How to Hire the Best Web Developers: What to Look for and Where to Find Them

How to Hire the Best Web Developers: What to Look for and Where to Look

The web development industry has gone through some exciting changes in the past decade. We’ve seen the emergence of mobile responsive websites, interactive design and new programming languages that allow for superior functionality. Thanks to all these advancements, businesses now have the ability to create websites that are both impressive and functional with the help of skilled web developers.

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Although it’s hard to find a great web developer, it gets a little easier when you search in their domain; on the Internet. With web development growing increasingly complex, it’s important to hire an experienced, trained web developer who understands the ins and outs of the technology.

This article is your guide on how to hire a good web developer. We’ll look at the necessary qualities a skilled professional must possess, introduce you to a few places you can find them, and finally show you how to interview and choose the best candidate for your team and project.

Qualities of a skilled web developer

Qualities of a Good Developer Infographic | How to Hire the Best Web Developers

Concentration and ability to focus

Even though you may not necessarily need a senior developer, you must aim to find a seasoned worker. Freelancers working from the comfort of their own home must be skilled at effectively managing their own time. Working remotely comes with many challenges, one of which is successfully dealing with distractions and being able to focus 100 percent on the job at hand.

Creativity

The best web developers understand that there’s more than one way to solve a problem, especially in programming. A skilled web developer will be creative enough to get around, over and under any issues that pop up to ensure a seamlessly functioning website. In addition to being about to find or create solutions, he or she should know what course is best to take for solving a problem.

Attention to detail

Programmers need to pay attention to the details of a project in order to create the best product. Web developers who are only focused on the big picture may overlook small bugs or issues whereas a detail-oriented developer will focus on all task segments as well as how they are implemented. This will have a positive influence on the overall user experience.

Collaboration skills

Even if you’re looking to hire just one developer for your business or project, good collaboration skills should be a top priority. Even if a single web developer takes care of the entire process, he or she still has to collaborate with you and your other teams (ie. writing, marketing, support). There’s also the hopeful possibility of your project growing and needing more than one web developer to scale, so collaboration will become a vital part of the working process.

Passion and curiosity

Many people decide to become web developers for a variety of different reasons. However, the one crucial characteristic of a good web developer is his or her curiosity and passion for the chosen field. The world of web development is never stagnant, meaning there’s always something new to explore and learn. A curious web developer will keep improving and upgrading his or her set of skills.

How and where to find skilled web developers

With the open access to new technology, it’s become easier than ever to communicate, learn new things and choose any career path. One of the new opportunities we have thanks to the Internet and technology is the ability to work remotely and build virtual teams. Skilled web developers can now be found anywhere in the world, so one of the most important details of knowing how to hire the best programmers is where to look for them. Here are our suggestions for the best places to start your search:

Hubstaff

Hubstaff Talent is a platform that helps connect professional web developers with projects and people who need their services. Everyone who makes it into our staffing system is a professional. By collaborating with top contractors from around the world, Hubstaff Talent can help reduce your work in sorting through applications and finding the best fit for your project. And it’s completely free!

Hubstaff also provides time tracking software that makes it easy to manage your virtual teams and remote workers. Once we help you find a web developer, we provide the technology that can help you track time accurately, monitor work and productivity and automate virtual payroll.

Find and Manage Web Developers with Hubstaff

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Outsourcely

Outsourcely differentiates itself by letting employers hire remote workers directly and pay them directly. The talent on Outsourcely is mostly looking for stable long-term remote work, not short-term freelance projects. This is great for employers who are looking to build sustainable working relationships and dedicated remote teams.

Employers can hire in two different ways: by posting a remote job or by searching Outsourcely’s talent pool by skill and contacting candidates immediately using real-time private chat, browser to browser video & voice calling, video & voice messaging or just regular email. This makes hiring fast and easy. Best of all, Outsourcely is offering all Hubstaff customers a 30% discount. Enter hubstaff30 to get 30% off all plans.

AngelList

AngelList is a great place for startups and talented web developers to connect. As a business, you just need to create a startup profile to showcase your product and team, post a job and clarify the positions, then match with top candidates and reach out when there’s mutual interest. There are currently more than 13,000 startups looking for talent on AngelList.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows professionals to maintain their connections, showcase their work history and collect recommendations. Hubstaff found its technical co-founder thanks to LinkedIn. This is a great site to reach out to potential web developers with impressive resumes and portfolios. This is an excellent site to leverage your network, with options to get introduced by a mutual connection or discover profiles based on the developers you’re already looking at.

Authentic Jobs

In addition to the job listing site of Authentic Jobs, recruiters can also look at Authentic Pros for a directory of almost 2,000 hackers, designers, and creative professionals. When you post a job with Authentic Jobs, they also advertise it across their social media and partner sites, including Indeed and Cameron Moll. Authentic Jobs has filters based on what you’re looking for, like full-time, part-time, freelance or even remote positions.

