As the world becomes more digitized, the competition for Front End Developers is only expected to increase.
The already-fierce demand for Software Engineering professionals is projected to grow 25% from 2021 to 2031 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with the rise of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, Front End Developers are particularly needed to implement intuitive interfaces and bridge the gap between user and underlying technology.
With the competition and evolution of software development, it isn’t easy for recruiters to find and hire a qualified Front End Developer to fit their team’s needs. That’s why we put together this guide on how to hire Front End Developer talent.
It covers the essential hard and soft skills, a comparison of various Front End roles and titles, sample resume, outreach tips, market salary data, and more.
Check out our complete walkthrough on how to successfully hire a Front End Developer below.
What is a Front End Developer
Front End Developers understand user needs to create an intuitive and appealing interface (UI) that enhances user experience (UX). They also leverage responsive web design principles to ensure their sites are functional and performant across various browsers and web and mobile devices.
While their focus is on the client side, a solid understanding of the back end is also required. Front End Developers collaborate with Back End Developers to make sure the data and functionality of the backend are well integrated into the website or application design.
Responsibilities of a Front End Developer
Here are the most important reasons why your team may need a Front End Developer, and their typical job responsibilities.
- Build customized features for users: Front-end developers create personalized features for users, such as user profiles, interactive dashboards, search bars, and comment sections.
- Collaborate with design, product, and development: Front End Developers work with stakeholders, UI/UX designers, researchers, product managers, and backend developers to ensure that the software product looks, performs, and functions well.
- Develop compliant code: Front End Developers write code compliant with enterprise architecture, security, and best practices in order to serve as the foundation of future projects.
- Investigate new front end technologies and trends: Staying up to date with industry advancements and the latest tools, frameworks, and methodologies can keep Front End Developers competitive. It can also ensure applications are maximally visually appealing, responsive, secure, and interoperable.
Comparison of front end job titles
Front End Developer titles can vary from company to company, and various roles often work closely together. As such, titles can be ambiguous and overlap in responsibilities.
Here’s how tech recruiters can interpret all the most common roles and titles related to front end development.
Website Developer versus Front End Developer
UI/UX Designer versus Front End Developer
While UI/UX designers often work closely with Front End Developers, the roles are distinct.
Designers are typically focused on the visual aspect, including the layout and graphics. They use tools such as Sketch, Illustrator, Figma, Adobe XD, and InVision to create beautiful and easy-to-use User Interface designs.
On the other hand, Front End Developers are concerned with implementing the design into actual, functional code. They are also responsible for integrating it with the backend through APIs, whereas a designer does not typically have any contact with the backend of the application.
Front End Engineer versus Front End Developer
There is a good deal of overlap in these roles, and the distinction between Software Developer and Software Engineer in some cases may be a pure function of a company’s particular titling system.
However, generally speaking, “developer” implies a more narrow focus on building and implementing software applications. In contrast, “engineer” may imply a broader focus on principles of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and an understanding of abstract, complex engineering systems.
Full Stack Developer versus Front End Developer
Full Stack Developers code “across the stack”: meaning, the user front end, API code in the middle, and server back end for web applications and software.
Typically, you can recognize a Full Stack Developer by their knowledge of not just front end technical skills, but also back end technical skills. These include back end languages such as Ruby, Python, Java, or C++, and back end frameworks such as Django, Flask or Spring.
It is rare to encounter truly developers who are truly full stack, and most tend to lean to the front end or back end.
Front End Development hard and soft skills
Here are the hard and soft skills to look for when you are hiring a Front End Developer.
Front end languages:
Front end programming languages are used to design and develop the visual aspects of a website or a web application.
Other programming languages often considered “backend languages”, such as PHP, Ruby on Rails and Python can also be used for front end development.
While the distinction between a framework and library can be difficult to draw, generally speaking, a framework is a comprehensive toolkit for guiding and structuring your website or app development.
On the other hand, a library doesn’t necessarily dictate the overall architecture of the application but offers a suite of procedures and functions that can be used as needed.
Some popular examples are React, Angular, Vue, Next, Ember, Express, and Backbone.
CSS frameworks assist with the styling and visuals of a web page. They provide ready-to-use, pre-designed components to help developers quickly create a user interface, such as buttons, forms, navigation, and other components.
Some popular examples include Bootstrap, Materialize, Foundation, and Bulma.
CSS preprocessors are scripting languages that extend the default capabilities of CSS. They help developers use variables, nesting, mixins, inheritance, and other advanced features.
Some popular CSS preprocessors include Sass (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets), Less (Leaner style Sheets), and Stylus.
