In a mobile-driven economy, small businesses now increasingly see having a website as a necessity rather than an option. The number of small businesses without a website decreased from 46 percent in 2015 to 29 percent in 2016, the latest annual Clutch survey found. The market for web developers will increase 27 percent over the period between 2014 and 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects.

As the need for web developers increases, companies face the challenge of how to find the right workers for their websites’ team, as well as how to manage web development projects. Here are four strategies to help you with hiring and managing your web development team.

web development team

Write the Right Job Description

A successful talent search starts with a clear idea of what you need done to your site so that you can write an accurate job description, advises Website Builder Expert. Problems often begin with an inaccurate job description that attracts the wrong candidates.

Web designers and developers normally have different skill sets. Designers specialize in making a site look the way you want, and tend to have a better sense of site features such as layout, images and typography, with enough coding skills to get by but not necessarily enough to do custom coding for app integration, for example. Developers can customize the coding for your site to make it do what you want, but are not necessarily skilled at the aesthetics of site layouts. If you want a new site built on a standard template or if you want to improve your existing site’s look and layout, you probably need a designer. If you want your site to include customized functionality not included in standard site templates, such as a custom image slider, you need a developer.

To write an effective job description that clarifies what you want, it’s better to show than to simply tell. Create a design mock-up on paper or by using a simple wireframing tool. Find examples of sites you want to emulate. Describe what type of look you want and what you need your site to do. Set a deadline for when you need your project done.

strategies for hiring

Use Smart Screening Methods

To choose the right talent, it’s important to evaluate candidates on both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills for designers include knowledge of graphic design programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, as well as basic coding knowledge of languages used for design, such as HTML5, CSS3, PHP and jQuery. Developers should know all these languages in addition to languages used for adding site functionality, like JavaScript.

It’s also important to evaluate soft skills and make sure candidates will fit with your business and team. Pay attention to how promptly they respond to emails and phone calls. Discuss your job description with them to see how well they understand what you want. Ask for samples of previous work and reviews or recommendations from previous clients. Check how much experience they have. If they seem like a good candidate, give them a paid test working on a limited part of your project.

Define Project Goals and Tasks

To manage your web development team, it’s important to define specific deliverables and benchmarks that enable you to mark progress toward project goals, recommends Four Kitchens. Goals should be broken down into steps. For instance, if you need a website built, define specific benchmarks such as buying the domain, creating the development framework, completing the home page and so on. Delegate tasks to specific team members. Set deadlines for each task.

Use Good Communications Procedures

Keeping projects on track requires maintaining good communications procedures. Use project management software to provide supervisors and team members with an interface for monitoring project progress, communicating and sharing files. Schedule regular meetings to share updates, discuss progress, correct problems and plan next steps. To facilitate meetings between team members not located in the same area, use web conferencing software, which lets team members meet from anywhere on any device with clear HD video and audio. If you’re building a site for a client, schedule regular meetings with the client as well.

I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can: Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+

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