15 Best Ways to Find Developers For Your Startup
If you’ve got a great tech idea and a place to built it, but you’re missing some of the expertise to turn your dream into a reality, then it’s time to turn to the web and build up a tight-knit team of expert developers.
But how can you be sure you’re hiring the best developers for the job?
How can you ensure they’ve actually got the skills you need, before you shell out the cash to pay for them?
Luckily, a wide variety of platforms solve these problems in a multitude of unique ways — giving you the freedom to pinpoint the right developer for your team, and vet them before you bring them on full-time.
Here are 15 of the most popular platforms for hiring developers online — along with a few pros and cons of each.
When it comes to sheer scale, AngelList is close to the top. This platform directly connects developers with more than 50,000 startup jobs around the world — a larger number of development contracts, specifically, than you’ll find on any other site.
Here’s one helpful aspect of AngelList:
It’s highly startup-oriented — in other words, it’s very common practice for startup owners to offer lower-than-usual salaries to developers, and compensate them with shares in the company.
For startup owners on a limited budget, this can enable you to hire a top developer at an upfront cost you can afford.
In fact, this company-share economy often helps startup founders bring on not just developers, but co-founders with complementary skillsets. What begins as a single job interview may turn into a conference call with experts who can help move your startup to the next stage.
Everyone who’s done much software or web development knows StackOverflow, probably the most popular coding Q&A platform on the internet.
StackOverflow also hosts an active system of job boards, in which startup founders connect with expert coders and co-founders.
StackOverflow’s boards are extremely user-friendly, even including the option to sort developers by reputation. The fact that StackOverflow is a Q&A site, and not just a job board, also enables you to filter developers by level of activity, so you can be sure you’re hiring a coder who’s respected and active in the community.
Some developers have made their emails public, enabling you to contact them directly — while others respond to job listings posted by employers, which you can publish here. Or, if you’d prefer, you can browse StackOverflow’s large database of resumes and CVs for experienced developers of all types.
3. GitHub Jobs
Just as most coders come to StackOverflow for answers to their toughest tech questions, many rely on GitHub as a repository service to host their public and commercial projects. Like StackOverflow, GitHub also hosts a buzzing set of job boards, where startup founders — and anyone else in need of expert coders — post remote, short-term and full-time positions.
Here’s one big advantage of hiring via GitHub:
It’s easy to link your candidates to their GitHub track records — meaning you can immediately check out not only their projects, but their actual working code itself, without ever leaving the site. And since everyone from novice coders to veteran CEOs publishes code on GitHub, you may very well meet your co-founder here.
The two main downsides of GitHub jobs are that the search tools aren’t as robust as those on other platforms — and that it costs $450 to post a single job listing. If you’re willing to fork over that kind of cash, though, you’re almost guaranteed to find a developer who’s experienced in your field.
An increasing number of enterprise-level companies are turning to Toptal to discover new design and development talent — but the site is friendly to startup owners, too. Toptal’s front page boasts that they specialize in connecting employers with “the top 3% of freelance talent” worldwide, in areas ranging from backend development to user interface design.
Toptal’s pros and cons:
A membership on Toptal can be costly; but the site offers a unique no-risk policy: you’re free to hire and work with a freelancer for a few weeks, and you’ll only pay if you’re completely satisfied with the work they do.
To get you to that point, Toptal offers one of the most robust talent search platforms on the web, going so far as to match candidates, on a percentage scale, with the requirements you’ve specified.
You won’t find cheap remote coding labor on Toptal — but if you need to make absolutely sure you hire the best talent possible, this site is an excellent place to start. The hiring fees may have paid for themselves by the time your startup goes live.
The official job board of popular news site Techcrunch, this platform taps into a community of more than 12 million readers in the tech community, by sharing your job post directly on the news website, daily newsletters and social networks.
In terms of actively spreading the word about your job throughout the development world, Crunchboard is hard to beat.
Here’s how the costs and benefits break down:
At $200 for a single 30-day job listing, this site isn’t cheap — but neither are many other tech-specific job boards. And if you can afford the investment, you’re very likely to discover coders with the expertise you’re looking for.
You may also meet your co-founder, along with experts in tech marketing, business development and other aspects of the startup launch process. Crunchboard can even help you hire interns.
Although there’s no single specific reason to recommend Crunchboard above GitHub or StackOverflow, this board is definitely worth checking out — especially if you’re having trouble finding the right freelancer on other sites. The sheer variety of tech-related job categories can make it a handy centralized place to start putting your core team together.
Small startups and Fortune 500 companies alike patrol Dice for expert developers. This platform has been around since its current form since 2009, and its roots date back to even earlier job boards. Throughout that time, it’s remained one of the most popular sites for hiring coders, both in Silicon Valley and around the world.
