Recruiting is a complex process that requires a lot of time and effort. And if it is not done properly, can cause problems for an organization. Hiring the wrong candidate is a costly mistake that can put a project back for months. One of the most common mistakes companies make when hiring web developers is making their decisions on the basis of a resume alone. While experience is important, it rarely depicts a clear image of the potential candidate.
Web development is a difficult position to fill for two reasons. First, the title itself shows different meanings for different people. A candidate working with HTML CSS can call himself a developer, and the one who works exclusively with Ruby can call himself the same.
The second reason is that no two development projects of building a website are alike. Also, depending on the scale and complexity the web developer is going to need a particular set of skills. A project that requires someone to provide Magento development services is very different from another one that wants to integrate the website with Python-based machine learning.
The first step for a company who are looking for candidates to work in the web domain should consider these aspects:
- Nature of the project
- Front-end VS back-end
- The scale of the project
- Number of tasks involved
- Timeline for the project
- Budget for the project
With a clear understanding of the project, the company can then build a profile for the kind of candidate they need. And this is where a lot of companies make their second mistake. Selecting the candidate on the basis of tasks and skills instead of aptitudes. In order to prevent that, here are some keys to hiring the best web experts:
Flexibility and adaptability should be the prime focus
The question an interviewer should seldom ask a candidate is “do you know Laravel?” Instead, they should go with “how do you feel about learning Laravel? Why? Because the first question only lets the candidate talk about their prior experience. What they learned in past jobs, or in college. While the second question lets the recruiter explore the candidate’s temperament about learning.
Given enough time and effort, anyone can learn a language or a framework used for development. However, flexibility and versatility in work are characteristics that are a lot harder to develop. A person who is willing to learn and eager to master new tools is someone who isn’t afraid of change or working outside their comfort zone.
It’s often easier to train a developer who is adaptable than a developer who is knowledgeable but not ready to change. The second one will often prove to be a challenge if they have to work with other developers. Or if they have to adapt to the company’s work culture.
Look for problem-solving skills
Problem-solving is another essential skill for a developer. Google is rather famous for asking bizarre questions to their candidates to feel about how good they are at solving complex problems. Most of the time, the real answer isn’t the answer to the question itself but rather how the candidate reached the answer.
Problem solvers tend to ask a lot of questions. They like to solve problems from different angles, and will often offer more than one solution to the problem. Recruiters should pay attention to candidates who answer theoretical questions or solve practice tests with “well, it depends”. That’s a clear depiction of the thinking pattern of the candidate who is trying to come up with at least two different paths to a solution.
Look at their side projects
Developers who have side projects, no matter how small they are, often possess skills that might not appear in their resume alone. For example, a candidate who likes drawing may have a command on an image editing software, even if they haven’t done a design course. Or a band player may have some basic skills in community management since they run their social media pages.
People with side projects tend to be proactive workers and have a passionate outlook about the things they care about. These traits are helpful in a work environment. As a positive side, side projects are a path to a person’s goals, desires, and interests. In addition, these should help the recruiter determine if the candidate is a good match for the company or not.
Web developers should be team players
A long time ago, people thought that developers were introvert personalities who do not talk much. The only thing they want is to look at the screen the whole day. That’s not true anymore. Web development has finished the stereotype, and more often than not a candidate has to work with a team of fellow developers. Also, for other departments of the company. Which is why so many businesses emphasize on building agile teams.
Being a team player doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should be having leadership qualities. Rather, it’s about having a set of skills that can help in conflict-management. Recruiters should focus on candidates who show empathy during an interview, or who take feedback positively and are reflective of their own behavior.
Team players are not afraid of feedback, clarification, or even ask for any help during their tests and interviews. Most of the tests are made to measure their knowledge and expertise in a specific area. But no developer works in a vacuum, and asking for help from other people is often a sign of a friendly person who is often aware of their limitations.
A resilient attitude is a plus
Development is often a job that causes emotional and mental stress. There is a reason why so many developers experience mental stress at some point in their jobs. But what may seem like an arduous task for someone is an exciting opportunity for another.
Resilient people often talk about the challenges they have faced in a positive way. They also tend to be responsible for their tasks. On the other hand, low resilience candidates will often blame others for problems. Also, they hardly take responsibility, and are often anxious when facing challenges.
Involve other developers
If a company has in-house developers, especially ones that are going to work with the web developer, they should be a part of the hiring process. No one can judge the skills of the candidate. The person who is working in the department a potential candidate is going to join can only judge skills.
Recruiters should rely on the gut feeling of the developers. Their experience often gives them an edge that helps them pick signals that a professional recruiter may be unaware of. Especially those who don’t have a clear understanding of what a development process requires.
That is the exact reason why so many companies rely on outsourcing IT staffing services. Professional IT recruiters often have years of experience in the business and work in this domain to find the best candidates for any kind of development job.
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