How to Hire a React Developer: Top Tips

What is React

React (also called React.js or ReactJS) is an open-source front-end JavaScript library to build interactive user interfaces. ReactJS was created by Facebook and used as the basis for individual web pages or mobile applications. This is very useful when your data is rapidly changing and dynamically generated on the server.

Hundreds of thousands of websites have been built with React.js. It is extremely popular due to its flexibility, simplicity, and development speed. Popular sites using React include Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Reddit, Airbnb, and Uber.

React.js makes it easy to create UI test cases, build SEO-friendly sites, reuse components on any platform, embed existing code for a website into a mobile app, improve the performance of resource-intensive web apps, and it can be used anywhere it used to be JavaScript was used.

React.JS has held the leading position among many software development frameworks and libraries for several years. It will continue to be a popular tool for front-end development shortly.

Why is React popular?

Many front-end developers use React because of its outstanding functionality and ability to quickly and easily create beautiful interfaces. Here is a whole set of React features that help this library stand out from other front-end libraries and frameworks:

  1. Increased performance – React is one of the fastest JavaScript frameworks; it uses the Virtual DOM, a simplified representation of the Real DOM, to render pages and requires less code, resulting in a more concise codebase;
  2. Simple scalability – React is a modular library. It has reusable and easily scalable components; as a result, software developers can start building their applications from a simple MVP and gradually develop the application to a full-fledged solution;
  3. Sustainability – React is a stable library released by Facebook in 2013; it has rarely changed its interface since then, and all versions of it are backward compatible, meaning that software developers can update all their legacy projects to the latest version of the library;
  4. Quick setup – the library offers developers a framework for a starter kit called Create React App, which provides preset configurations; therefore, software developers do not need to spend time setting up the library, and they can start developing applications much faster;
  5. Component structure – the library has a set of separate ready-made components that front-end developers can reuse to create complex applications from simple blocks of code; this greatly simplifies and speeds up application development;
  6. Optimized for SEO – React.JS Virtual DOM renders in the browser like a regular web page, which does not negatively impact SEO results in search engines.

How to hire a react developer

The global IT market is constantly experiencing a need for more professional talent. According to Gartner, the lack of IT professionals is one of the main factors slowing down the adoption of new technologies in various industries. With this in mind, McKinsey & Company says that global digitalization across industries has accelerated 25 times faster with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. All this leads to a significant need for more professional software developers.

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Regarding React developers, finding and hiring highly qualified and reliable people can be even more difficult because the popularity and simplicity of React backfire. Many novice developers are drawn to the library and choose it as a quick way to enter the world of software development. As a result, a wide range of junior and intermediate-level React developers are on the market. However, the share of highly qualified senior React developers needs to be bigger and, therefore, much harder to find.

Many businesses hire professional IT companies for React developers as they provide highly qualified mid and senior-level development teams.

Creating a software application is never a cheap and rather complicated process, so it should be carefully planned and controlled. Before hiring the React development team, you should answer the following questions: what are the business requirements and goals of the project; do you have ready-made terms of reference or need to create one from scratch; what features should be developed first for the application to be successful?

Many companies offer React development services. To find the best React developers among them, you must thoroughly research potential candidates. Here’s what to look for in potential candidates: proven experience in software development in the international market; portfolio with similar software development projects; relevant developer profiles (CVs); testimonials from previous clients that can be found on trusted external sources like LinkedIn, Clutch, etc.

Once the project specifications and requirements are in place, the next step is to decide which interaction model to work with the software development team you need. It could be: a fully staffed dedicated software development team to create a project from scratch under the guidance of project managers from the customer company; several freelancers will join an existing project to add software development experience and take on some of the tasks that need to be done.

Once a few potential software development partners have been found, it’s time to interview the candidates. You can ask an IT outsourcing company some questions like: how will the company connect you and your internal development team; what apps does the company use to track project progress; who will be in charge of the project, and who can you contact in case of an emergency; how will the company report on the progress of the project.

After that, you can ask React developers: what is their previous development experience with React, what languages, technologies, frameworks, and tools are comfortable for them, and what they use daily; what tech stack did they use for their recent project, how they structure their daily work.

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Where to Find a React Developer

Thanks to digital technologies, it is now possible to quickly find a lot of potential candidates for the developer role. Here are a few places where you can find your next React developer.

