WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the internet today, with usage increasing at a rapid rate. In fact, it’s now one of the most popular web platforms of all time, despite fierce competition from the likes of Wix or Squarespace. As you might imagine, this has prompted a rush of companies seeking to hire talented WordPress developers to build or upgrade their websites.
If you’re in a similar position yourself and you’re searching for a suitable developer, you may find that there are few suitable candidates in your local area. If that’s the case, you’ll need to search further afield and hire remotely. Keep reading to learn more about how you can find and hire remote WordPress developers.
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The first step — finding WordPress developers
During the hiring process, it can be challenging to gauge whether an applicant will be a good fit for your business. Instead of meeting face-to-face, the interview is likely to take place through a video conferencing app. This can remove some of the visual/non-verbal cues you’d otherwise have that can help you in the decision-making process.
To ensure that every applicant that makes it through to the interview stage deserves to be there, you’ll need to spend some time crafting a detailed job description. This may be found on your company's website, on Indeed and other popular job boards, or on social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Detailed descriptions of the job responsibilities, skills needed, and other pertinent information should be included. As you’re writing your job description, ask yourself these questions:
“What skills and experience should I look for in an ideal candidate?”
“What are the most critical challenges facing my business and how may a new WordPress developer solve some of them?”
You must be as specific as possible in your job advertisement — remember to request details such as:
- Educational requirements — are you seeking a candidate with formal qualifications, or are you more interested in viewing a portfolio of WordPress-based work?
- Years of experience required — is this an entry-level role, or does the position demand a more experienced WordPress developer?
- Daily responsibilities — what are the responsibilities of a typical working day? Be sure to explain this so your candidates won't be blindsided.
- Expectations for weekly hours — how many hours are your new employees expected to work?
How to hire remote WordPress developers
Once you’ve written up a comprehensive job description, the search for candidates can begin.
If you’re looking for a short-term solution, it may be worth searching for a freelance developer through a service such as Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr. However, be aware that the quality of talent on these sites can vary wildly — always check the reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask for a portfolio of work before making any commitments! If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, simply post your advertisement online on job sites, social media, and your company’s website.
Having sourced candidates, the next step is to schedule interviews. To do so, simply arrange a meeting via a video conferencing app — Google Hangout or Zoom are two popular options. Don’t be afraid to turn up the heat — ask pointed questions on how they would solve the challenges your business faces on a day-to-day basis. Counter their answers with tricky follow-up questions. Throw curveballs and put your candidates through their paces. Above all, ground your questions in the reality of your company — structure your interview around the challenges your business faces day-to-day. It’s also important to:
- Cast a wide net — even if you’re in a hurry to hire someone, take the time to interview as many suitable candidates as possible. You don’t want to miss out on a potential star employee simply because you’re not willing to spend the time to conduct a thorough search.
- Be mindful of how you interview — this is particularly important if you’re hiring remotely, as it can be harder to judge candidates. Make sure you’re doing your interviews in a quiet, distraction-free location, and avoid interviewing candidates in the evening if you’re a morning person.
- Don’t be afraid to hold more than one interview — if you’re finding it difficult to make a final decision, set some time aside to invite your applicants to a second, third, or even fourth interview. It’s extremely expensive to fire and replace an employee who isn’t matching expectations, so take the time to ensure you’re making the perfect decision the first time around.
- Consider using an ATS — an applicant tracking system (ATS) leverages artificial intelligence and automation to filter out any unsuitable candidates — particularly useful if you’re experiencing a large volume of applications.
After weeding out the weaker applicants and making your final decision, the hiring process begins. Hiring remotely isn’t always straightforward, and if your chosen candidate lives overseas, the process may be even more challenging. In this scenario, an employer of record (EOR) service can negate some of the difficulties relating to the various necessities involved in hiring overseas — including managing country-specific payroll and compliance requirements. Check out Remote’s guide to EORs if you want to know more.
Patience is key
Don’t jump the gun. There’s little sense in cutting your recruitment drive short simply because the first candidate you interview seems like a good fit. The world is jam-packed with talented WordPress developers, and when you’re hiring remotely the world is your oyster.
No matter how quickly you discover your first suitable applicants, don’t follow through to the interview stage without combing through every candidate on a case-by-case basis. Once you’re ready to make a final decision, examine how well your new prospect will gel with your existing team, as well as their overall competency and suitability for the role. The fact that they’re working remotely shouldn’t affect your methodology either — every candidate should be made to jump through the same hoops that your on-site employees had to during their interviews!
It’s also important to spend time considering exactly what type of work your new WordPress developer will be undertaking. Does it involve large, collaborative projects and teamwork? If so, consider the effects that time-zone differences may have, ensuring that you search only for developers willing to work when needed most. Above all, be patient — making the right decision takes time, and a misstep can cost your business dearly.
Tips for working with remote developers
Even if you hire a supremely talented WordPress developer possessing years of experience on a range of complex projects, a smooth ride is never guaranteed. Every new addition to your team will bring their own set of challenges along with them. To make your onboarding process as simple and hassle-free as possible, be sure to:
- Make sure communication is clear from the start — you’ll want to outline your communication expectations from the get-go, including when you expect responses, how often you’ll communicate, and what the communication channels are. For any specific communication tools such as Slack, make sure your new hires are fully trained on their use.
- Always verify the skill set of your remote developers — you can use online tools like Upwork’s skill verification tool to help ensure you hire the right candidates.
- Create a clear project plan — you’re likely hiring remote WordPress developers to work on specific projects. Make sure you create a project plan that outlines the work and due dates. This will help keep everyone on track.
- Be mindful of time zones — make sure you account for time zones when working with remote developers, and be aware that you may have to navigate asynchronous working due to time differences.
If you’re looking to hire remote WordPress developers, remember that hiring remotely can be challenging, but the potential rewards are more than worth the effort. Ensure you’re extra careful when vetting candidates and hiring the right talent. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll soon find the perfect developer for your next project. For more helpful advice, check out our post on 4 ways to use tech to manage your business without hassles.