A Comprehensive Guide on How To Hire a Front-End Developer

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As more businesses turn to digital products and services, having a crack front-end development team has become pivotal. These skilled professionals create websites, apps, and software that are alive with cutting-edge user interfaces and seamless user experiences. So, we made a comprehensive guide on how to hire a front-end developer.

This guide will walk you through an effective process to find that coding extraordinaire. From crafting a spot-on job description to vetting skills during technical assessments, you’ll have all the tools to recruit a front-end developer who can propel your digital offerings to new heights.

What is a Front-End Developer?

A front-end developer is the magician behind the curtain of websites and web applications. They design and build the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) that you see and interact with.

Here’s a breakdown of the front-end developer responsibilities:

  • Building the User Interface (UI): This involves structuring the layout, visual design, and responsiveness of the website across different devices (desktop, mobile, tablet). Ensuring User Experience (UX): They focus on making the website user-friendly, intuitive, and enjoyable to navigate.
  • Implementing Interactivity: They make websites dynamic by incorporating JavaScript to create animations, handle user input forms, and build dynamic web applications.

Why Should You Hire a Front-End Developer?

In today’s cutthroat competition, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business. Here’s why hiring a front-end developer can be a game-changer:

  • Craft a Captivating User Experience (UX):  They don’t just make things look pretty – front-end developers are UX wizards. 
  • Boost Brand Image and Credibility: A front-end developer builds a website that conveys professionalism and trustworthiness, leaving a positive, lasting impression on visitors.
  • Stay Ahead at the Forefront of Your Industry:  They possess the knowledge and expertise to implement the latest web technologies.
  • Optimise for Performance and Speed:  Front-end developers ensure your website loads quickly and functions flawlessly across different devices.
  • Free Up Your Time and Resources: Hiring a front-end developer allows you to delegate website development tasks to a skilled professional.

How to Hire a Front-End Developer and Their Responsibilities and Expertise You Need to Know

The world of front-end development offers a variety of specialisations, each with its focus. Here’s a breakdown of some common types of front-end developers you might encounter:

  • Front-End Developer (Generalist):

This all-rounder is comfortable with the core technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and can handle most website development tasks. 

  • Front-End Engineer (JavaScript Developer):

These developers take things a step further. They possess strong  JavaScript skills and can build complex web applications with interactive features and dynamic functionalities.  

  • CSS/HTML Developer:

As the name suggests, these developers specialise in the web’s foundational languages. They excel at crafting beautiful, clean UIs with pixel-perfect layouts and a keen eye for design.

  • Front-End Web Designer/UI Developer:

This role bridges the gap between design and development. They understand design principles and can translate them into functional UIs using code. 

  • Front-End Performance Developer:

They focus on making websites load faster and function smoothly across different devices and browsers.

Specific Types of a Front-End Developer

Senior front end developer

What is a React Front-End Developer?

A React front-end developer is a specialist in front-end development who focuses on using React to build user interfaces (UIs). React is a popular open-source JavaScript library created by Facebook that allows for the building of reusable UI components.

Here’s how React front-end developers fit into the bigger picture:

  • Expertise: They strongly understand React’s architecture, component lifecycle, and state management techniques.
  • Focus: Their primary concern is building interactive UIs for web applications using React components.
  • Skills: While core front-end languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) are a must, the developer’s expertise lies in applying them alongside React.

Think of React as a powerful tool in their belt. They leverage React’s capabilities to:

  • Build dynamic and reusable UI components
  • Manage UI state effectively
  • Create interactive web applications

Here’s a quick comparison to a general front-end developer:

FeatureGeneral Front-End DeveloperReact Front-End Developer
SkillsetHTML, CSS, JavaScriptHTML, CSS, JavaScript, React
FocusA broad range of front-end development tasksBuilding UIs with React
ExpertiseCore front-end technologiesReact architecture, state management

If your project requires a complex and dynamic UI, a React front-end developer with a specialised skill set can be a valuable asset to your team.

What is an Angular Front-End Developer

An Angular front-end developer is another specialist in the front-end development world, but their weapon of choice is Angular, a different JavaScript framework. 

Here’s how they compare to React developers and what their role entails:

Similarities:

  • Core Skills: Like React developers, they possess a strong foundation in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are the building blocks for any web interface.
  • Focus: Their primary objective is crafting web application user interfaces (UIs). They use their chosen framework (Angular, in this case) to streamline and enhance the development process.

Angular Specifics:

  • Expertise: An Angular front-end developer has in-depth knowledge of Angular’s architecture, including concepts like components, modules, dependency injection, and routing.
  • Strengths: Angular is known for its structure, promoting well-organised and maintainable code. This is especially beneficial for large-scale, complex applications.

