Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a JavaScript Developer | DistantJob - Remote Recruitment Agency
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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a JavaScript Developer

Ihor Shcherbinin
VP of Recruiting at DistantJob - - - 3 min. to read

JavaScript developers continue to be in high demand due to the continued growth of web and mobile applications and the versatility of JavaScript across front-end and back-end development. 

Since its creation in 1995, JavaScript has become one of the most used programming languages, currently being used as a client-side programming language by 98.8% of websites.

In 2022, JavaScript secured its position as the most widely used programming language, as reported by Statista. Additionally, the TIOBE index noted that JavaScript climbed to the 6th spot globally in 2023, marking an advancement from its 7th-place ranking in the previous year.

With this demand and popularity, how can you make sure you’re evaluating and identifying the top candidates? By avoiding the most common JavaScript developer hiring mistakes.

Rather than basing your hiring decisions solely on an impressive CV, the path to success isn’t just about how to establish a robust hiring process; it’s also about knowing which missteps to avoid.

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring JavaScript Developers

JavaScript hiring pitfalls often involve recruiters not giving priority to aspects beyond technical skills and experience. 

While technical proficiency is essential, it’s equally important to consider factors like privacy concerns, culture fit, long-term growth potential in a candidate, and more.

If you’re in the process of finding JavaScript developers, look out for these potential mistakes: 

1. Neglecting Browser Compatibility Testing

JavaScript powers the interactive elements of websites, and ensuring these work consistently across different web browsers is essential. 

Hiring developers who don’t prioritize thorough browser compatibility testing may lead to user frustration and the need for ongoing bug fixes. 

Look for candidates who are well-versed in testing their code across multiple browsers, including older versions, and understand the challenges of cross-browser development.

How can you do this? With JavaScript project challenges. When evaluating a candidate’s browser compatibility testing skills, you can provide them with a practical test scenario where they are asked to identify and address compatibility issues in a JavaScript project. 

For example, present a web application that is exhibiting issues on certain browsers and ask the candidate to outline their approach for troubleshooting and resolving these issues. Additionally, inquire about their experience with browser-specific bugs and their strategies for handling such challenges in past projects. 

This practical assessment will help gauge their problem-solving abilities in real-world scenarios.

2. Overlooking Performance Optimization

JavaScript’s execution speed impacts the user experience directly. Failing to evaluate a candidate’s skills in optimizing JavaScript code can result in sluggish and unresponsive web applications. 

During the evaluation process, ensure that candidates understand techniques for optimizing code, minimizing resource consumption, and improving overall performance.

To assess a candidate’s performance optimization expertise, consider providing them with a coding challenge that requires optimizing a piece of code or improving the loading speed of a web page. 

Look for developers who not only identify performance bottlenecks but also implement efficient solutions to enhance the overall user experience and project success.

Websites like LeetCode, HackerRank, and CodeSignal offer a wide range of coding JavaScript challenges that allow candidates to showcase their coding and optimization skills.

3. Skipping Collaborative Fit Interviews

One of the most common mistakes when hiring a JavaScript programmer is not conducting collaborative interviews. This is particularly important if you’re looking for long-term developers who are committed and engaged to your team.

Collaborative teamwork is key in software development, as tech teams need to come together with the same goals and projects. 

Neglecting to include current team members in the interview process can lead to hiring a candidate who, while technically proficient, may not mesh well with the existing team’s dynamics, values, or work culture. 

Conducting interviews that involve potential team members can help ensure the candidate’s alignment with the team’s objectives and collaborative work style.

What type of interviews are useful for this? 

  • Behavioral Interviews: These interviews focus on a candidate’s past experiences and behavior in team settings. You can ask questions about how they’ve handled conflicts, worked with diverse teams, and resolved issues collaboratively.
  • Role-Specific Collaborative Tasks: Provide candidates with role-specific tasks that mirror real-world team projects. Assess their ability to work with others, communicate effectively, and contribute to a team’s success.
  • Teamwork Simulation Exercises: These exercises involve creating situations that simulate common teamwork challenges. Candidates are evaluated on how they handle team dynamics, communicate, and work towards collective goals in a controlled setting.

4. Not Prioritizing Security Awareness

A report by SiteLock security revealed that 18% of websites are found to contain critical severe threats, and 4.1 million websites contain malware at any given time. E-commerce websites are particularly vulnerable, with 75% of fraud and data theft involving them. 

These statistics highlight why having developers with in-depth security knowledge matters. 

A candidate lacking a deep understanding of JavaScript security practices may inadvertently introduce vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting (XSS) or expose sensitive data to potential breaches.

During your hiring process, look out for developers who prioritize security, follow best practices and stay informed about emerging threats. 

