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10 Tips for Hiring Your First Web Developer

3-05-2018, 19:21
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Your web developer (or team of developers) is going to be responsible for building, maintaining, and periodically updating your website—the key location for forming lasting first impressions among new prospects, and keeping your most loyal clients happy.

Needless to say, hiring your first developer is a monumental decision. Regardless of whether you’re taking someone on full-time or pursuing an independent contractor, there are some important tips you’ll need to follow if you want to be successful.


10 Tips for Hiring Your First Web Developer

Establishing the Infrastructure

First, you’ll want to establish the groundwork, both for an environment where your developer can thrive and to make sure you can make your decision wisely:

 

1.Secure your brand culture. Take a moment to review the standards and tenets of your company culture, which is going to serve two important purposes in your hunt for the perfect web developer. First, it’s going to provide you with the values you’ll seek in a potential candidate. Second, it could help you stand out in a field with many competing offers.

 

2.Review your operations. Next, review how you’ll take this person on, and whether there are any adjustments you’ll need to make in your day-to-day operations. For example, you may need to obtain new timesheet templates if you’re hiring an independent contractor, or set up a new desk if you’re bringing someone on full-time.

 

3.Understand your goals. Why are you hiring a web developer? Is this a short-term or long-term engagement? What are the demands of the job going to be, and who’s the ideal candidate to handle them? Understanding your goals before you start reviewing candidates will help you cherry-pick the best prospects from the crowd.

Building a Candidate Stream

With those points in order, your next priority should be building up a stream of candidates—in other words, giving yourself access to the greatest number of viable prospects.

 

4.Ask for referrals. Referrals are the top source of new hires, and for good reason. Getting referrals spares you the time of looking for new candidates yourself, and will likely introduce you to a more qualified, better-fitting candidate.

 

5.Make use of social networks. Make sure you spend some time on social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter. You can search for users based on their job descriptions, filter users by area, or visit groups where web developers are known to congregate.

 

6.Consider a freelancer. If you’re considering a freelancer, make sure to browse through the profiles of freelancer networks, like Upwork. Because so many freelancers rely on this platform for new leads, you should be able to find an ideal match with relative ease.

 

7.Network in person. Finally, make it a point to regularly attend in-person networking events, especially if they have something to do with web development. Hackathons and other public gatherings meant to attract web developers are good bets. Introduce yourself to lots of new people; even if the person you meet isn’t a web developer looking for a job, they may know someone who is.

Landing the Ideal Candidate

Now, you’ll need to select candidates from your candidate pool, interview them, and make a final decision.

 

8.Focus on skill, not experience. In most cases, it’s better to hire based on someone’s talent or skill, rather than their past experience. Just because they worked for a professional agency for a few years doesn’t mean they’ll have all the skills you need to be successful, or significant long-term potential. Besides, less experienced candidates are generally less expensive, and they may bring everything to the table you need.

 

9.Prioritize the culture fit. Don’t underestimate the importance of a culture fit. Your candidate’s values should be aligned with your brand’s. If they aren’t, you may have problems with productivity, employee morale, and eventually, retention.

 

10.Take your time. Hiring for tech positions can (and in many cases, should) take a long time. You don’t want to go with the first candidate to catch your eye. Taking your time and reviewing lots of candidates will help expose you to different perspectives and approaches, and hopefully, give you more time to consider your needs.

 

If you follow these tips, you’ll be more likely to hire a candidate who will not only get the job done, but stick with your company for the long haul. The recruitment and interview process can be grueling, but if you put in the time and effort, the benefits are enormous.

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