Angular vs React Front-End Developer:

Here’s a table summarising the key differences between React and Angular developers:

FeatureReact Front-End DeveloperAngular Front-End Developer
FrameworkReact.jsAngular
ApproachMore flexible, component-basedStructured, full-fledged framework
Use CasesIdeal for complex, dynamic UIsWell-suited for large-scale enterprise applications

Choosing Between React and Angular Front-End Developers:

The suitability of a React or Angular developer depends on your project’s specific needs. Consider these factors:

  • Project Size and Complexity: Angular’s structure might benefit larger, feature-rich applications.
  • Development Speed and Flexibility: React’s flexibility can benefit faster prototyping and smaller projects.
  • Team Expertise: Consider your team’s existing skills and experience with either framework.

What is a Vue Front-End Developer?

A Vue.js front-end developer is a web developer specialising in using Vue.js, a progressive JavaScript framework, to create user interfaces (UIs) and web applications. Here’s how they fit into the front-end development landscape:

Vue.js Front-End Developer Expertise:

  • Core Skills: Like other front-end developers, they have a solid foundation in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But their specialty is building UIs using Vue.js’ functionalities.
  • Focus: Their main task is crafting interactive and visually appealing UIs for web applications, utilising Vue.js’ features and components.

What Makes Vue Developers Special:

  • Flexibility and Ease of Use: Vue.js is known for its approachable nature. Moreover, this allows Vue developers to start small and gradually integrate it into existing projects or build large-scale applications.
  • Component-Based Architecture: Similar to React and Angular, Vue.js promotes building reusable UI components, leading to cleaner and more maintainable code.
  • Two-Way Data Binding: Vue offers a simplified approach to keeping the UI and data in sync, streamlining development.

Benefits of Hiring a Vue.js Developer:

  • Faster Development: Compared to other frameworks, Vue.js’ simplicity can lead to quicker development cycles, especially for smaller projects.
  • Versatility: Vue.js can be incrementally adopted, making it suitable for various project needs, from simple UIs to complex SPAs (Single-Page Applications).
  • Growing Popularity: The Vue.js ecosystem constantly evolves, with a large and active community. This ensures access to resources and support.

Vue vs React vs Angular:

While all three (Vue.js, React, Angular) are popular front-end frameworks, they have their strengths:

  • React: Offers flexibility for building complex UIs and is popular for its component-based approach.
  • Angular: Known for its structure and scalability, making it a good choice for large enterprise applications.
  • Vue.js balances ease of use with powerful features, making it versatile for various project types.

What Skills to Look for in a Front-End Developer?

front end developer skills

Here’s a breakdown of the essential skills to look for when hiring a front-end developer:

Hard Skills of Front-End Developers:

  • Core Languages: Look for strong HTML, CSS, and JavaScript proficiency. 
  • JavaScript Frameworks: While not always mandatory, expertise in a JavaScript framework like React, Angular, or Vue.js can be a major asset. 
  • CSS Preprocessors (Optional): Experience with CSS preprocessors like Sass or LESS can indicate a developer’s understanding of advanced CSS techniques and ability to write cleaner, more maintainable stylesheets.
  • Version Control (Git): This is crucial for code collaboration and tracking changes. A strong understanding of Git is essential for any modern developer.
  • Web Performance Optimisation: In today’s fast-paced web, ensuring a website loads quickly and performs well is vital. 

Front-End Developer Soft Skills:

  • Communication: Communicating technical concepts to designers and non-technical stakeholders is essential for a smooth development process.
  • Problem-Solving: Look for a developer who can approach problems logically and find solutions efficiently.
  • Teamwork: Collaboration with designers, back-end developers, and other team members is key. So, good teamwork skills are a plus.
  • Learning Agility: Look for someone passionate about learning and staying current with the latest trends and technologies.

Different Levels of Front-End Developers

Junior Front-End Developer:

A junior front-end developer is an entry-level position in web development. They focus on the client-side development of web applications, which is all about what users see and interact with on a website or web app.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from a junior front-end developer:

Skills and Responsibilities of a Junior Front-End Developer:

  • Solid foundation in the core languages: They’ll be proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 
  • Understanding of web development concepts: They’ll have a grasp of how websites work, including concepts like responsiveness and browser compatibility.
  • Basic experience with a JavaScript framework (optional): While not always required, some junior developers might have begun to learn a popular framework like React, Angular, or Vue.js. 
  • Ability to follow design mockups and translate them into functional code: Junior developers will likely work closely with designers to implement the website’s visual elements.
  • Coding best practices: Students will understand and follow basic principles to write clean, maintainable, and efficient code.
  • Problem-solving skills: Junior developers should be able to approach problems logically and troubleshoot basic issues.

