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React developers – how to find the best React dev?

Adrian Senecki

Adrian Senecki

Content Creator

React has been one of the most in-demand front-end frameworks and the backbone of many innovative projects and user interfaces for years. A lot of companies are interested in taking advantage of it to build interactive and high-performance apps. 

However, before their apps can compete on the market, they first need to compete… for the attention of skilled React developers! In this article, we’re going to share our experience on:

  • How to attract, find and verify React.js developers
  • How React developers look for new job opportunities
  • Why finding the perfect candidates is an exceptionally difficult part of the front-end development process

Our unique approach to the hiring process

At The Software House, we participate in ambitious software development projects on a daily basis. These projects feature a lot of React web applications. To that end, we constantly search for talented developers that meet our specific requirements, in terms of both hard and soft skills and who fit our specific programming languages tech stack.

Over the years, we have accumulated tons of experience when it comes to growing dev teams around various specializations and technologies in software development in general, specifically when it comes to front-end development.

“React.js developer” is one of the job titles we pay the most attention to since this is one of our core technologies. We constantly refine the processes that help us find exactly the kind of software engineer we need to work on the most challenging projects hand in hand with our development team. We know that the market is changing when it comes to unique perks, the average react developer salary, different kinds of web technologies, and training opportunities within the workplace.

How do I find the best React developer?

The key is to be attractive to both entry-level position start opportunities, helping new developers to manage projects after a period of training, and a clearly defined path to the position of a senior react developer.

In this series, we’re sharing some of our experience so you can grow React development teams on your own, much like top React companies do, and save yourself a lot of trial and error in your web application development efforts. In the previous parts of this series, we talked about hiring PHP developers and Node.js developers.

Today, it’s time for React – the most in-demand frontend framework amongst other javascript frameworks. React is one of the core technologies of our software development stack.

Finding just the right react.js developer

The React. js developers’ jobs market overview – no slowdown in sight

At this point, pretty much everyone knows that React is one of the leading open-source frontend frameworks in modern software development. But it is only when you see the actual numbers at hand when you realize just how important it is.

According to Hacker News Hiring Trends, React is mentioned in c. 30% of all job postings for software developers in the popular “Who is hiring” thread on ycombinator.com (keep in mind, it’s not limited to frontend devs!).

Of all frontend frameworks, React is ranked 2nd for the number of stars on GitHub in 2019. What’s more, developers who took the 2019 Stack Overflow Survey voted it the 2nd most popular entry in the Web Frameworks category (appeared in 31.3% of all replies). It seems that today everyone and their mother wants to be or work with a React.js developer and this open-source framework!

When you look at the data, what’s striking is the fact React’s popularity continues to either rise or hold strong despite having been on the software development market for quite some time already. This stability, combined with its potential for building high-performance user interfaces, makes React a tool of choice for top technology companies: Facebook (no surprise here, it’s React’s motherland after all!), Netflix, Yahoo, and Dropbox.

React has become a technology used both by the giants of the IT world as well as smaller companies who use it to create fast and highly interactive web applications. That’s why the demand for React developers continues.

What are React developers looking for in the job market?

Developers are naturally drawn to technologies that are fun to work with and in-demand, which also means that they pay well. This in turn leads to a large pool of potential candidates. However, it’s not all roses. With tons of work to do, the best React developers with years of experience are drawn to top technology companies, which causes a problem for small and medium enterprises that want to recruit a React developer (it’s especially visible on the Nordic IT market).

On the other hand, there are a lot of React devs who specialized in the framework too quickly, having not worked on their basics enough. Your projects will become a testing ground for these developers – but not always negatively so.

Before we get to specific strategies, we need to figure out what kind of React.js developer you should aim to hire. This will have an impact on all the steps you’re going to make later.

Stack Overflow’s annual reports confirm the continuous popularity of the React framework

What kind of React developer should you hire?

You may not be able to get a React developer with 10 years of experience who has memorized the code of all React components. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get someone that is just perfect for developing your React applications. You don’t need a pro to perform basic React tasks, and in some cases, it’s easier to train someone for the exact skill profile your team needs.

At The Software House, we have a general list of hard and soft skills we expect from a prospect for various experience levels. As for a mid-level React frontend developer, we made a list of necessary skills:

Necessary experience for a mid-level React frontend developer:

  • Proficiency in JavaScript/TypeScript (including basic functional programming concepts such as higher-order function etc., dependency injection, MVC, and design patterns)
  • At least 2 years of practical experience in JavaScript/TypeScript, HTML5 and CSS3
  • At least 1 year of experience in creating applications using one of the popular front-end frameworks (React and React component knowledge is preferable, but Angular 2+ and Vue.js is fine too) and JavaScript libraries such as jQuery
  • Knowledge of common development tools – Git, ESLint, Prettier
  • Practical experience working with Rest APIs
  • Practical experience with Responsive Web Design
  • Experience writing tests using Jest
  • Experience in CI/CD is welcome
  • Communicative English

That’s the perfect world. But in the real world and in today’s market, one should be a bit more open-minded when it comes to hiring JavaScript developers in general and React developers in particular. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing out on some really good React.js developer candidates. What do we mean here specifically?

To answer this question, let’s ask TSH’s Head of Frontend, Witold Ossera. What he says confirms that a good React developer needs a strong JavaScript background.

“I think that focusing too much on searching for a React developer is not a good idea. You need someone who is proficient in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. The more programming background, the better. As long as they have sufficient experience in any modern frontend library, they can get up to speed with React quickly. At the same time, a good React frontend developer should have a wider perspective, which also includes some UX skills. They are the ones who produce what the user ends up seeing, after all.”

