Tips and Strategies for Hiring Front-End Developers

June 27, 2022
luan campos
If you're in the process of hiring front-end developers, you might want to consider a few things before making a decision. Find out what they are here.
Tips and Strategies for Hiring Front-End Developers

The user interface (UI) is where users interact with a site or app's designs. It can include buttons, display screens, navigation menus, and more.

Every app or site must have a well-designed UI to attract and retain leads. Think about it: you're only one of the many millions of sites on Google and other search engines. You can't afford to create a clunky and unintuitive site. You need to make one with a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing UI that gives leads the user experience (UX) they deserve.

That's why you should have a skilled front-end developer to create smooth and memorable UIs and UX. An experienced front-end developer will work with your company's design team to improve the aesthetic value of your UI, enhance UX, highlight your brand's individuality, and target your app or site to relevant audiences.

However, sourcing and hiring professionals can be challenging in today's competitive talent market. We've compiled a comprehensive list of tips for hiring front-end developers to help you out. Along the way, we'll cover the role front-end developers play in user experience and the technical interview questions you can ask to test their skills. By the end of this article, you'll also learn how and where you can hire front-end developers for your startup.

The Role Front-End Developers Play in User Experience

Front-end developers use their programming skills to implement and test user-friendly and user-centric graphic designs. Specifically, they:

  • Translate UI and UX designers' buttons, pictures, and layouts into code
  • Ensure that the interface elements are user-friendly and work the way they should
  • Secure that the data obtained from users is stored and ready to be processed

As you can see, front-end developers play a vital role in UI and UX.

Key Tips for Hiring an Experienced Front-End Developer for Your Business

It may be challenging to find front-end developers for your company, especially if you've never done it before. Our top tips for hiring an experienced front-end developer may help ease the process and find what you're looking for:

Determine Which Programming Languages Are Needed for the Position

When hiring front-end developers, you need to ask yourself which programming languages are necessary for the position. At a minimum, your front-end developer should know the following languages:

HTML

Short for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is the basic building block for web development. Front-end developers use it to structure and create sections, links, and paragraphs with tags, attributes, and elements.

Besides structuring webpages, front-end developers can also use HTML for the following:

  • Adding video clips, sound clips, spreadsheets, and other applications into web documents
  • Designing forms for online transactions, reservations, searching for information, ordering digital products, and more
  • Retrieving information through hypertext links

CSS

Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is another basic building block for front-end development. Developers use CSS to style the layouts, fonts, and colors of pages written in markup languages such as SVG, HTML, XUL, and XHTML.

An experienced front-end developer should know how to use CSS frameworks and style declarations to:

  • Tailor your site or app's UI for different browsers
  • Share style sheets across pages
  • Update and maintain your site and app design
  • Style document text, including changing the color and size of headings and links

Your hire should also know how to use CSS preprocessors like LESS, Sass, and Stylus. CSS preprocessors are scripting languages that extend CSS' default capabilities, making it easier to automate repetitive tasks, create recyclable code snippets, and reduce code bloat and errors.

JavaScript

JavaScript empowers developers to implement dynamic features on app and site pages. Dynamic features make the app, webpage, or email content that changes depending on:

  • User data: The content adapts depending on past purchases, customer lifecycle stage, or past engagements with your site.
  • User characteristics: Customer demographics such as age and location drive the content changes.
  • In-session behavior: The dynamic content changes depending on how much time users spend on your site, what products they like or add to the cart, and what pages they visit.

Examples of dynamic content include:

  • Real-time content updates like stock market updates
  • Animated graphics and videos
  • Interactive maps
  • Suggested videos and content

The right front-end developer for your team should also know how to use jQuery, a JavaScript library. jQuery simplifies webpage development tasks such as event handling, HTML document manipulation, animation, and Ajax.

Other Nice-To-Have Programming Languages

Depending on the requirements of your app and project, your front-end developer should also know the following languages:

React

A programming language developed by Facebook for creating lightning-quick web UI, React is currently one of the most widely used JavaScript libraries for front-end development.

Elm

The source of the Haskell programming language, Elm enhances JavaScript's maintainability. It offers clean inputs, outputs, and functions for developers' needs. Elm also complies with JavaScript for CSS and HTML creation.

Angular

Angular is an open-source framework mainly used for developing single-page applications. Front-end developers can also use it to generate animated menus for HTML web pages. However, Angular has limited SEO options and doesn't offer a high level of search engine bot accessibility.

