Unique situations based on your company size
Regardless of whether you are a startup, non-profit, mid-sized business, or an enterprise team, consider these unique scenarios, when hiring a remote developer.
When startups get their initial rounds of funding, there is usually a need to hire developers quickly. In that rush, however, you can end up hiring developers that you wish you had not.
Non-profits and startups tend to look for lower-cost developers to help them get the most out of the funding that they have, and those are the easiest to find online.
Before jumping into developer marketplaces to hire, however, consider these questions first:
Do you have a CTO?
If you do not, you are going to need experts in hiring remote developers. Alternatively, consider hiring an agency that provides a dedicated team. You do not want to gamble with developers you find online, and, at the very least, you should hire a consultant remote CTO to help you make some of your first hires, if you are building a remote team.
If you do have a CTO, you can likely hire a remote developer yourself. It will take a lot of time and money—that you should probably be investing in having your CTO build out your initial foundations—to do it, but it is certainly a technically feasible option.
If you are the CTO and do not have the time for recruiting, alternative options are marketplaces and more developer-centered companies, as both will give you the opportunity to do some smaller-scale vetting of your own, without needing to sift through thousands of applicants.
How much work and budget do you have?
If it is less than a month of work or budget, developer marketplaces are likely your best bet. Keep in mind that the less work you have, the higher the cost can and likely will be with good freelancers.
If it is closer to three or more months of work and budget, your options open up a bit and it is worth considering more premium options that actually become more affordable with the longer timeline than a short-term freelancer would be.
Another option is offering equity, a route that is a bit more dangerous with a remote developer, as they have much less vested interest in your company since they are remote. That said, it could save you a lot of upfront cash, and some remote developers are open to it.
How important is quality?
If you are just trying to get an MVP up and running, quality might not be the most important factor right now. Perhaps you just need something to show your startup’s investors. Or perhaps you just need a decent landing page for your non-profit.
If quality is not of high importance, you can afford to gamble with developer marketplaces.
If quality is of high importance, you need to be considering the more premium options. Quality should be of high importance if you are looking to not have to rebuild your codebase every year, or if you plan to have a lot of demanding traffic and need a site than can handle that level of performance.
A mid-size business is in the most interesting situation, as you might may or may not have the budget for a premium remote developer service, but you could potentially handle all of your recruitment on a smaller scale if you have a need to hire often enough.
If you are a mid-size business, ask yourself this question:
How often do I need to hire a remote developer?
If the answer is “not often”, then you should absolutely consider utilizing premium services, which give you consistency every time you need it, or use a developer marketplace (less consistent quality, but part-time options will be available).
If the answer is “often”, you should definitely look into whether you can bring on a full-time or part-time hire who has a technical background, strong understanding of how to manage remote developers, and who can help run your vetting process.
At the enterprise level, your options start to become both more expensive and limited. Your vetting needs also become more serious, costly, and complex at the enterprise level, as you need people with highly specialized skills and a proven track record in the enterprise space.
Even with a CTO, recruiter and hiring manager, hiring remote will attract thousands of applicants and only an efficient vetting system with several rounds of challenges and interviews will net you the talent you need.
The cost of hiring remote enterprise developers will likely exceed $100,000 over the course of a year with proper vetting mechanisms in place.
Most enterprise recruiting today is around tech like Java or .NET, two specializations that you do not want to hire casually for. Add on top of that the need for communication vetting to ensure you will be working with someone who will properly address expectations for your business and communicate at the highest professional level, and the challenges become obvious.
Recruitment agencies are one option to turn to at the enterprise level, but, in the remote space, these do not quite exist yet, and those that do are hard to trust. The best options are developer marketplaces and premium services that have a specialization in enterprise remote developers and related skills.