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Post by Rich Moy on Dec 1, 2016 12:00:00 PM

While many people think of it as merely a blogging platform, WordPress is a powerful open-source content management system (CMS) that over 74 million websites rely on for hosting services. Developers use a combination of HTML, CSS, MySQL, and PHP to build themes and plugins that enable users to launch and edit their websites quickly. Because of the platform’s popularity, the competition to hire WordPress developers is fierce. We don’t have a silver-bullet solution that will help you hire a WordPress developer by the time you sit down for lunch this afternoon, but here are a few insights that will help you better understand the basics of recruiting your top candidates.

Know Where They Spend Their Time

Recruiters need to dig a little deeper to discover where the WordPress developers they’re looking for spend their free time online. While many developers have taken it upon themselves to build online forums to discuss the latest in WordPress development, the WordPress’ support forum is home to an engaged community of developers. WordPress developers also rely on popular sites like the WP Help Forum and Sitepoint when they want to commiserate or need support on a project. Additionally, the WordPress tag on Stack Overflow is one of the most popular with over 111,000 questions asked.

These forums are great resources for anyone looking to learn more about WordPress development, but keep in mind that many of these users are passive candidates. Of course, identify the candidates you’re interested in, but take a more nuanced approach on these sites. Start by asking questions about the projects they’re working on and take a sincere interest in what they tell you. This won’t pay immediate dividends in the form of hires, but building rapport with candidates will ultimately make it easier to hire a WordPress developer down the line.

Understand the Unique Challenges They Face

It would be easy to sign up for a WordPress blog, look at the editor and say to yourself, “This is straightforward enough for me to understand.” Sure, the platform is user-friendly on many levels, but WordPress development is challenging in a few unique ways. Here are a few things WordPress developers tackle about on a daily basis.

  • Building a secure experience for end-users. Because WordPress is such a popular website hosting platform, it’s challenging to ensure a consistently secure experience for the end-user. WordPress developers are responsible for writing code that addresses a growing number of vulnerabilities.
  • Identifying and resolving issues after WordPress updates. A simple software update by WordPress can wreak havoc on an entire website. Companies look to WordPress developers to quickly resolve site issues after WordPress updates. The most common errors after a WordPress update often boil down to one line of incompatible code.
  • Training stakeholders on maintaining and adding site content. WordPress developers often build products for their non-technical colleagues to use. It’s up to them to train every user to maintain and edit site content on their own.

Know What They Look for in New Jobs

Now that you have a deeper understanding of WordPress development, you can set yourself apart even further by learning what your top candidates look for in new jobs. To help you get started, we reached out to a few professional WordPress developers to find out how they evaluate new job opportunities.

  • Clear and consise duties. Grayson De Ritis, owner of De Ritis Media, tells us that many companies list skill sets on WordPress job listings that are too broad and don't paint an accurate picture of the person's day-to-day. He adds, "Honing in on the specific aspects the position will be responsible for and handle on a regular basis is key to providing a strong sense of core work, and will help to net applications from qualified candidates."
  • New and cutting-edge projects. Joe Casabona, a front-end developer at Crowd Favorite, says that with WordPress' rapid growth, candidates naturally gravitate towards jobs that challenge them. He continues,If I were to start looking today, I’d want to know my Javascript knowledge would be challenged and I’d be working with the REST API. I don’t want to be supporting WordPress 3.0 installs." 

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