With a business that is constantly growing and releasing new features, you often feel the need to expand your team of software programmers. And on your quest to find good developers, you may come across some challenges, like shortage of tech talent locally, especially in the USA and Western Europe, or struggle with going through many CVs.
Research reveals that by 2030, the media, technology, and telecommunications industry will be one of the three major industries to face the biggest talent shortage in the USA.Korn Ferry Institute
At the same time, it will be expensive to hire an in-house developer for short-term projects.
Hence, in this article, we have endeavored to shed light on the list of online platforms and portals that can be the best places to hire freelance developers. At the same time, it offers valuable tips on hiring professional software developers.
Benefits of Hiring Freelance Developers & Programmers
There are many benefits of hiring remote developers for the job, and here we mention a few of them:
- It allows flexibility in terms of Team Structure, such as flexibility in upsizing or downsizing the team.
- It is easy to find a freelancer and cheaper to engage.
- Freelancers are experts in their domains, allowing them to work independently without any support.
- Freelancing enables you to hire talented developers around the world.
- As a single individual is responsible for handling a project, hence all the decisions are quick and instinctive.
Various Approaches to hire Freelance developers
There are a number of approaches available out there to hire freelance developers, and here we have mentioned a few:
Ask for Referral
It can be done by tapping into your network of professional contacts and asking them to refer a software developer with specific technical skills in the search for a job. Professionals in the IT industry are looking to switch jobs once in 3 to 4 years as they want to go for exciting new projects and challenges, so your chances of finding a good developer are quite high. Besides, a professional website building platform can also be helpful to cover your needs to start working on a website product as soon as possible.
Professional Events & Networking
Depending on what you’re looking for, signing up for and attending tech events that focus on specific technologies is also a good idea. For instance, at WordCamp, you can find WordPress developers; PyCon is a hub for Python developers, whereas JCon is a place for Java specialists networks. Full Stack developers can be found at the Full Stack Europe conference, whereas Android developers are commonly found at Android Dev Summit or Google’s official events for Android developers. Even when these events are held online, they have a large number of attendees. There are several online events and meetups using Facebook, LinkedIn communities, Eventbrite, and Meetup. It is easy to connect with or follow professionals in the software industry at these events.
Coding Communities & Platforms
There are a number of communities of engineers like GitHub, StackOverflow, Dev.to, where they share how to develop great software. For instance, on GitHub, it is possible to see coding samples of real software developers and offer a job to a developer who has coded something similar to the product you are keen to create. You can find expert developers even on StackOverflow, which is a place for developers to ask for coding advice and share tips & tricks. Hence, the StackOverflow community can help you find the best engineers for your web development project. These developer communities can be a great place for developers online.
Online Hiring Platforms/Remote Job Boards
This is an ideal place to find developers at reasonable prices as here you can connect with developers from all across the world. This article will also discuss the best hiring platforms available online. Then there are remote job platforms where you can post your job with technical skill requirements. The best remote job boards are RemoteOK, We Work Remotely, Remote.co, Nodesk, Remotive, Jobspresso, Angel.co, RemoteHub, SkipTheDrive, and Working Nomads.
There is also LinkedIn, where if the developers subscribe to a certain job search query matching yours, they receive a notification regarding the job posting. For instance, coders that are subscribed to the ‘remote app developer’ query will be notified regarding a new remote coding job for the app developers. However, if the desire to work with the biggest talent out there in the world of programming, then best is to work with an external recruiter with a great network or can give hiring platforms a try. In this article, we will be discussing in-depth hiring platforms later.
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Types of Freelance Hiring Platforms
The freelance hiring platforms can be segregated into three main categories as per the hiring practices, pricing, and talent quality. Having a good understanding of this nuance allows choosing the apt platform to hire freelance developers best catering to your business needs. These are the three categories:
As it comes to hiring freelance developers, the Bidding platform is a lot like traditional job boards. Here the companies post a job requirement along with their Budget. So the freelance developers can place a bid on the job opening to win this project. This way, the freelance developers bid at different pricing levels. So these websites offer volume and affordability, but there is no assurance of quality.
Also, this model doesn’t align with the requirements of quality developers, as it needs them to invest a lot of their time to find projects. Hence, there is a dearth of top developers in this space, and they only place bids on premium projects. Also, these platforms heavily rely on customer reviews and ratings as there are no vetting processes, and this makes them vulnerable to malpractice. Websites like Guru and Upwork are based on this model.
