In 2020, there were 59 million freelance workers in the United States. That’s around 35% of the US workforce. There’s no question about it—freelancers are everywhere, and they’re a big part of the future of work!
So yes, finding a freelancer is no problem. However, finding the right freelancer who matches your start-up’s needs might be a little trickier.
Here, we look at a few strategies that will help you source quality freelance talent for your start-up. We’ll also suggest some platforms and marketplaces where you can get connected with the best freelancers.
1. Developer Conferences and Meetups
One tried-and-tested method of finding freelance developers is to attend networking events. Many developer conferences and meetups are conveniently thematic—they’re usually organized around a particular framework, language, or platform. For example, Python developers congregate at the annual PyCon, while there are several different annual conferences for Ruby.
These events often provide networking opportunities and you can connect with developers looking for jobs. Make sure you attend the smaller break-away groups and reach out to developers once you’re there. If you’re not sure what conferences are accessible or upcoming, check out event platforms like Eventbrite to get a list of those taking place in your area and book your place.
2. Developer Communities and Forums
Developer communities and forums are another great way to find freelancers. These forums are a place for developers to discuss various development-related topics and interests, and also for them to ask for support or advice with tasks.
Many of these forums have freelance hiring sections to help you get in touch with a freelancer right away. Other times, you’ll have to try your luck and just reach out to someone in a specific forum or topic thread.
Not all communities have their own websites. You’ll also find lots of developer communities hidden away on Telegram, Slack, Discord, as well as Facebook Groups or subreddits.
3. Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow is one of the most iconic developer communities and features rich discussions across every field of development and a diverse population from all over the world. Many developers joke that if Stack Overflow were to come offline, much of the world’s software development projects would shut down overnight, such as the reliance on its tech support section.
Stack Overflow has a great job board that is explicitly geared towards software jobs. Companies can post their requirements in detail, including experience level, and even note down their developer culture.
LinkedIn is a more general networking platform, not specifically focused on software developers. However, it has hundreds of millions of users in over 200 countries and it does allow you to post jobs as well as search for candidates with the appropriate skills.
5. Graduate Outreach
If you’re looking for entry-level developers, there’s one method that’s been around as long as computer science degrees have been a thing—graduate outreach.
Many schools have networking events for graduating students that will help you find candidates and secure them as soon as they’re out of university. You can also look for school alumni Facebook groups and post jobs for fresh graduates there to find freelancers.
6. Staffing Agencies
A very efficient way of securing freelance talent is to hire them through a staffing agency.
Staffing agencies can save you time and money as they’ve already pre-vetted all their developers. Once you start working with an agency, you won’t need to double-check each freelancer’s expertise or background—the agency will do that for you. You’ll have immediate access to a pool of top talent whenever you need it.
7. Freelance Platforms
With freelance platforms, you can search for freelancers who have the skills and background your project requires. These platforms allow you to post hiring ads with specific requirements, after which they match you with suitable freelancers who can get the job done.
Our platform, Devlynk, takes it a step further and also offers project tracking features. You can get an overview of your project’s status and test any new versions. Devlynk lets you securely prepay for your freelancers’ work, only releasing payment upon project completion.
Devlynk: A Platform Designed to Connect You With Top Developer Talent
While there are many different strategies available to aid your freelance search, the best solutions are those that allow you to filter results. A broader search pattern in social media, forums or conferences can take a lot of time and present you with a lot of profiles to sift through.
Devlynk takes manual searching out of the equation, matching you and your project with the right talent, straight away. You’ll get the best freelancers at competitive prices, and a secure platform through which you can follow up, communicate with your freelance developers and pay them at any time.
Ready to get started? Create your first hiring ad on our platform for free!