What to know when hiring a Laravel developer
Hiring a new developer either for in-house work or for outsourcing a few projects can become a hassle. Finding the right professional for the job takes more than going over CVs and opting for the person with the best looking credentials. A lot more should go into finding the perfect fit for your open position, and in this guide, we will go over every detail to find you help the best Laravel developer for your needs.
First of all, finding good professionals is not an easy thing to do. You need to find a person who has the skills to get the job done and is also communicative and will fit in perfectly with your current staff or at least, will be able to get along if you’re looking for outsourcing options.
Before getting into the details, let’s take our time to get to know Laravel a bit and the reasons why you should choose this framework for PHP development if you haven’t yet. As you can guess from the last sentence, Laravel is a PHP framework which was launched back in 2011 and was created and realized by Taylor Otwell. With its MVC (model-view-controller) implementations, it separates code logic from HTML and provides easily implementable functions and methods through its complex abstracts. As such, it’s a reliable and stable framework, providing a solid foundation for responsive and engaging web applications.
Why hire Laravel developers?
Nowadays, there are numerous great developers using different technologies so it’s no wonder that one might get confused over choosing the right professional and the right technology. Why Laravel? - comes the question naturally. Well, there are a lot of reasons and here are a few of them to reassure you that you’re not making a mistake if you’re going for Laravel professionals:
- Their knowledge in PHP and with the framework in general, lets developers come up with competent solutions in the time frames given without risking quality and the efficiency of the application.
- When working with Laravel developers, you can leverage the benefits of complete customization and integration features for your website or web applications, enabling them to work with full potential.
- The framework has numerous advantages, one of them being improved security features. Also, implementing and even the configuration of authentication processes are easy with Laravel. Developers can also integrate bilingual support in web apps and can use a broad range of different templates for further customization.
- Artisan – Laravel’s dedicated command-line tool helps to speed up the development process and makes things easier.
- Numerous libraries with great features
- Highly practical and functional builder tools for database construction, tables, columns, and indices.
- Sophisticated unit testing to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises and unanticipated obstructions and errors in applications.
What to look for?
Generally speaking, there are a lot of qualities that should be common in all good employees. A good Laravel developer won’t only be serious about his work, but will also be:
- Eloquent to help guide everybody through the entire development processes
- Experienced enough to give you a realistic cost and time estimate for the projects you need to be completed.
- Up-to-date with the newest trends regarding Laravel
- Flexible enough to adapt to new methods and ideas.
Where to look for them?
A successful hiring process starts with looking for prospects in the right places. Knowing where to look for the best of the best will not only save you precious time but will also enable you to make your own comparisons and hire the people who you think are the most qualified.
Hire an agency
A recruitment agency can help you a great deal in finding the ideal developer, but it can be an expensive endeavor. Especially if you take advantage of the option of fulfilling your recruitment needs. In this case, you may end up paying an entire monthly paycheck in agency fees. It also depends on the market. In the US and in the UK, you pay about 25 percent of your new hire’s yearly salary. While these investments can clearly pay off if the new hire is a good find, but initial costs can be pretty high and there’s no guarantee that the person the agency finds will be a perfect fit.
Find one yourself
This might be a lot more time-consuming but can yield better results with investing less money. Also, you have two main options when it comes to recruiting the right developer yourself.
This is method will basically let the applicants come to you and you can use two main techniques.
The first one is through knowledge sharing – Share your organization's workshops, let people know that you’ve attended conferences and other events. This is a great way to grow your brand and network, which can eventually turn into people contacting you to apply for jobs. This can be a bit time-consuming and slow-paced, but if you choose to share quality knowledge, you can be assured that you’ll also gain the following and respect of knowledgeable and talented professionals.
Search for them directly through dedicated portals – Send developers a direct message via LinkedIn or a different platform and ask them if they’d like to join your team or if they would like to take part in your project.
This is what you call passive job submission, or in other words, candidates come to you, looking for jobs. So, how can you ensure that the resumes keep coming in? There are a few methods but you need to know how to create a strong presence on the market.
Job portals – This is the classical way of going about it. Just put up a job ad on recruitment portals. This may even seem too good to be true but in order to get the desired professional, you have to be pretty thorough when it comes to the job description, requirements, and other factors. Look around and do your research on the best job portals on the internet or in your area/country.
Use your website – If you have a dedicated recruiting page on your website, make good use of it and post an ad on it. Who knows, maybe your perfect fit will stumble upon your website and might send you their resume.
Social platforms – Exploiting the opportunities of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can go a long way. Especially if you already have a strong social media presence, chances are, people in the industry are already following your brand.
Create a dedicated ad campaign – This will require a certain budget, but if targeted correctly, it can be useful for your efforts.
Get creative – Devise a plan and use all or at least a few of the methods listed above. This way, you’ll be covered from more than one aspect, enabling you to reach out to a bigger audience improving your chances of finding the person for the job.
The best strategies for hiring
1. Take your time
This one is probably the oldest rule in the book but it’s surely one to take seriously. Take your time, look for A-grade developers who will most likely recommend people who are qualified. If you’re constantly working with newcomers and juniors, chances are, your progress will even be slower.
2. Always think in terms of “team”
It’s important to know that while having one full-stack developer is a great asset, you should also know that every successful project is a team effort and not a one-man job. On the other hand, having a great developer and a team of lower-tier team members can even be counter-productive, especially if there are personal issues among team members.
