How to hire an effective web developer for your small business

Putting productive and effective employees that fit with your company culture and entrepreneurial structure is one of the most essential components to managing your small business. The problem is that different roles call for vastly different types of employees, not just in terms of work experience and applicable skills but also in terms of personality and your goals for him or her. In today’s small business climate, having a highly-functioning website is a no-brainer, but many entrepreneurs often lack the requisite skills, prompting the hiring of an experienced web developer. Here are some tips on how to hire the best web developer for your small business.

Personality might be more important than work experience
For a job search, many hiring managers immediately look to a candidate’s related job experience. While this might seem like a sensible place to start, just like the stock market, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Therefore, even the seemingly-smartest developers with a wealth of previous job experience might not be the best fit with your small business. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, a better predictor of success is someone’s innate DNA. This might be a difficult set of characteristics to figure out about a person in an interview setting. Start by determining what kind of company culture you want – determined and aggressive or creative and laid back – and go into the interview looking for these traits.

Put them to the test
Regardless of how great someone’s personality might be, the nuts and bolts of the job requires keen technical abilities that are difficult to pick up on the job, even for astute learners. Therefore, at the end of the day, your web developer has to be able to code, program and design your company’s website to your exact specifications. The best way to prove this might not be to look at past results, but instead to have the candidate actually work on something before your very eyes.

“In terms of interviews, we’ve found that there’s no substitute for having someone complete a short programming task,” Lucas Bieweald, founder and CEO of CrowdFlower, told Inc. Magazine. “We used to feel embarrassed to ask experienced developers to do a simple exercise, but we’ve found that enough of them can’t complete it that it’s necessary.”

Look for aptitude over skill sets
Part of the problem of looking at past results and experience when determining the best web developer to hire for your small business is the simple fact that in the technology sector, change can happen seemingly overnight. Skills that were essential two years or less ago might be totally obsolete today. For instance, social media is a relatively newfangled technology but any small business not participating in this is essentially signing its own death warrant. Your web developer must be well-versed in coding and programming for social media capabilities. Therefore, the best web developer hires are ones with the aptitude, hunger and capacity for constantly learning new skills.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the best way to find potential web developers with these traits is to ask pointed questions about how much they enjoy learning. Asking what new programming languages they learned recently, what types of technology, conferences they have been to, favorite publications for learning or what trends they think will phase out soon can really help you delve into the candidate’s mind and personality.

How has your small business gone about hiring web developers in the past?

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Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal is the CEO of Targetwise. TARGETWISE empowers agencies, brands + marketers with results-oriented solutions that grow, nurture + maintain a social ecosphere.

Neutralizing all digital channels, we accelerate performance by applying data driven optimizationin real-time across a superior blend of mobile, video,display and email inventory. Converting the right people at the right time, we drive brand solutions, while securing optimal impact, engagement + results.
Chelsea Segal