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How to Hire Freelance Developers in 7 Steps

Finding developers for your startup and business is hard. You need to have the right person with the right knowledge required to develop your software or applications. This is trouble because you have to determine the expertise level and then have to hire freelance developers who suit the bill. Then the budget is also an issue. Moreover, according to a report by the US Bureau of Labor, software professional jobs have a faster growth rate than the national average of all the other industries. That suggests the competition is also high. 

Thus, a sound strategy is required if you plan to hire freelance developers for your business. Here I present you with 7 easy steps in which you can figure out how you can examine and hire freelance developers as per your needs. Let’s begin.

STEP 1. Examine Your Need For A Freelancer.

Many companies hire freelance developers because with that they can access a global pool of talent, save money on infrastructure, and in-house employment, and accomplish a technical job on a reasonable budget. However, this approach also comes with a few problems. For instance, you might not be able to work on a complex project with just freelancers. Or a project that requires a lot of time, fluidity, and patience. Then you will have to resort to the traditional ways. Or seek remote employment. Hence, it is essential to figure out your needs, and job requirements before you look to hire freelance developers.

Some things to consider-

1. Goals: Ask yourself- “What do we hope to achieve from this project and how?” Mapping out the end goals is easy but to hire freelance developers, you need to be clear on the technicalities. Ask the ‘why’ and work on the short goals, and daily tasks which the freelancer will do that will lead to the fruition of your goals. 

To say it more clearly, “You don’t need a developer who can build an interactive UI, you need a front-end developer with command on the tools and frameworks that will create your UI.” Be precise.

2. Timeline: Working on your timeline will help you schedule the workload depending on the job’s complexities. That way you will know if you need to hire freelance developers for a long-term collaboration vs short or individuals vs a whole team.

3. Skills: After figuring out the goals and timeline, you get more clarity about the kind of skills you need to be looking for in the freelance developers for hire. Depending upon the job and company’s culture, you can rule out the skills on the basis of the knowledge of the subject, practical expertise, communication skills, programming languages and frameworks, stress management, discipline, etc.

STEP 2. Determine Your Budget 

Before you even think of hiring freelance developers, you have to rule out how much money you are willing to spend on them. Surely, if you hire freelance developers, you save a lot of money in taxes, employee insurance, infrastructure, etc but you still got to pay the developers. And the costs of freelancers fluctuate depending on their expertise, project complexities, and the region they are in. 

It will require time and effort to hire a freelancer that’s within your budget. If you are looking for experts, costs will go higher. Also if the project is complex or requires more time, the cost will be higher. 

Moreover, different regions also have different costs which you need to look at before starting your process. You might also need to look at the collaboration model as different models have different budgets. So, make sure you work out the budget and hire freelance developers who fit the requirements. 

Step 3: Choose A Freelance Hiring Platform

After working out all your needs, now is the time to start your search. There are numerous platforms, companies, and job boards to hire freelance developers. Some of the platforms focus on a particular programming language while some can provide a whole software development remote team.

You need to share a job posting, list out all your project and developer requirements, budget for the platform, and then wait for the developers to contact you. You can also search for freelancers of your choice on some platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

Few things to look for when you hire freelance developers-

  • Types of freelancers and remote employees available
  • Is the platform general or specialized 
  • How they screen and vet freelancers 
  • Types of job posts they allow(short gigs or long term)
  • Entry fees, commissions, freelancer’s price
  • Portfolio and Client Reviews of the freelancer.

However, if you are looking for a part-time job, you need to figure out a way to manage them. It is relatively hard to manage remote employees so you need to figure out a plan for that. If you have a complex project, hire freelance developers or a team from a reputed company such as Optymize. They have high-quality developers that can work full-time on a contract basis on your project. In case of a turnover, they provide replacements too.

Development companies also provide management support too. If you require freelancers for a simple or short-term project, choose from any freelancing platform. But if you want quality work for a long-term complex project, a reputed development platform is advised.

Look out for the following things in the company before you hire freelance developers from them- 

  • Their track record 
  • Company Ethics 
  • Financial results 
  • Geography and Region
  • Capabilities- Both Technical and Management capabilities
  • Performance track record
  • Pricing
  • Legal Contracts

Evaluate different platforms and companies objectively. Rank them based on your criteria and choose the most suitable.