3. Be prepared for campaign hiring
Aces are aces for a reason. Talent tends to keep being in motion, meaning that if you are hiring correctly and working with the right people, you’ll need to be prepared that eventually, they will move on looking for even more challenging projects. This is entirely normal, so always stay alert and be prepared to look for new faces.
4. It’s not just about performance
When hiring a new candidate, performance should be high on the priority list, however, the cultural fit should also be taken into consideration. After all, working together isn’t just about getting the job done, it’s also about the process itself. If the candidate is a great cultural fit to the organization, chances are that the collaboration will be fruitful even if on paper, there are candidates with better credentials but don’t quite fit “the cultural bill” of your company.
Lastly, look for people who are ready to take on a challenge and who are passionate about their work. Look for risk-takers, for people who are ready to learn and to improve.
Things to consider
No matter what your reasons are for searching for a new Laravel developer, there are probably a few characteristics you’ll want to have in them. Things like efficiency, competence, and reliability are just a few, but probably the most important. In order to find the best fit, here are a few things one might also consider before hiring a new face.
This one is a quite obvious yet really important step before or either during the interview. Credentials can say a lot about general performance, reliability, and competence. Studying your potential developer’s portfolio can give you a better understanding of their level of experience, you can get a glimpse of their past projects and examine the quality of work you can expect later on. Based on your needs and preferences, you can always hire niche developers who are really great in their dedicated industry but often lack the flexibility to try out something new. Multi-niche developers, on the other hand, might be more flexible but lack in-depth knowledge.
Understanding the trade
Whether you’re in development too, or just want to hire a developer for your website, it’s always best to hire a developer who understands the basics of the industry you’re in.
Salary is also an important question and should always be part of the discussion. If you are planning on doing a simple project, developers will either work for a fixed cost on an hourly basis. You also need to tell your own needs and requirements to help the developer get a better idea of your project and tell you the cost accordingly.
Previous projects and work record
This step is also really important since it gives you the opportunity to get feedback from former employers. Portfolios are also great, however, this way, you can get better insights into your potential employee’s real skills, experience, professionalism, reliability, and so on. As a matter of fact, here are a few things you should really look for:
- Making sure that the developer is a team player – being a good communicator can be a great asset especially when the situation gets tense in the team. Look for somebody who can work great in a team and does not complain every time they need to do mundane weekly or daily tasks.
- Deadlines – Always lagging behind projects and not respecting due-dates can be a deal-breaker for most employers who are on a tight schedule. Efficient time-management is a true blessing in an employee so look for somebody who knows the importance of not being late with projects. Otherwise, chances are, the entire team will be set back.
- Room for development – Know if your potential new developer is willing to learn new skills. Also, find out how well they handle feedback and eventual criticism.
Don’t forget to provide more info about your company too. Also, make sure to give your potential employee the insight they need about your project or position you’re offering. Tell what you had in mind regarding salary, workflow, specific requirements, and so on. If you feel that there are things your maybe new employee should know, let them know.
Also, discuss the option of further testing before giving them the job. You should never hire any developer (or any other professional for that matter) without adequate testing. A good first impression during the initial interview can be tempting and sometimes enough to hire the applicant, however, seeing how they perform is crucial if you want to hire the right person.
Be specific during testing
The hiring process can be a painstaking endeavor, however, the more thorough you are the better your chances are of hiring the right person for the job.
Ask specific issues – Ask about solutions for real or hypothetical issues you have or have encountered in the past. By getting an answer you can get a better picture of the candidate’s level of expertise and overall interest towards the topic.
Ask about their interest in the latest trends and tech – This question is more about letting you know more about their willingness to embrace new technologies and flexibility to think outside their comfort zone rather than have them showing off their tech-knowledge. It’s also a great way to find out just how willing they are to collaborate and how well do they conduct their research.
Ask about concrete problems – If you also happen to be handy with Laravel, ask about past projects and past problems. It’s a great way to get a better look at just how experienced are your potential new employees and it’s also a great opportunity to learn about their most difficult vs. most successful projects alike. It also sheds some light on how good they perform under pressure.
Look for signs of experience – While you’re asking away during the interview or testing, make sure to pay attention to the answers. Are you getting schoolbook replies or are you seeing more of a story unfolding in front of you? This last one is the one you’re after.
Everyone, even people with little experience can learn the differences between, let’s say, Laravel 4 and 5, but only an experienced developer will be able to point out only a few key differences which can affect the entire application because most probably, they’ve had to figure out similar issues or spent enough time working with both versions of the framework. The way people are answering your questions can tell a lot about their knowledge.
To wrap it up
All in all, finding the Laravel developer who will suit your needs the best doesn’t have to be a very long process if you know where to look, what you exactly want and if you know which questions to ask.
The key thing here is patience. Even if you use more than one recruitment option, the chances of finding the perfect fit within a few days are pretty slim. It’s clear that in most cases, time is of the essence and every minute wasted can lead to a loss in revenues but with matters as important as this, it’s better to wait for the right person than hire several developers that don’t fit the company bill.
During testing, make sure to ask the right questions to learn more about the prospect’s experience, willingness to learn, and other qualities that will ensure that they will be a good addition to your team.
Lastly, you also have to have realistic expectations. Sometimes it’s okay to hire a person less qualified if it would benefit the workflow. Especially if you already have people on board who are experienced in using Laravel. In this case, your new team member can learn apart from bringing their own expertise to the table.