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Post by Rich Moy on Apr 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

For many companies, the importance of having talented web developers can’t be overstated. They are responsible for using a wide variety of programming languages to design and build a website from scratch. Once it’s built, businesses lean on them to maintain and optimize their sites. Not surprisingly, the competition to hire the right people to do the job is at a fever-pitch—and as a result, over 72% of today’s developers identify as web developers. To help you stand out to the top candidates, here are a few things to keep in mind when you need to hire a web developer.

Know Where They Spend Their Free Time

Standing out to the top candidates requires you to know how they improve their programming chops and commiserate with other programmers. Sites like PunBB, and Designer Hangout are some of the most popular forums for developers who want to get feedback on their projects and share new information. The Front-end Developers community also hosts a Slack channel for users to chat in real time about the projects they’re currently building. Additionally, the tags on Stack Overflow for some of the most common programming languages for web design (HTML, CSS, Java, PHP) are among the most active on the site.

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While these are great resources for developers who are building new sites, they don’t always visit them to find new jobs. When you engage developers on these platforms, start by asking them more about the websites they’ve created in the past—and take a sincere interest in what they think about on a daily basis. Although this is a much slower approach to hiring a web developer than you might be comfortable with at first, developers on these sites will be more likely to inquire about the roles you’re working to fill as you gradually build rapport with them.

Understand Their Biggest Challenges

It’s easy to throw together a tech recruitment email that’s packed with job requirements, but getting a developer’s attention requires much more—and often, that begins with knowing what they worry about at work. Here are a few of the biggest challenges that web developers face on a daily basis.

  • Browser support. With many web browsers and devices available to consumers, it’s up to web developers to ensure that websites are compatible across all of those options.
  • Responsiveness. Last year, comScore found that 65% of sites and content are consumed via mobile devices. With that rise, web developers are always thinking about ways to make sites responsive on desktop and mobile products.
  • Keeping up with the latest web standards. Michael Burton at Fifteen wrote that anyone building a website needs to stay up to date on web standards and know when they’re appropriate to apply to a project.

Learn What They Look for in New Jobs

What you’ve learned so far will help you hire a web developer who can take your business to the next level. But knowing what they look for in job opportunities will make you stand out even further from the competition. We spoke to Alexander Kehaya, founder of Action Wins, about what he thinks is important to web development candidates.

  • Opportunities to work with hybrid applications. Kehaya tells us that he’s incredibly excited about the future of mobile development. He adds, “From a tech standpoint, I’m really excited about React Native and Ionic for mobile.”
  • The ability to work remotely. Not surprisingly, Kehaya says that the most important aspect of any job for him is the freedom to work remotely. “This gives me the freedom to be where I want and enjoy the lifestyle that I want,” he says.
  • Teams that apply Agile development best practices. Aside from the ability to work remotely, Kehaya tells us that team dynamics and the use of Agile are incredibly important facets of any web development job.developer 101

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