Order-based websites are similar to bidding websites; however, they are aimed at smaller projects. These are like online marketplaces enabling freelance professionals (both technical & creative) to make money by selling their services as ‘products’. Here the focus is to showcase specific skillsets and advertise one-off job orders instead of bigger projects. But, as a result, the entry barrier is lower for freelance developers to register and get jobs, due to which good quality talent often doesn’t apply. Hence if you want to hire freelance developers for long-term projects, then these platforms are not ideal. Fiverr is a good example of this website.
Vetted talent websites
Top freelance professionals opt for vetted talent websites as it allows them to save time that is otherwise spent on looking for relevant projects. Besides, they become part of a network of the best tech talent who have also cleared stringent screening processes. Vetted talent platforms are mainly focused on building a community of top-quality freelance developers best aligned to project success. This model allows the clients to work with top talents in the arena and saves them time and energy from performing extensive screening. Once a requirement is posted on these websites, it works to get you in touch with the best-suited freelance developer matching the specific requirements. The best examples of vatted talent websites are Upwork, Toptal, Arc, dev, Flexiple.
What are the top platforms to hire freelance coders and programmers?
This is a renowned website that allows hiring a developer. This platform was initially created only for freelance software developers, but in 2015, it expanded from software development, and now it consists of designers. Today, it is possible to hire project/product managers and financial experts on TopTal. The best feature of TopTal is the rigorous screening of the candidates, so in the end, only 3% is remaining. The screening process involves:
- A comprehensive interview to check personality, language, and communication.
- A technical interview to check the intellect, skills, and ability to problem-solve.
- Each candidate takes live tests for evaluation of their specific skills within the primary expertise sphere.
- Each candidate has to take up a test project with a real-world case, and it must be completed within three weeks maximum.
- Only 3% of candidates pass the stringent screening. Hence, hose to wish to hire freelance professionals without spending their time and energy to test their hard skills, TopTal is the right choice for you.
Pros of Toptal:
- Strict vetting allows only have the top developers available to hire.
- Quick Recruitment
- Protection of intellectual property
- Free trial period for freelancers
- Cons of TopTal:
- Only suitable for small projects
This is a mainstream website where you can easily find and hire freelance programmers. Here, you can simply post a job outline of the required skills. Next, the platform matches that description against the freelancers’ profiles with similar skills and shortlists the most suitable candidates. Once the candidate is interviewed and selected, you start working. The freelancers can bill you in two ways, i) flat fee and ii) hourly rate.
A flat fee is used for short-term tasks, while hourly rates are used for long-term projects. Hours are billed via Upwork’s native app. The platform allows browsing freelancers’ profiles and sending them invites to apply to your jobs.
Pros of Upwork:
- It offers a mobile app
- Allows safe payment
- Offers quick customer support
- Offers built-in time tracker
- Allows quick access to a large pool of talented developers with reasonable prices
Cons of Upwork:
Its biggest con is it withholds 20% of the payment. Hence, employers have to include this 20% in payment in many cases. But for the long-term contracts, a certain payment amount reaches across all contracts between the freelancer and the client.
As you type ‘hire freelancer’ on Google, this comes as the first search result. On this platform, you cannot just hire developers but find freelancers of any skill, irrespective of your Budget.
Pros of Freelancer:
- Freelancer.com competes with Upwork for leadership on the market of bidding freelance platforms. The platform accumulates a large talent pool that specializes in wide-ranging areas.
- The platform offers live chat functionality.
- The platform offers a convenient app that you can demand the freelancer to use, so you always pay for actual working hours only.
- On Freelancer.com, you can find freelancers at all possible prices. At times, you can hire freelancers of unparalleled skill at very low prices; however, the opposite is also possible.
Cons of Freelancer:
- Same as other bidding platforms, Freelancer.com also suffers from the same issues. Like here, each gig can attract hundreds of contractors. This may seem like an advantage; however, in practice, you spend a great deal of time going through profiles, testimonials, and portfolios to figure out whether they are worth your time & money. However, there can still be mistakes.
- There are often complaints about the platform’s customer support.
- Same as with freelancer coding websites, Freelancer.com is loved by scammers.
This is a relatively new platform and offers a free service for companies that are in search to hire independent freelance developers as well as agencies. In order to ascertain the quality of developers, Hubstaff Talent largely emphasizes using software to match freelance developers with projects. This transparent marketplace enables clients to browse freelancers’ profiles and contact them directly.
Its working is a lot like a database of freelancers who sign up on this platform. This has no additional functionalities to help in hiring the best talent suiting your requirements.
Pricing: This platform is free to use for both freelancers and business owners (clients)
Pros of Hubstaff Talent:
- It is free to use.
- This platform is suitable for small work.
- It offers filters to conduct a narrow search while finding freelance developers.
Cons of Hubstaff Talent:
- Requires clients to invest a huge deal of time to find quality developers
- There is no vetting process.
