It’s a common refrain in today’s marketplace: Qualified tech professionals have a lot of choices when it comes to their careers, and the competition for securing top tech talent keeps getting tougher and tougher. With this truth constantly top of mind, it can be tempting for a tech leader to hire a promising individual quickly to avoid missing out, especially when a company is filling a front-end developer role.
However, it’s as important as ever to carefully prescreen candidates. If a manager allows fear of missing out to lead them into a hasty hiring decision, it may result in such a poor fit that the relationship doesn’t last and the process has to start all over again. Here, 15 members of the Forbes Technology Council share the tools and methods they rely on for ensuring a good front-end developer hire.
1. Test For Knowledge Of The Required Work
Prescreening assessments are very efficient. When it comes to a very technical role, such as a front-end developer, it is important to test the candidate on their knowledge of the work required for the position. By administering this examination, you filter out those who can execute your company goals from those who are inexperienced and applying for the sake of earning a paycheck. – Sandy Fliderman, Industry FinTech Inc.
2. Ask Questions To Discover Their ‘Why’
Culture supersedes everything else. We can know a candidate is talented, but we also want to know if they will give it their all when they join us. We prescreen candidates with questions that help us understand why they do what they do and what they wish to be known for during the time they’re working with us. – Vignesh Wadarajan, NinjaOS
4. Have A Videoconference That Includes Relevant Team Members
For us, having a videoconference with the candidate has been a very useful prescreening exercise and very effective in helping us hire the right individual for the job. Through video conferencing, the executives, HR staff, and/or the technical team get to see the body language, mannerisms, and general demeanor of the candidate they are interviewing. – Sandeep Kuttiyatur, eComchain Inc.
5. Administer A Code Test
Administer a code test—it can be a more comprehensive test that assesses a developer’s abilities to create responsive designs, use front-end frameworks and work with code versioning tools. Code tests are a good way to assess a developer’s skills because they can be customized to assess specific knowledge and abilities. They are also a good way to compare developers’ skills against each other. – Andres Zunino, ZirconTech
6. Check Their GitHub
We prescreen front-end developers by checking their GitHub. Git repositories give a lot of insight into how someone works because that’s where developers store their code and that’s where they might have a history of file changes. – Alex Circei, Waydev
7. Leverage ATS Software
Tools that use high-level algorithms can help you assess a developer’s qualifications as well as their fit. Sophisticated applicant tracking system software, for example, allows companies to prescreen candidates based on factors such as experience level and specific characteristics, helping you find developers who not only possess the right technical skills but also the experiences and soft skills for your organization. – Nacho De Marco, BairesDev
8. Test For Cognitive And Technical Skills
It can be tempting to take shortcuts and hire quickly, but hiring the “right” is most important. There’s no single path, but rigorous prescreening that includes testing for cognitive and technical skills will help recruiters select the best fit. Crucially, a consistent whiteboard coding exercise will reveal a candidate’s exact experience level and help in making comparisons, with an HR interview revealing motivation. – Natalia Mila, Upstream
9. Have The Candidate Be Interviewed By People From At Least Three Different Departments
We make sure that every candidate is interviewed by people from at least three different departments to reduce bias in the hiring process. A candidate might blow away the engineering lead but present some red flags to the operations manager. By setting up a few short interviews with people who have different levels of insight into the organization, you ensure alignment throughout the process. – Lewis Wynne-Jones, ThinkData Works
10. Look For Passion For Creating A Great UI/UX
Even though front-end development is an engineering role, this is the front line of interacting with users, so it’s critical to ensure the candidate is absolutely passionate about crafting a delightful user interface and user experience. Beyond technological competence, I recommend involving product design and product managers in the process as they’ll be working closely together to (hopefully) build great products that users love. – Maya Mandel, Helios
11. Evaluate Their Responses To Real-World Scenarios
It is very critical to evaluate a front-end developer’s ability to design a solution from the user’s perspective. It’s also important to assess their ability to shape interfaces based on high-level requirements without detailed specs. This can be done by devising simple real-world scenarios for both related and unrelated domains. Focus on sharing requirements and scenarios in simple language. – Nitesh Sinha, Sacumen
12. Delve Into The Details Of Their Work Through A Coding Challenge
In addition to references, HR checks, and background checks, having a good front-end coding challenge/test is critical. Good coding challenges will show details on time and plagiarism if they left the tabs to look up the information, and the quality of their code. Along with these challenges, we also suggest having detailed technical questions relative to your unique technology environment. – Steve Taplin, Sonatafy Technology
13. Have An Online Proctored Assessment
Having an online proctored technical assessment exam has been an efficient way of testing individuals for authenticity and skills. There are many online assessment tools that also add additional checks and balances, including plagiarism. I believe combining technology and a live person provides a data-driven approach that is both methodical and human at the same time. – Osborn Gomes, NIOSolutions Inc.
14. Bring In An Outside Perspective
Using someone external to the company during interviews—someone who doesn’t have any bias in terms of working with the person—has helped us gain major insights. This person, of course, needs to have serious expertise in hiring developers. At Aument, we’ve found this can give us new perspectives on candidates and help us decide more objectively. – Reynier Matos Padilla, Aument.io
15. Hold An In-Person Interview And A ‘By-The-Numbers’ Review
First, a prerequisite before any hire is a face-to-face interview. No video interview can replace quality in-person time. The second is a simple equation. Divide the great things about a candidate by ten and multiply the shortcomings by ten. This helps you balance your excitement and gives a realistic perspective on whether the candidate is a fit. – Jun Pei, Cepton