proceeding to hire an in-house web development team. Which is the more practical and cost-effective option for the company? To outsource a web development agency or pay a salaried employee? Please make sure to consider the pros, the cons, and the requirements such as vacation pay, health insurance, and retirement benefits when making a thorough comparison between the two options.
Questions to Ask Web Developer Candidates
If you answered ‘yes’ to all the previous questions, then you can proceed with hiring web developers. The following are key questions that can help you assess an applicant’s technical abilities, soft skills, and other essential traits, along with the usual questions during job interviews.
Please describe three web development projects that you recently worked on. What were the most interesting and challenging parts?
This question will help you determine a candidate’s attitude towards working on web development projects. Listen to their answers carefully. Take note of the most interesting and the most challenging parts for them. If the candidate is passionate about the job and loves to successfully take on challenges, then the person is right for the team.
What new programming languages or technologies have you learned recently?
Being able to adapt to changes and innovations in technology is one of the key characteristics of a good web developer. Web developers must always be willing to learn new programming languages to improve their skill set.
What web platforms do you have experience with? Which one(s) do you like most, and why?
There is a wide variety of website builders and eCommerce platforms like Magento, WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and more. Take note of the web platforms that the candidate prefers the most. The question will help you determine the extent of the candidate’s experiences and skillsets. It will also show if the candidate knows the advantages and disadvantages of using such web platforms.
What is your production timeline?
The candidate’s answer to this question will tell you a lot about his or her time management skills. It will help you determine how fast and efficient a candidate is in delivering daily tasks without compromising the quality.
What kind of research do you conduct before you start building the website?
This question will help you determine the candidate’s level of professionalism. If the candidate always includes and values research in the website development process, then this displays the candidate’s determination to build a website with the best quality and carry out web projects successfully.
How comfortable are you with writing HTML entirely by hand? (Conduct an exercise afterward)
As we have mentioned, resumes don’t always reflect a person’s real technical abilities. Many web developers claim to be HTML experts, yet they are not comfortable with writing an HTML document by hand.
As a business owner, of course, you want to get your money’s worth and receive the best value possible. So, you have to make sure you are paying a premium salary to a web developer that can write a basic HTML document without needing any external resources.
As for the exercise, provide a sample of a website then ask the candidate to write the HTML for it.
What is the W3C and what does it do?
When developing a website, it is important that it meets web standards. Ask this question to know if they are familiar with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). They don’t have to state the mission and vision of the W3C, but any web developer must at least know the Consortium.
What are a few of your favorite development tools and why?
Ask the candidate to name a few of his preferred development tools. If the answer includes Notepad, then you may look for another suitable candidate. This question will help you gauge the candidate’s level of competence. You also want to make sure that the candidate is capable of working with the development tools used in the company.
Provide a problem or an extremely challenging task that you have encountered before, and describe how you solved it.
This question will enable you to assess and learn about a candidate’s problem-solving skills. Listen to the candidate’s past experiences and how he or she came up with the solution to the problem. You may also provide at least one hypothetical situation that might occur while doing the job, and evaluate the candidate’s approach to such a complex situation. It will help you determine whether or not the candidate is results-oriented.
We have a lot more interview questions depending on the type of developer that you are looking for:
- Top Python Interview Questions and Answers
- Node.js Interview Questions You’ll Need to Answer
- WordPress interview questions you need the answers to
- Web Developer Interview Questions
How to Hire a Web Developer: Decide on the Developer’s Skills
Web developers are engineers who use codes to create almost any website from the ground up, but that doesn’t mean that they are also good at designing websites. This sets them apart from web designers. Thus, web developers are often partnered with web designers to make a promising team.
Web developers have a broader coding knowledge than web designers because they also use advanced software languages like PHP and Python thus, they are capable of creating complex website layouts, fixing bugs, and integrating data from back-end services and database systems which are completely different skill sets from that of web designers.
These are only a few of the fundamental skills that an average web developer should possess, otherwise, you may continue searching for candidates with stronger web developer skills.
Projects They Have Worked On
Another way of choosing the right developer is by looking through the t candidates’ previous projects. You may require candidates to provide you with a portfolio of their past web projects, or access to their live work. This will help you evaluate the functionality of the websites they created, and determine if their skills are up to your company’s needs and standards.
You may also ask them if they own a blog site, an online portfolio of the websites and UX designs they developed, code samples of a solution that they are proud of, and a reusable widget or system.
Signs to Hire Them On The Spot
Having a clearer set of goals for the project will enable you now to create the profile of an ideal web developer you need in your business. A pro tip is to build the profile based on aptitudes, not on tasks and skills. Realizing the potentials of a web developer helps you choose the right person for the job.
To help you with profiling, consider the following signs to look out for when hiring web developers. The first sign is if they offer you multiple solutions for your business without prior order. One way to determine if a web developer values the quality of a website is to check if he keeps track of the solutions he created, takes the courage to address minor issues on the test, and refactor codes to improve the framework.
Web development is not a one-man job. It usually requires a collaborative effort, thus a web developer must be a great team player. Lastly, a great web developer is always willing to learn and master new technologies.
Reconstruct your question to elicit more valuable answers like a person’s disposition on certain matters instead of common interview questions. For example, instead of asking “Do you know Magento?” try changing it to “How do you feel about learning Magento or other web platforms?”.
Ending thoughts on how to hire a web developer
Before hiring a web developer, it is always important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve for your business. Assess the resources and content marketing needs of your business. Ask yourself fundamental questions such as, “Do you have the budget to hire an in-house web development team or outsource a web development agency?” and more.
If you plan to hire an in-house web development team, this article has provided you with key information to help you choose the right person for the team.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how to hire a web developer, you should check out this one about what a software development budget implies.