When & Why You Should Hire Freelance Developers in 2023
Hiring developers is a dilemma faced by every startup founder sooner or later in their building journeys. Whether you’re building a mobile application, an e-commerce store, debugging a program error, or simply adding a few new features to your existing site, it all requires technical talent.
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The go-to thing in the past was to use one of your in-house developers to solve your tech requirements as most organizations had their own software development team that could look into all internal tech projects. However, the times have changed now, and more and more companies are switching over to hiring freelance developers to work for them remotely.
How can you decide if this is the right mode of hiring for your organization? Let’s explore each hiring model to find out!
1. Hiring freelance developers Vs. hiring an in-house development team
1.1 Who are freelance developers?
Freelance developers are tech experts from around the world that offer their services to global clients remotely. Some work through talent platforms that act as an intermediary to help match a client with a developer based on their requirements. While other freelancers act as independent agents that can be hired through remote job sites and talent networks.
1.2 Why should you hire freelance developers?
- Have more flexibility with your talent: Hiring freelancer developers enables businesses to acquire talent on a need basis. In most instances’ companies require tech talent in specific niches to play a part in a project that’s ongoing. But it may not require a full-time hire in most instances. In such cases, it makes more sense to hire a freelance developer than to bring on a new individual for the in-house team. This allows businesses to be flexible with their talent and only hire as necessary.
- Cost-efficient: Compared to hiring a full development team for in-house use, outsourcing is more practical and cost-efficient for several reasons. Not only do remote workers require zero overhead costs, but based on which geographical region you hire your talent, you can drastically reduce your overall development cost.
1.3 The Costs of hiring freelance Developers
When hiring remote talent, you have very few operational costs when compared to other forms of talent hiring. However, there are a few things to consider:
- Legal Fees: When negotiating the prospects of the project, it is important for the contract to be specific and agreed upon by both parties. In order for that to happen, you would have to rely on lawyers paid for by you to help you write and review the said contract.
- Management: You’ll need someone to oversee the project and act as the liaison between your business and the hired dev or development team. This can translate into extra costs for your project.
- Contract Renegotiation: In case of changes in priorities or if you were to add some new features mid-development, you may incur heavy costs as the entire contract would require re-negotiation.
However, if you were to hire freelancer developers through a talent platform like CloudDevs, you can avoid all the nitty gritty details such as these as the platform will handle all contracts, payments, and compliance on your behalf in addition to overseeing project management and coordinating with the developers to ensure a successful project completion you your company.
Besides the above costs, the more obvious costs of your project’s development would be based on the time taken to fulfill the project, the complexity and the seniority of the tech talent required for it, and the geographical location of the developers.
For instance, an approximate cost of tech talent based on their geographical location is as follows:
Average Hourly Rate
$200+ / hour
Australia and New Zealand
$170+ / hour
$180+ / hour
$80+ / hour
$90+ / hour
$80+ / hour
$60+ / hour
$60+ / hour
$50+ / hour
Former Soviet Union
1.4 Who are In-House developers?
In-house developers are the full-time tech talent you have on your payroll working exclusively for your company. They have signed contracts to work for you on a full-time basis as employees and are a part of your growing corporate family. Companies opt for in-house software development teams when they want full control over their projects and development. This allows them to choose exactly who they want to work with, and the specific skill sets, and have the liberty to tackle the project at their own pace.
1.5 Why Build an In-House Team?
- Having full control: If your business intends to have complete control over the people you hire, and have the ability to dictate the pace at which things should happen, then perhaps having an in-house team would be better suited for your needs.
- Self-sufficiency: Building an in-house team makes you self-sufficient and allows you to tackle more tech projects in the future. If your business is continuously in need of taking on project development, then it may be better in the long term to have your own in-house developers. However, even if you were to hire full-time developers, you can still run a fully remote business by hiring remote workers as full-timers. For instance, if you were to hire a CloudDevs freelance developer for your initial project and loved the work that he did, the platform allows you to buy the developer of their network so you can have him/her all to yourself!
1.6 The Costs of Hiring an In-House Development Team
An in-house tech team is by far one of the costliest solutions to your project development requirement. This is due to the following reasons:
- Hiring costs: Hiring and onboarding talent require dedicated staff to perform that job. Additionally, you may also require specialized software to streamline the hiring process, as well as software or technical experts to help you assess your candidates.