Benefits of Hiring a Junior Front-End Developer:

  • Fresh perspective and eagerness to learn: Junior developers bring a new set of eyes to the project and are often enthusiastic about learning and growing their skills.
  • Cost-effective compared to senior developers: Junior developers typically command a lower salary than their senior counterparts.
  • Potential to grow within the team: By providing mentorship and opportunities, you can help a junior developer develop their skills and become a valuable asset to your team in the long run.

Things to consider when hiring a junior front-end developer:

front end developers working
  • Team structure: Do you have senior developers who can mentor and guide a junior developer?
  • Project complexity: Is your project a simple website or a complex web application? A junior developer might be suitable for a more straightforward project, while a more intricate one might require a more experienced developer.
  • Learning opportunities: Can you provide the resources and support to help a junior developer learn and grow?

Mid-Level Front-End Developers

A mid-level front-end developer is the backbone of many web development teams. Additionally, they possess a solid foundation in web development technologies and can take on more complex tasks than junior developers. 

Here’s what you can expect from a mid-level front-end developer:

Skills and Responsibilities of a Mid-Level Front-End Developer:

  • Mastery of the core languages: They’ll be experts in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, able to write clean, efficient, and maintainable code.
  • Proficiency in JavaScript frameworks: Mid-level developers will have a solid understanding and experience with popular frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js. 
  • Experience with UI/UX concepts: They’ll not only translate designs into code but can also understand and implement best practices for user experience and user interface design.
  • Ability to work independently: While collaboration is still important, mid-level developers can handle assigned tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Problem-solving skills: They can tackle complex development challenges, debug issues efficiently, and find creative solutions.
  • Testing and debugging: Mid-level developers understand the importance of testing and can write unit tests to ensure code functionality. They’re also adept at debugging errors and resolving website malfunctions.
  • Communication and collaboration: They can effectively communicate technical concepts to designers and non-technical stakeholders. Collaboration with back-end developers and other team members is seamless.

Benefits of hiring a mid-level front-end developer:

  • Versatility and ability to handle complex projects: They can handle a wider range of tasks, from building basic web pages to developing intricate web applications.
  • Increased efficiency and productivity: Their expertise allows them to work faster and with fewer errors than junior developers.
  • Mentorship potential: Mid-level developers can guide and support junior developers within the team.

Things to consider when hiring a mid-level front-end developer:

  • Project requirements: Match the developer’s experience and skillset with the specific needs of your project.
  • Team dynamics: You should look for someone who can effectively collaborate with designers, back-end developers, and other team members.
  • Learning agility: The tech landscape is ever-changing. Look for someone passionate about learning and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.

Senior Front-End Developer

A senior front-end developer is a veteran of the front-end world. They possess the technical mastery of a mid-level developer and the leadership, strategic thinking, and experience to take a project from concept to completion. 

Here’s what you can expect from a senior front-end developer:

Senior Front-End Developer Technical Expertise:

  • Guru of the core languages: They’re absolute masters of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and can write highly optimised, maintainable, and elegant code.
  • Framework fluency: They’re experts in popular frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js, and they are comfortable using them to build complex, scalable, and performant web applications.
  • Deep understanding of web technologies: They possess a comprehensive grasp of web technologies, such as browser APIs, web performance optimisation techniques, and accessibility best practices.

Beyond Technical Skills:

  • Leadership and mentorship: Senior developers guide and mentor junior developers, fostering a positive and collaborative team environment.
  • Problem-solving extraordinaire: They can tackle the most intricate challenges, think critically, and architect creative solutions to complex problems.
  • Communication expert: They can effortlessly communicate technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Strategic thinking: They understand the bigger picture and consider the project’s goals, user experience, and long-term maintainability when making decisions.
  • Technical debt destroyers: They can identify and refactor poorly written code, improving the overall codebase quality and maintainability.

Benefits of hiring a senior front-end developer:

  • Leadership and mentorship: They guide the team, ensure high-quality code, and help junior developers grow.
  • Technical problem-solving: They tackle complex challenges and architect robust solutions.
  • Strategic vision: They consider the big picture, aligning front-end development with project goals and user experience.
  • Efficiency and productivity: Their expertise leads to faster development cycles and fewer errors.

Things to consider when hiring a senior front-end developer:

  • Project complexity: Ensure their experience aligns with the project’s demands. A complex project might require a senior developer with experience in similar large-scale applications.
  • Leadership qualities: Look for someone who can effectively lead and mentor a team.
  • Communication skills: Their ability to communicate clearly with technical and non-technical stakeholders is crucial. 

The Average Front-End Developer Salary

how to hire a front end developer

Front-End Developer Salary in the US:

Total Pay Range: $69K – $114K/yr
Base Pay: $65K – $107K/yr
Additional Pay: $4K – $8K/yr

Front-End Developer Salary in the UK:

Web Developer (Front-end): £41,787 per year
Junior Front End Developer:£60,161 per year
Senior Front-end Web Developer: £63,054 per year
Front End Web Developer/Web Designer: £33,798 per year

Where to Hire Front-End Developers? 

