Find & hire remote software developers: top places and tips

Victor Purolnik
9 min read

Software development outsourcing is a well-known term in the field of IT and is widely popular, not only among start-up founders but also among large companies that are developing and implementing new features. More and more people want to hire remote software developers. Outsourcing is the answer to problems such as a shortage of talented web developers in the US and Westen Europe available for hire in-house and extremely high demand for tech positions. Even if you are lucky enough to find and hire a developer for a project in your country, you may face another problem – very high rates and salary expectations of local software engineers. 

Overview

The trend of outsourcing began a long time ago, but there have always been some fears connected with offshore outsourcing and hiring freelance web developers. Mostly they were caused by time-zone difference, cultural differences, communication problems and a lack of experience in managing remote teams. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, each of us had a chance to watch a transformation in , the trend of going online and working remotely. It proved that no matter where your team members are located, cooperation between you can be as efficient as with in-house employees. 

Of course, outsourcing throws up certain challenges, of which one of the biggest is the process of searching for developers. It may sound very easy to people who have never had any experience of recruiting; however as soon as you get your hands dirty with browsing hundreds of resumes you’ll definitely start asking yourself how to make this process easier and find a good freelance software developer in a shorter period of time.

First things first, if you go to the Google search bar and simply type “hire remote software developer”, it will bring you an enormous number of results and possibilities. It would take months to review all the options. The internet is full of profiles of young and ambitious developers, freelancers, designers and other tech specialists. But we bet you don’t have the time to look through all of them and actually you don’t need to! As “time” is now one of the most valuable resources  it is worth knowing about places where you can find and hire a top specialist for your project and save this precious resource.

Developer hiring platforms

In general, these are special places where you, as a person looking for an employee, can place a job offer, describe your project, your requirements and expectations, and freelancers who are registered on the platform will be able to apply and send you their resume.

Upwork

Upwork is the largest and most popular of such platforms because it has a huge network of freelancers and a large number of available categories, which allows you to choose a specialist for almost any type of project.

The hiring process with Upwork is quite simple: you post a job offer, receive profiles from the candidates, conduct interviews, decide on which one you like, start working with the selected candidate and pay for their services in a secure way through the platform.

Advantages

  • A large number of specialists in different categories
  • A user-friendly interface and the ability to preview candidate profiles, portfolios (if they have one) and reviews from previous work
  • Payment through a secure system

Disadvantages

  • No pre-selection of freelancers; anyone can create a profile
  • Reviews and portfolios are not screened and can be fake
  • Despite the security of the system for payment, a huge disadvantage is a large commission and lack of ability to work with a freelancer on your own basis, outside Upwork
  • A lot of screening work to find someone good

Tip for Upwork: passively waiting for the perfect candidate to find you is not always a good strategy. Don’t waste your chance – try to go hunting for the perfect candidate by yourself. View profiles and proactively offer a job.

Fiverr

Fiverr is an Israeli platform that also has a large number of freelancers, divided into categories, so finding the right specialist is quite easy. Freelancers can post a gig and describe what services they offer and how much they cost. The interesting thing is actually the way these gigs look. There is an opportunity for the freelancer to add different media including audio and video files, which helps them to stand out from the crowd and receive more orders.

Besides a description and reviews, there is also a section with “Packages” which includes three different options: basic, advanced and premium. This increases transparency and gives you a chance to easily compare a couple of freelancers, to see what you get for the same money from each of them. This is also very useful for projects with relatively small budgets because basic plans are really affordable. 

However, you should take into account that Fiverr is a good choice mostly for small, short-term projects. According to information from Fiverr themselves, most of their freelancers are people who already have full-time jobs and are registered on the platform to earn extra money. That is why you most probably won’t be able to easily find someone who can work on bigger, long-term projects and be fully dedicated to one specific task or project. 

Advantages:

  • Low prices and freelancers’ fees
  • Alarge number of specialists in different categories
  • Secure payment system 

Disadvantages

  • Suitable mostly for small projects
  • The platform takes a commission of 20 per cent
  • No pre-selection of freelancers; anyone can create a profile

Guru

With Guru, you can use numerous filters to narrow your search not only to a particular category, but also to certain locations, budget, number of employees and so on. The main difference with the previously mentioned platforms is that on Guru you can find not only individual freelancers but also many software houses and tech companies. This gives you an opportunity to find contractors for long-term and complex projects. It also offers greater trust and reliability. The majority of the work is focused on IT, web, and software development/support. So if you are looking for someone in design, art and multimedia, sales and marketing, writing and translation, engineering and architecture, admin support, management and finance and legal, you may not find it as easy to get matched with the right employee. 

The platform has a special WorkRoom where you can share project deadlines and milestones or simply communicate with your freelancer within the Guru system. If you have multiple freelancers, WorkRoom is a place that helps you to manage their work, enhance productivity and keep track of progress.

