How to Hire Front-end Developers: A Complete Guide

Hire Remote Developers
Regina Welle
By
Regina Welle
|
Global Staffing Manager
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Table of Contents

There are numerous compelling reasons to hire front-end developers. This article describes what these professionals do and offers valuable tips to support recruitment efforts.
Published on
May 10, 2022
Updated on
May 23, 2024

Front-end developers are in high demand in today’s job market. Their expertise is integral to business growth, and they help companies thrive in an increasingly competitive digital space. Over 218,350 front-end developers are currently employed in the United States alone, and new job openings could reach 20,900 over the next decade.

When searching for top-tier front-end developers, it’s not unusual to face certain challenges. After all, competition is fierce, and trends seem to evolve faster than talent can gain the necessary skills to keep up. But there’s plenty of talent out there waiting to be tapped.

What Is Front-end Development?

This branch of web development and app development focuses on building the user interface (UI) for diverse projects. It helps make the internet increasingly intuitive and easy to use, boosting responsiveness and accessibility to provide a more positive experience for all.

Front-end development enhances a project's look and feel through tools like HTML and CSS. These languages help structure and style each page’s layout and define visual elements such as colors, fonts, and images. Front-end development teams also leverage JavaScript (JS) frameworks to add user experience (UX) elements, like animations and forms, to keep things dynamic and interesting.

Some common use cases for front-end development are:

  • Websites: From simple brochureware sites to complex e-commerce platforms
  • Web applications: Including online banking and streaming services
  • Single-page applications (SPAs): Like webmail or social media web apps that load a single HTML page and use JS to update the content without having to reload unnecessary elements

Front-end development takes the technical specifications and functionalities set by back-end development and translates them into user-friendly and visually appealing masterpieces. Prioritizing these characteristics enables businesses to keep visitors engaged and guide them toward desired actions to meet specific objectives.

What Does a Front-end Developer Do?

Front-end developers have one general responsibility: They make sure that website visitors can easily interact with an entirely functional, visually attractive page. Whenever you visit a website as a user, anything you can see and click likely has countless hours of front-end development behind it. Although their overall duties vary across companies and engineering teams, you can generally expect front-end developers to:

  • Use code and frameworks to bring concepts to life
  • Develop and maintain the user interface
  • Manage software workflow
  • Follow SEO best practices
  • Fix bugs and test for usability
  • Seek maximum web speed and scalability

Professionals in front-end development collaborate closely with UI/UX designers. They also work with back-end developers to integrate front-end components with server-side logic. Lastly, they may collaborate with other stakeholders and departments to maintain goal alignment.

Front-end developers are essential in growing an IT team because they can integrate aesthetic and technical components. Their aptitudes are key to guaranteeing that the final product is not only feature-rich but also easy to use.

Front-end Engineer vs Front-end Developer

The terms "front-end engineer" and "front-end developer" are sometimes used interchangeably. While there may be some overlap between these two roles, it's important to remember the subtle differences between the roles to build a solid engineering team.

Front-end developers handle the visual and interactive aspects of a website or web application using HTML, CSS, JS, or even PHP. They implement specific features within the systems designed by software engineers. Their primary concern is building user-friendly interfaces that allow a seamless user experience. In other words, their efforts revolve around writing the code that makes the features run like clockwork.

Front-end engineers are proficient in architectural design and performance optimization techniques. This broader skill set allows them to tackle tasks that go beyond the scope of typical front-end development responsibilities. Companies expect front-end engineers to have a deeper understanding of the concepts and tools used to build more robust and scalable front-end solutions.

Front-end engineers are more likely to work on large-scale, enterprise-level applications requiring higher technical expertise and problem-solving skills. That’s why their salaries often range from $114,000 to $195,000 annually, while front-end developers make between $66,000 and $115,000.

A bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is commonly expected from applicants for either position. Front-end engineers might merit employment and salary advantages from having advanced degrees or certifications.

Conversely, some employers value relevant experience and a robust portfolio over formal education when hiring front-end developers. Still, at least 72% of front-end developers hold a bachelor’s degree, with 15% having pursued graduate studies.

Front-end Developer Skills and Qualifications

Top front-end development candidates must be skilled in all things UX/UI. Ideally, they should be able to demonstrate a keen understanding of how design choices impact user interaction and satisfaction. They should be driven by an intense desire to create seamless and engaging digital experiences for users of all shapes and sizes.