You can explore several avenues to find talented front-end developers to join your team. Here’s a breakdown of some popular options:

Online Job Boards:

  • General Job Boards: These platforms, like https://www.indeed.jobs/ or https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm, cater to various industries and job functions. Moreover, you can post your front-end developer job listing and filter candidates based on skills, experience, and location.
  • Tech-focused Job Boards: Platforms like https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/companies or https://www.dice.com/ target the tech industry specifically. Here, more developers are actively seeking new opportunities.
  • Freelance Job Boards: If you’re open to hiring freelance or contract front-end developers, consider platforms like https://www.upwork.com/ or https://www.fiverr.com/. These offer flexibility but require more upfront vetting to ensure quality and fit.

Professional Networks and Communities:

  • LinkedIn: This professional networking platform allows you to post job openings and search for potential candidates based on skills and experience. You can also connect with potential hires by leveraging LinkedIn groups focused on front-end development.
  • GitHub: A platform for developers to version control and share code. You can search for developers based on their public repositories and the technologies they use. This can be a good way to assess their coding skills and experience with specific frameworks.
  • Developer Meetups and Conferences: Attending industry events allows you to network with potential candidates and understand their expertise and passion for development.

Recruiting Agencies:

  • Tech Recruiters: Partnering with specialised tech recruitment agencies can save you time and effort in the search process. Also, these agencies have a network of pre-vetted developers and can help you identify qualified candidates who match your needs.
  • Headhunting Firms: Headhunting firms can be a good option for senior-level or niche front-end developer positions. They specialise in sourcing top talent and deeply understand the market.

Other Considerations:

  • Employee Referrals: Encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates from their network. This can be a good way to find skilled developers already familiar with your company culture.
  • University Recruiting: If you’re open to entry-level or junior developers, consider attending career fairs or partnering with universities with strong computer science programs.

Unlocking the Ideal Front-End Developer with Serand

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Identifying Hidden Potential: Serand’s personality profiling might uncover high-potential candidates whose resumes must reflect their full capabilities.

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How To Hire a Front-End Developer FAQs

How do I find a front-end developer?

Where to Find Freelance Front-End Developers:

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Toptal
  • Codementor

Where to Find In-House Front-End Developers:

Where to Find Outsourced Front-End Developers:

  • Clutch
  • GoodFirms
  • IT Firms
  • Top Developers

How much does it cost to hire a front-end developer?

Front-End Developer Salary in the UK:

  • The average salary for a front-end developer in the UK is around £35,000 – £55,000 per year, depending on experience level and location.
  • In London and other major cities, salaries can range from £40,000 – £70,000+.
  • Hiring costs like recruitment fees can add 15-25% on top of the base salary.

Front-End Developer Salary in the US:

  • The average salary for a front-end developer in the US is around $80,000 – $120,000 per year.
  • In high-cost tech hubs like San Francisco, New York, and Seattle, salaries are often $100,000 – $150,000+.

What is the front-end developer skills?

  • Proficiency with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – the core front-end languages
  • Experience with front-end frameworks/libraries like React, Angular, Vue.js
  • Ability to build responsive and mobile-friendly user interfaces
  • Knowledge of CSS preprocessors like Sass and front-end build tools
  • Understanding of cross-browser compatibility and ways to handle issues
  • Familiarity with front-end security principles and accessibility standards
  • Experience integrating with back-end systems and third-party APIs
  • Skilled at debugging, troubleshooting, and optimising front-end code
  • Ability to write clean, maintainable, and well-documented code
  • Strong problem-solving and communication skills

What are the questions asked in front-end developer interviews?

  • What is the difference between HTML, HTML5, and XHTML?
  • Can you explain the CSS box model?
  • How would you optimise a website’s assets for better performance?
  • What is event bubbling, and how does it work in JavaScript?
  • Explain the difference between let, var, and const in JavaScript.
  • What are some advantages and disadvantages of using a front-end framework like React or Angular?
  • How would you ensure your web application is accessible?
  • What is a single-page application (SPA), and how does it work?
  • How would you go about debugging a cross-browser compatibility issue?
  • Can you describe your workflow for building and testing a new web component/feature?
  • What experience do you have with front-end build tools and package managers?
  • How would you optimise a website for better SEO?

What is Vue best used for?

  • Developing reusable Vue components and composing them to create interactive UIs
  • Integrating Vue.js with other libraries/APIs and connecting to back-end systems
  • Ensuring cross-browser compatibility and responsive design of Vue apps
  • Writing clean, maintainable Vue code following best practices
  • Optimising Vue app performance and debugging issues
  • Testing Vue components and apps using Vue’s tooling
  • Staying up-to-date on new Vue.js features/releases