- Job sources are unreliable
- A relatively small pool of freelance developers
This platform was set up in 1998 as an eMoonlighter and was ideal for highly qualified workers seeking short-term and one-off contracts. However, over the period of time, it slowly diversified from being this developer-only platform and grew into other streams, such as admin, designing, accounting, and others.
Same as Upwork, Guru has become an entire freelancer marketplace with a large pool of workers from all around the world, focusing on volume and affordability. There is no strict vetting or screening process here; instead, it provides ratings to help employers pick developers. Hence, you’re required to put in significant work to interview and qualify freelance developers as ratings are certainly not a reliable benchmark to ensure quality.
Pricing: Compared to Upwork, Guru offers more flexibility in terms of pricing and quality, allowing you to choose from highly qualified to low-cost developers.
Pros of Guru:
- It offers the flexibility of choosing developers on the basis of their cost/quality.
- The platform requires its users to pay only to process payment (there are no project-related charges).
Cons of Guru:
- It lacks the vetting process.
- It takes up a lot of time and effort to find good quality developers.
A marketplace for on-demand digital freelance services, from audio and music to programming and tech. It’s ideal for the ones searching to hire a developer for short-term projects. It works like this:
You are looking for required services, such as WordPress website design, so you use smart filters to narrow down your search. Here you can specify service type, for instance, full website creation & plugins, price range, & delivery time. The platform then displays a list of available portfolios that can be browsed. Here you can pick between various pricing packages, like, a startup business website, eCommerce business website, or PRO business website. Then select services and click ‘Order Now.’
Pros of Fiverr:
- It offers an easy and intuitive search.
- It allows browsing portfolios without registration
- It’s suitable for all types of businesses
- Offers wide-ranging countries and rates
Cons of Fiverr:
- No vetting processes
- It only has short-time projects (gigs)
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This is the oldest freelance website in Britain, and here everyone can find a tailored specialist as per their needs and criteria. On this platform, everyone can find a suitable specialist as per their specific needs. In case you are interested in finding freelancers, other than just the developers, then PeoplePerHour offers a vast range of options, from web designers to writers and technical specs.
Pros of PeoplePerHour:
- On this platform, it is mandatory for all customers to make an escrow deposit, and this makes PeoplePerHour safer than other similar services.
- PeoplePerHour lacks a vetting process; however, it offers a CERT scoring algorithm for rating sellers as per four categories: community, repeat usage, trust, and engagement. At the same time, there is also a TOP CERT chart for convenience.
- Besides CERT, PeoplePerHour even publishes customer reviews, hence offering more insight.
Cons of PeoplePerHour:
- CERT score is not very transparent, so no one exactly knows how particular elements of evaluation translate to a numerical score.
- Even though most of the freelancers on PeoplePerHour offer hourly rates, the web itself does not offer a time-tracking app.
- It would have been better than the system of extra buyer fees imposed by PeoplePerHour on every transaction was more transparent.
Considered as a massive professional social media platform, LinkedIn also serves as an excellent developer job board. It has more than 590 million registered members and more than 250 million active users in over 200 nations. LinkedIn is an amazing place for talented developers from all skill sets and specialties. Its mega database of job seekers has a promising platform for search developers from around the world and experience levels. It has easy-to-use search filters, secure messaging features, recommendations functionality, and a premium version, which makes it a handy tool for hiring developers.
Pros of LinkedIn:
It allows free job listing, where users can use LinkedIn’s dedicated ‘Jobs’ page for listing freelance jobs. It is simple to list a job, and you will just require answering some questions for categorizing the type of applicants and comprise of a comprehensive job description.
Offers good promotion, as here the users can put up a post on their personal accounts/company accounts, asking their connections to refer a right candidate. It is easier to reach thousands if you succeed in getting good engagement on the post (such as likes and comments).
LinkedIn also offers a paid recruiter version, including a few necessary functionalities useful to find and reach out to the best possible candidate for the freelance job.
Cons of LinkedIn:
With this platform, there is no guarantee of applicants’ quality, and a number of LinkedIn profiles remain very vague for drawing concrete conclusions regarding a developer’s technical proficiency. You might even end up receiving numerous non-relevant applications that clog up the screening procedure.
Pricing: LinkedIn job posts are free; however, their ‘Recruiter’ version begins at $100/month.
Essentially a developer community and resource center, StackOverflow was started by fellow programmers who were dedicated to helping each other by answering coding & programming-related queries. Besides, Stack Overflow is also among the largest & trusted developer communities boasting a job board that also doubles up as a great platform for hiring talented developers & programmers. A number of influential firms turn to Stack Overflow Jobs for hiring developers for the projects’ requirements.
