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How to Hire a Web Developer For the First Time: 5 Most Common Issues

It may be difficult to hire a web developer for the first time, especially when you have no to little knowledge in tech, engineering, and computer science. Read the most common hiring challenges and expert tips to tackle them from our CTO.

Hiring a web developer used to be almost an impossible task for our CEO, Ari Krzyzek, as she has limited background in tech to help her find the right candidates for our company. Many clients we’ve worked with also face this challenge when it comes to hiring, and more so for women business owners — likely because only 27% of women work in the STEM field.

Recruitment in general is challenging, but it’s even more so when you need to hire a web developer for the first time, while having limited knowledge of programming and engineering. How do you find a candidate that has the right skills and willingness to help your business grow, and grow together with it?

5 expert tips to hire a web developer

Peter Krzyzek, our CTO, is here to help you. With more than a decade of experience in tech and business, and a master’s degree in computer science, Peter has compiled the most common web developer hiring challenges that business owners face:

  1. Junk resumés
  2. Incompatible personalities
  3. Good on paper
  4. Onboarding process
  5. Joining mid-project

Let’s see the practical tips to tackle these challenges.

1. Junk resumés

At Chykalophia, we can receive up to 150 resumés for one web developer position. That is a lot. So this is what we do to not spend too many days on it:

  • Scan through the pile and toss out any obviously unqualified applicants
  • Remove any resumés that did not answer the required simple questions you put on the job posting to make sure they read the whole thing (for example: To make sure you read the job posting, please tell us your favorite food)
  • Set aside, not remove, any resumes which are clearly copy-and-paste products and not personalized at all

2. Incompatible personalities

When a team member is incompatible with the rest of the team, it could lead to bigger problems in the long run. To avoid this, conduct a personality test, like a simple MBTI or the snowflake test, for the top ten candidates you have picked.

3. Good on paper

The next challenge for business owners to hire a web developer is finding out who’s real and who’s not. There’s no denying that some candidates oversell themselves on their CVs, so this is when the interview sessions play a deciding factor.

Peter recommends only inviting those that passed the personality test to the interview. Then, you can ask more about their experience and past challenges during the technical interview. To further see their capabilities, you can also request their code samples and conduct a technical test.

4. Onboarding process

Document everything — handbooks, processes, tools, systems — so new joiners don’t feel lost and are used to how things are run around here. You might also want to set a deadline for them to get into the company flow and culture, so they know when they will need to start working on a project.

5. Joining mid-project

New joiners often join a company in the middle of an active project and are expected to hit the ground running within a few days, regardless of level.

To avoid confusion, assign a buddy to help them understand this particular client, their wants and needs, the current challenges, the goals, the timeline, and the data flow.

How long does it take to hire a web developer?

Hiring a developer (or any position, really) leads to a long-term relationship. So, take your time and find the one you think is most compatible with your team and your company values. In the meantime, set aside time to also learn a thing or two about programming and web development so you can at least speak their language during the interviews.

In our case, it can take up to two months to hire a web developer! This is because we don’t just recruit the first available candidate. On the contrary, sometimes we handle a little bit of extra work during the hiring process — a little sacrifice to make sure our new team member is a good fit for our projects, other team members, and our company culture in the long run.

Hiring a web developer is not the only challenge that business owners face — financial challenges, gender bias (for women business owners), VC pitching, and many more. We’ll share more tips to overcome these difficulties, make sure to subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter so you don’t miss them!

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