Tips • February 5, 2024
Factors to Consider When Hiring Freelance Software Developers
Did you know that 18% of US workers participate in the gig economy? And these numbers are projected to grow exponentially over the next several years. This is a huge creative resource that you can use to your advantage.
But, before you hire anyone that has a decent looking resume, it's important to know what you should be looking for. We have some tips you can use to narrow down your search for the right freelance developer
Take these into consideration, and you’ll have all the information you need to make the right decision when you hire a freelance software developer.
Why Should You Hire a Freelance Software Developer?
The main advantage of hiring freelance software engineers or developers is that it’s usually the most cost-effective solution. This makes it a key factor in efficient small business management.
Bringing a full-time developer onto your team for a software project involves paying an annual salary, as well as offering paid leave, benefits, overtime, and retirement savings opportunities or a pension.
On the other hand, when you hire a remote service provider or team of developers, there's no overhead or additional costs for their administration.
They complete the projects assigned to them, receive payment, and move on to the next gig. Since you’re just paying for the work that is delivered, you can increase your ROI.
For small businesses that are running on thin margins, these savings can have a huge positive impact on the overall business plan.
The Challenges of Working with Freelance Developers
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage associated with hiring freelance software developers is maintaining ongoing maintenance support.
You won't have dedicated developers monitoring software functionality after the project is completed. This can pose unexpected challenges on complex projects.
With project-based work, the freelancer moves on to new projects elsewhere once their part of the development process is complete. Often, this means they can become tied up in other projects and may get too busy to address new issues as they arise.
Finding a replacement freelance software developer can be a frustrating process. A new developer might take weeks to find, and on-boarding them takes extra time and money as well.
They’ll need to familiarize themselves with the project requirements, the development plan, your brand, as well as get used to the process of working with you and your team. If you're paying for hourly services, these training costs can add up quickly.
To combat this, we suggest discussing contingencies with the project manager during the initial hiring process to avoid long-term budgetary problems.
By building the cost factor and time requirements for ongoing maintenance into the estimates with the freelancer ahead of the project, you can anticipate any issues and be proactive about creating solutions.
Which Countries are Best for Remote Software Developers?
As we mentioned earlier, there are millions of qualified workers in the gig economy. The term ‘talent pool’ doesn’t even do it justice. It’s literally an ocean of talent to choose from.
You’re quite likely to find someone close to home - it may even be someone in your network. However, hiring an offshore software development company, outsourcing developers, or hiring a remote team may be more affordable than hiring a freelancer in North America.
Before selecting which country you intend to hire from, consider the following:
- Education: The country you're looking into should have a high-quality workforce, with the desired level of IT-related education, and should be known for producing strong talent and technical skills.
With a quick Google search, you can find IT service providers that offer managed development services, as well as any other services you’d need.
- Language: Freelance software engineers or developers should be able to communicate comfortably in your business’ primary language.
This will help you to develop a personal connection and make it easier to clarify what’s expected of freelancers, in order for them to meet your needs, expectations, and desired outcomes.
- Time Zone: Your new software developer's time zone needs to overlap with your business hours, at least to some degree, for optimal efficiency.
Referred to as ‘nearshoring’, this results in less lag time in your development process when it comes to control over quality, workflow, and deadlines.
Truly Tip: Based on the above factors, some of the most popular countries people find quality freelance software developers in are India, China, Poland, and the Philippines.
However, there are a large number of freelance developers within South America, which is located in a closer time zone and may be more affordable.
What are the Best Platforms for Hiring Freelance Developers?
As a small business owner, one of the most attractive reasons to work with freelance developers is their adaptability, and the fact that they can be hired quickly and as needed. This flexibility is perfect for small business management.
The gig economy has taken off in the last decade, so there’s now a great selection of online freelance platforms and networks you can use to hire the best freelance developers from around the world.
While these sites have always been popular, the COVID-19 pandemic has really put a focus on remote hiring. Some of the most popular include:
Upwork: Upwork is a global platform that connects businesses to freelance talent. It’s known worldwide and has millions of users.
You can either search their database, or post a job ad with your requirements, and then let the freelancers apply to be considered.
Upwork is among the world’s most popular hiring platforms, particularly because they are such a fantastic intermediary between the client and remote candidate.
Guru: Unlike Upwork, Guru gives users the ability to search for a specific freelancer based on specialties, categories, location, feedback, rate, etc.
This freelance platform with over 2 million users allows the top freelancers to show up in search results, and for your job to stand out from the crowd.
Freelancer: While Freelancer has a large database of developers for hire, its talent pool is smaller than Upwork’s.
Potential employers can post their task and skills requirements, and then select from developers offering specific services.
Toptal: Toptal’s platform specializes in software developers (Upwork and Freelancer also feature other segments such as marketing, design, writing, etc.).
Toptal claims their custom business intelligence screens all freelancer applications in the system, and then selects the top 3% to interview for your job posting.
Fiverr: If you’re looking for a freelance software developer to work on a large project that requires specialist insights, the above options are probably your best bet.
However, if you're just looking for someone to handle a relatively straightforward task, at a reasonable price point, then Fiverr has no shortage of talented freelancers that are ready to get started.
What’s the Best Way to Pay Freelancers?
Traditionally, paying freelancers relied on using legacy banking systems (i.e., checks and wire transfers). But it’s not always easy for either side.
From the business owners’ perspective, paying a freelancer means having to mail checks, or fill out wire transfer paperwork at a bank.
If your freelancer is based locally, then the payment can be done relatively quickly.
However, if you’re paying freelancers in a different country, your payment could take days or even weeks to arrive, and then you'll be forced to cover the cost of wire transfer fees.
Delayed payments can result in a difficult relationship with freelancers, who may begin to lose faith in your ability to honor your payment obligations. Once this happens, their work could become sloppy, or they may suddenly become unavailable for your next project. The single biggest advantage of hiring a freelance software developer is that it saves you money, so the last thing you want to do is throw money away on wire transfer fees or high currency conversion costs.
That’s where Truly Financial comes in. We give you the freedom to pay international contractors in their local currency. You can send payments to any of the countries in our Express Network in just one business day.
Plus, if your contractor is also a Truly Financial partner, they get paid on the same day!
About Truly Financial
Built specifically for small business owners who are looking to scale globally, Truly Financial helps small business owners build their dreams, earn to their potential, and grow without boundaries.
From intuitive team spend management solutions to making international payments quick and easy, Truly Financial is changing the way that entrepreneurs manage their small business banking.
Join the small business banking revolution!
Resources • January 17, 2024