How to Hire a Freelance Developer

Hiring a freelance developer is a task that’s easier said than done. With the vast number of freelance platforms available on the market, the choice becomes challenging, especially considering that you have access to a global network of freelance developers just by a click of a button. You’ll have to wear the recruiter’s hat to be able to choose the best freelance developer to implement your vision.

When it really comes down to it, how does one go about hiring a freelance developer? In this guide, I’ll share with you a step-by-step guide to ensure you select the perfect freelance developer.

Who Is a Freelance Developer?

Who Is a Freelance Developer

Before we discuss how to hire a freelance developer, let’s go back to the basics. Who is a freelance developer, anyway? A freelance developer is someone you hire on a temporary basis or a contractual agreement to work on a specific project for a specific period to create and writes computer, mobile or web software and brings the client’s ideas into reality.

With the booming of the freelancing era, most businesses now resort to hiring freelance developers rather than full-time ones. While this preference can be attributed to many reasons, the most common is that freelance developers are more affordable.

Yes, they may be receiving the same amount that a developer in a full-time position would, but minus the benefits of health insurance, social security, workspace access, and yearly fixed salary. Instead, they’re paid per project or per hour, which cuts down on business expenses.

Another plus is that due to short-term nature of freelancing, freelancers are easy to let go of when you’re unsatisfied with their work. You won’t face any issues with unemployment insurance, harassment or discrimination claims, or get sued for firing an employee.

Last but not least, freelancers don’t have a fixed salary and their salaries are fluctuating. Accordingly, this means they’re always working tirelessly to deliver top-notch work to their clients to maintain long-lasting relationships that lead to more projects.

Specify Your Exact Needs

If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it, right? Before looking for a freelance developer, you need to identify your exact needs first. Is it a simple task like uploading a few photos on a web image? Or are you building a new website from scratch that needs development in the literal sense? Are you looking for a website or a mobile app? Once you have this settled, you’ll know what skills and who to look for.

What Is the Scope of Work?

To avoid any miscommunication, you’ll also need to specify the scope of work. What is the tangible result of your project? Is it just a homepage? Is it a homepage with content? Are they content pages or design pages? These are the deliverables you need to define and make clear. Additionally, the deadline is a crucial aspect to communicate to make sure that your project is finalized on schedule.

It’s also essential for you to minimize changes to your project’s scope after the project begins, also known as scope creep. For one, you’ll have to pay for those extra additions, and you may also end up with a missed deadline. So, make sure your tasks are fleshed out into enough detail to avoid alterations.

If you were hiring a full-time developer, you would provide them with a very detailed job description, right? That’s what you need to do with a freelancer, too. The more time and effort you put into accurately writing your requirements, the higher your chances of attracting the right freelance developers for the job.

Where to Hire a Freelance Developer?

Register to Al7arefa Freelance Marketplace

Once you’re more or less settled on the outlines and deliverables of your project, it’s time to find your freelance developer. If you don’t have someone specific in mind or a referral by a colleague, you’ll need to seek freelance platforms with talented freelance developers. Luckily, you’re right where you should be. Create an account with Al7arefa here and search for developers by their skill set Or you can go and browse freelance developers profiles to find the right fit for your project. Whether you’re looking for Shopify developers, WordPress developers, Magento developers, Android developers, iOS developers, native developers, react developers, mobile app developers, a programmer, software engineers, or web developers, you’ll find a vast talent pool located in Egypt to choose from.

How to Choose a Freelance Developer?

How to Choose a Freelance Developer

As we mentioned earlier, countless freelancers are open to new projects with different clients. While that makes the process of choosing the top freelancer challenging, a few factors will help you narrow down your options.

  • Firstly, look at their portfolio of work. If you find their work good enough for your project, you can reach out to them through Al7arefa’s platform and discuss your project details and scope.
  • Secondly, know the skills you’re looking for. If you’re already aware of the technical skills needed, make sure to include them in your search. If you’re unsure of the needed skills but you’re acquainted with the needs of the projects, you may get consultation from other businesses owners who’ve done it before or be open to freelancers’ recommendations on which track to pursue.
  • Lastly, don’t pick the first freelancer you come across. Make sure to interview at least a couple of freelancers with different experience levels and projects until you’re confident that you’ve found your expert and ready to start. You may also ask for a sample assignment to evaluate a freelancer’s programming skills and competency level. If you rush the hiring process,  you may end up with problems that aren’t easy to resolve.