Version control tools, most popularly Git, create forking branches through versions of a project. They preserve older versions of code in case they’re useful later. It also allows team leaders to see the whole picture and cross-reference various contributions, only merging pieces of code to the main code base once they are sure that the merge won’t break anything.
As Front End Developers collaborate with other engineers, technical professionals, and project stakeholders, interpersonal skills can greatly contribute to their success. As such, strong skills in creative problem-solving, communication, collaborative teamwork, time management, attentive listening, and adaptability are crucial.
Front End Developer resume example
Here is a sample resume featuring some projects, experiences, and accomplishments you might expect to see on a Front End Developer’s resume.
I am a seasoned Tech Lead and Front End Developer with 6 years of experience building high-quality software products. My approach is systematic and creative, rapidly comprehending user and project goals to create appealing and functional UI aligning with business objectives and client needs.
Tech Lead at Infinite.ai (2020-present)
- Provide technical leadership for feature development and code reconciliation, resulting in a 22% increase in revenue year over year
- Establish project timelines, conduct code reviews, and oversee the implementation of front-end architecture
- Collaborate with cross-functional teams of stakeholders, designers, and product managers to align requirements, develop user-centric designs, and deliver successful projects on time and on budget
- Facilitate ongoing training and development of team members and junior developers, introducing best practices and new technologies as necessary.
Front End Developer at NexaByte Health (2017-2020)
- Build new responsive client-facing features
- Develop systems compliant with enterprise architecture, security, and best practices
- Participate in the overall development process through design sessions, code reviews, and planning meetings
- Investigate new front end technologies and advances
B.S. in Computer Science — University of Toronto (2017)
In-house vs outsourced Front End Developers
Once you’ve decided upon the ideal skill profile of the Front End Developer you’d like to hire, the next question is whether to hire a full-time Front End Developer, contract or freelance Front End Developer, or outsourced Front End Developer.
To lay our cards on the table, we believe that hiring a full-time, in-house, experienced Front End Developer is generally the best approach — particularly for startups.
Full-time developers tend to be stronger, as they see long-term software development projects from end to end. They are also the best integrated into your development team and familiar with your culture and needs. However, they do require more upfront commitment and investment in the form of recruiting, onboarding, and benefits.
If you don’t have sustained development needs, there are a few other options to consider.
Freelance and contract Front End Developers
The advantage of hiring freelancers and contractors is speed and flexibility — particularly in uncertain economic conditions.
However, it’s important to consider that contract and freelance Front End Developers are generally viewed as weaker on average. Due to being engaged on a short-term or limited basis, they often receive less mentorship from more experienced engineers and less company investment in terms of training and development.
Outsourced Front End Developers
Third-party software development services are another option to consider. Cost savings are the main advantage — though these services have become more expensive as the industry becomes increasingly globalized, it is still less expensive to hire a Senior Developer in a country such as India, Russia, or Pakistan, where the cost of living and wages are lower.
Disadvantages of offshoring include language barriers, time differences, and inconsistent development quality. Companies should thoroughly research and evaluate offshore development firms to ensure the quality of work meets acceptable standards.
How to conduct outreach
With the software engineering and web development job market characterized by historically low levels of unemployment, many companies find few qualified Front End Developers applying to their open roles. That’s why pursuing passive talent is vital to successfully filling an open Front End Developer position.
Persuading candidates to reply to your cold recruiting emails can feel almost impossible — let alone perennially in-demand Front End Developers who are already happy and secure at their current position.
However, we’ve found that it’s possible to boost your reply rate to 30% — even for those elusive Front End Developers.
How do you do it?
By telling Front End Developers a personalized story about why they should work with you and what’s in it for them. Here’s how you do it:
Personalized outreach strategies and tips:
- Explain how this opportunity fits into a Front End Developer’s career trajectory — can you offer them a new title, increased scope of responsibilities, or the ability to pick up new skills?
- Discuss what your company can offer them in terms of culture and values, two factors which are crucially important to younger Millennial and Gen Z talent in particular.
- Reference the Front End Developer’s career background: including domain experience, technical skills, work history, and other details that show you really read their profile.
- Don’t forget to personalize your subject line — this can lead to up to 50% better results.
- Mention shared background with your team such as education, career history, geographic location, and mutual connections
- Send 2-3 follow-ups to connect with many more Front End Developers — according to our own company recruitment data, two thirds of replies come from follow ups.
Passive candidate cold outreach template: ultimate edition
To make it easy, we’ve put together our team’s favorite templates for sourcing and hiring Front End Developers. You can plug in your own company pitch and candidate background details to supercharge your reply rates.