Some advantages of this sprawling platform:
The developers you’ll find here range across almost every category of the tech industry. Their experience levels range from newbie to veteran — and Dice’s interface makes it easy to sort them by language expertise, software preference, geographical location, additional skills, and a variety of other highly specific criteria.
If you’re looking for a C++ developer who uses Linux, lives in Montreal, and also knows AutoCAD, this site can help you get straight to that person (as long as they’ve got a profile specifying these things).
You’ll pay $395 for a single 30-day job post on Dice — though the price does go down somewhat if you’re posting two, three or more jobs. For that price, you’ll get promotion not only on the Dice job boards, but also on partner sites, reaching a total of more than 2 million candidates in the tech industry. Those levels of reach and specificity may make Dice worth your while — or at least worth checking out.
You’ve probably posted your own resume and CV on LinkedIn already — and that fact, in itself, tells you how popular this platform is. More than 330 million registered professionals make this site an essential outreach tool for a variety of industries. IT recruiters around the world use it to track down interview candidates, evaluate their experience, and connect with them directly.
Here’s how LinkedIn goes the extra mile to help startups:
They offer a handy “playbook” of hiring guides targeted specifically at small business owners, including ideas for making your brand more attractive to potential hires, to entice developers to investigate your company, and to make sure you connect with the ideal candidate for your startup.
For $99.95 per month, you can operate a “Recruiter Lite” account, which provides you with a robust search engine for targeting candidates based on skills and geography, along with features like automatic candidate tracking and smart recommendations.
Although LinkedIn is a general purpose platform, it does provide a centralized place to connect with enormous numbers of developers, as well as experts in other roles that might be helpful to your startup, from accounting to marketing to logistics.
If you’re not sure exactly what kinds of coding expertise you need to get your job done, Rent-a-Coder can help clear up the issue. This site gives you the option to interact directly with individual freelancers — or to hire complete teams based on your project requirements; making it simple to start the hiring process with your startup’s practical needs, and work outward from there.
Here’s how it works:
Once you’ve created an account, you’re free to post a specific job, or to post a project without specifying the exact skills needed — it’s free either way. You’ll receive bids from a large community of developers and other tech experts, and can sort them by skills, experience level, ratings and other factors.
When compared with some of the other platforms for hiring tech talent, Rent-a-Coder doesn’t offer a whole lot in terms of support and testing tools — or tools for actually managing the job once you’ve hired someone. Still, the facts that it’s free, and allows you to specify your requirements by project, make it worth investigating as an option.
While AngelList and StackOverflow are two of the best options for hiring experienced developers, it’s hard to beat UpWork in terms of freelancer variety of pricing, expertise and experience — as well as control over billing and time-tracking.
What does make UpWork different from the sites above?
They host job postings not only for coding and development, but also for many other industries, from graphic design to copywriting. Thus, while the site’s community of freelancers is unquestionably one of the largest on the web, not all of those freelancers are developers — and many expert developers prefer other hiring platforms.
Still, UpWork can be great when you need to hire remote developers for very reasonable prices — especially for one-off jobs on tight deadlines. Response times are generally very quick, and the site’s built-in time-tracking system enables you to see exactly what work your developers are doing, and intervene at any time. Just don’t expect to find your co-founder here.
This site offers a somewhat unusual approach to building a startup team: instead of posting your job and searching for freelancers, you connect with the Gun.io directly and explain the details of your project — then the site’s staff hand-select a tailored team of freelancers, and supervises their time and budgets for you throughout the course of the project.
Some of the benefits:
Gun.io can be incredibly powerful for turning a very small team — even a team consisting of just yourself — into a functioning small business, in record time. In fact, this site already has a solid track record of doing exactly that, for businesses from garage startups to Fortune 500 enterprises.
Their freelance talent pool consists of experienced developers, designers and architects from around the world, all of whom have already proven their worth on other projects.
Even if you’ve already got your core team in place, Gun.io may be able to connect you with remote workers who’ll fill in your expertise gaps, and turn your startup into a well-oiled machine that’s moving rapidly toward an actual product launch. That alone can be worth the price of admission.
One of the web’s oldest freelancing platforms — and still one of the largest — Guru connects more than 1.5 million freelancers with more than 3 million jobs in software, design, sales, engineering, and a variety of other fields. Posting a job is free, and the scale of the community means you’ll often be flooded with responses within minutes.
At the same time, this staggering size and variety of this can make it difficult to predict what kinds of applicants you’ll get.
Here’s what that means for you:
The site isn’t specific to developers — or even to the tech industry — which means you may have to deal with a lot of applications from freelancers who don’t have the necessary expertise. You may have to soft through quite a few irrelevant messages before you find a freelancer worth interviewing.
But Guru does host a significant talent pool of active, experienced developers — many of whom have proven track records and positive ratings reaching back for years. And since this service is free, it can’t hurt to post your job, cast your net, and see what you catch. It’s entirely possible to find a top expert or even a co-founder here, if you’re lucky.
