How to Effectively Hire a PHP Developer

Are you looking to hire the best PHP developer for your business but don’t know how to? Or you don’t know which is the right recruitment method to search for the right candidate? Whatever the problem is, you have luckily landed on the right post.

To decide on a specific PHP developer is as essential as picking the right programming language for your business to scale up. These two right decisions make your business grow and stand out from the competition.

As you are done deciding about PHP as a programming language for your software house to work in and are looking about how you can hire the best PHP developer, then the tricks are just below.

This article will answer all the questions about recruiting the best PHP developer as well as tips and tricks to find out the best one. 

So let’s begin:

What recruitment methods can you opt for?


You might know about some sources that can get you a good developer, but we have chosen the three most reliable recruitment methods to find a suitable candidate.

Let’s see what these methods are:

  1. Freelance portals

Everyone knows about the ease of freelancing these days. Freelancing provides an ease to people to keep working on their own at their convenience. According to a survey, almost 57.3 million people are working as freelancers in the US these days.

So you just need to log in to a suitable freelance platform and hire a candidate for you. It’s as easy as it sounds. Some of these platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour.

  1. Developer community

PHP is the most versatile and widely accepted web programming language. Almost 79.8% of web applications are built in PHP, so you can expect every 8 out of 10 web applications to be developed in PHP.

When the language is so versatile, the developer community comes into play. Such communities also help in picking an expert PHP developer.

  1. Job networks

Many job networks can help you reach out to the most suitable candidate. You just need to log in to Indeed or ZipRecruiter, type a tailored job description, explain your mission and vision, and of course, what you are offering to a candidate.

We bet many PHP developers will apply to your job post as it will be available everywhere.

Conducting pre-employment skill tests

If you’re considering hiring a PHP developer, you must conduct pre-employment skill tests to ensure the candidate is qualified and capable of doing the job. 

Some possible pre-employment skill tests that you might consider are:

  1. Laravel skills test


Laravel is a PHP framework that provides its users with a wide range of tools to create a web application.

When hiring, it’s essential to know what skills are necessary for the job, such as Laravel skills. It’s best to have your developer take the laravel skills test before getting the job, so you’ll know what the scope of their work will be.

In addition to laravel skills, most developers in the industry need additional skills such as MySQL and jQuery. So make sure your potential hire has those too.

  1. Pre-questionnaire

You could also provide them with a pre-questionnaire that asks questions about what they have done previously in terms of programming language, platforms, etc.

Here are some questions that can help you determine whether a developer is right for your company:

  • What projects have you worked on?
  • How long have you been working with PHP?
  • Are you familiar with TDD/BDD development?
  • Do you have experience with the code base of our current project?
  • Do you have experience building new projects from scratch?

This list is not exhaustive, but it can give you a good idea.

  1. Background check

You can make sure there are no red flags on the candidate’s background by checking their professional references or criminal record.

Categories of a PHP developer


By the developer category, we mean what kind of a developer you want to hire. As every developer has a different experience level, you must hire them according to your needs.

If you just need a mid-level developer but are hiring an expert one, then that’s the wrong approach as the salaries are all based on experience.

Let’s quickly see the three types of developers according to their experience level:

  1. Beginners

The developers who are beginners are the ones who have just kicked off their journey. They are just learning and are in the growing phase of their career. They haven’t worked on many applications yet. Deal them accordingly.

  1. Medium-level

These candidates are the ones who have limited experience. Such candidates have worked on limited projects, but they can develop useful applications and prove to be an asset.

  1. Experts

These are the ones that have the most knowledge of a programming language such as PHP. Their problem-solving skills are the most efficient, and they take less time but provide more value.

They are well aware of every step of a project lifecycle. Whether it is the design phase, coding, integrating, or maintaining the code, such developers are the best among all.

Since experts know almost everything, their rates are high, but the value they provide is unmatchable. We strongly recommend you always choose a candidate that you require at the moment.

What should a recruiter see in a resume to hire a perfect candidate?


After going through the above step, you will have job resumes. Now it’s time to shortlist the most suitable candidates and call them for an interview. While carefully analyzing the resumes, the following are the points that you must keep an eye on. Let’s see what they are:

  1. Experience level

That’s the most important thing to go through while hiring a medium-level or an expert PHP developer. Experience level tells you the value that a candidate can provide. 

Some people have worked in different companies, so they are more knowledgeable since they’ve got a chance to work in multiple working environments.

  1. Projects

While scrutinizing the resumes and shortlisting the right candidates, you must go through the number and variety of their past projects. A candidate who has done varying projects usually is more suitable.

You may find two candidates having the same number of years of experience, but one can be preferred over other based on the projects they did in their career. So, always choose wisely.

  1. Technology stack

Many technologies mix to build a perfect web application. For example, PHP is undoubtedly a server-side language, but one must learn HTML/CSS, JS, MYSQL, Zen, or CakePHP to build the desired application. So while scrutinizing the resume, keep an eye on it as well.

  1. Analytical skills

Experience is not the only thing that matters while recruiting a good candidate. Since programming problems need a programmer to think out of the box, creative skills also matter. As the quality of development is essential, a developer must have creative skills. That’s the key to reaching the best solution for any development problem.

What about the salaries for a PHP developer worldwide?

While hiring a good candidate, it’s also necessary to offer him a good salary package. So, in this section, we will talk about how much it costs you to hire a PHP developer. 

Salaries differ based on the experience level and location, so here we are presenting the annual salaries of a fresh and expert PHP developer with respect to their regions.

 Fresh DeveloperMedium-level Experienced DeveloperExpert
United States$50K$90K$150K
United Kingdom$45K$64K$100K


As we mentioned above, salaries differ on the basis of location. 

For example, you might have seen a PHP developer hired from South Asia charges less as compared to a PHP developer residing in the USA. 

As cost-effectiveness is a major thing to consider, it is the reason why companies prefer hiring PHP developers from South Asia.

Tricks to recruit the best PHP developer

It doesn’t matter if you are hiring a fresh PHP developer, a medium-level, or an expert, the below tips can be applied to any candidate. 

We recommend you use such tips while interviewing candidates to pick out the most suitable candidate. Let’s have a quick look into these tips:

Make a list of interview questions that you are going to ask. A standard procedure for interviewing is necessary for a company to opt for so that they can do a better and just evaluation.

For every candidate, you must have a separate sheet to write the progress and answers roughly. This will help you a lot to pick out the best candidate after the evaluation process.

Let’s have a quick look at technical questions that you must ask from a candidate while taking the interview:

  • Which function gives the number of affected entries by a query?
  • What do you know about writing as $_FILES in PHP?
  • Can you increase the time that a PHP script takes to run?
  • What is the major difference between eregi_replace() and ereg_replace()? What do you know about it?
  • Is it possible to get the data sent via URL using GET REST API?
  • Can you manipulate the size of the files while uploading?
  • How to connect PHP to MYSQL? Can you write code to update data and establish the connection as well?
  • How do you initiate a PHP block and end it?
  • Write a code to send data through REST APIs.

You must also see:

  • how the candidate talks?
  • how do they behave?
  • how do they handle the questions?
  • how do they analyze the analytical questions?
  • what’s their approach if they work remotely?
  • how do they get clear requirements from their client?

Also, ask some out-of-the-box questions and see how they thinks about them. Look how passionate they are about their career.

Final words

It’s tough to pick the most suitable PHP developer when you have so many candidates around but following the right approach can really help you reach out to the best candidate. Be wise while hiring the right candidate.

Rajesh Kumar
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