Finding qualified, full-time development and engineering employees who are right for your business is tough. The process is made even harder by an ongoing skill shortage that’s also driving up the cost of hiring. But you might not need a full-timer, especially if you just want help with a specific problem or upcoming project.
Companies often choose freelancers over full-time employees because you pay them to do one thing and have no further obligation to offer them work after that. A freelance developer or engineer could be all your business really needs, and you can start the search process right here.
If your goal is to create a website for your business, there’s an alternative to hiring a freelance engineer. Instead, you could use one of the best website builders and design services, which make it easy to develop a site on your own.
The internet provides a litany of freelancing websites for you to trawl through to see if there’s someone out there who can fulfill your needs. The prospect can be exciting and daunting. These directories are useful for the sheer volume of candidates that are accessible to you, but frustrating because there are simply too many to comb through.
We’re going to make the process easier by detailing some of the best options out there. Here are the best freelance websites to help you find a star developer for your team.
Toptal connects startups and businesses with the top 3 percent of software engineers around the world.
Image source: Toptal
Toptal requires all applicants to pass the following assessments:
If they’re accepted, they must commit to maintaining a perfect track record in their work with clients.
Compared with how challenging it is for freelancers to be listed on the site, getting started on your end is quite simple. First, you’ll tell Toptal how many engineers you need and the type of technology your freelancers will be working with. Then, the Silicon Valley-based company provides a list of possible matches. If they don’t find someone for you right away, they keep looking.
It’s up to you which freelancers become part of your team. And if you feel you made the wrong choice, all fees are waived and the vendor starts the search again.
Freelancer categories: Developers | Designers | Finance Experts | Project Managers | Product Managers
Log into Upwork and create a listing describing the type of job you need done. You’ll have an audience of hundreds of thousands of programmers and developers to promote the work to.
Image source: Upwork
You can advertise practically any job — big or small, individual or team, short term or long term. Freelancers then pitch you for the opportunity, which allows you to compare profiles, prices, feedback and portfolios before picking the best person for the gig.
You can pay by the hour or by project via Upwork’s payment system. The vendor keeps part of the fee.
Freelancer categories: Accounting & Consulting | Admin Support | Customer Service | Data Science & Analysis | Design & Creative | Engineering & Architecture | IT & Networking | Legal | Sales & Marketing | Translation | Web, Mobile & Software Development | Writing
Guru is similar to Upwork but offers a better search experience, as this site allows you to filter freelancers by their specialties, categories, location, feedback, rate and more. This makes it easier for top freelancers to stand out from the crowd.
Image source: Guru
When a project is underway, you and your freelancer manage it through the platform’s Work Room. This is where you can share project deadlines and milestones as well as simply communicate with the contractor. Payments can be made through the Guru SafePay system or by invoice. With SafePay, you deposit money into Guru’s SafePay account and the vendor pays the freelancer only after you approve the work.
Guru charges clients (in this case, your business) 2.9 percent of the invoice value. They charge freelancers up to $50 a month and up to 9 percent of the job fee. While developers might find those costs a little too steep for their liking, Guru’s fees can help ensure commitment and quality work.
Freelancer categories: Programming & Development | Writing & Translation | Design & Art | Administrative & Secretarial | Sales & Marketing | Engineering & Architecture | Business & Finance | Education & Training | Legal
If you want to connect business software with your website, you need to know which questions to ask a web developer before hiring them. Your questions should center around their experience, how much of the work they do themselves, and whether they want to be paid by milestone or upon completion.
Freelancer.com lets you list your project and receive competitive bids from freelancers. The site also has a reputation system to simplify the process of finding the right worker. Each freelancer’s reputation is determined by client scores for jobs completed and performance (such as whether projects were delivered on budget and on time) and by the freelancer’s frequency of repeat client hirings.
Image source: Freelancer.com
In addition, you can pay for upgrades to your listing, such as marking your project as featured within the posting system or having Freelancer’s recruiters help you screen candidates.
