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Don’t Fall into the 10 Potholes of Hiring Freelance Software Developers

  • 12 March, 2021
Don’t Fall into the 10 Potholes of Hiring Freelance Software Developers

Hiring an expert freelance software developer can be a mind-boggling task, considering the flood of targeted advertisements that almost beg you to land on their page, with vows that are almost always out of this world. 

From the ones available for a fixed cost to those who offer services for hourly rates, the options are many and may leave you in a pickle. In this situation, it's obvious that you'll have to be more cautious when hiring a freelance software developer for your project.

In this blog, we will talk about the mistakes that often lead business owners to undeserving software developers and end up getting their web development process lost in a loophole of errors, bugs, and iterations.

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Freelance Software Developer

1. Poor Project Descriptions

freelance software developer

Your project postings must be very clear and straightforward. If the project description you provide does not contain useful and complete information, it’d end up attracting undesirable candidates.

You can draw top-tier freelancers by posting a well-written project description. A comprehensive explanation provides enough details about the business and the specific requirements of the employer. It would be easier for the freelance software developer to execute your project plans if you reveal the details forthright. 

Tip: To avoid getting into hot waters, list all the requirements!

2. Don’t Rush While Hiring

software developer freelance

Nothing beats the thrill of adding on a new project to your business but terror arises hand in hand when you realize that you don't have the right person to steer it to completion. 

It is imperative that you should never make hiring decisions in haste. Instead, you should take your time and wait for the ideal candidates to approach you through your project posting. Screen the candidates thoroughly and shortlist those who align with your project needs and budget. 

Tip: Don’t settle on the first potential developer. Be patient! Wait till the perfect developer turns up and lives up to your project expectations.

3. Avoid Transitory Developers

There are some freelance software developers that take freelancing as a side hustle to their full-time job to make ends meet. Small projects with flexible timeframes may work out for these types of freelance developers but not all projects are their cup of tea.

Try to look for a freelance developer who consecutively works on software-related projects. Don’t worry about the extensive timeframe.  Remember that your two-month project, if done appropriately, will probably result in new opportunities, enhancements, and iterations. 

Tip: Beware of the freelance developers who aren't 100% dedicated to seeing your project through to the end. It's costly to spin up a new resource!

4. Lack of Business Plan

freelance software developer for hire

Do you know that having a business plan greatly increases the chances of your brand success? Well, consider a business plan to be a GPS for getting your business off the ground. 

Your business plan will serve as a road map on how to organize, operate, and expand your new venture. Knowing your market and what it needs is the key.

When you have a business plan, you may give a general idea of how you want your product to look and what features and functions you need. 

Tip: You may also provide a few samples of existing software for inspiration.

5. Don’t Ignore the Importance of Cultural Fit

It is of great importance that your freelance software developer’s behavior and beliefs are in alignment with your core values and business culture.

You might find the world's most talented freelance software developer, but if they don't share your company's values, they'll do more damage than good. Great companies prosper because of their sense of community, and one bad apple can ruin the rest. That is why you must look for a developer who is enthusiastic about your business.

Tip: Concentrate on clarity in communication. If communicating during the interview process seems difficult, consider this a sign of things to come.

6. Not Giving Candidates a Tryout First

freelance software developer rates

Once you’ve interviewed a number of potential freelance software developers, you must have jotted down a list of your favorite ones. You may as well go and hire one of them right away, but it is commendable if you employ them for a particular project on a trial basis. 

Now, this is not something as cheap labor, because you will pay them the right amount required for the project trial. But this small amount may save you from wasting a big amount on an unskilled candidate. 

If they do a good job, you can hire them with sheer confidence. It's very convenient to pass on to other candidates if they don't.

7. Iterating The Product Design Is Part of the Deal

Design iteration produces great results. It's a learn-by-doing approach that discards overthinking in the initial stages of a project.

In projects involving coding/software engineering, you would certainly want to implement a design feature right away as opposed to spending months analyzing how to implement it. This is where having a good understanding of goals and milestones is critical. 

Tip: When your prototype is ready, don’t hesitate to send it to the QA for testing. Send it out and take in the feedback to fix the issues. 

8. Avoid Preferring Hard Skills Over Soft Skills

software developer for hire

You need a particular skill and you need it instantly, so you search narrowly for a developer who can jump right in and be creative with that skill on day one. You disregard all applicants but those who clearly highlight that talent, and you make compromises because the deadline is approaching and you need the right candidate immediately. As a result, you choose the candidate with the hard skills who can quickly get you to the endpoint.

With technical skills, you must also look for soft skills like integrity, commitment, communication, collaboration, and professionalism. These are the important skills that can make or break the success of a project. 

Tip: Look for developers with unparalleled professionalism and a propensity to learn. You’ve found a pot of gold if you are lucky to find both hard and soft skills, but if you have to favor one, go for the soft skills every time.

9. Run Away from Bad Communicators

Run Away from Bad Communicators

Any expert will tell you that communication is the most important factor in the success of a project. It's critical to find developers who value effective communication. Understanding project requirements is critical to success, and understanding requirements entail asking the right questions and paying close attention to the answers.

Many developers deliver results that fall short of expectations because they move ahead with their heads down, never seeking guidance about the integration process. Communication that is vague, unreliable, or non-existent is a project killer. So better get out of there!

Tip: Look for a track record of working with both tech and non-tech colleagues. Avoid hiring someone who does not communicate clearly during the interview process.

10. Cost vs. Value

Cost vs. Value

The cost of a project rises and falls in direct proportion to its efficiency and turnaround time. You can find freelance software developers who can do your project for a low price, but will it be of any use to you?

Tip: Quality and delivery timeframe will inevitably suffer as a result of lower costs. Decide on a price-to-value ratio.