If you have a small business in developing stage, hiring a web developer is one of the most critical hires you would make. He/she will be responsible for creating the online face of your company thereby enabling you to interact virtually with your consumers. It is hence necessary to know exactly how to hire a web developer the first time out. You otherwise risk hurting your business, time and money in an effort to find a replacement.
Whatever post you are hiring for, it is essential to find employees that fit with your business culture and entrepreneurial structure. Different works require different types of employees, not just in skills, but also in personality and ambition of the employee as well.
According to Forrester Research, online sales are likely to hit $177 billion marks in 2010. With online marketing being the key to the success of many start-ups, it’s crucial that you know how to hire web developer whose personal ambition, and personality matches with that of your small company.
Here are some useful techniques that will help you understand how to hire a web developer for your small business.
A full-time web developer or independent contractor?
Ascertain if a full-time web developer is required for your small business in the first place. You will need to hire a full-time developer only if it’s an online business and will include a great deal of mobile technology. If that’s not the case, you and your staff would be better off handling the site maintenance and upkeep, and consider having an independent contractor.
Jamie Resker, a consultant who advises companies on workforce issues hired a web developer to do a site for him, and now she writes content for the site herself. “I’ve encountered a lot of small-business owners can do it themselves,” says Resker.
Assess the candidate’s personality apart from work experience and skills
While talking about how to hire a web developer, there is no doubt that related work experience and skill set of a person is important in deciding whether the employee can do his work or not. However, past performance and skill do not guarantee that he or she is the right choice for the chosen job.
A person’s innate DNA can truly predict an employee’s success in an organization – big or small, as per Entrepreneur Magazine. Even though this is a difficult task to find that in a brief interview, it is very essential and critical when it comes to selecting the right candidate.
Once you are clear about the kind of work culture you want and the type of personality that fits in your business culture, you can start looking for these traits in the interviews you conduct to zero-in on your ideal candidate/web developer.
Ask yourself if you want a determined and aggressive person for your small business, or you prefer a creative and laid back person. Select the right candidate keeping your requirement in the center.
To give you an example, an extremely brilliant developer who has worked in big corporate companies is unlikely to do well at a startup. The reason for it is that an employee working for small business must be versatile, of an adaptable nature, a self-starter, and must be willing to take risks. These are qualities you must look out for while hiring a developer.
How to hire a web developer? – Let him/her handle a small project
In order to be very sure that you have selected the right candidate, hand him/her a small, non-critical project. This way, you will get to understand how the person executes his job and how efficient or inefficient he is in delivering the product. You will also learn a lot more than what you have understood of the person in the job interview. Ask yourself these questions:
1) How good was the final product?
2) How creative was the solution that the employee came up with?
3) Did he/she go beyond the expected to achieve the end result?
4) How did the person communicate with his/her team, and how did the employee overcome problems and delays?
Hire slow, but fire fast
Think, and take your time while hiring. If after all you have done, the person turns out to be a misfit for your small business, let him or she go soon. An incompetent or ineffective web developer can prove disruptive to the entire team and harm your business in more than one way.
Ask about technical skills and conduct technical interviews
When you conduct interviews to hire a web developer, question him/her about their technical skills. Find out about the websites they have already designed in the past and ask them for their education, their previous employers, and their detailed resume.
Avoid asking trivia and general questions on programming to web developers as they are only general knowledge questions that anybody who is good at memorizing can tell you. Ask technical and specific open-ended questions. Listen a lot and try and estimate the amount of passion for the work in his/her voice, and see how they communicate and explain technical terms.
Where to find web developers?
Turning to social media and social networking can prove fruitful while trying to hire a good web developer for your website.
While posting on Elance or Craigslist.org may get you an overwhelming response, a message over LinkedIn will most probably get you in touch with qualified professional applicants. You can also find web developers on Guru.com. Just make sure that you type the exact skill set required in the search bar.
There are ample write-ups and articles available on the internet if you want to know how to hire a web developer. No matter how much information you have about the person in question, the most important is the gut feel. What you feel about the person after you have learned about him/her and spoken to the person is very critical in deciding whether the person is fit for your small business or not.