Swift

If you want to create or optimize applications for iOS or macOS, you should hire front-end developers who know Swift. Developed by Apple back in 2014, Swift is the best language for iOS and macOS apps. Unlike its predecessor, Objective-C, it's fully open-source and has an intuitive syntax that allows developers to create error-free and consistent code.

Identify Your Hiring Needs and Wants

After determining which programming languages you need for your development team to know, you should identify your hiring needs and wants. How experienced developers do you need in the first place? Can you only work with an in-house team, or is a remote workforce also an option?

Remote Developer

If you have limited funds and want to start developing as soon as possible, consider hiring a remote developer. Remote developers are a great pick if you value scalability, flexibility, and productivity.

Hiring front-end developers who work remotely offers many benefits, including:

  • Cost reduction: Unlike traditional hires, remote developers don't require benefits or yearly salaries. Instead, they charge by project or by the hour, which means you can save a lot of money in the long run. You also don't have to rent office space or buy equipment since remote developers work entirely from home.
  • Increased productivity: Remote workers are known for their high work output. According to Statista, around 60% of survey respondents think remote work models positively impact developer productivity.
  • Access to talent: Adding remote developers to your list opens up a broad talent network for you. The modern recruiting solutions allow you to hire FAANG-calibre remote developers from any country. They improve your chances of finding the best pick for your company.

Senior Developer

Also known as software engineers, senior developers have at least three to five years of experience in the industry. They are responsible for various development tasks, including coding, web development, and junior developer management.

Most senior developers are fluent in at least three or four programming languages or popular frameworks. They also have:

  • Well-honed leadership and mentorship skills
  • Proven experience and knowledge of HTML and web frameworks
  • Ample experience working with UI and UX designers to implement designs
  • Excellent time management skills

Junior Developer

Junior developers have a year or less of front-end development experience. Most are fresh grads looking for their first full-time job, so they are typically only familiar with one programming language or framework. As such, they need a lot of support from their senior colleagues.

Since they typically can't work on their own, you should think twice before hiring a junior front-end web developer, particularly if you have a limited hiring budget.

Keep Company Fit at the Top of Mind

Before you hire developers for your test-driven development projects, consider whether your potential candidate is a good fit for your company. If you're not sure how to determine whether someone is a good match, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the hire self-motivated? If you're a small company with limited resources, you may want to prioritize hiring self-motivated developers willing to learn the ropes themselves. When you can't hire an entire dedicated team of developers, your chosen candidates must be sufficiently self-motivated to create, design, debug, and deploy your projects all on their own.
  • Is the hire organized? Being organized is just as essential as self-motivation, especially in a remote working model. That's because there's no one to micromanage your remote hire during work hours.
  • Is the hire dedicated to upskilling and reskilling? The tech world is constantly changing. If your candidates aren't willing to stay on top of trends and upskill and reskill as needed, they may not be able to perform optimally. That's why you need to hire someone dedicated to continual self-improvement and education.

To determine the answers to these questions, create a custom interview process. Don't ask your candidates simple questions like, "What is HTML?" and "How does JavaScript work?" — ask highly-personalized questions that give insight into your potential hire's work ethic, personality, preferences, experiences, and skillset.

Examples of such questions include:

  • How do you handle stressful work situations?
  • How would you describe your working style?
  • How do you feel about working from home?
  • What tools do you use to organize your workflow?
  • Can you give an example of when you went the extra mile at work?
  • How would you describe your work ethic?
  • How do you handle deadlines? What would you do if you had two pressing deadlines on the same day and both projects were only 10% completed?
  • Give an example of when you completed a difficult task. How did you approach this task? What did you learn from it?

Analyze Skill Level and Skill Sets

You should also look at each candidate's soft and hard skills to determine who has just the perfect personality and expertise for your company. Here are a few tips to support your testing process:

Soft Skills

The best front-end developer for your team needs to have basic soft skills, including:

  • Passion for web development: Your ideal hires shouldn't just have an abstract love for front-end development — they should be caught up on the latest industry trends. The knowledge of your team will help you stay ahead of your competitors.
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills: Front-end developers don't work in a vacuum. They need to collaborate with UI and UX designer teams to implement designs. If you run a service-based IT company, your front-end developers may also have to interact with customers directly.
  • Exceptional concentration, organization, and problem-solving skills: Putting together a memorable UI and UX design is easier said than done — it requires top-notch organization and problem-solving skills. Your hires should quickly identify and correct problems as they appear and work with other team members to debug and test elements.

