Hiring a team of ace developers could be a make-or-break challenge for a tech firm. As you expand your business, you will realize the need for constant upgradation of your site, augmentation of your custom-made application, and several other technical requirements that necessitates having a solid team of software developers.
As captured in a Manchester Digital article, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has highlighted that US-based tech companies will run into a 1.2 million shortfall of developers by 2026. A Cloud Assembly report showcases that UK tech firms are also facing or anticipating a similar crisis in identifying suitable tech-talent essential for their future growth.
A potential solution is to hire freelance developers, but the key is to identify the right source where you will find people with the appropriate skill sets that match your requirement.
When you take the freelancer-hiring approach, you will find three categories of websites to choose from. They are:
The model works on project-wise price/service bids made by freelancers registered on the web platform. You post the job requirement as a recruiter, and freelance developers will bid for the project accordingly. This gives access to several applicants with varying levels of experience and charges.
However, the biggest pitfall in this model is quality assurance. In the absence of any tangible vetting process, you have to rely on customer reviews and ratings that may not be a reliable source to assess talent.
Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Guru, etc., are examples of bidding websites.
These platforms are similar to bidding sites but suitable for small projects. You will find freelancers showcasing their top skills through a gig. With only customer reviews as credentials, you may not be able to assess the true potential of the service provider. Further, the entire deliverables may not be explicitly mentioned. You may have to dig deeper through on-site private chats to understand the work the freelancer can deliver.
Fiverr is an apt example of an order-based website.
Both models do not necessarily attract the best talent as landing a meaningful deal through these platforms could be complicated; hence, the natural talent may not be active on these sites, or they may bid for only higher-paying projects.
Non-bidding/vetted talent sites
These platforms attract the best talent pool in the industry. The developers are assured of quality work that gives due cognizance to their knowledge and skills. At the same time, the recruiter can escape the hassle of an elaborate screening process to seek out the right candidate.
Most platforms allow you to hire developers on your payroll or route the remuneration through them. You can post your requirements on these sites, and a competent team of professionals will shortlist the ideal candidates and share the coordinates with you. You may also get a replacement warranty if a candidate leaves within a stipulated period.
Such platforms include Toptal, ultraGenius, Gun.io, YouTeam,, etc.
Let’s look closely at some of the best platforms to hire experienced developers from:
India has fast emerged as a talent hub for some of the best software developers in the world. UltraGenuis taps into this vast talent pool and handpicks the top 2% of the best developers in India.
You can hire a dedicated developer on your payroll or engage a full-timer in lieu of a transparent fee of 20%.
- Availability of the much-sorted talents from India.
- Dedicated, full-time resource.
- Flexible payment models.
- End-to-end management for legal & payroll compliances, laptop sourcing, welcome kit arrangement, etc.
- Suitable for long-term projects only.
A trusted name in the industry, the unique selling point of TopTal is its stringent screening process. They impanel only the top 3% of the applicants following a multi-layered shortlisting mechanism that includes a coding skill assessment, portfolio analysis, real-time testing, and an English language proficiency test.
- Rigorous screening to seek out the best talent.
- Quick turnaround time as you are dealing with an efficient pool of developers.
- Personalized recommendations.
- A free trial period.
- Protection against intellectual property infringement.
- The premium talent pool is not ideally suited for short-term projects.
- High hourly rates due to a significant commission structure.
Fiverr is one of the largest platforms for freelancing talent across multiple genres, including developers from across the globe. The built-in intelligent plugins allow you to narrow your search to your specific need, like custom app developers, WordPress developers, etc.
You can browse through various portfolios to assess their competence and pricing. Fiverr allows you to connect directly with the developers and ask for specific work samples and custom quotes.
- A large talent pool with various categories of freelancers with different pricing.
- Option of rejecting an unsuitable project within three days and claiming a refund.
- Easy to use.
- No vetting process.
- Not suitable for long-term or large-scale projects as the available talent pool may not be competent to handle such assignments.