How can you do this? 

  • Ask scenario-based questions
  • Inquire about secure coding practices
  • Discuss experience with security tools
  • Review past security projects

5. Lacking ES6+ Proficiency

ECMAScript 6 (ES6) introduced significant improvements to JavaScript, enhancing readability and maintainability. Candidates lacking proficiency in ES6+ may continue using older, less efficient coding practices, potentially hindering your project’s success. 

When evaluating a candidate’s ES6+ proficiency, consider their knowledge of modern JavaScript features, including arrow functions, template literals, destructuring, and classes. 

Candidates who are well-versed in these features are better equipped to write clean, efficient, and maintainable code.

Pro Tip for Recruiters: To assess a candidate’s ES6+ proficiency, provide them with code samples written in older JavaScript syntax and ask them to refactor it using ES6+ features. This practical test allows you to evaluate their ability to leverage modern JavaScript for improved code quality and efficiency. 

6. Not Considering Version Control Skills

Version control systems, like Git, are fundamental in collaborative coding and project management. Candidates without proficiency in these systems can hinder team collaboration, introduce code conflicts, and impede effective project tracking. 

In a team setting, version control systems facilitate collaborative coding. Developers can work on the same codebase simultaneously without conflicts, easily merging changes and maintaining a clear history of all modifications. A candidate’s familiarity with version control tools ensures seamless teamwork.

Version control systems help keep code organized, track changes, and provide a reliable backup of your codebase. Candidates proficient in these systems are more likely to maintain a well-structured code repository, which aids in code maintenance and debugging.

To assess a candidate’s version control skills, ask them to demonstrate how they would perform common version control tasks, such as branching, merging, resolving conflicts, and reviewing commit history using Git.

7. Underestimating Framework Expertise

When evaluating JavaScript expertise, you can’t forget about frameworks and libraries. Most Javascript developers rely on frameworks like React, Angular or Vue.js to streamline development.

Underestimating the importance of a candidate’s expertise in these frameworks can lead to various issues, including delays, code inefficiencies and suboptimal user interfaces.

JavaScript frameworks can positively important your project’s efficiency and quality as they lead to faster development and more robust applications. So ensure that your hires are well-versed in the frameworks that are relevant for your project. 

Pro Tip for Recruiters: When assessing a candidate’s framework expertise, consider practical exercises or questions related to the specific framework your projects rely on. For example, if your organization uses React, ask candidates to demonstrate their ability to build a simple component, manage state, or integrate third-party libraries.

8. Not Evaluating Soft Skills and Culture Fit

Accessing JavaScript skills in interviews should not only be about technical or hard skills. Soft skills like effective communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, among others, are also key.

Failing to prioritize a candidate’s soft skills and culture fit can lead to misalignments and issues within the team.

Besides evaluating their collaboration skills, which relates more to point #3, consider other skills like adaptability, for instance. A candidate’s ability to adapt and find solutions is critical for a project’s success. 

Additionally, effective communication and active listening are useful when developers need to interact with clients, stakeholders or any non-technical persons.

Remember, while evaluating these aspects can seem unnecessary, neglecting soft skills and culture fit can result in high turnover rates as employees may not feel comfortable or aligned with the organization.

9. Ignoring Scalability Experience

As your applications grow, developers need to handle increased user loads and data efficiently. Hiring developers who lack experience in building scalable applications can lead to performance bottlenecks and resource management challenges. 

Look for candidates who have successfully worked on projects with scalability in mind, employing techniques like load balancing, caching and efficient database design.

How can you do this? Inquire about the specific techniques and strategies they’ve used to ensure that applications can handle increased user loads and data.

Hire the Right JavaScript Candidates

Technical recruiting errors like overemphasizing technical skills or overlooking tests are the main reasons why companies make bad hires

Bad hires don’t only cost your organization a significant amount of money, but also, it’s time and energy wasted rather than invested. So, by following the previous steps, you can start building a recruiting and hiring pipeline that allows you to identify talented candidates beyond their shiny resumes or “impressive” experience.

And if you’re still struggling to build the right process, partner with us. At DistantJob, with our headhunting approach, we focus on finding candidates who are the right culture fit for your team and who check all your requirements. 

Book a discovery call and learn more about hiring the best remote developers!

Ihor Shcherbinin

Ihor, is the VP of Recruiting at DistantJob. He specializes in sourcing and placing top remote developers for North American companies. His expertise covers the entire recruiting cycle, from pinpointing job needs to finalizing hires. Known for his skill in remote staffing solutions and offshore team integration, Ihor excels in matching the best tech talents with U.S. organizations. His approach to virtual developer hiring is marked by insightful candidate selection and strategic offer negotiation, ensuring the right fit for every role.

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