Why It’s so Hard to Find Web Development Talent and How to Fix It
Your business needs a new website. It sounds like an easy problem that can be solved by hiring a developer or outsourcing to one of the many web design companies.
Except, it rarely is that simple. Finding the right web development talent is tough in today’s marketplace. It can be a challenge to recruit the right talent stack to address technical, aesthetic, and strategic business needs internally. And outsourcing to an agency may solve your short-term talent needs, but often comes with its process challenges and friction points.
We’ve been a Michigan web design company long enough that we’ve heard these stories many times from new clients. What you wanted was a simple website update, but what you got was a headache — before you came to us. We’ve got a few ideas why this is such a sticky problem and some suggestions for how to resolve it.
Web Design Economics
Everyone’s familiar with the basic project dilemma — you want it fast, you want it cheap, you want it good, but you can only pick two. In web development, this dilemma plays out in some ways.
- The best developers can and do command a higher price.
- High-quality projects take longer to complete, simply because they’re more involved.
- Skimping too much on the budget can cause all sorts of problems — from a website that doesn’t work or needs to be redone by another developer to one that even hurts your conversion rate.
One issue that makes web development economics such a headache is the number of agencies and developers that try to skirt the issue. Let’s be real. Of course, you want your website finished on your time frame as cheaply as possible. And of course, a developer or agency wants to make as much as they can on your project. But the reality requires honesty and compromise. A startup can get by with a cheaper, faster build. Whereas an established firm may need to invest in a more long-term solution.
The Development Job Market
Over the last year, the job market has grown by leaps and bounds. This is true for web development and not just the job market in general. And while more developers looking for opportunities is good for the economy, it makes hiring the right development talent that much harder.
Filling open positions gets harder for firms trying to recruit new work-ready talent as more people look to greener pastures for opportunities. Add to that the fact that a lot of job seekers lack key skills employers are seeking. A dev candidate may have the development chops you need, but does he have the teamwork and professionalism skills you need to bring him inhouse?
Developer Talent Stacks
Another factor is that less experienced developers tend to want the compensation of more experienced developers, and experienced developers tend to want a good salary plus work that is more fulfilling than just fixing the problems of those inexperienced designers. Both sorts of worker frustrations can lead to churn, which can make it hard to get your project completed with your new inhouse hire or project contractor.
Finally, it’s quite a task for a business that’s just trying to level up their web design game to sort through all these issues. How do you know you’ve found a developer that’s skilled enough to do what needs to be done without exceeding your budget? And what if you discover you need another skillset partway through the project — perhaps you decide to rewrite website copy, create a mobile app, or plan a social media or PPC campaign? Because this can all be such a challenge, many firms turn to an outside agency to meet their web development needs.
Typical Agency Challenges
However, working with most web design agencies has its ups and downs as well. Talent isn’t likely to be a problem. Under one roof, you’ll have developers, graphic designers, copywriters, SEO and PPC marketing experts, and more — in theory, everything you need to create a new website that will help your business reach new heights.
On the other hand, every agency has its unique process, and this can be frustrating for businesses trying to see their web development project through. Often there’s one account executive that serves as a middleman between your business and all that key talent you’ve hired to build your site. Specifications and feedback can get lost in translation, and this can make for a discouraging process for some business clients.
Solving the Challenges of Web Development
Having been in the business for more than a decade, we’ve seen many sides of this issue. To be sure, it’s a challenge. However, we’ve found that working with an agency is the best foundation. The key is getting access to all the talent specialties you could need from the get-go. An agency approach solves many of the biggest problems having to do with talent search, vetting, and budget.
From there, your main friction points are likely to hinge on how closely you can work with the people building your site. We’ve found that a great deal of friction and frustration can be alleviated when an agency opens up their team to the client. Rather than having everything go through one middleman, the more an agency shares their talent stack with the client the more clients love the process. This is something we would encourage businesses to ask about when searching for a Michigan web design agency, and it’s a process we’ve implemented here at Kaleidico to great success.
When it comes to investing in the next step for your business website, it’s worth doing right. Working with an agency ensures you’ll have the talent needed to get the job done. And working with an open-process agency like Kaleidico ensures you’ll be able to work closely with the developers and other professionals building your site to get it done just right, on time, the first time.