Candidates with a creative flair and strong attention to detail are highly coveted. The lack of a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field is not a deal breaker for those seeking to hire front-end developer roles. Still, certifications or specialized training in front-end development frameworks such as Reactjs, Angularjs, or Vue.js can make applicants more attractive.

Some companies may favor full-stack developers for their versatility and ability to handle both front-end and back-end tasks. When working to hire dedicated front-end developers, you can always benefit from performing a complete skill assessment to make sure candidates have what you’re looking for. Here are some front-end developer requirements to look for in three different categories.

Soft Skills

Efficient front-end developers must be able to effectively interact and collaborate with cross-functional teams and clients in a professional setting. That’s why they need to cultivate the following interpersonal skills:

  • Communication: To excel at work, front-end developers must clearly convey technical concepts to nontechnical team members and stakeholders. To achieve this, they should be capable of articulating ideas and listening actively.
  • Collaboration: Front-end developers often work with designers, back-end developers, project managers, and other parties. Strong teamwork skills are necessary to contribute cohesively and align on project goals.
  • Problem-solving: Front-end developers may find various challenges during the development process. Thinking critically is vital to devising appropriate and timely solutions that help streamline workflows.
  • Adaptability: Front-end development technologies are constantly emerging and evolving. Applicants must prove they can keep up and thrive in dynamic environments.
  • Attention to detail: The smallest project inconsistencies could derail months of work and compromise standards of quality and precision. That’s why the job of a front-end developer requires careful attention to detail.
  • Time management: Front-end developers often work on multiple projects simultaneously. Ideally, they stay organized and deliver high-quality work on time.

Technical Skills

Front-end developers must master the necessary languages, frameworks, and methodologies to create and maintain the user-facing aspects of their projects. These tools are critical for writing clean, efficient code and implementing front-end solutions. Here are a few valuable front-end technical skills:

  • Responsive web design (RWD):  This ensures layouts adapt across all kinds of screens, including desktop and laptop PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Cross-browser compatibility: Websites and web apps should function flawlessly across various browsers. Developers must know how to write clean and well-tested code that renders consistently.
  • Testing and debugging: Identifying and fixing errors is crucial for robust and bug-free user interfaces.
  • Build tools and task runners: Familiarity with tools like Webpack or Gulp proves a developer's understanding of automating workflows and optimizing development processes.
  • API integration:  Many websites interact with external data sources through APIs, and developers should be able to incorporate these functionalities into their sites and applications.

Tools and Technologies Used in Front-end Development

Web developers utilize a wide range of front-end technologies to better accomplish their tasks. Mastery of these tools is indispensable for successfully building front-end solutions that meet design requirements and adhere to best practices. This expertise ultimately enables developers to provide optimal user experiences.

The basic front-end toolkit would not be complete without the following:

  • HTML: This is the standard markup language to structure web pages and create content. Front-end developers require a strong grasp of semantic HTML5 elements, form elements, and accessibility features.
  • CSS: This language works hand-in-hand with HTML to define how elements on a webpage should appear. CSS provides the backbone of styling and formatting web pages. Front-end developers should have training in CSS3 features such as flexbox, grid layout, transitions, and animations. They should also understand CSS preprocessors like SASS or LESS to efficiently manage stylesheets and improve maintainability.
  • JavaScript: As the primary programming language for front-end development, JS empowers developers to create interactive web experiences. Front-end developers must possess advanced knowledge of its fundamental concepts, including closures, prototypes, asynchronous programming, as well as modern ES6+ features.
  • Front-end frameworks and libraries: These are crucial to simplifying the development processes through reusable components and efficient state management solutions. Top-tier developers can work with jQuery, Node.js, React.js, Angular, or Vue.js.
  • Version control systems: Most front-end developers use Git for easier collaboration and code management. This resource is incredibly helpful in versioning, branching, merging, and resolving conflicts, while platforms like GitHub or GitLab facilitate code hosting and collaboration.

Specialists in front-end development are responsible for continuously monitoring emerging trends and technologies to prevent skill gaps. This allows them to remain competitive and find better job opportunities in the long run.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Front-end Developers?

Front-end developer wages in the United States start at approximately $66,000 and can reach $115,000 or more based on experience, location, and numerous other factors. For example, cities like San Francisco, New York, and Seattle offer higher average salaries than other regions. Seniority also plays a role in average salary:

These wages often apply to in-house front-end developers. Freelancers and contractors usually set their own rates, ranging from $50 to $80 per hour. Hiring remote global employees or nearshoring can also affect costs, with rates varying depending on the developer's country. When hiring front-end web developers, the salary package may include bonuses, stock options, or equity in addition to the base pay.

