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Recruiters’ guide 2022: How to hire a PHP developer

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

Recruiters’ guide 2022: How to hire a PHP developer

Part 1: Who is a PHP developer?

A PHP developer is a programmer who can write, maintain and test the code for the development of applications, websites and CMS (Content Management Systems) using the scripting language PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor). That means, a PHP developer possesses fundamental programming knowledge of the PHP scripting language and the skill set to write concise and maintainable code. A professional PHP developer collaborates with front-end developers and improves the performance of websites and applications. Since PHP is used for backend software development, the professional is either a backend developer or a full-stack engineer.


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PHP developer role and responsibilities


Outlining the precise role and responsibilities makes it easier for the human resource team and recruiters to find and hire PHP developers. In addition, as it is challenging to source the ideal candidate, detailed job descriptions help candidates apply voluntarily and speed up the hiring process.

A PHP developer should be able to:

  • Understand project requirements and write PHP codes that are easy to understand, test and modify.
  • Develop back-end components for websites and applications and CMS for digital portals and platforms.
  • Develop back-end code for connecting applications to web services.
  • Assist front-end developers.
  • Utilize standard development tools for developing and managing applications.
  • Analyze, design, develop and support application systems.
  • Implement database solutions and add features per project requirements.
  • Analyze, maintain and modify existing websites.
  • Provide reports on task progress, ideas, assessments and schedules.

Responsibilities of a PHP developer include:

  • Offering technical expertise and consultation on software projects.
  • Offering guidance for business decisions such as software reliability and performance and security.
  • Writing and reviewing technical and non-technical documentation and tracking project procedures.
  • Creating client-based processes, interfaces and data analysis libraries.
  • Collaborating with front-end developers and partners for web-app integration.
  • Resolving PHP development concerns for clients/stakeholders.
  • Resolving technical and procedural challenges seamlessly.
  • Writing object-oriented PHP and SQL (Structured Query Language) codes in a rapid and precise manner.


What are the advantages of hiring a skilled and dedicated PHP developer?


You should hire a PHP developer to develop dynamic and appealing applications and websites, reduce time-to-market, improve the performance of existing websites and applications, and gain trust and profitability after the successful execution of projects. The following are significant advantages of hiring a skilled and dedicated PHP programmer.

  • A skilled and dedicated PHP developer can rapidly develop high-quality and appealing websites and applications. PHP developers can help develop multi-platform applications, compatible with various operating systems, with just one language. PHP web development allows businesses to develop dynamic websites and lowers the cost of web development. More informative and relevant content can achieve a higher return on investment. PHP professionals are known for their rapid response time, without sacrificing quality. Developers’ technical expertise and skills ensure that apps are smooth and dynamic; precisely meeting the company’s demands. The quality of the work improves significantly because of incorporating new viewpoints and creative ideas.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

Is there still a demand for PHP developers?

Yes, PHP developers are still in demand as PHP is one of the most preferred languages for developing websites and applications. The potential to design and develop dynamic, interactive, and appealing websites and applications makes PHP one of the most adopted and utilized software solutions. Even content management systems (CMS) like WordPress are developed using PHP. Hence, there is a constant demand for professionals specializing in this programming language.


Part 2: How to hire a PHP developer

According to the statistics published by Kinsta, PHP holds a massive market share. Moreover, according to the Popularity of Programming Language (PYPL) index by GitHub, PHP is among the top ten popular programming languages.

Such reports outline the importance of skilled and dedicated PHP developers who can develop, test, and maintain user-friendly and appealing websites, applications, and CMS. The demand for PHP developers is increasing daily as the world moves from basic websites to user-friendly, easy-to-navigate, dynamic websites and smartphone applications.

This section enlists valuable tips and advice for hiring PHP developers.


Tips to hire a PHP developer


Determine the exact requirements

Based on the project’s requirements, companies can evaluate the most essential PHP developer skills. They should ask if they require all-round PHP professionals or a PHP developer with proficiency in frameworks like WordPress.