Hard Skills

Besides these soft skills, a good front-end developer must have the following hard skills:

  • Proven ability and experience using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: As discussed above, mastering these languages is a must. Otherwise, your hire won't be able to implement and test UI designs.
  • Experience using CSS preprocessors and JavaScript frameworks: Your hire should know how to use CSS preprocessors and JavaScript frameworks to accelerate the programming process.
  • Developer tools and version control: The ideal front-end developer should know how to use developer tools to test each element of your UI and responsive design before it gets published on the internet. These tools also empower developers to identify bugs, coding errors, and weak points.

Be Open With Potential Candidates About Where You Are in the Development Process

During the recruitment process, always be transparent with potential candidates about your development process. Prepare a thorough project description and showcase it to applicants. They deserve to know the details about the tasks they'll take over. Moreover, their response to the project details will help you select the best candidate.

Even more importantly, if you aren't transparent about where you are in the development process, hires may be unmotivated to work on your project, leading to delays, missed deadlines, and even resignations.

Define Front-End Developer Responsibilities

Last but not least, you need to define front-end developer responsibilities as clearly as possible. Don't just copy-paste some generic front-end developer project description from another company — you need to list out all of the tasks your developer will be responsible for within your company.

You can start building your project description from these essential responsibilities:

  • Work with UI and UX teams to develop and maintain UI
  • Build reusable libraries and code for future use
  • Collaborate with other stakeholders and developers
  • Debug and test UI and UX designs
  • Optimize UI for maximum scalability and speed

Technical Interview Questions for a Front-End Developer

Besides asking highly-personalized questions to pinpoint your potential hire's preferences and work ethic, you should also make technical inquiries to determine your candidate's skills and knowledge. You can try out the following three questions during the interview process:

What is an Attribute in HTML?

This question will reveal whether your potential hire knows the basics of HTML. Attributes are unique words that define additional properties or characteristics of an element, such as the height and width of an image. HTML attributes are always specified in the opening tag and typically consist of name/value pairs such as name="value." Your hire should also mention that some attributes are required for certain elements. For example, <img> must contain alt and src attributes.

How Do You Create Nested Pages in HTML?

Your candidate should also know how to create nested pages in HTML. A nested webpage is embedded into another webpage. There are two ways to make it:

  • Using <embed> tag: The <embed> tag in HTML is used to embed external applications such as video or audio into an HTML document. You can also use it to embed a website.
  • Using <iframe> tag: Short for Inline Frame, iframe defines a rectangular region in the document where the browser can display a separate document, such as a website.

What Are the Different Types of CSS Selectors?

Finally, this question will demonstrate how much your candidates know about CSS. Experienced CSS users should be able to tell you that there are four types of selectors:

  • Type, ID, and class selectors: This group includes selectors that target HTML elements such as <h1>. It also includes selectors that target a class, like .box { }, and IDs, such as #unique { }.
  • Attribute selectors: These give developers different ways to pick elements based on the presence of attributes.
  • Pseudo-elements and pseudo-classes: Pseudo-elements select part of an element rather than the element itself, while pseudo-classes only style certain states of an element.
  • Combinators: This group combines other selectors to target elements in documents.

Hire Talented Front-End Developers Today

Hiring front-end developers for your project can be challenging, particularly when you have a million other tasks. Although there are many online hiring solutions these days, such as job boards, freelance websites, and networking communities, employers still need to do excessive manual work.

Gathering and reviewing piles of resumes is often a time-consuming and expensive process. Fortunately, there's a way to ease this burdensome task and ensure higher hiring efficiency, and we at Revelo are here to help.

We partner with you to give you access to a deep talent pool of candidates pre-vetted for English proficiency, knowledge, and experience. Revelo also boasts software developers specializing in every tech stack and language, including:

  • CSS
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Elm
  • Swift
  • Java

Revelo is your zero-risk talent marketplace that provides business-critical hiring services, from talent sourcing and vetting to onboarding and payroll. You only need to send us a list of requirements, and we'll match you with developers in three days. It's simple as that.

Contact us today to learn more or try out our 14-day free trial and hire developers for your team right away.

Need to source and hire remote software developers? Get matched with vetted candidates within 3 days.

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