Hiring Devs & Designers: One of The Most Important Digital Decisions You'll Ever Make

By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief

Web design and development is essential to the success of today's enterprises - not only does the final product created illustrate a brands' professionalism, it is also responsible (at least partly) for the engagement and conversion that result from consumers' experience with it. As a result, hiring developers and designers is one of the most important digital decisions 'Net businesses will ever make.

Despite claims otherwise, there are designers and developers everywhere (check out Website Magazine's Master List of Job Boards for 'Net professionals at wsm.co/MLJB15) and they are ready and willing to lend a hand in the virtual construction of digital assets.

Not just any designer or developer will do however - and that includes your cousin's friend two towns over. Thanks to some rather innovative and sophisticated technology, everyone has the ability to be a designer and a developer today. Solutions like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and the many other DIY design and development tools (including the upcoming AIfueled website builder The Grid - thegrid.io - which launches late Spring of 2015) provide a sense that anyone can create their own unique and effective digital experience. They can, of course, but only to a degree. The harsh reality is not everyone can (or should) design and develop a digital presence using these tools - nor would they want to.

If you're not going to go it alone with DIY solutions it is necessary to narrow the pool of candidates to those that can get the job done, that understand the enterprises' vision and objective best, and with whom they are compatible in a working relationship. That's not always easy, but consider the following suggestions and you'll find more than just another worker, but a true partner to help accelerate 'Net success.

An important part of hiring a creative and/or technical worker is seeing their work in action; the applications they've built, the websites they've designed, the digital collateral they created. And we're not talking about taking a quick glance at a few static screenshots but rather experiencing those digital products and understanding the processes used to design and develop them. Those that have a broader picture of their prospective worker in terms of the languages they work in, their methods of documentation, and in the context of the projects they work on, will be those satisfied ultimately with their selection.

It is no longer enough to have an impressive portfolio of work; if designers and developers are unable to share the brand and product vision, and are incapable of communicating in a productive and efficient manner, a design and development project can quickly get off track. Understand the tools these 'Net professionals use for the sake of communicating, their approach to misunderstandings and confusion, and their level of flexibility when it comes to redefining project scope.

While a compelling portfolio and an effective communication style are important, enterprises still risk finding a designer or developer that, while easy to work with and a track record of success, may be stuck in their creative ways and locked in to a certain way of building products. For that reason, it proves useful to gauge these Web workers familiarity with emerging technologies, cutting-edge tools, and modern techniques in order to ensure they don't have virtual blinders on and are capable of future-proofing a digital destination.

Hiring a new designer or developer isn't going to be easy. You might make more than a few mistakes, but knowing what to look for, committing to finding the right fit for your enterprise and selecting an individual with an eye toward the future will be the best course of action and the optimal way to accelerate your 'Net success.