Other factors to consider include the company’s domain and if they need a PHP developer with experience in the same field. Once exact requirements are defined, it is easier to find the right candidate. Recruiters must develop a precise job description so that suitable candidates apply. It also helps save time and resources. Assess technical proficiency

At this stage, recruiters can assess PHP developer skills such as coding, technical knowledge and expertise, analytical skills, knowledge about CSS, HTML, SQL databases and JavaScript, and all the technical aspects related to PHP. Recruiters can ask about the past projects a candidate worked on, their role in those projects, CMS they worked on, and the ability to write clear and concise code, whether the candidate is up to date with the current trends, upgrades and new releases, etc. Evaluate soft skills

Soft skills are essential as a PHP developer needs to collaborate with other teams, such as front-end developers, clients, partners and the management. While collaborating with front-end developers or pitching about the measures to be taken to improve the performance of applications to clients, communication plays a vital role in the progress and successful project execution. Therefore, the project will involve transmission through email, phone, video and other channels. So, it is necessary to evaluate the soft skills of a PHP developer.


Essential skills and experience to assess in a PHP developer


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Problem-solving skills

A PHP developer should have problem-solving and analytical skills to solve real-time issues and a collaborative approach to working with other developers and carrying out troubleshooting.

Knowledge of other programming languages

PHP developer skills go beyond the basics of scripting language. They play a crucial role in developing the website by analyzing the requirements and the target audience. They are also engaged in implementing database solutions and creating additional back-end features for users. Therefore, along with the basic knowledge of PHP, the candidate should know CSS, HTML, SQL databases, and JavaScript. In addition, hands-on experience with CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and others, along with frameworks such as Symphony, Laravel, and YII2, are an advantage for developing websites with improved performance.

Object-oriented programming skills

PHP developers should know object-oriented programming (OOP). In addition, they should implement the Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) process to ensure the code is easy to debug and modify if another developer is working on it.


Where to find a PHP Developer?


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Companies can look for candidates on platforms where PHP developers share updates and knowledge, ask and answer queries, and network with other professionals. Moreover, traditional job portals and sites can be helpful too. Chapter 2 in Mercer | Mettl’s extensive talent sourcing handbook is a valuable reference to improve your search for suitable candidates in any domain. The chapter details the seven-step process to source candidates, closely followed by chapter 3 elaborating on the most effective talent sourcing methods and hiring platforms.

What is talent sourcing and how to ace it: An insightful handbook

Top five talent sourcing methods summarized

  • Networking initiative at job fairs and career events.
  • Using innovative technology/AI (Artificial Intelligence) for applicant tracking and talent management.
  • Promoting your employer brand on social networks.
  • Harnessing employee experience via referrals and internship programs.
  • Posting open positions and opportunities on job boards.


What to ask when hiring PHP developers: Interview question examples


Beyond the questions about the basics of PHP, the following is the list of technical questions you should ask to determine the capabilities of the PHP programmer.

  • What is the difference between a cookie and a session?
  • What are the several types of errors in PHP? How to enable error reporting?
  • What do you mean by $_FILES?
  • What is the best way to start and end the PHP code block?
  • Can you extend the execution time of a PHP script? If yes, how will you set an infinite execution time?
  • How to connect a MySQL database through a PHP script?
  • What is a constructor? What is a destructor?
  • How do you define a constant?
  • What are the three scope levels available in PHP?
  • How do you compare objects in PHP?


How Mercer | Mettl can help

Mercer | Mettl enables companies to conduct online coding assessments to hire PHP developer:

Mercer | Mettl’s suite of offerings include virtual hackathons to find skilled developers and psychometric tests to review candidates’ personality traits. These online processes assist companies in hiring through the automation of tests.


Key takeaway

A PHP developer is an asset who plays a crucial role in developing dynamic, appealing and high-performing websites and applications. Hiring a professional and dedicated PHP developer is a challenge in the competitive global market. Therefore, along with technical skills and expertise, recruiters must determine whether the candidate understands databases, has hands-on experience with CMS and has analytical skills to solve problems. Recruiters can also take the help of automated and online technical skills assessments and coding tests to accelerate the hiring process. Searching through different hiring and freelancing platforms per the requirements also helps find suitable candidates.

Originally published October 27 2022, Updated October 27 2022

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About This Topic

Hiring a coder requires HRs to go beyond conventional hiring practices and assess the candidate on both knowledge and hands-on skills. A holistic suite of assessments and simulators, used in conjunction, can simplify the technical hiring process and better evaluate programmers and developers.

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