How to hire a junior PHP developer

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It’s easy to find a PHP developer anywhere in the world because of the increasing global demand for developers. However, the challenge is finding a junior PHP developer with top-notch skills who can perfectly adhere to the PHP Standards Recommendation (PSRs).

Talented junior developers who can learn from past errors can help your business to innovate significantly.

Developers constantly looking for opportunities to expand their skills in PHP are precious assets – every employer wants employees who will continue to add value to their business over time.

With that in mind, we’ll discuss the job description of a junior PHP developer and share advice on finding them in this article.

We’ll also outline the practical steps you should take to hire talented individuals and include a bonus tip for testing junior PHP developers.

What is a junior PHP developer?

A junior PHP developer is a professional who assists advanced PHP developers by creating back-end code that provides complex functionality for end-users. In addition, they collaborate with development teams to build websites and applications.

PHP development involves creating websites and apps through a flexible scripting code called the PHP programming language. Usually, a junior PHP developer writes and maintains source codes in a PHP program.

What does a junior PHP developer do? 

A junior PHP developer does almost as much as a senior PHP developer. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Facilitating a website that processes requests to enter data into a database

  • Writing and implementing PHP code

  • Troubleshooting and managing existing PHP code

  • Writing and maintaining source code

  • Assisting senior developers in analyzing technical needs for websites and apps

  • Interacting with databases

Recommended reading: 5 problems a PHP developer can solve for your application or website

How to hire a junior PHP developer

The quality of new hires significantly determines the success of your organization in the long run.

Here, we’ll outline five reliable steps to finding and hiring promising junior PHP developers for your organization:

How to hire a junior PHP developer in 5 steps

1. Build the ideal candidate profile​

Finding expert developers for your vacancy requires you to understand the position. You may decide to partner with recruiters to determine the role, its needs, and its contribution to your organization. You can also gather the data to prepare a good candidate profile.

2. Write a skills-based job description

After determining the prerequisites for the job role, you need to reflect on the skills necessary for your future employee to succeed. You’ll likely want a junior PHP developer who can use basic programs like JavaScript and SQL and understand basic object-oriented programming principles.

Additionally, you should recruit developers who can communicate well orally and in writing since the job role involves frequent interaction with stakeholders and colleagues.

After that, you can prepare a comprehensive job description outlining the requirements and skills you have identified as necessary for the role.

Below are five fundamental sections your job description should have:

  • Job title, location, employment type, and remuneration

  • Company overview, vision, mission statement, and culture

  • An extensive list of responsibilities

  • Required technical skills for the job

  • Benefits and incentives

3. Use a pre-screening test

Preparing a skills test helps you determine candidates with the right skills for the role. A good skills test will assess how competent your candidates are in the fundamental concepts of PHP programs, as this basic knowledge sets a foundation for them to expand their skill set.

You can use TestGorilla’s PHP Coding entry-level algorithms test to evaluate your candidates’ skills in creating basic algorithms with the PHP programming language. It’s an excellent test for vetting applicants based on their core skills and enables you to shortlist top candidates.

This 10-minute pre-screening test asks applicants to complete a coding task, evaluating the code against a series of test cases, some of which are available for candidates to determine if they are on the right track. Combining programming assessments with other cognitive ability tests is also advisable.

4. Interview top performers

Your pre-screening test results will shortlist top candidates for the interview stage. You can also use the test results to guide your interview process with each candidate. Below are some PHP interview questions to help you in the interview:

  • What are the main error types in PHP?

  • How does PHP relate to HTML? 

  • How does PHP connect with JavaScript?

  • What are traits in PHP?

  • What are the new features released in PHP 8.1?

  • What PHP frameworks are you familiar with? 

  • What are the backward-incompatible changes to note if migrating from PHP 7.4 to PHP 8?

  • What PSR standards do you follow? 

  • Why is it vital to follow a PSR standard?

5. Make an offer

After assessing the applicants in the interview phase, prepare to make impressive offers to the strongest candidates. Ensure your proposal is proportional to the expected value the potential employees would bring to your organization.

You need to offer reasonable compensation and incentive packages to help you attract and retain the best PHP developers.

Where to find junior PHP developers

You may be wondering where you can find exceptional junior PHP developers. Here are four reliable sources to aid your search:

4 places to find junior PHP developers

1. Hiring platforms

There are many good hiring platforms for finding top PHP developers and tech-based experts, including Arc, Turing, and Dice.

It’s advisable to choose platforms that verify their developers. This ensures that they have fundamental PHP programming skills, experience, exceptional interactive skills, and other levels of expertise.

2. Freelance marketplaces

You can try freelance PHP programmers for your long- and short-term projects. Some niche marketplaces host freelance developers and other tech-related professions. Examples of such sites are Gigster, BairesDev, and Toptal.

There are also general freelance marketplaces you can use for developers and experts in other industries. The typical general marketplaces are Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.

It’s generally safe to use niche freelance marketplaces because they screen their developers for technical knowledge, experience, and expertise. However, you must choose more carefully when using a general freelance platform.

In general freelance markets, there is a familiar downward spiral in pricing, and anyone can sign up as a software developer without providing sufficient proof of technical expertise and qualification. 

Overall, although you can find strong candidates on these platforms, there’s still a chance you won’t.

3. Job boards

Job boards are great places for finding top junior PHP developers ready to work if you want to undergo an organic search for these candidates. For example, you can browse skilled PHP developers and view their resumes on popular job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed.

Similarly, you can check your professional connections for anyone with a credible lead on junior PHP developers. In addition, you may undergo a passive job search by placing a job ad, thus supporting your active search efforts.

The only factor that may discourage you from using job boards is that many other businesses also use them. You will compete with top organizations, recruiting agencies, hiring managers, and others for the best candidates.

Unless you’re willing to disburse huge funds to secure the best candidates, you might find the competition is strong for the best developers as large companies are more likely to attract most candidates.

4. Recruiters

Recruiting agencies are an alternative option for finding developers in your area.

They help you vet, match, and interview candidates, usually at a higher cost. One bonus is their high domain knowledge which helps to find PHP developers ready to work.

Despite their high cost, recruiters can save you and your staff the time and stress you normally incur from conducting a job search. If you have the money to spare, hiring a personal recruiter or working with a recruiting agency could be the best option for you.

Find promising junior PHP developers to grow your business

Whatever approach you take in sourcing your next junior PHP developer candidates, don’t leave your final decision to chance. Consider the stepwise approach we have described above and ensure you follow each phase carefully.

Remember, the approach you take to identify your hire will determine their quality and the possibilities of achieving your goals. A bad hire has many adverse effects that can crumble your business.

You must be intentional and meticulous in every recruitment process because the perfect candidate positively impacts your organization and keeps you relevant in the industry. 

Revamp your recruitment process by trying TestGorilla for free today, and hire the best junior PHP developers.

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