Pros of StackOverflow:
- It offers accessible insights as user profiles of developers on such forums store information regarding projects that they have worked on previously. As their profiles are reviewed, it gives a good understanding of a developer’s quality & depth of expertise.
- It offers a dedicated job board for the community members, enabling them to reach out to the applicants in an organized way.
Pricing: It depends on the tech forum. The platform requires you to be in touch with them.
How to Hire the Best Freelance Programmers?
Here we offer some tips to hire quality freelance developers:
1. Define your Project Requirements: Before you start with the hiring process, find out the programming languages best suited for your project, what is your Budget and timeline, and the skill set that is most preferred for the job.
2. Define your Budget-Limit
3. Review experience and previous work of candidate: With Upwork, you get three skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and expert, with the corresponding pricing. If something quick is needed, go with beginners’ profiles. Often freelancers that are new to this platform take up quick projects to learn more and gain experience. However, that doesn’t mean they lack experience outside this platform. So, review the portfolio, check their past work, ask for a code sample, review feedback & ratings, ask for references from the other places of work if there are no ratings on the website, and check their LinkedIn profile. You can also ask them if they have any experience with popular project management tools.
4. Interview the developer and check their communication skills: It is ideal for interviewing the developers to find more about their work and their experience of working with past clients. This allows to find out about their soft skills and their communication skills, as a good developer has more than just the technical knowledge. Hence, conducting an interview with developers allows us to find a lot about them.
5. Ask previous client references: Same as mentioned above, it is crucial to examine past projects handled by freelance developers to understand their proficiency. While looking at their past work section on their resume, you will also find their previous work and clients, so you can contact them to get performance feedback regarding the developer.
6. Give small assignment: It is advised to assign a small assignment to the freelance developer to better understand their skills and efficiency. You can check a lot about the value they will add to your company by looking at the amount of time taken to complete that assignment and the quality of their work.
7. Establish relations and build trust: Being open and honest allows us to forge a reliable relationship with the developers. With clients and freelancers sharing the same vision for the project and its goals, it turns out to be the most productive cooperation that can later evolve into a long-term union.
How to choose the right platform to hire a Freelance Developer?
As you choose a platform to hire skilled developers, it is vital to go with the ones that best align with your project requirements. Understand the nuances, like how big or small your project is, what technology it requires, and what the budget is.
Here we offer three broad categories of projects to make the decision-making process much easier:
Short-term Hiring and Low-Cost Budget (Fiverr)
When there is a small project, it qualifies as a task instead of a project. So for that, consider order-based websites or bidding websites like Guru, Fivver, and Upwork. A large pool of freelance developers available on these platforms allows finding candidates for smaller projects and within your Budget. However, it is advised to devote time to evaluating their efficiency before starting with the projects.
Long-term Hiring with enough Budget (Upwork, Freelance, Linkedin)
If your project is long-term, but you also want to keep the costs low, then websites like Guru and Upwork suit you the best. Here, you get a large volume of applications and a large pool of freelance talent from less experienced to highly-experienced developers. But still, quality can be an issue, and you need to dedicate a lot of time to vetting developers based on several factors, like their profiles, portfolios, and past work experience. After all, you cannot entirely depend on their ratings. When you put effort, you are able to choose freelance developers delivering reasonable quality at your desired price. Affordable freelance programmer websites like Flexiple can also be considered as it provides vetted freelance developers with pricing ranging from $30-$80/hour. These platforms do the hard work of evaluating developers and recommend the best one suiting your requirements. Their one-week trial period enables them to begin engagement without risks.
Quality is everything: Premium (Toptal, flexiple, youteam.io)
Quality sets apart the high-performing developers from others. Despite the size of the task, if your long-term need is excellence and consistent value-based growth, then go with premium talent platforms. With platforms like Flexiple, you find top freelance developers who have undergone a meticulous hiring process, whereas Toptal offers elite freelance developers on a wider range of verticals. Complex projects need the best talent, and premium networks like Youteam.io, Toptal, Flexiple are appropriate for these kinds of needs.
As discussed above, all of the platforms have their own pros and cons; hence it is crucial to study them carefully and pick the platform that best fits your needs. For instance, when looking for quick and short-term gigs, consider Fiverr or Upwork. When looking to hire a developer with a narrow technology stack, such as web development, pick Coding Ninjas. However, if you require a dedicated team of remote developers in an offshore country, go with YouTeam.
Ultimately, whichever platform you hire, make sure to tick these boxes while hiring freelance developers: Define project requirements, Check candidates’ experience, Establish effective communication, and build trust. Once you take care of these, it will be easier to find the ideal candidate.