A front-end developer is a key hire for your company. This tech expert manages your website user experience, which is a vital part of branding, customer satisfaction, and even sales. To do this, the developer must interact with design, marketing, and other decision makers across your company.
While technical skill is an important part of the role, don’t make the mistake of hiring solely on ability. Front-end developers need a wide range of communication and collaboration skills. Their personality needs to fit the culture of your company, or it’s unlikely to be a good match.
Here are 10 personality traits that are essential for good front-end developers:
Attention to Detail
Being a front-end developer is all about the details. While this person is ultimately in charge of the “big picture” of your user experience, the little stuff matters. If a layout looks bad or a link is broken, it tarnishes your company’s image.
In the process of hiring, this means assessing candidates’ thoroughness, determination, and ability to stick with a task. If their portfolio or written communications are sloppy, it shows an inability to grasp the importance of design and messaging.
Thirst for Knowledge
Like much of programming and web work, front-end development requires remaining at the forefront of technology. If this employee is out of date, your entire site and company will suffer.
Look for evidence that candidates read industry publications, interact with entrepreneurs, and follow notable professionals on social media. Ask who their mentors are, and who inspires them to learn new things.
A front-end developer can’t stay buried behind a screen wearing headphones. They must get to know people, go to meetings, and build an understanding of your company’s challenges. They have to be great listeners.
This is surprisingly hard to find. Apathy, blame, and negativity are common - but destructive - forces that prevent employees from being active listeners.
Not only must your front-end developer be an active listener, they must be an active questioner. As they hear valuable information, they should ask additional questions that build the knowledge base of your web development team.
During the hiring process, you can see this quality in your candidate’s inquiries about the position. Do they ask follow-up questions? Do they attempt to make sure you have everything you need from them? If so, that bodes well for their success in the role.
Flexibility and Adaptability
The ability to adapt is another essential trait. The world of technology evolves constantly. The skills your front-end developer needs today are different than those needed just a few years from now.
Rather than quizzing your candidates on specific frameworks and platforms, assess them based on flexible thinking. If they seem stubborn or set in their ways, they will become a liability for your company as years go by.
Front-end developers should be problem solvers. This requires a high level of critical thinking. If this employee can’t work through complex problems and come up with workable solutions, it’s not a good match.
Many employers give short critical thinking quizzes to determine this trait. The problem shouldn’t be impossible or a trick question. It should be a real, day-to-day issue that is representative of your company’s challenges.
As a high-level role in your company, front-end development shouldn’t have to be micromanaged. Seek a candidate with a high level of self motivation, who can work without constant prodding.
Look for personality traits like:
- Personal desire for success
You might not think of them as an artist, but front-end development requires a significant amount of artistic vision. They will need to create a visual aesthetic that matches your company’s individual brand.
This means you should seek person with a flair for creativity, in addition to the technical skills required to develop the artistic vision.
A front-end developer should be a conveyor of meaning, not just a conveyor of code. If they can only speak in jargon like PHP and MySQL, the rest of your employees won’t understand them.
Look for leadership qualities that will motivate other employees to work together. Ask about past successes communicating development ideas and completing difficult projects as a team.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of patience in this role. Design, programming, and collaboration come with frustrating challenges.
Your front-end developer might seem like a magician, but behind the scenes they have to do tedious tasks: fix bugs, test pages, correct cross-platform issues, and answer all kinds of questions from coworkers. They’ll need a lot of patience to make it all happen.
Wondering how to make sure your next front-end developer has all these traits? Partner with GoGig, an innovative employment matching platform that finds the right fit.