What Personal Skills Should a Freelance Developer Have?

Skills Should a Freelance Developer Have

When you’re looking to hire a freelance developer, soft skills are just as important as technical ones. Discipline, for one, is essential for freelancers. You want a developer who is self-motivated and independent enough to keep up with the work without needing you to check on their work every minute of the day.

Similarly, communication is key. An excellent freelance developer is one who is able to communicate their ideas with you and update you with their progress. They should also be outspoken enough to show initiative and provide you with suggestions based on their expertise. With that in mind, it’s best if your freelancer of choice is fluent in your primary language.

Lastly, commitment is vital. You’ll most certainly require a freelance developer who can commit to the deadline you agreed upon and be aware of their capabilities to an extent where they can determine whether the provided timeline is sufficient or not.

Close the Deal – Hire a Freelance Developer

Now that you’ve found your freelance developer, it’s time to make an official agreement. Post your job online on Al7arefa, and make sure to include all the details you’ve discussed with your freelancer of choice.

On that note, some people prefer to post the job and its details and wait to receive proposals before they start interviewing freelancers. That works too! There’s no right or wrong; it’s a matter of preference. If you’re a client who is tight on time and don’t have the luxury of waiting, you may want to take the lead, while on the other hand, you’re not in a hurry, maybe you should post the project details first.

Either way, remember that scope, deliverables, deadlines, milestones, and payment schedules should be included in your agreement.

How to Determine Your Budget?

Then comes the common point of dispute; the money. Generally, freelancers set their prices in two ways: hourly or per project. Freelancers who adopt the hourly method get paid for the time they spend working on your project by setting an hourly rate. On the other hand, freelancers who work on a per-project basis negotiate a total fee for the project, usually delivered in phases (upfront deposit and after project completion, for instance.)

But how do you, as a client, set a budget for the project? Do you just say yes to the quotation you receive the freelancer? Absolutely not. You should have both a time and cost estimate for the project. Consider how long it takes to build out the features you requested, and how much the market average for that given task is. Once you have a benchmark, you’ll be able to set a budget accordingly, and you’ll also be able to distinguish reasonable versus overpriced proposals.

Make the Payment

Once you and your freelancer are on the same page with regard to the project scope and payment, accept their proposal on the platform. That way, your freelancer is hired! Most platforms will require you to make your payment on the spot. It’s the same case with us; at Al7arefa, we’re the intermediary team between you and your freelancer, guaranteeing your rights. Al7arefa supports different payment methods, including credit card, debit card, or cash on delivery (COD).

While yes, you make the payment before the project starts, we don’t release it to the freelancer until the project is completed and you approve of releasing the money. Once you do, we deduct our fees (20%) from the total amount owed to the freelancer, and we make the payment.

Be Patient

We know how hard it can be to trust a freelance developer you’re hiring for the first time and how tempting it can be to follow-up as much as possible. However, that’s not very convenient for the freelancer. Be reasonable with your check-ins and let them work at their own pace. They know the deadline and they understand the project, so don’t be a source of interruption, especially that development is a technical skill that demands high concentration and is very time-consuming.

On the other hand, some clients are just unavailable. You don’t want to be on the extreme sides of the spectrum; yes, you shouldn’t be checking in too often, but you still need to be available in case your freelance developer has any questions or concerns.

Review Your Freelance Developer!

When your work is delivered, make sure to leave a review for your freelancer. A single review can go a long way in their career, and it’s always appreciated. And hopefully, if the work is up to par, leave the door open for more projects together.

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Reem Abouemera
Senior Content Writer | Hire Me

Reem is a lifelong learner with a passion that never fails her: writing! Fused with a BBA in marketing from AUC, crafting compelling content that fulfills both business owners and customers is the blend she uniquely implements. Being a literal perfectionist, Reem capitalizes on this quality through research, empowering her to meticulously grasp topics and transform that apprehension into unique and engaging content, driving laser-targeted website traffic. Reem specializes in website content and blog posts. Yet, for the love of writing and its unconstrained nature, she, too, is boundless and open to other content areas.

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