Step 4: Create Your Job Post

After you have selected and ranked the freelance platforms, it is time to write a job post and share it among the platforms to hire freelance developers. Here are a few points that will help you:

  • Describe your company, its ambition, opportunities, work culture, environment, and what you can offer to the freelance employee. Explain your policies as well in brief.
  • Then about the job role. Explain the complexities, technical requirements, and the role developers will play.
  • Developers’ responsibilities, contribution, and team role.
  • Skills required- Technical and Soft skills, expertise level, coding, testing, etc.
  • Specify whether you need to hire freelance developers for frontend, backend, server maintenance, debugging, cloud, API development, security, etc. Also specify the programming languages, framework, tools, and methodology you require.
  • Project length, timeline, and constraints
  • And lastly your budget. You can also ask freelancers for their own rates which you can negotiate later.

After writing all these requirements, share the job post with all the companies and wait for the applications of the developers. It can usually take 48 hours. However, you will not require creating a job post if you hire freelance developers by directly searching for them. Whether you search for individual freelancers directly, or via job posting to a company, the next step is crucial to hire freelance developers that are ideal for you.

STEP 5. Select the Best Freelancer Candidates

·After sharing the job post, companies and platforms share the list of all suitable developers according to your project. If you are searching for individual freelance developers, you too will rank all suitable developers per your requirements. 

Selecting who you want is tough and time-consuming. If you hire the wrong one, it will waste your time, budget, and resources. Or worse- your project might not see the light of day. Here are a few tips that will help you select the right freelance developer for hire. 

  • Remove all the candidates that do not fit your requirements and specifications.
  • After that, look at the client reviews, past performances, and scores, and pick candidates with good track records.
  • Some platforms have a filter to sort the most compatible freelancers with the least compatible. 
  • Also, look at their resume individually. This process can get stressful and consume your time. Look for their skills, and rates and match them with your needs. And pick the ones that fit.
  • Also, check for the pre-interview questionnaire on the platform. It can also help in sorting out the applicants.

After you have a concise list of freelancers that are compatible, you can move further to interview them and hire freelance developers you deem fit. 

STEP 6. Perform Interviews & Communicate Details

The next step to hire freelance developers is to communicate in detail about the project and budget, interview the candidates and pick the best one. If possible, connect over a video call as it is much easier to assess their behaviors, and skills and communicate your needs.

  • Ask for their previous work samples 
  • Their feelings regarding the project 
  • If they have worked on similar projects before, ask for details.
  • Ask about their current work. Freelancers generally work on various projects at once. Ask for availability and how much of their commitment you want on your project. 
  • How they deal with constructive feedback, unhappy clients
  • method of communication during job hours.

For the interview, ask questions that

  • Help you examine their core technical skills and coding proficiency
  • That helps you assess their work experience
  • Tells you how many complex jobs they have done, (if not) or can handle.
  • Can assess their presence of mind, and problem-solving abilities.

After the interviews are done, you should be left with a list of the best candidates from which you can easily choose. Hire freelance developers which you trust more than others.

STEP 7. Hire Freelance Developers and Onboard Them

If all the steps have worked out so far, Congratulations! If something hasn’t, then repeat the steps till you get that right. Now onto the last step to hire freelance developers. 

Some important steps to look for-

  • Establish ways of communication and protocols. 
  • Sign a contract, NDA, or whatever legal document you and the freelancer(company) require. 
  • Explain all the required details regarding the project. Provide documentation, and explain the standards, milestones, and plans.
  • Share the company’s policies, and work culture and ask if the developer needs anything.
  • Onboard them and make them comfortable around the team and the tools. There should be transparency regarding the work.
  • Give them access to the software and tools required.

After you hire freelance developers, the most important step is to maintain the relationship between them and you. It doesn’t matter if you have hired a freelancer for a short role or a remote employee, trust and transparency are a must for a healthy relationship. If it isn’t there, the developer may lose interest, or won’t provide constructive feedback and you too might replace them. After all, they are working for bringing your ideas to fruition.


The freelance model works best for startup founders as it helps them in maintaining their budget requirements. However, choosing the best freelance developers individually is a tiresome job. It is often a better idea to consult a platform or company to hire freelance developers as they have pre-vetted candidates with the right amount of skills, which makes the process of finding a little easier.  Just like Optymize.