This site has also been around for years, serving as home to millions of freelancers in categories from marketing to graphics to software development. The active community will start bidding on your job within minutes, and you’ll often be able to find and hire a freelancer within the first 24 hours.
Here’s how the cost/benefit ratio breaks down:
Like many general-purpose hiring sites, posting and hiring on Freelancer won’t cost you anything — but, as with most similar platforms, Freelancer will take a significant bite out of the payments you make to workers.
In exchange for this, you’ll get a robust time tracking system, 24/7 support, a user-friendly mobile app, and the security of knowing you won’t have to pay until you’re satisfied with the completed work.
You might be thinking this all sounds very similar to UpWork and Guru — and you’re absolutely right. But while you’ll find a significant amount of overlap in the communities of Freelancer, UpWork, Guru and similar platforms, quite a few developers only maintain active presences on one site or another, making it worthwhile to post your listing on at least a few of them.
While this site is primarily oriented toward web development jobs, it’s also possible to find talented backend developers and user interface designers here, if you’re willing to dig a little. Find Bacon’s friendly interface enables you to specify freelance or full-time positions, and to showcase your job listing only to developers in specific locations — or around the world.
As with many other development-specific job boards, posting on Find Bacon isn’t free — it’ll cost you $299 for 30 days, whether you like the developer you hire or not.
That said, employers do report a high satisfaction rate with Find Bacon’s simple, almost minimalist approach to connecting employers with developers: just post your job details and your contact info in any format you like, and developers will get in touch with you directly.
The free-form nature of Find Bacon’s community can make it a bit tough to predict exactly what you’re going to get. You may discover your co-founder here, you may run across some talented freelancers who fit your profile exactly, or you may not discover anyone who even match your requirements.
The best approach here is to start by browsing the job listings. If you see jobs similar to yours, you stand a good chance of finding the kind of developer you’re looking for.
India’s number-one all-purpose job site, Naukri can help connect you with remote developers willing to work within your budget. Although the site boasts millions of users, only a fraction of those are in the tech industry — and, as on any site, fewer still are genuine experts — so you’ll want to set aside some time for dialoguing with candidates and vetting them properly.
Here are some of the pluses and minuses:
Compared to some other tech job boards, Naukri’s interface is nothing to write home about — but once you’ve set up and paid for your $64 recruiter account, you’ll gain access to a variety of tools, including a customizable search engine, as well as access to the site’s enormous resume database.
You’ll most likely start receiving responses almost immediately upon posting your job.
Another key difference between Naukri and some other freelancing sites is that Naukri doesn’t include any built-in tools for time-tracking, budgeting, or otherwise supervising your job and guaranteeing quality. Once you’ve made a hire, you’re on your own.
But when you’re looking for quick remote developers who may have potential for longer-term positions, Naukri is definitely a popular option — not only in India, but around the globe.
This unique platform attracts freelancers and full-timers alike, with a variety of worker-friendly tools like a salary calculator and a public employer review system. Though it’s not specific to the tech industry, it does host thousands of job postings and resumes, all neatly organized in a detailed interface.
Here’s why you might like it:
Creating an employer account on Glassdoor is free, though you will have to pay for actually posting one or more jobs. Glassdoor goes the extra mile to make their fees worth the benefits, though — they offer one-click job advertising, precise candidate targeting, advanced analytics, and even insights on your competitors, if you’re interesting in seeing who you’re up against.
Tools like these make Glassdoor just as popular among employers as it is among workers, and many Fortune 500 companies — as well as many startups — find talented developers here. Plus, the site’s library of coaching and interviewing resources adds some nice extra value that you won’t get on many other hiring platforms.
Before you hire, test!
Despite all these options, finding a list of potential candidates is often the easiest stage of the hiring process. It can be much more challenging to actually vet those candidates properly — especially if you yourself aren’t an expert in the languages and development environments they’ll be using.
Here’s how our testing service helps you:
Once you’ve reached that evaluation stage, we at Tests4Geeks offer a helpful service for determining whether a candidate is worth interviewing more intensively. While our tests aren’t substitutes for live interviews, they’re useful pre-interview tools that’ll save you from wasting time with candidates who are definitely unqualified.
We offer tests for languages like Java and Ruby on Rails, as well as many others. All our tests are composed of questions written by developers with at least seven years’ experience. To ensure consistency, each individual candidate answers the same set of questions, shuffled in order.
Instead of requiring candidates to write their own code, as some testing services do, we present each candidate with a list of multiple-choice questions. While a perfect score won’t necessarily tell you which candidate is best for your job, lower scores can certainly help you weed out the candidates who are least qualified — or who claim to be senior-level when they’re actually only mid-level.
With the help of tools like these, you’ll be in an excellent position to track down the right candidates to help launch your startup, and to save yourself time throughout the interview process, so you can focus on doing the things you do best — helping your dream become a real, marketable project in the tech world.