- Hiring time: Conducting such a meticulous hiring process requires time. Hiring your in-house tech team may take several months in order to ensure you have the right mix of talents and expertise to build out your team.
- Operational costs: When you have an in-house development team, in addition to the costs of salaries and benefits, you need to factor in the growing operational costs.
- Training: Even if you hire experts that can easily fit into your company’s culture and processes, they would still require some level of time and energy to learn and adjust to your business practices.
- Onboarding: The costs of onboarding will highly depend on the conditions of the job. From paperwork and other administrative obligations to setting up a workspace for a new employee to factoring in any costs related to relocation if required by the employee are all factors that add to the cost of hiring in-house developers
Besides the above costs, there are the salaries for your developers which will vary depending on their seniority, tech stack, and location. Here are some of the most common examples:
Average Yearly Salary
Senior Software Developer
UI Designer / Developer
(sourced from Salary.com)
Based on the above information, now you should be able to determine which is the most suitable route to hiring developers for your business. If you prefer to have a lot of flexibility, cut unnecessary costs such as overheads, training, and benefits, and access an even wider pool of top-quality talent globally without having to lower the standards required for your project, then hiring freelance developers may be the best solution for you.
2. Things to consider before hiring freelance developers
First and foremost, before you hire your freelance developers, there are a few other important factors you need to determine.
2.1 Define the scope of your project and its requirements
You need to be aware of what programming languages and specialist skillsets that will be required for your project development. Only then will you be able to determine what kind of talent you need to hire.
2.2 Allocate a time duration for your project development
Not only does this provide a definitive deadline for you and your team to work towards, but it also allows you to determine whether it’s sufficient to hire one developer or hire multiple devs to be able to complete the project on time.
2.3 Define the experience level of the developers you intend to hire
Depending on your project requirements, you would have to determine the seniority level of talent that’s required. Skill levels of freelance developers for hire can vary from beginner to intermediate and senior levels. If your project’s complexity level is a minimum, hiring a junior developer at a low price point may suffice. However, if you require some serious coding skills, always go for a senior dev with a minimum of 5 years of expertise within their technical stack.
2.4 Define from where you would want to hire freelance developers
The location of your freelance developer is a vital component as not only would it determine the cost for your developer, but it would also determine the working hours they are comfortable with. For instance, if you’re US based client and you hire a developer from Australia, be mindful of the time difference that can get in the way of seamless communication and coordination between your internal team and outsourced talent.
2.5 Communication skills and background of the hired talent
Another essential factor to determine when hiring freelance developers is their ability to communicate clearly and ensure that they perform at a high standard. In order to ensure your hire is a solid candidate, it is essential to conduct interviews and screen the potential hires yourself or hire through a pool of pre-vetted developers such as CloudDevs that would conduct guarantee the skills of the devs you hire from their pool are up to par.
3. Advantages of hiring freelance developers
3.1 Lower costs:
The costs of hiring a freelancer will depend primarily on where the freelancer is from. While in general, freelance software developer rates are higher than an in-house software developer’s salary, the business saves money on legal fees and other benefits that in-house workers require. Most freelance web developers work out of their homes. This helps them reduce the overheads associated with running full-fledged offices. They are able to pass on these savings to clients. If your website requires ongoing maintenance, you can pay freelancers retainer fees that are only a fraction of what you would pay an agency.
Hiring a freelancer tends to be a temporary arrangement that ends with a project or a specific time frame. You can hire niche talent on a project-by-project basis if you know that you’ll only need that particular skill set for a fixed number of days. You can always re-hire them at any time if you see the need, making them extremely flexible and cost-efficient.
3.3 Quality work delivered quickly:
Freelancers live off of their reputation. They are motivated to do an excellent job and deliver results fast. Not because they’re superhuman, but because that’s how they earn their bread and butter. Plus, we believe that highly self-motivated individuals are more likely to become freelancers in the first place.
3.4 Access to high-level expertise:
You have No matter how smart you hire, it’s almost impossible that you will find all the expertise you need at any point in time within your staff. Freelancers are highly specialized in their fields. They have worked for various clients and collected a wide range of knowledge in different areas. You might not need their expertise on a daily basis, but they may come in as absolute assets for specific projects. And, your contract with them ends when the project ends.