Featured Tool: Tech Team Budget Calculator

Tips for Hiring Dedicated Front-end Developers

Several strategies can help companies recruit the best front-end developers. Perhaps the most effective one — and step number one in the recruiting process — is crafting a compelling job description. Sure, you’ll need a job ad that ​​outlines the required skills and experience. However, it must also highlight company culture and employer brand to further appeal to like-minded candidates.

After a job posting is created, move on to the following steps:

1. Leverage Specialized Job Boards

Post all job openings on specialized job boards and platforms dedicated to tech talent. Websites like Stack Overflow Jobs, GitHub Jobs, and AngelList are excellent starting points for reaching a large pool of highly skilled developers actively seeking new opportunities.

2. Network Through Social Media

LinkedIn, X (formerly called Twitter), and Facebook are also great for connecting with potential candidates online. They enable you to effortlessly share your job openings and build relationships that could lead to future hires.

3. Review Portfolios and Open-source Contributions

These two hiring resources showcase a candidate's ability to solve real-life problems. Active participation in open-source projects also demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and collaboration within the developer community.

4. Conduct Technical Assessments

Coding challenges or practical exercises relevant to the role help assess candidates' proficiency in front-end development technologies. These assessments provide valuable insights into candidates' capabilities and help you make better hiring decisions through competency mapping.

5. Evaluate Cultural Fit

Don’t underestimate the importance of a cultural fit hiring individuals who share your company values helps ensure they’ll thrive in a collaborative environment. Candidates who don’t align with these parameters may struggle to achieve long-term team cohesion and productivity.

6. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

Researching salary benchmarks for front-end developers in your region gears us up to adjust your offerings accordingly and attract the talent we deserve. However, we must consider perks such as flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, wellness benefits, and anything that can make the job offering more enticing.

7. Provide Growth Possibilities

More often than not, talented applicants are eager to join companies that invest in their development and offer paths for advancement. Highlight your company’s ability to support career progression and provide ongoing learning opportunities to attract ambitious candidates.

How to Write a Job Description for Front-end Developers

Job descriptions can make or break a candidate's perception of a company and the role. Clearly outline the expectations for the position and explain any additional details that may help draw in relevant applicants from all backgrounds.

When determining whether to hire a junior, midlevel, or senior front-end developer, consider the complexity of the projects they'll be working on and the level of autonomy required.

Because hiring needs are unique to every business, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to writing the perfect job description to hire front-end developers. The following sections are a great starting point, but tailor the outline as needed:

1. Required qualifications/experience/education: Tell potential candidates the nonnegotiable aptitudes to fulfill their daily duties.

2. Desired skills and traits: Include all the nice-to-have talents to complement the technical and academic prerequisites outlined above.

3. Job responsibilities: Describe what the candidate will do while on the job; this section should be thorough and clear to set realistic expectations for potential employees.

4. Benefits: Highlight any perks to get applicants excited to join your team.

5. Company information: Include a brief description of the company's values, culture, and mission to help candidates determine their fit.

Interview Questions for Front-end Developers

A well-conducted interview lets you get to know your prospective employees and learn more about their background, skills, education, and other relevant details.  Here are a few telling interview questions for front-end developers to get you started.

1. How do you stay updated with the latest front-end development trends and technologies?

This question helps evaluate the candidate's commitment to continuous learning and their willingness to remain up-to-date on industry advancements. This trait is critical due to how fast the front-end development field evolves.

2. Can you describe a challenging project you worked on and how you overcame obstacles during its development?

The candidate’s answer to this question speaks volumes about their problem-solving skills and adaptability. It also offers insight into their usual approach to real-world projects.

3. What is your experience with responsive design and ensuring cross-browser compatibility in your projects?

This is more of a technical interview question. It helps gauge proficiency in creating user-friendly interfaces across different devices and browsers — the core competency of the position.

Hire Front-end Developers With Revelo

Finding top talent can be challenging. Understanding the process of hiring front-end developers can help you streamline your recruitment efforts and make better decisions. If you want to expand your workforce, Revelo can match your business with exceptional talent pre-vetted for soft and technical skills and English proficiency, all within your time zone. Revelo offers continuous support through a developer's tenure and helps you manage onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, taxes, and local compliance.

Start hiring with confidence and efficiency today.

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