Click the button below to download the template.
Average cost to hire Front End Developers
Here are some updated market salary data from Glassdoor to inform your compensation range for a Front End Web Developer.
|Years of experience||Title||Average annual compensation (Base)||Average annual compensation (Additional)|
|1-3 years||Front end engineer||$89,683||$14,440|
|4-6 years||Senior front end engineer||$113,055||$26,837|
|7-9 years||Principal front end engineer||$137,352||$48,749|
|7-9 years||Front end engineering manager||$148,288||$70,493|
Sites to hire Front End Developers
Here are the best options to find and hire a Front End Developer for your team, covering everything from AI sourcing to social media.
GitHub is a platform where members of the software development community collaborate on cutting-edge coding projects together. According to a recent StackOverflow survey, over 90% of developers use the open-source version control software Git.
By sourcing on GitHub, you can refresh your candidate pool and locate exceptional engineers who might not market themselves on professional networks. Many Front End Developers host their profiles and samples of their code on the site, viewable to recruiters and hiring managers.
If you haven’t used the platform to source candidates before, or are looking for expert tips, you can check out our full guide to sourcing on GitHub.
Stack Overflow is a Q&A board for technical information and theoretical discussions about coding.
Sourcing on Stack Overflow is a great way to gain knowledge of Front End Developer candidates’ technical knowledge — not to mention their communication skills and other soft skills.
Twitter is an increasingly valuable resource for recruiters to source technical talent. Many Front End Developers don’t promote themselves on traditional professional networks, particularly in trendy sectors like blockchain or web3 — presenting a unique opportunity to discover these hidden gems.
Use the platform’s advanced search features to streamline your sourcing, filtering by location, keyword, language and more.
But remember, Twitter is a platform for dialogue. Engage in meaningful conversations, be a part of the discourse, and steer clear from the impulse to send generic mass messages. This approach may require more time, but it significantly boosts your chances of success.
Discord, functioning similarly to Slack or Microsoft Teams, presents an open community-oriented space. It is a potential goldmine for recruiters seeking passive Front End Developer candidates with niche tech skills or industry-specific experience.
Like Twitter, Discord is not geared towards job seekers and cold messaging isn’t the norm. Recruiters should first immerse themselves in the community, abide by its guidelines, and contribute actively. Once established as a contributing member, recruiters can bring up the topic of potential job opportunities.
Many recruiters are familiar with Slack as a popular cloud-based workplace communication tool. However, the site also hosts a number of front end development communities where recruiters can participate in discussions, learn about software development, and build relationships with software engineers.
While recruiting a Front End Developer on YouTube might not be the traditional approach, it can be an effective way to attract potential candidates. YouTube’s 2.51 billion monthly active users spanning a variety of demographics watch 5 billion videos on the platform every day.
Some creative ways recruiters can use the platform to hire a Front End Developer include:
- Sourcing candidates by searching for creators discussing your desired skills. Here are some results that appear when searching for Vue.js channels:
- Advertising job openings with videos explaining what the role entails and how your recruiting process works
- Building employer brand by showcasing your culture, office, and employee testimonials
Wellfound, formerly AngelList Talent, is a job site geared towards startup recruiters and job applicants. It offers free sourcing features such as candidate search of their talent pool and a Built-in ATS (Applicant Tracking System) called “Track” that syncs with Greenhouse, Lever, and Workable.
While Wellfound has paid features such as advanced candidate search as well, the free features are more than enough for technical recruiters to get started. And besides being one of the best candidate sourcing tools for finding a Front End Developer, it also has other traditional recruiting features such as job ad posting, job boards, etcetera.
Fiverr is a freelance talent marketplace known for its intuitive user interface and affordable prices (so named for clients’ ability to hire a freelancer starting at just $5).
This option is best suited for simple tasks and quick, one-time projects. Each service offered is a “gig.” For each gig, the freelancer includes a description of the service, the scope of work they will cover, and the price. Buyers can browse the categories or use the search function to find a Front End Developer that fits their needs.
If your recruiting team is looking to increase your ROI with the latest tech, the most significant area of impact AI can have is on your sourcing process. A startup recruiter can spend up to 30 hours — over half their workweek — on sourcing potential candidates.
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- Warm, qualified talent ready for interviews appearing in your inbox or ATS
- Coverage of specialized engineering, product, and sales talent: including ML Engineer, Data Scientist, Full stack Developer, Back End Developer, Front End Developer, DevOps Engineers, Tech Leads, Architects, Managers
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