How to Find Skilled PHP Developers in 2021?

Looking for PHP developers in 2021? With so many different projects that use PHP development, you are likely to face a lot of competition for the most skilled PHP programmers. However, if you are in it for a long run, there are strategies that you can employ to make your search most fruitful. Let’s take a look at finding PHP developers in 2021!

First, let’s take a look at the state of PHP development as it is today.

PHP in 2021 – the developer’s market

CMS-based websites, e-Commerce systems, CRMs and tons of other popular types of software are often based on the PHP programming language. It suffices to say that according to W3Techs, PHP is used by 86% of all websites!

PHP developers are surely not a rare breed. In fact, the Register estimated the number of PHP specialists worldwide to be around 6.1 million. But with that much demand, competing for the attention of the best and most experienced ones, may still involve some serious effort.

Luckily, as time-consuming as it might be, the good news is that as long as you are willing to dedicate it, you will surely succeed in finding and verifying your candidates. Let’s start with the former. The method for finding PHP developers can be divided into inbound and outbound.

Finding PHP developers – Inbound methods

The methods that we call inbound refer to various ways of having PHP developers (the good kind!) find your company by themselves. More than that! It involves having them realize that your company is a perfect place for an ambitious PHP developer that eyes challenging and interesting projects with great growth opportunities.

Such methods may include:

  • Content marketing – a variety of tactics such as creating valuable blog articles, ebooks, newsletters and other types of content that show just how good of a place your company is for PHP devs. Content marketing strategy involves identifying your target audience, the kind of topics they find interesting and the kind of channels they use. When you establish that, you can get to the actual content creation. But the key is to be regular. Your content marketing will only work if you are willing to make continuous consistent effort. 
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – long-term strategy for increasing your visibility in search engines for key phrases with high business intent. Should be done in concert with content marketing. It includes identifying the kind of keywords and keyphrases that your prospects use to find information in Google and other search engines. Once you have the keywords, you can make your website competitive in the search engine for those keywords by optimizing your onsite content and getting backlinks from external websites. If your company does not specialize in SEO, it might be a good idea to start cooperating with an outside SEO or marketing agency that can help you with your SEO efforts.
  • Web analytics – A/B testing, traffic analysis and other analytical efforts with the goal of improving your conversion rate. Tools such as Google Optimize can help you find out that certain elements such as particular copy, particular design choice or length of your landing page yield much better results in terms of conversions. Once you find them, you can implement and continue to optimize from there to improve your conversion even more. This will increase your chance of finding prospects and lower advertising expenses as well.
  • Self-hosted events – webinars and self-organized offline meetups that position your company as PHP experts. When you create a webinar, it’s important to spend a good amount of time promoting it among PHP developers. There are a lot of places, such as social media groups, where you can likely talk about your free webinar for free. After all, a free webinar full of valuable knowledge is attractive to ambitious developers. When you do decide to create a webinar, try to brand it by making it a series, giving a recognizable name and working on its design. It will contribute to making it a staple even among the PHP community and making your company, the organizer behind it, a desirable place for ambitious PHP developers to work for. 

Finding PHP developers – outbound methods

When you use methods described as outbound, you want to reach potential candidates directly. You can do it by:

  • using social media sites for professionals such as LinkedIn,
  • conducting conditional searches in web engines,
  • attending industry meetups and conferences and interacting with candidates.

Outbound methods can be very effective, but they may also come across as intrusive. It should not be relied upon too much. Rather, they should supplement your inbound marketing efforts. A good idea is to use experienced HR professionals, or to consider hiring the best freelancers on upwork, you should use premium services from LinkedIn and other companies (e.g. screening platforms and code review platforms) in order to improve the accuracy of your outreach, i.e. making sure that you target people who actually do not mind being reached out to by HR specialists.

Verifying the skills of PHP developers

Got some candidates? Now you can verify them by preparing a well-organized interview process. One that is not bothersome or clogged with unnecessary tasks that can only scare the ambitious devs. You should have your best PHP specialists on this job, make it relatively quick and very practical. Make sure you check their soft skills. For programming skills, you can use screening services such as Codility.  

Outsourcing PHP developers

Don’t have that much time to search for PHP developers? You can always try software development outsourcing. With outsourcing, you get the flexibility of being able to increase and decrease the size of your development team quickly. But the challenge of finding good developers remains! You can always try both approaches at the same time, creating a short-term and long-term strategy for maintaining a strong presence in the PHP world. That way, you can obtain the advantages of outsourcing while systematically building the prestige of your company as a PHP employer through inbound and outbound methods. And they say that eating a cake and having it too is impossible! One way or the other, good luck to you!

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