A flexible development team needs flexible react.js devs

React.js developers and soft skills

What about good soft skills? Are they more or less difficult to come by and develop than sheer programming skills? Is an average React developer skilled in this area?

“Solid soft skills are harder to come by, by far. As for TSH, we’re searching for open-minded and communicative React developers. During an interview, we’re emulating real-life project scenarios to see how a candidate would respond to various challenges, related to both programming and communication (Scrum-based).

Soft skills like these can mean major advantages for someone who is just starting out, and having a solid teamwork ethic can mean that your front-end developers get along and work well together from the get-go. You can find out more about your candidate during any trial period you might have, but at the very least, this process is enough to weed those who are clearly not (yet) ready,” adds Witold.

How to find a React developer – inbound methods

With all that said and done, we can begin our search for the best (possible) React developer out there. As always, it includes a mix of various inbound (aimed at attracting candidates to you) and outbound (focused on finding and contacting leads directly) tactics. Some of the most important inbound methods for hiring JavaScript and React developers include:

Job portals for React.js developers

This is a no-brainer. Some of the most popular websites where you can post your job openings are Monster and ZipRecruiter. But do not forget about local options which differ depending on your location. It’s an easy way to find a front-end developer specializing in React.

Career page to hire React developers

A polished career page on your official website is very important in your search for a React developer. The better it looks and the more useful and easy to understand it is, the higher level of conversion you can expect for your contact form. A good idea is to use A/B tests to run a few versions of the career page against each other. After all, a software engineer is a web user like any other – they can be more or less engaged by different content, images, layouts, and approaches to communication.

 

career pages to hire react developers

Internships for React.js developers

With internships, you can raise your own React developers from juniors. However, keep in mind that it can be a long process and you’ll need to appoint some of your React developers with more years of experience and software development prowess as mentors who’ll train the React juniors.

React developers

Online webinars on hot software development topics such as React are a great way to draw the attention of developers and build awareness for your brands. It may even work as a way to score direct job leads. At The Software House, we regularly run online webinars on various topics. If you need some inspiration, check out the recordings of our online software development tutorials.

Referrals to hire React developers

As part of a referral program, you can reward your employees with cash and other benefits for recommending a React developer with years of experience they know (of course, as long as the recommended candidates actually get the React job!).

employee referrals to hire react developers

Social media

Aside from ads, you can use social media in a more creative way to bring traffic to your React job postings. One way to go about this is by posting on various topical Facebook groups on React and related issues (think “React Developers London”, “JavaScript Netherlands” “Full Stack Developer”, or “Front End Developer Experts” and so on). Make sure to check the group’s posting rules before you add new content.

Newsletters for React.js developers

A newsletter can be a fairly easy way to show that your brand is a place a React developer should try to learn more about. Check our TechKeeper’s Guide for tech leaders for inspiration on React and other topics for front-end developers or full-stack developers.

React RSS feed

A lot of React developers like using RSS readers to quickly get news from various RSS-based feeds on the kind of web applications you work on and the way your front-end teams work. It’s fairly easy to make it possible for users to subscribe to your web content (e.g. your company’s blog) with that method.

Outdoor React developer ads

Outdoor advertising is not a typical way of promotion to get a front-end developer or React.js developer. But it is precisely why it may help you stand out. Get creative! How about a billboard in an unusual spot that you know is attended for some reason by people who work as a developer?

Google Optimize is the latest A/B testing tool from Google. It has both a free and paid version and it can be used to test different version of a web application or website

Google Optimize is the latest A/B testing tool from Google. It has both a free and paid version and it can be used to test different versions of a web application or website

How to find React developers – tools

There are various tools that can help you perform many of the activities described above.

Sourcing tools

They speed up the process of finding new candidates in various ways such as by giving access to a wider talent pool. Examples include LinkedIn Recruiter Life, Amazing Hiring, or Intelligence Search.

Screening platforms

Those tools allow you to test the skills of your developers (usually hard skills only). Some of the most popular include Devskiller or Codility.

Recruitment management tools

CRMs for HR specialists often employ Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSes). Popular programs include SmartRecruiters or Recruitee.

Use all kinds of social and networking tools to get an entry level positions start

How to find React developers – outsourcing React development

As you probably realize by now, while none of these activities by themselves are extremely difficult, the hard part is to maintain the intensity and regularity of these efforts in order to truly stand out and build the strength of your brand in the eyes of the React community.

If you believe that these efforts are not feasible for you, you might consider outsourcing. Companies such as The Software House exist specifically to solve the problem of hiring highly-skilled developers. They go through all of the effort described above so that you don’t have to. And they provide you with the flexibility of changing the number of developers or even quitting completely – when hiring locally, you simply can’t do that.

Some of the most typical scenarios for turning to outsourced React developers include:

  • The need to quickly customize your product to seize a lucrative deal.
  • Rapid development to meet strict deadlines (e.g. to obtain external financing).
  • Speeding up the time-to-market.
  • Making use of the top-quality know-how of software houses that develop diverse custom software projects every month.
  • Other development needs that stem from unusual often last-minute circumstances (e.g. changes in data privacy laws).

A good way to find top outsourcing companies is by using B2B review platforms such as Clutch. When it comes to finding React developers, they can prove useful in assessing the quality of companies that offer React development outsourcing. See the official The Software House account on Clutch.

Interactive components make up your whole team

How to find React developer – summary

Do you feel like you now know how to go about searching for React developers in order to use React and all of its new features to the fullest? Regardless of what specific methods you are going to choose, keep in mind that being regular about it is absolutely essential.

Also, remember about other ways to obtain skilled React developers for your web applications, like getting help from offshore outsourcing companies (great option especially for most developed markets such United States, UK, or Western Europe). Use this information to create your own unique path to growing a React team that best suits your short- and long-term web application needs.

Good luck!

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