One of the challenges of hiring experts in a field outside your own is that you can rarely be certain that the potential employee has the abilities they claim to have. As such, hiring a SharePoint developer can be a daunting task. The role of a developer is as complex and vast as SharePoint itself, and failing to ask the proper questions can put your company in a tricky situation.
Here are some specific ways you can evaluate SharePoint developers:
Go Through a Skills Checklist
Even if you don't have the level of expertise that your ideal candidate would have, you can develop a checklist of desired skills—and at least a rudimentary understanding of what each skill entails. While the exact needs will vary dependent on your anticipated projects, you should include web parts, SharePoint site development, and use of SharePoint designer in your list.
Focus on the Portfolio
While you may not be able to understand everything that went into past projects, asking to see a developer's previously completed work is a wise idea. While many "project tours" will be limited due to confidentiality agreements, letting your applicant know in advanced will—at a minimum—give them the chance to take screen captures and provide descriptions of previous projects.
Restrict Your Search to Microsoft Certified Applicants
Those familiar with SharePoint will also be familiar with Microsoft certification. The certification process will assure at least a moderate level of competency across the board. You will also want to pay attention to the certification date so you're aware of whether certification happened before or after the release of your version of SharePoint.
Talk to Them About Process
Provide an outline of some of the upcoming projects that the SharePoint developer will be expected to tackle. Ask them to describe what project milestones and anticipated completion dates they would provide, with an understanding that such an estimate would require further project specifications to be truly accurate. If you're still skeptical about the candidate, provide those further details and build the first few project timelines into their contract.
Talk to a Consultant
SharePoint Engine is a Microsoft Certified Partner who can help you better understand your needs, evaluate current candidates, and find new candidates for contract or long-term work. Contact us for more information.
There are many ways to ensure that your SharePoint developer will meet your needs. The crucial thing is to do more than assuming that your potential team member's use of technical lingo means they must be the sort of expert you're looking for.