HackerNews Who is Hiring

HackerNews is a community of startup professionals founded by Y Combinator. The audience and users of HackerNews are typically talented marketing, design, and/or web development pros. Recruiters can look at profiles to see how someone has contributed to the community and post your jobs on a Who is Hiring monthly thread. Just select the current date and post your job and contact details as a comment.

Remote OK

Remote OK is exclusively for virtual positions. It’s free to post a job and jobs can be filtered for web dev or mobile dev. This site claims to reach more than 100,000 remote workers monthly, and the jobs you post will be promoted on platforms like Nomad List Nomad Forum, #nomads, and other sites. To add your job, just fill out a quick form with your company information, job title, description and instructions to apply.

Stack Overflow Careers

Stack Overflow is a community where programmers and developers can ask and answer questions related to the programming world. A great way to find a qualified web developer here is to look at how much he or she has contributed to the community by answering questions and demonstrating expertise.

Upwork

A project of two Greek entrepreneurs, Upwork is one of the most widely recognized freelance platforms. It was founded in 2003 and 10 years later reported having almost 3 million freelancers and 540,000 clients all over the world. Upwork charges a 10 percent commission fee of the total amount earned per project. In 2014, Upwork merged with Elance.

Freelancer

Even though Freelancer was founded in 2009, it has more users than Elance and Upwork combined. That’s because this company has acquired at least eight developed freelance marketplaces and merged them. This platform has multiple levels of paid memberships and a feature-limited free membership. Like Upwork, Freelancer also charges 10 percent commission fee.

There are many such websites out there. Here is another list of places where you can look for freelancers.

Referrals

Many web developers often work as independent contractors, meaning they take on multiple clients and projects at one time. You can ask your partners or friends in the industry to refer a trusted web developer on their teams or who worked with them previously.

The next step in learning how to hire the best web developers is to master the selection process – conducting a successful interview will give you the edge you need to identify the best person to work with among all the candidates.

How to hire the best developer based on the interview

Pay attention to the following details in order to maximize your chances to discover your next start employee:

  • Portfolio – Discuss some of the most interesting projects your web developer listed on his or her portfolio. Ask questions about how they built it, why they created certain features, etc. If the developer is struggling to find the answers, it could mean he or she was only in a support role on the project.
  • Recommendations – Look through the recommendations provided and talk about some of the previous work experience they have had. Try to get a feel of the relationship between the web developer and the person recommending him or her.
  • Honesty – Ask questions to determine the honesty of your web developers. Do their answers line up and make sense with each other? Does what they say fit with their recommendations and resume? You can also ask questions to see how honest a web developer is willing to be with you, such as “what do you find tedious about web development?”
  • Questions – Your ideal candidate will know enough about your company and the business that he or she should have at least some insightful questions for you. Look at the questions they ask to tell whether they were paying attention to your company.
  • Sample tasks – In order to see whether your web developer fits well with your team and product, give them a paid test task to gauge their skills. You can have your team design these tasks based on what they will need in the future, so no work goes to waste.

If you want to learn more about the process of identifying and interviewing remote workers, check out this detailed guide on how Hubstaff recruits the best virtual employees.

A simple solution for non-technical employers

There are many great online platforms designed to connect businesses or job offers with freelancers from all over the world. A good deal of those web platforms has web developers with a wide range of skill levels, experience, and overall work quality. It’s great having all that choice, but sometimes it gets overwhelming as well.

Finding a good developer requires that you be able to judge correctly their technical abilities. If you do not feel comfortable with that role, it might be worth it to outsource this part of the selection process to an expert recruiter.

Finding the perfect web developer for your project. You can find freelance developers for free on Hubstaff Talent freelancer site geared towards remote work. Let us help you get the job applications, so you can spend your precious time growing your business instead of sifting through paperwork.

The importance of time tracking

A final caveat. When you hire a web developer, especially when working remotely, it’s important to use a time tracker like Hubstaff to avoid unethical working habits or bad practices. No matter what tool you choose to monitor your development work, it should be accurate, provide insight into what your developer is working on, and show you how active he or she is while billing you for time.

Over to you

We hope that after reading this you will know how to hire the best web developers for your business. We are always looking to learn from and help our readers, so if you would like to add anything or ask us a question, please do so in the comments section below. Share your experience and best practices with hiring programmers too. We would love to hear about them.

Hubstaff time tracking
  • Craig Hewitt

    Hey guys, just wondering if any of these resources have changed for you in the past year or so? Looking at WeWorkRemotely and it looks like a great place for technical help.

    • Hey Craig, hope you are well. Yes, I’d highly recommend posting a job at http://weworkremotely.com – we’ve posted about 3-4 jobs there and had really good luck. One of the cool things that happens when you post there is alot of the smaller directories also end up showing your ad and you pick up social sharing, etc… lots of people there looking for full time work of course. And it’s 250 to post