This platform follows a vetting talent model and is gaining popularity amongst software developers. They have a robust evaluation process that tests their coding skills through coding exams, a live exercise, and a technical interview. Even the CEO gets involved in the screening process to ensure that the right talent is impaneled.
- Availability of top-quality developers due to the stringent screening process.
- Dedicated talent focused on your project.
- Quick turnaround time- within 48 hours.
- You can opt for monthly payments or hire them on your payroll.
- Lengthy sign-up process.
- Non-availability of customer feedback.
YouTeam follows a hybrid model that blends the marketplace concept of Upwork with the vetting talent procedure of TopTal. Hence, you get quality developers based on your specific requirement. Alternatively, you can browse through the profiles to shortlist candidates of your own.
The difference with other platforms is that the available tech talent is not freelancers; they are dedicated, full-time workers focused on individual projects.
- A rigorous screening process that ensures top-notch talent.
- Fast response time- you get shortlisted resumes within 48 hours of posting your job description.
- Dedicated developers who won’t leave your project in between.
- Complete legal and financial management through a single platform.
- Not suitable for short-term assignments, which are more appropriate for freelancers.
Formerly called Odesk, it is a sort-after hub for freelance developers. You can connect with desired talent in two ways on Upwork.
Option one is to post your job requirement. Upwork will scan through thousands of registered developers and share the details of shortlisted freelancers to choose from.
Alternatively, you can review the profiles of freelancers on the platform, check their credentials, and the ballpark commercials they charge. Based on the fitment, you can directly contact them through the app/browser chat option.
Freelance developers can bill you two ways; either charge a lump sum per project (usually the approach for short-term assignments) or quote an hourly rate. Billing is processed through the native Upwork application.
- Easy access to a vast talent pool
- With developers of varying experience and expertise registered on the platform, you get a diversified rate structure that allows you to choose according to your budget.
- Secure payment gateways
- A robust mobile app that facilitates on-the-move interaction
- No real vetting option
- A high initial commission structure means you may have to absorb the commission in the payment.
It started as a mentoring platform for software developers under the name CodementorX. They search the net for appropriate freelance gigs and collate them in one place, enabling freelancers to find a host of job opportunities on a single platform.
They also have a stringent vetting process that screens out the top 2.3% of applicants looking for long-term engagement.
- A robust screening process ensures quality talents are onboarded.
- Developers with niche-skill sets are available for full-time, remote-working, and long-term projects.
- Payroll management, benefits, and compliances are also taken care of.
- Expensive platform, not suitable for start-ups and smaller organizations.
This increasingly popular platform among freelancers started as an eMoonlighting portal in 1998. Initially meant for short-term tech assignments, it has now graduated as a full-blown freelancing hub catering to various niches like designing, accounting, admin, and others. They have over 500,000 developers enlisted with varying experience levels and commensurate pricing.
- Flexibility to choose developers based on tech expertise and pricing.
- No project-related charges are levied on the recruiter; you only pay for payment processing.
- No vetting mechanism.
- Increased time involvement in finding out a suitable candidate.
You can get on a quick online chat with your specifications, and they will connect you with the right candidate in less than 24 hours.
- Superfast turnaround time.
- Strong vetting process.
- Moderate pricing.
- Helpful customer support.
- Do not have enough firmware or embedded developers.
It’s a tech-only freelance platform that scours the best talent from top technology companies, such as Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. Once identified, the developers undergo a strict screening procedure that includes evaluation of past projects, technical know-how, team-working abilities, etc.
- Strong onboarding formalities to ensure that only competent developers are impaneled.
- Reasonable pricing model.
- Personalized recommendations.
- Free trial period.
- Being a relatively new platform, they may not have developers for all niches.
The above discourse clearly emphasizes that you should be clear on the following aspects before you set out to hire the ace developer that can propel your business to the next level:
- Clearly define your project requirement: You must be aware of the programming language and skill sets required to deliver your project.
- Mention the estimated project length: This will help you to identify whether you need a freelancer or a full-timer.
- Always check the developer’s profile, past projects, customer reviews, etc.
- Build a relationship of trust and reward that will keep the developers hooked to your organization for future projects.