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How to Find Freelance Software Developers for Your Startup in 7 Easy Steps

Now, say that you are a member of a recent startup, fresh and eager to make a mark on your CV and the world. Now, in order to do that, you have to ensure that the best and the brightest work in your company. In order to do so, there are some common and easy to follow steps that your company must undergo. The exact procedure may vary from company to company, however, these rules are based on common sense. 

As such, they are universal for any company that wants to succeed, for permanent employees and freelancers including freelance software developers alike. These are:

Ask relevant questions before hiring

  • What is the budget allocated to hiring freelance software developers? This will determine what methods are best utilised and which ones are ill-advised if not outright impractical. Higher budgets does not imply a blank check as there is often a requirement for greater quality and/or quantity of hires whereas in the case of smaller budgets, there are alternatives, but they have their own disadvantages as discussed below.
  • Are the job requirements for freelance software developers fully determined? A common mistake that companies can make is selecting employees based solely on qualifications rather than job requirements.For instance, hiring a generalist who focuses on a wide base for a specialised role or hiring a specialist for a role that requires a wide range and flexibility. A theoretical quick fix solution may be to hire highly experienced freelance software developers that can work on both roles, but the practical disadvantage is in terms of availability and costs.
  • Does the company intend to have its own screening process for freelance software developers? This is often determined just as much by the choice of hiring mechanism as by the company’s policies. The better alternatives give a choice of pre-screened freelance software developers but the downsides are often a limited supply and commission costs. Allowing employee screening allows you to access a larger pool of freelance software engineers, but it adds to the cost and time of the screening process.
  • Are the freelance software developers meant to work over a long period of time or are they intended to act as a quick repair hire? If the hires are meant to work on long-term projects or similar tasks, they have the time to get acclimated to the company’s workings and get properly trained. However, if the hiring is on an urgent time limit, they may work on a troubleshooting or even a consultational basis. Similar to above, it also affects what means of hiring are practically viable.

Using referral-based hiring

The use of referrals should be the first step on hiring freelance software developers if the option is available. By relying on employees within your company, you can ensure that the ones who are recommending the employees already are aware of the needs of the company and the abilities of the new hires. Spending is often minimal in this, requiring at most a commission. The main disadvantage here is that the potential pool of new employees is often limited, so larger quotas often require additional steps.

Using vetted freelancer platforms

The second and hopefully the last step that a company must employ. 

Platforms like Optymize, perform the time-consuming role of screening and categorizing freelancers, including freelance software developers, so in exchange for a regular subscription, a company can hire the most suitable employees for their roles at almost any time. There are additional costs involved with platform commissions and generally higher hiring rates. However, they possess the advantages of both referral-based hiring and job postings while minimizing their disadvantages in hiring freelance software developers.

Using job platforms

This is the first step that always requires vetting of any hires as there is no pre-vetting or guarantee of any potential applicants’ credibility. So, while there is a larger hiring pool of freelance software developers and the potential of cheaply finding talented hires that couldn’t afford vetted freelancer platforms, the vetting process to sort out all the available applicants is often tedious due to the high number of applicants.

Staffing agencies

An alternative to vetted freelancer platforms, staffing agencies can provide a steady supply of pre-vetted freelance software developers. However, there are differences in regards to costs and quality but it varies from organization to organization. So, they can be considered as alternatives to each other when hiring freelance software developers.

Using forums

Occasionally, members in your company may also have an online presence on technical forums. As such, they can utilise this market for hiring freelance software developers. Either the employees involved in the forums can collaborate with HR or HR members can try directly to the forums themselves. Either way, hiring talented freelance software developers is possible through this, depending on the quality of the forum, but there are no guarantees. So, the previous steps should be taken as the standard approach, but the last two are only for exceptional cases.

Internet search

This is the absolute last option, searching through blogs or similar outlets of freelance software developers who may not have a digital presence elsewhere. This is very unlikely and may instead present other forums, platforms or similar sources that will allow for hiring instead.

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