For startups looking to scale fast, it’s very important to work fast and efficiently at every single aspect of their operation. You want to get things done as quickly as they come up. Achieving that speed becomes difficult when relying on just the internal resources. And, the short hiring cycles and quick onboarding times of freelance developers make using them a necessity.
However, the hiring process for freelance developers cannot be the same as that of hiring full-time employees. As most freelancers work on short-term, remote engagements, require no training and are expected to make judgment calls, the key to hiring the developer best-suited to your needs can be understanding the difference in the skills that you need to look out for in a freelancer v/s a full-time employee.
4 Skills to look for in a Freelance Developer
These are the four skills that you should be looking at while hiring a freelance developer:
1. Technical Skills
Freelance developers need to hit the ground running, as unlike full-time employees, they would not have a training/ onboarding period.
Thus, every freelancer you consider should possess the appropriate technical skills relevant to the project and judging these freelancers only on their coding aptitude or learning abilities is, in fact, an inaccurate way of hiring them.
2. Communication Skills
Freelancers need to have the skills needed to make the engagement a success given they are mostly located remotely. They need to be able to communicate very well both verbally and over chat/ emails to ensure that a level of trust is built between you and them.
Thus, an individual with amazing technical skills but poor communication skills would not be the right fit.
3. Remote Working Experience
Working remotely presents its own set of challenges as the freelancer has to stay focused, proactive, maintain documents properly, manage their time effectively all by themselves. And only the most-organized developers can do it all.
Thus, brownie points should be allocated to a person who has worked and managed remote projects in the past.
4. Client References
Having a real-life example of how well the freelancer might be able to perform would help you be doubly sure of the decision made by you during the interview.
Thus, you should always check with one of the freelancers’ previous clients on not only their technical and soft skills but also their ability to manage work remotely. Such references can be found on either the freelancers’ resume of their portfolio.
Two Factors That You Shouldn’t Base Your Decision Upon
While you should definitely keep the skills mentioned above in mind, you should definitely NOT let the ones shared below affect your decision in any way:
1. Aptitude Tests
A developer’s performance on coding aptitude tests is more a measure of their interview preparedness than their actual smarts. And freelancers, obviously, should be judged on their work and their portfolio than their preparedness for interviews.
Thus, do not create a false negative for you by conducting unnecessary aptitude tests.
2. College Credentials
As easy as a college’s name makes the hiring decision, a freelancer’s college name or in other words their carried-forward legacy will not help them do the work they have been hired for.
Thus, base your decision on a freelancers’ skill sets and not on the name of their alma mater.
Given you have decided to jump onboard the freelance train (I would say that you are well on time, as the freelance workforce is predicted to rise to 43% in the next few years), do so in the right manner and leverage the principles shared above to make the correct hiring decision. And reap the rewards by having successful engagements with freelancers.
As Aristotle said, “well begun is half done”. Hiring the freelance developer best-suited to your needs is just the start you need.
Need help hiring the freelance developer best-suited to your needs? Flexiple is and will be here to help you. With our community of top 1% pre-screened freelance developers, we can surely help you save a lot of time & energy in hiring the right fit developer.