How to Hire a Web Developer for Your Business
(and if you should hire in-house)
BY @SHANNONROUTLEY | OCTOBER 21ST, 2014
At large enterprises and mid-size organizations, it isn’t a surprise to see dedicated IT, marketing and website teams. Even small businesses may consider hiring for a web position.
These are critical responsibilities, and hiring the right staff makes all the difference.
Jack of All Trades, Master of?
It can be difficult to assess precisely all the skills required for a web position. Management says they need their website ‘taken care of' or may want to 'improve search engine rankings, and get all of their marketing material and newsletters created - oh, and get them to handle our social media!’.
In my experience, the above isn’t something you just go to school for - get a certificate or degree and become an expert. The skills above are honed over years of experience - through successes and setbacks.
Also, I’ve rarely seen a person successfully be a jack-of-all-trades (yes, from time-to-time there are those ‘Leonardo da Vinci’s’ but they are rare and require significant compensation). There are those who are well-rounded creative individuals, but often that will lead a person to move towards a management or director role in an a company.
What you need to consider is hiring someone who is really strong in a focus area, and who can coordinate efforts with other specialists - in-house or hired out.
Don’t Hire a Web Developer
Very few companies actually require a dedicated web-developer in-house. What companies may not realize is that a web-developer and web-designer can actually be quite different roles. In general, developers concern themselves more with code and technical aspects of a site. Designers, well design. Many designers have web-developer skills, but often their skills are more geared to the general aesthetic. Going a step further, designers and developers are not typically content writers, nor are they SEO expert, sales or advertising specialists.
So if you just hire a web-developer, you may only be fulfilling one of the requirements for developing a website.
Our recommendation is that the technical aspects of your site should be handled and maintained by a dedicated company. You won’t ever have to worry about turnover and you will have a full-compliment of professionals at hand to grow your online presence.
Hire a Communications Coordinator
What many businesses require is communication. Increasing communications internally to staff and externally to clients will help define expectations and strengthen relationships. This person doesn’t need to be the most technical person, but they should have some savvy and creative flair to their work. Don’t expect this person to create your website, but rather maintain the content.
They may require some training from your web provider on your web builder tool or content management system (CMS), and often this training can be accomplished in several hours. Depending on your organization or company, you may want to extend this role and you may (and I emphasize may) find someone who is also a graphic designer that can help with creating ad layouts and advertising. Alternatively, this person can also help with social media, but they may lack the skills that a specialist has to determine if their efforts are bringing return.
Oh, and lastly, hire a person that has a great personality and has some spark. While I can’t go through all the details here on how to hire, you should be able to identify very quickly if you’ll enjoy working together.
If you still need more answers, ask a web or marketing expert how they would handle your needs.
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