  1. Word of Mouth – Yes, friends and ex-colleagues can be a good source of referrals, so reach out to those who know someone with experience in React development.
  2. Online job search platforms are great sites you can use: GitHub Jobs, Stack Overflow, Toptal, Freelancer, We Work Remotely, Guru, and Glassdoor.
  3. Social Media – Hiring professionals are active on LinkedIn to scour potential candidates. LinkedIn is a special social network created for professionals to communicate.
  4. Traditional media. We may live in the digital age, but the old-fashioned way still works. Place a job ad in the local papers or send flyers if you like.

Hiring the best React developer can be a big challenge, especially if you do all the dirty work yourself. All the necessary steps may require a great deal of patience when dealing with all the paperwork and conducting interviews.

These online job boards and marketplaces are a great place to hire if you are hiring on a project basis. But for large projects that require a long-term commitment and budget planning, a small software development company or an outstaffing company with a solid recruitment process will suit you better.

Consider hiring a specialized software development company to handle the entire process, from screening, profiling, testing, and ending with an interview and a job offer.

Technical or professional skills (hard skills) necessary for React developers

Technical or professional skills (hard skills) are specific skills that are directly required to perform a job. They are studied and developed through education, workshops, training, and certification. Professional skills include:

  1. Excellent command of JavaScript. This is vital to understanding the architecture and flow of the various application features and service components.
  2. Deep understanding of React concepts. Understanding component lifecycle, JSX, Virtual DOM, and other concepts is vital to get started on your projects.
  3. Knowledge of frameworks, libraries, and tools. Knowledge of tools like Create React App, Material Kit React, Redux, and React Router is essential. Not to mention ESLint, Webpack, and Jest, names every JavaScript developer should know.
  4. Ability to write clear and concise code. This skill is necessary to simplify the design and development of applications. As such, good React developers should follow the Google JavaScript Style Guide and other relevant best practices.
  5. ES6, HTML/CSS. Clear, basic requirements for a front-end developer.
  6. Experience with REST API / GraphQL is vital for integrating your applications with third-party platforms.
  7. Experience with unit testing, Git, GitHub, and other DevOps and CI/CD tools. Modern development is flexible in spirit and method, so your future React developers should be able to use the DevOps tools you need to optimize software delivery and management in a production environment.

Soft skills necessary for React developers

Soft skills refer to a person’s ability for interpersonal interactions. By their nature, they are quite difficult to calculate or measure. These skills determine how employees interact with others and whether they have qualities that fit the company’s culture. Soft skills include:

  1. The ability to transform project requirements into technical specifications. By quickly and accurately collecting all the necessary information, you can be sure that your future application will meet customers’ expectations and save time and money.
  2. Sprint planning. Teamwork is important in React development as it covers all aspects of software delivery. Thus, planning and completing tasks within a sprint is vital to meeting project deadlines and quotas.
  3. Communication skills and openness. To be productive and grow steadily, your developers need to be able to share their ideas and take in the opinions of others. This style of collaboration is required every day, not just at the planning stage. Web developers must communicate effectively and consistently with their clients and team. Even when working alone, web developers who share ideas or give active feedback on the results of their work are more successful and more likely to complete their projects on time.
  4. Teamwork. Even if you want to hire one React developer, they must demonstrate that they can work well with you as a client and other stakeholders.
  5. Desire to learn. New tools and approaches are always emerging, so your talents must continue to learn to stay relevant.
  6. Problem-solving skills. These skills are critical to resolving technical debt and maintaining team morale. Some of the difficulties that web developers face in their job are solving problems and managing projects daily or weekly. Like any other job, sometimes things go differently than planned. So, find a developer who has a well-developed ability to solve problems.
  7. Creativity. The development of digital resources makes web developers really in demand in our digital age. Creating web page structures, updating web designs, keeping them mobile, and providing a great overall user experience all require a bit of creativity and a willingness to adapt and learn from the latest technology updates.
  8. Providing and accepting constructive feedback. With the results of the work, only sometimes can everything go smoothly. Effective developers must be able to learn from their mistakes and be able to accept criticism from their peers, superiors, and end users. This is a great character trait that will come in handy even outside the tech industry. And also, in addition to an adequate response to criticism, the ability to be active, asking for feedback or advice from the team, will come to the rescue. Everyone wins when team members look for ways to improve rather than blame anyone else.
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React is a very popular front-end development library for building various digital solutions. Many companies are willing to use this technology for the custom development of their web and cross-platform mobile applications.

However, finding and hiring dedicated React developers who can fully meet the needs of your business and project takes work. There are two reasons for this – the lack of talent for software developers in the international IT market and the high popularity of the library.