5 Steps to Hiring the Right Full Stack Developer

These days, it seems like everyone is talking about the immense challenges associated with hiring the ideal Full Stack Developer to suit all their applications needs. And they’re absolutely right. It can be quite challenging. We have a feeling this will not be news to you. But what may come as surprise to some is that it doesn’t always have to be. There are simple methods to finding specialized Full Stack Developers that best suit your business needs. You just have to follow certain processes and strategies. Luckily for you, we want to share a few with you.  

Did you know that, according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, the Full Stack Engineer ranked #4 on their list with 35% in annual growth? (That is not even taking into account #5 on the list – Site Reliability Engineer – is a very similar role.) Additionally, according to a recent Indeed research survey, the Full Stack Developer ranked as the #2 best job of 2020 due to nearly 162% growth in postings between 2016 and 2019. And we do not see that changing anytime soon.  

As more and more specialized Full Stack Developers enter the field, the more they become in demand by growing organizations just like yours. In short, these talented professionals are out there – and you have some stiff competition for them.  

The time is now to start strategizing the best ways to find the right Full Stack Developer for your immediate needs.

So rather than accentuate the myriad of difficulties in sorting through all the Full Stack candidates that are out there – because clearly there are quite a lot – we are going to keep things positive. Finding such unique talent can easily be streamlined for efficiency and effectiveness in your Full Stack Developer recruitment efforts. All you need to do is step back and assess what your application development needs are, and then follow these simple steps. Think of these as your checklist for success.  

Step 1: Your Full Stack Developer Definition

The first thing any company should do when searching for a Full Stack Developer is to give your potential candidates their own customized definition. Do not just think of them in generalist terms, but define them based on what your business needs are. You want to identify the distinguished traits you are looking for in candidates for either the short or long term. Or perhaps both. That is the efficient beauty of this process.  

Full Stack Developer
“A high in-demand technology professional with the ability to design various web applications both inside and out”.

 Let’s all agree: a Full Stack Developer, on the granular level, is anyone who can work on both back-end and front-end systems. Yet this seems merely to simplify all they can do. You are trying to narrow your search, not broaden it. The truth is, Full Stack Developers can oftentimes cover the full spectrum, but each come with their own unique attributes, abilities, and specializations. Without properly defining what your needs are, you are in danger of hiring the wrong candidate like one who can only do a little bit of everything or excels in a program you do not use. This will not do. 

 The solution? Well, you know your business needs better than anyone. Make a list of the Full Stack Developer skills you aspire to acquire. And while you probably will not find someone with every one of those technical proficiencies or professional dexterities, you will be able to narrow the ever-expanding field. Preparedness is the name of the game before you even begin

Step 2: Identifying Your Exact Needs from a Full Stack Developer  

Now it is time to start getting into the details. Many think of Full Stack Developers as these jacks-of-all-trades of sorts, passable at many tasks, but masters of none. This is just not true. While most quality Full Stack Developers are well-versed in both the front- and back-end applications, they do have their specialties and technological domains.  

 Do not ignore this. Hiring the wrong candidate for your specific initiatives can only lead to decreased productivity, unreliable outcomes, and even increased costs associated with turnover.  


So how should one prevent such maladies from happening in the first place? Simple: more preparation. While you might see your future Full Stack Developer as some sort of superhero (and rightfully so), no one person can expertly do it all. Nor should they. What you need to do is have a certain skill set in mind when searching for your ideal Full Stack Developer candidate. Of course, you can always collaborate with a dynamic organization that specializes in these services to deliver you the best candidate for your team, or you could take on the extensive search yourself. Either way, it is best to know your exact needs before you even begin looking.   

Step 3: The Full Stack Developer Skill Set 

Again, you may think you want a generalist Full Stack Developer who knows a little bit of everything, but we do not recommend it. Here is why: different kinds of stacks require different kinds of skills, and many of these require highly specific experience with certain technological components that not all Full Stack Developers have. Take a look for yourself at the most popular stacks: 

    • MEAN Stack – MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and Node.js 
    • MERN Stack – MongoDB, Express, ReactJS, and Node.js 
    • Django Stack – Django, Python, and MySQL as Database 
    • Rails or Ruby on Rails – Ruby, PHP, and MySQL 
    • LAMP Stack – Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP 
    • LEMP Stack – JavaScript, Linux, Nginx, MySQL, and PHP 

That is a big difference in skills sets, and these sample stacks do not even include basic front- and back-end languages like HTML or CSS. So ask yourself, what languages, applications, or databases will your Full Stack Developer be working in? 

Pro Tip
When making a list of skills you want in a Full Stack Developer, start with JavaScript.

Hopefully listing these various programming languages required for full-stack development only accentuates – not intimidates – the importance of compartmentalizing the more precise Full Stack Developer skills you covet.  

 The best solution to this challenge? A comprehensive full-stack assessment. When customized to your immediate needs, there is no better method to gain invaluable insight into a candidate’s technological acumen and problem-solving abilities. Your business and full-stack needs are unique – make your assessment reflect that. Start with relatively incomplete code that properly reflects your framework and databases, and ask your candidate to create a solution. It really can be that simple.  

 Still looking for additional guidance to find the right mix of skills and experience? There are always experts in the field who can help with that too

Step 4: Assessing a Full Stack Developer’s Intangibles 

One of the biggest mistakes a technology recruiter can make is to only see a Full Stack Developer for what is on their resume. The truth is, there are many of these talented professionals out there who have tremendous experience and are brilliant in many of the necessary programs and applications.  

What you ultimately need to do is look beyond the concrete skill set you see before you. Ask yourself some basic, honest questions about who you are truly looking for in the right Full Stack Developer candidate. What follows are a few sample ideas for you to peruse, but always customize your “consideration questions” based on your personal values and general business culture. It can make all the difference.   

    • Does the candidate have good communication and interpersonal skills? 
    • Will this candidate be able to work on a cross-functional team to deliver a complete user experience?  
    • Conversely, does this candidate have the ability to work independently with minimal supervision? 
    • Will this candidate be responsive to change and feature requests or potentially adverse to constructive feedback? 
    • Is this candidate committed to your initiative or could have an eye out for a bigger or better opportunity?  

Again, tailor your own questions to fit your biggest goals and concerns. The key takeaway here however, is to not just look at resumes and qualifications, but to dig a little deeper to find those unique personality traits that will ultimately make your Full Stack Developer a strong fit for both your business and the rest of your motivated team.  

Step 5: Get Help Finding the Right Full Stack Developer 

The last thing we would ever insinuate is that finding the right Full Stack Developer is easy. Yet this is why so many organizations virtually give up by choosing to go with a generalist developer or utilize generic, catch-all assessments.  

Be different. Be smarter. You do not have to settle. You can find the high-quality Full Stack Developer talent your business needs – and deserves. Let us help alleviate the challenges and headaches that can arise with a prolonged search. We know a thing or two about this 

Build your top-notch team quicker, as we can help you: 

    • Streamline the recruitment of the ideal Full Stack Developer you want and need 
    • Remove the risk of hiring a Full Stack Developer that will not get the job done to your high standards 
    • Draw from a pool of proven talent who are already vetted 
    • Save money in the long run by getting it right the first time 
    • Get back to what you do best – growing your business 

Get in touch with us today. Find the right Full Stack Developer candidate more quickly, and start meeting your business goals even quicker. Your success can depend on it.  


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