Advantages

  • Hire an individual freelancer as well as an agency for bigger projects
  • Secure payment system
  • High-quality specialists

Disadvantages

  • High rates and service cost
  • Network is smaller than other platforms
  • Majority of jobs related specifically to IT
  • Strict rules mean you may face issues with posting a job offer

Among other platforms, you can also consider PeoplePerHour, Freelance and GitHub Jobs

Social networks

It may not sound very convincing, but the easiest way to find a good specialist is to go directly into their environment. When looking for a software developer, try to find groups on Facebook where such specialists share experiences and opinions. You can try to publish the vacancy directly in the group, if it is allowed by its rules, or go hunting yourself for developers who are active within the group and directly offer them a job.

Michael Erickson Facchin, CEO of Ad Badger, shared his experience on finding the best talents for his projects:

Groups on FB are a secret weapon IMO. Lots of specific groups. i.e. hiring in Austin, or "Laravel Devs" that are pretty receptive to posts. Gotta read the rules like you mentioned. Referrals are big if you have them. I'd also add: I use LinkedIn outreach, too. I send a personalized message that: targets people in Austin (where I'm from); targets specific exact keywords in their profile (the search is in quotes) And the message reads hyper-personal "Cheers from South Austin...I'm in the middle of expanding the team here...do you know anybody who would be a good fit...hiring is a slog so asking my network first". Effort VS Impact is pretty good. Low effort + got some good intro's from it. Run FB Ads to the coding language in the cities you want to hire from - we've gotten good feedback from that! Michael Erickson Facchin CEO, Head Badger at AdBadger.com

Platforms that can match you to a pre-vetted team

Each of the previous options has certain disadvantages because, although the search time is reduced, they try to force their cooperation model on you and you still have to do a large part of the vetting yourself. So the main difference in the next category is that you have the opportunity to choose from hand-picked, top professionals who are selected specifically for you based on your needs.

Toptal

Toptal is a place where you can find highly qualified and experienced developers, designers, and many other tech specialists. At a first look, Toptal may remind you of Upwork or any other platform described above. However, a significant difference is that freelancers undergo a thorough five-stage selection and only three per cent of all the applicants actually complete all the assessments successfully and get into Toptal’s network. This selection considerably increases the level of trust in such services and the opportunity to find highly qualified specialists.

The process of working with Toptal is quite simple: first, you have a chance to personally talk to one of Toptal’s representatives and describe your project and expectations. Based on this, you receive a selection of developers who are, in Toptal’s opinion most suitable for the project. 

Advantages

  • There is a trial period 
  • Save search time
  • All candidates complete a pre-screening process
  • A trial period of up to two weeks with no associated costs in case you decide not to continue working work with a freelancer

Disadvantages

  • High rates and service cost
  • Freelancers who can be suitable for certain projects, but do not become a full part of the team

Trustshoring

Trustshoring is a company that provides services for finding reliable remote developers specifically for remote-first start-ups. This allows you to save your budget by outsourcing and, most importantly, gives you time for taking care of growing your business while we work on looking for the brightest talent to join your team. 

Trustshoring has more than seven years of experience and during this time the company has managed to build a large network of proven full-time developers, software houses and freelancers that have implemented many successful projects and built many high-quality products. Check out our Case studies to learn more.

The process is also quite simple: the first step is to book a call and talk to an experienced remote development consultant in person; tell us more about your product and your expectations and we do all the rest of the work like the recruiting, vetting, matchmaking and paperwork for you. We do not impose any specific cooperation model; you can choose exactly how you want to work with a specialist. Moreover, given that we know how difficult it can be to manage a team remotely, we can provide advice and valuable information on forms of collaboration with offshore developers.

Advantages

  •  Save time to do other important things
  • Make cost savings compared to the employment of local developers
  • You don’t have to be a tech specialist (which can be a factor when looking for a specialist on other platforms, where you need to be able to really assess the developer’s skills yourself)

Disadvantages

  • No ‘instant’ result. Finding specialists still takes more time than on Upwork but during the vetting process you can concentrate on other important business 

Here is what our clients tell about their experience with Trustshoring:

Some tips from us 

The important thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each of the options can work well for some types of projects and fail for others. Hopefully, this information has made you one step closer to realising exactly what you need and where to look for the best developers. 

We will reveal another secret to you: even if you have already found a talented tech specialist for your project, the challenge is not over yet. You have a lot of work ahead and many problems you will have to deal with. No-one can predict the future, but from our own experience we can say that at the next stage you will ask yourself:

  • How to access a team or individual developer if I am not a developer
  • How to deal with cultural differences
  • What about the time difference

Don’t worry, we’ve made sure you have the answers to these questions as well – download our Playbook and get even more useful information about outsourcing.

If you don’t want to waste a moment more and get matched now with a tried and trusted tech team – you are just one click away ↓

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