3.5 Tap into a vast talent pool:
Hiring fixed employees means looking into a talent pool that is limited by your geographical location. On the other hand, if you consider freelancers, your options are much broader. What’s more, you’ll be able to find the help you need at a much faster pace. Hiring for a permanent position may take months, on top of recruitment costs. Hiring a freelancer can be done in days or weeks. And if your project needs urgent help, you’ll always be able to find a talented freelancer available to work right away.
4. How to Hire Affordable Freelance Software Developers
The average cost of software development is a delicate balance between a lot of variables. Choosing the best processes and avenues for your software development needs is a must to not overblow your budget. We hope to have given you a comprehensive list of all the costs associated so you can make the best decision for your particular case.
If you want to hire a senior vetted software developer to be part of your current team, Unicorn.Dev’s technical consultants can help you find the tech talent you’re looking for. No matter the size of the project or the budget available to you, we have a large array of people with different skill sets that are sure to fulfill your needs. We can find you the people best qualified to tackle your projects while making sure they are a good culture fit. Contact us!
There are multiple methods that are popular for hiring developers. Let us explore all of them here.
4.1 Tech events
Networking and tech events are popular alternatives to traditional recruitment. It allows recruiters to sign up for and attend tech events focused on specific technologies. Depending on what you’re on the lookout for, you can find them at events catering to that specific skill set. For instance, if you’re in search of Python developers, for example, you may find them at PyCon. Whereas WordPress developers may be found at WordCamp. If your requirement is for Java specialists lookout for them at JCon while for Full Stack developers you may check out the Full Stack Europe conference.
Since 2020, most of these specialized tech events are available online.
4.2 Through online job boards
Remote job boards are another great alternative to finding developers for hire at reasonable prices from the world over. You can post your job with a detailed description of the job role and technical skills requirements on ta popular remote job board and allow freelancers seeking work opportunities to apply for the position.
While some of the job boards allow free postings majority would require a nominal fee to post your job for a specified duration of time.
However, keep in mind that when you’re hiring through job boards, you would require a technical recruiter to conduct the interviews and screening which can be extremely time-consuming and would increase your hiring budget if you’re depending on an external recruiter.
Listed below are some of the most popular job boards available today to hire freelance developers:
- RemoteOK – A popular job board with a high concentration of remote tech jobs that are advertised.
- Working Nomads – A job board specializing in digital nomads. Allowing skilled people from all over the world to wind work in places they like.
- NoDesk – NoDesk is a platform used by leading remote companies to source remote freelancers for a wide range of skills.
- We Work Remotely – as one of the largest remote work communities on the internet, We Work Remotely offers a great platform for companies to find and hire remote workers from around the world.
- RemoteHub – RemoteHub is a popular job marketplace and professional community that enables startups and recruiters to find and source talents whether for part-time, full-time, or contract-level positions.
4.3 Coding communities & networking forums
Another alternative to hiring freelance developers is to reach out to them through coding communities and networking forums, From GitHub to Stack Overflow, there are communities of programmers where they share their experiences in building tech projects, discuss solutions to challenges they come across, and study code samples of other software developers.
Both GitHub and StackOverflow communities can be leveraged to hunt down the most suitable software developers for your projects. Additionally, web and mobile apps such as Meetup can also be utilized to get in touch with other developer networks to meet the hiring criteria of your projects.
LinkedIn – Among social media channels, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for employers to connect with professionals from all over the world. Similar to other freelance platforms, you may use LinkedIn to post an ad indicating that you’re looking to add a freelance developer to your team. You’re destined to attract an expert that meets your criteria.
Another way of finding developers for hire is through referrals. You can tap into your network of professional contacts and ask them to refer a developer they’ve had previous experience with thereby ensuring you find talent through a recommended source.
4.5 Online hiring platforms
Compared to the above methods, hiring platforms offer a much more versatile and convenient freelancer hiring solution for businesses.
Listed below are our top talent platform recommendations for hiring freelance developers in 2023.
For in-depth details about each of these, visit our guide: How to Hire Freelance Developers for Software Development in 2023.
Hire top vetted developers in LatAms today!