Freelancer categories: Websites, IT & Software | Writing & Content | Design, Media & Architecture | Data Entry & Admin | Engineering & Science | Sales & Marketing | Business, Accounting, Human Resources & Legal | Product Sourcing & Manufacturing | Mobile Phones & Computing | Translation & Languages | Trades & Services | Freight, Shipping & Transportation | Telecommunications | Education | Health & Medicine | General
You probably won’t get what you want for a fiver on Fiverr, but this platform does offer businesses access to tens of thousands of programmers and developers.
Freelancers’ profiles introduce who they are and what services they offer. Many feature job thumbnails and introduction videos. They generally advertise three versions of each product — a basic, standard and premium version — with the basic price listed on freelancer catalogs to draw in visitors.
Image source: Fiverr
Clients pay a 5.5 percent fee on top of the purchase amount, plus an additional $2 if the purchase amount is under $50.
Freelancer categories: Graphics & Design | Digital Marketing | Writing & Translation | Video & Animation | Music & Audio | Programming & Tech | Data | Business | Lifestyle | Photography
Many developers have preferred cloud service providers. You might already be signed up to Microsoft Azure, while your freelancer might want to work with Amazon Web Services (AWS) instead. In this scenario, have them justify their preference by asking them to provide an Azure versus AWS cloud comparison showing why you should switch.
As a network of engineering talent, UpStack helps small businesses expand their development team without having to permanently hire anyone new.
Image source: UpStack
UpStack developers undergo vigorous vetting, so you’ll only be working with the top 1 percent of applicants. To get started, you’ll have a 15-minute call with the UpStack team, which will then send you a shortlist of candidates to interview. When you’ve chosen who you want to work with, the job is managed via the UpStack platform. If you’re not happy with your choice, let Upstack know within two weeks and they’ll waive their fees.
Freelancer categories: Frontend Developers | Full Stack Developer | Java Developers | Node.js Developers | Python Developers | React.JS Developers
You can find programmers and developers in three ways on PeoplePerHour. The first way is to browse “Hourlies,” which are fixed offers from freelancers who are ready to begin right away (similar to Fiverr). The second option is to post a job and wait for proposals to roll in. The third option allows you to search the directory of freelancers and contact them directly.
Image source: PeoplePerHour
Within PeoplePerHour’s system, you can manage your project, communicate with your contractor, and pay them for a job well done.
Freelancer categories: Technology & Programming | Writing & Translation | Design | Digital Marketing | Video, Photo & Image | Business | Music & Audio | Marketing, Branding & Sales | Social Media
More of a specialist platform than the others, Gigster connects businesses with developers to work on blockchain, NFTs, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Internet of Things, cloud, and enterprise software build projects.
Image source: Gigster
The vendor has 800 developers, 200 project managers and 100 designers signed up to the service. Gigster claims, like UpStack, that its freelancer pool represents the top 1 percent of global talent on the market.
Freelancer categories: Blockchain/NFT | Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning | Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality | Cloud and Backend | Internet of Things (IoT) | Web and Mobile | eCommerce | Enterprise Software | Application | QA Automation | UI/UX | Security
With more than three million tech professionals registered on its tech and IT job board, Dice is a strong tool for finding freelancers.
Image source: Dice
Like some other job boards in this field, a single job listing costs approximately $400. Keep in mind, however, the importance of the development work. This expense may be worth it for your business.
This job board is aimed at helping big and small companies find designers, developers and creatives to help fill empty roles.
Image source: Authentic Jobs
Part-time, full-time and freelance positions make up the listings, and all kinds of industries are represented. Unlike other job boards, Authentic Jobs has a lower job listing price of $149 per month, or $199 per month for a featured listing.
Freelancer categories: Artificial Intelligence | Backend Engineering | Frontend Engineering | Copywriting | Customer Support | Design | Marketing | Sales | Operations | Product Management
When looking to hire freelancers, especially for engineering and development work, there is more to consider than how much you’re willing to compensate them and how much the developer is willing to accept. There are benefits and risks to working with freelancers. If you fail to pay attention to detail during the hiring process, you could end up signing a contract with someone who isn’t the right fit for your business.
To set yourself up for a successful freelance relationship, follow these tips:
Dan Steiner contributed to this article.